May Musings…Scars

The past two days I took a good look at my scars. I have them on four toes from bunion surgery and 3 on my breasts from lumpectomies and cancer removal. Looking into videos for Ravi Zacharias after hearing of his death last evening, I found Naomi Zacharias speaking at the Liberty University Convocation on YouTube. She spoke about her task at RZIM [Ravi Zacharias International Ministry], heading their ministry to the sex trafficked. I’ll share what the Spirit brought to mind this morning, putting my thoughts together from all this. Note: I’m using the new WordPress Editor so forgive me while I’m learning the new tech!

Psalm 100:3 Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and [a]not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Naomi noted that individual means that which cannot be changed or divided. We are individually made by the Lord God, created for His plans and purposes, so we should be an individual; not trying to be like someone else. We also should take other people as the individual they are.

Matthew 5:45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

God’s love is personal for each individual. It’s also impartial because He sends good things like rain and sunshine to the just and the unjust. This tells me we need to not be judgemental. Naomi posed the question: “If a prostitute came into your church, would she be welcomed as a child of God or shunned and held in her sins?” (I kind of paraphrased what she said). We want the lost, hurting, messed up to come into the fold and find Jesus, but are we ready to take them “just as I am”, filthy, dirty, smelly…foul language, addictions and all?

This led me to the next passage:

Luke 17:6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

John 20:24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”…

The day Jesus showed up in the Disciples’ midst:

27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, [f]“Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

All NKJ Scriptures from Bible Gateway

This brings me back to the observation of my scars. This morning referring to my scars I said, “The tracks of my trials remind me You are faithful!” Jesus paid the full price for our healing. Jesus our Lord and Holy Spirit hear our prayers and pray with us. (as the Bible says, Jesus is ever interceding for us at the Throne of God) Healing is a tough subject because we’ve heard of miracles happening and people instantly healed. Then there are those who are healed by doctors; medicine, therapies, surgeries…and we wonder why things happen the way they do.

We see faith as something we need more of. Sometimes we think we need to “muster up” our faith. Well, God gives us the first mustard seed of faith when we first believe. Faith only grows as it’s tested and we see the faithfulness of God in our trials and troubles. God doesn’t put those things on us, but may allow them. [see John 10:10] Jesus has a new heavenly body, but it still has the scars from the nail holes and the spear in His side. These show the price paid for our salvation and all that accompanies it; overcoming power. In Revelation we read that the Saints overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony and did not love their lives to the death. My scars remind me of the Lord’s faithfulness to heal; I’ve had doctors and nurses remark how well I healed from my surgeries. It’s a good testimony of the grace I have in my body because of Jesus’ provision and faithfulness.

One last thought that Naomi reinforced: there’s no sacred and secular in our destinies from God. When we belong to Jesus, every part of our lives is dedicated to Him. Wherever you are, you are a missionary; on a mission to bring God’s kingdom to your part of this earth. The person who needs what you have is probably sitting right next to you!

I leave you to soldier on in the life God has given you. May you recognize the weapons of warfare that are not carnal that Apostle Paul spoke of in Ephesians 6 and the talents, gifts and abilities you’ve been endowed with from Father God. Use them well! Shalom dear ones!

Ravi Zacharias, A Good Christian Soldier Goes Home

Ravi Zacharias has been a part of my Christian walk for years. I couldn’t let his passing go unnoticed! I share Victor’s post because he’s done a good job honoring this great man of God!

Victors' Corner

That was how CNN reported the death of internationally renown Christian apologists, Dr Ravi Zacharias on 19 May, 2020.

Before seeing that post, I was already aware of that news via an earlier blog post on Bruce Cooper’s Reason Cases for Christ. And my first reaction was, “We have lost a great Christian apologist. Ravi will be greatly missed…”

A friend of mine who is also an ardent admirer of Ravi’s, reacted in a similar tone: “Yeah, Ravi will be greatly missed. His contribution to Christian Apologetics was immense.”

Although I never got to meet him personally in his lifetime, I have read a couple of his articles and also listened to his recorded audio or video messages.

In all, I am convinced that Ravi was a man of very deep spiritual convictions.

He was a good soldier of Christ who travelled across several seas, oceans and mountains around the…

View original post 317 more words

The Solid Rock

Good day readers, welcome to another busy week of musings!

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It is not slow for us during this “shutdown” because we have LOTS of things to do in our house, outside our house; in the yard, garden, garage, shed…This season we’re in did not stop me working to spring clean motel rooms for the neighbor, has not stopped my once a week cleaning for my friend Joe, who vacates the house while I clean; I wear mask and gloves while I’m there of course.

