Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Organics of the Matter

"Wait a cotton-pickin' minute!"  I used to hear that a lot as a kid, as well as, "Keep your cotton-pickin' hands to yourself!"

I never gave the "cotton-pickin'" part of those kinds of statements a thought.  Until today.  Many decades later.

Raised by a Nazi-mentalitied, "Most-Worshipful Grand Master" of the Masons' father, I now understand, 'cause I now gave it some thought - thanks to a movie I am in the middle of.

...Ugh.  It's like a knife in my heart...

So much of life is like that.  We don't stop often enough to give thought to important things all around us.  And words are important.

Last night at Victorious Overcomers, at my Step, I was asked about the meaning of a particular Scripture referenced in the Step.  The teacher in me got so excited!  As an expository teacher (line by line, word by word), every word in a sentence is important and when you pull a verse apart that way, oh, what revelation you get.

I wonder how many of us really stop and purposefully go over and over and over one verse of Scripture to gain an understanding of the full meaning of the words?

For the most part, as we read (and as you read this post), we just read to read, not necessarily study. Some people are skimmers, some are speed-readers and that's OK.  But, if we really want to grasp what the words are speaking to us, we must carefully and deliberately ponder the wording when something hits us. That's what God calls "meditating" on The Word.


The Word of God is just as organic as cotton is and is God's Provision for our lives just as cotton is. Where would we be without cotton? Where would we be without The Word?  I shudder to think.

Because of Him and Unto Him,














Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Language God Speaks

What language does God speak?  Have you ever asked yourself that question?

To the Chinese, I'm sure He speaks Chinese.  To the Aussie, He has the Aussie accent.  To the New York Puerto Rican, He speaks Spanish mixed with The Bronx or Brooklyn accents and attitudes.

But, that's not what I mean by that question.  What language does God Almighty, Creator of humankind and the universe, speak?

LOVE.

His language is Love.

So what does the language of Love sound like?

Words that reflect His patience with us.
Words that are kind and have a compassionate tone to them.
Words void of an angry tone, even when correcting us.
Words not of Himself, but of us.
Words of acceptance and tolerance of us in spite of our sins.
Words void of thoughtlessness, therefore, they are very specific.
Words never spoken out of provocation.  And therefore, His Words are never rude or cutting.
Words that edify and build up, encourage and strengthen, comfort and heal even when they are              meant to correct us.
Words of nothing but Truth to lead and guide us through life.
Words of Life and goodness and