Monday John started installing a ceiling fan in our bedroom and encountered a block in the wall on his way to get the wire to the ceiling. I’d been thinking maybe we could put the new door on the room at the same time and this situation necessitating a wall panel being removed was the perfect opportunity for John to widen the doorway and get the door out of the garage installed along with the fan. On top of that, we’ve been working topsoil from the local quarry into our yard and garden beds so there’s a load just behind our “parking area” in the driveway that’s slowly depleting.

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Tuesday we went to our local green house and got tomato, pepper, and marigold plants as well as a bag of yellow onions and a bag of shallots to plant. We already had bean, pea, kale, radish, cucumber, spinach, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, yellow zucchini, delecata (sweet potato) – yes, that’s 4 types of  squashes – seeds. I’ve been busy after work at the motel mixing the topsoil, the soil we put it over, compost from our yard, and filling a bucket of rocks culled from the mix in each bed. We’ve got several low spots in the yard that need fill, so nothing goes to waste in our yard!

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Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

We went for a drive searching for a pear tree Wednesday evening, finding lots of plum, cherry, and yellow delicious apple trees but no pear. On our way back from the city, I got the call from my Life Group for our messenger group chat. Needless to say, John and I haven’t been reading together in the evenings since he’s been turkey hunting in the morning and is very tired by evening. To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose on earth as Ecclesiastes says!

There are a lot of needs and prayer requests around us, which brought this song to mind:

The Solid Rock

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name

When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
my anchor holds within the veil

person standing on top of rock
Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com

On Christ the solid rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

His oath, His covenant, His blood
support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay

On Christ the solid rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne

On Christ the solid rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand
On Christ the solid rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

http://www.songlyrics.com/hope-hymns/the-solid-rock-lyrics/

No matter how sweet things seem in this life, how rocky, our hope is in Jesus Christ alone. Are you ready for the trumpet to sound and we who are still on earth will be taken up to Heaven? Here’s a photo of my grandson that his big sister sent. We got him a ball for his Birthday in February. It broke and he’s enjoying it as much as a hat as he did when it was a ball! I think this is part of what Jesus meant when He said we need to come to God as a child; he’s so happy with a broken ball! Shalom dear readers, until next week.

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Virtual Birthday Musings

img_20200514_143601448 Coming to my 57th Birthday isn’t a big, notable Birthday for me today (May 14), but it’s the 50th Birthday for Watertown Women’s Connection [our local StoneCroft group]; we had a big party planned for the luncheon today that was cancelled due to Covid 19. It’s also the 72nd anniversary of Israel being declared a sovereign nation in 1948.

This morning I made my own gluten free, dairy free chocolate-chocolate cake and my husband John shared it with me. We at it mid-afternoon; it’s got instant coffee in it as well as all the chocolate, so I know if I eat it too late in the day, I won’t go to sleep well, so I’ll virtually share it with you all.

img_20200514_144105626 I hope I can actually share a cake like this with you in Heaven some day! I’ve heard God has all our favorite things there, so this must be one of them. I’ve also heard everything in Heaven is made of light, so no calories and no clean up!

 

This Proverb has always meant a lot to me:

Proverbs 31:28

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:

As this Proverb declares, the Lord has mightily blessed me with children and a husband who rise up and call me blessed. I’ll share with you some of my blessings.

My granddaughter Ashlynn called and talked to me this morning on her daddy’s phone. She started with, “Happy Birthday Grandma” then told me she’s wearing Mommy’s dress and some makeup. Mom was still sleeping and so was her big sister. She took me for a tour of her toys, telling me about the new ones she got a week ago when she turned 4. Here’s her picture; she was afraid her teeth would start falling out when she turned 4!9626

Then she took me to her bedroom and tried to find something under her bed; she couldn’t reach what she wanted, but gave me a “virtual tour” of the rest of the bedroom as her big sis slept on. Her dad and mom got me a new Kindle and 6 months of Kindle Unlimited to try. I recently deleted Kindle from my phone because it wasn’t working right, then couldn’t get it to download again, so I’d just been thinking I could use a new Kindle. I’d sold mine several years ago when the app worked on my phone. I count this as another instance of God knowing what I want/need before I even ask!

9788On Mother’s day, my Pennsylvania son Harold and grandsons Owen and Logan did Google Hangouts video chat with me. I got an email this morning. Their family sent me a gift card so I can buy something off my Amazon wish list. Owen and Logan did a video Hangout with me this afternoon and their mom Jana sent me a Happy Birthday text. After spending a week tearing down the playground in their back yard, they just finished putting up a swing set in the yard. They’ve gotten too big for the slides, but still enjoy the swings. It gives Jana more garden space as well another piece of lawn. Here are the boys checking out the new swing set.

My granddaughter Faith sent me a Birthday text this morning. Her dad, my son Alex, called me a little while ago. We’re eager to visit when the restrictions are lifted and are putting aside things to take to them. They sent me this homemade card the beginning of the week. I love my creative, artistic grandchildren!

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My daughter in California sent me a comfort package from Taproot Magazine‘s store which arrived last weekend. It had a yellow beeswax pine cone-shaped candle, a “make-do-dream” sticker, a ceramic/clay handle-less tea mug with a tin of ‘Marble & Milkweed Tea For Dreamers’, and a hand dyed cotton scarf. They also did a Skype chat with me. Since Mother’s Day was 4 days before my Birthday, I got a nice card from her family for that as well. I love the fancy cards she finds; I have a pop-out butterfly card hanging in my office from a year ago and they sent a pop-out flower this year: img_20200514_145103382Oh, as you see beneath the card, I got the middle of my puzzle done, but there’s lots of blue sky and green grass left to finish! The middle is the stones of Stonehenge which were interesting to piece together. The puzzle has gone to the bottom of my things to do list for now. Monday I got a new book to proofread from my publisher which kept me busy for two days and again today typing up corrections to send to her.

img_20200514_144450959Yesterday we spent the afternoon expanding our garden beds and filling in with wheelbarrows full of compost and soil, after I’d spent the morning doing my weekly house cleaning for a friend. These are the flowers John picked for me while out turkey hunting this morning and he blessed me by making supper and cleaning up dishes. It’s a busy time of year for us even with the sequestering!

God has prepared EXACT

 

I leave you with encouragement from Havilah Cunnington and verses from two songs that have been running through my head the past two days.

Surrounded (Fight My Battles) by Elyssa Smith

It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You!It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You!

This is how I fight my battles! This is how I fight my battles! My weapon is a melody!

Way Maker by Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu

(God) You are way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness…My God, that is who You are!

Even when I don’t see it You’re working, even when I don’t feel it You’re working; You never stop; You never stop working! You never stop working! Amen.

Immanuel, Our God Is With Us!

llisteningThis is the next Immanuel song that comes to mind. I first heard it sung by Michael Card, then by Amy Grant back in the days I had their albums on cassette tape. No matter how many times I’ve sung this, my heart is blessed each time. You can find it at:  https://www.lyricsfreak.com/m/michael+card/immanuel_20257298.html

A sign shall be given
A virgin will conceive
A human baby bearing
Undiminished deity
The glory of the nations
A light for all to see
That hope for all who will embrace
His warm reality

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Chorus:                                                                                                                                                  Immanuel
Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

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For all those who live in the shadow of death
A glorious light has dawned
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold your light has come

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So what will be your answer?
Will you hear the call?
Of Him who did not spare His son
But gave him for us all
On earth there is no power
There is no depth or height
That could ever separate us
From the love of God in Christ

Dove

Immanuel
Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

Isaiah 53 Thoughts

down the road at duskWelcome Readers!

Isaiah 53  was part of my daily devotions and it just hit me in a new way. Let’s look into verses 3-6 today. I’m using the New Living Translation.

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
    He was despised, and we did not care.

I realize I have turned my back on Jesus, looked the other way. I have joined those who despised and rejected Him, and did not care. Not only was this before I met Him, I’ve had times since, sometimes daily, when I’ve turned my back, looking to my own way.

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Isaiah 53:4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
    it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
    a punishment for his own sins!

How deceived we all were; sometimes still can be. We think sometimes we live and die to ourselves, but many times don’t realize what our sins and selfishness as well as the sins of others put Christ through. When we try to live by “cheap grace”, we don’t really see that it was our own sorrows, troubles and punishment He bore for us.

Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

Yes, His head, hands, feet and side were pierced for my rebellion, his body crushed for my sins, His beating and whipping that turned His back into hamburger made the way for me to be healed and whole. His blood came from His head, hands, feet, side, back; flaying His body open to exposing internal parts. There isn’t a single sickness, illness, or infirmity His blood can’t cover; that was not paid for on the cross.

purple fireworks effect
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Isaiah 53:6 All of us, like sheep  have strayed away.
    We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

Yes, Father God laid on Him the sins of us all; all human beings that ever were and ever will be on this planet. There isn’t a single one of us who has not strayed away and left God’s paths to follow our own. I don’t know about you, but my own paths have mucked up my life quite a bit. I realize I’m definitely no better than anyone else, but am so thankful Jesus paid the price and I have chosen to accept that payment to the best of my understanding. I’m so thankful Holy Spirit continues to open my eyes to see more of the wonders of Christ’s salvation.

Our Father in heaven, holy is Your name. Let Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We have sinned; have gone astray. We are so sorry for not understanding, for our unbelief and times we turn away. Lord Jesus, we apply the blood sacrifice You paid to our hearts and thank You for covering us with Your righteousness. We accept the price You paid and recon ourselves dead to sin, alive in Your grace. Help us to apply that blood to our relationships and accept the things You’ve given us, including healing of our body, soul and mind. We leave ourselves in the hands of the Living God who lives forever; interceding before the throne for each of us. In the precious name of Christ, Amen.

img_20200426_170110210Shalom to you all, my dear ones. May you truly experience Emmanuel, God with us. I leave you with this beautiful view of Yoho National Park, Canada; one of the puzzles we’ve done on our dining table while sequestered.

 

A Merry Heart

halleluiaWhat is the Lord saying right now? Over and over again, I’m haring:  Repent and Do Not Fear! These afflictions bring us to a point of decision: am I going to trust human wisdom or God’s? Am I going to sink into hopelessness or grow deeper in my relationship with Him?

Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance,
But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Fear never really took hold for me. I’ve been finding grace, peace and excitement in Holy Spirit during this time. It’s not been easy for me, since my life’s not a lot different than normal, to take time aside to seek Him. I’ve started doing jigsaw puzzles at one end of our dining table that can get me quite distracted! This one was only 750 pieces, the one I just started is 1,000!

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Hallelujah! My husband’s chosen not to watch the news on the living room TV, which has been a great turnaround in our household! One evening last week I was on Kindle on my laptop in my office reading Love’s Unfading Light, a Historical Christian Romance novel by Naomi Rawlings, the first in the Eagle Harbor series. John came in to see what I was doing and began reading over my shoulder. He got interested in the story and we finished reading the book, then we read chapter one of book 2 included at the end and he said, “Is that all?” He told me to buy the next book!

 John decided it’s a good way to spend our evenings, so I’ve brought my laptop out to the living room and we’ve made it through the second book, Love’s Every Whisper, in four evenings and just started book 3, Love’s Sure Dawn, last evening.

Naomi Rawlings packs a LOT of stuff into each book. There’s so many characters and so many unexpected happenings, it keeps you turning pages. The first book is set in 1880 on the shore of Lake Superior, the one I remember from Gordon Lightfoot’s song: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. It’s the largest, deepest, farthest west of the Great Lakes chain in the northern part of the U.S. and southern part of Canada. I am attached to the Great Lakes, my mother having grown up in Buffalo,on the shore of Lake Erie. Her grandfather was part of a ship’s crew in the 1880’s time frame and I’ve heard many stories and was around that lake at least twice a year visiting my grandparents outside the city. I grew up near enough to Lake Ontario to experience the Lake Effect snow storms and now live even nearer Lake Ontario shores. It’s an awesome thing for me even today to be so close I can see Canada’s shore on the other side of the lake and experience the special winds, clouds and weather that come with the lake. It can be as fickle as the waters in the Bible we read about with Jesus and His disciples.

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Calm after the windy storm along Lake Ontario Shores, Henderson Harbor, NY

Naomi does a good job of showing the difference in that time between the two shipping magnate’s families and the rest of the community. It really makes you think: is it better to be a rich family or a God fearing family? Her characters, both rich and poor, go through much struggle to find their true worth in God’s sight. The situations are quite real and Naomi has done her duty researching thoroughly. I highly recommend this series; I some how got connected with the author and was able to download the first book for free. I see it as good use for this time of sequestering.

Here are two more Scriptures about our heart attitude.

Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are evil,
But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

So, let us renounce any fear, which causes stress, which damages our body, soul and mind. Replace it with a merry heart within which gives life. I like what Graham Cooke says: every Problem comes with a Promise, Provision, and a Promotion. The Promise of God is that He’s with us and all our hope is in Him. He knows all our needs before we voice them, and supplies them just in time. Stick close with Him in this and you’ll see promotion; new faith, peace and well being. This morning, Pastor shared the story of Job and these ‘P’s describe his testimony in a nutshell.

I’m looking for the revelation that brings revival! Lord, Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.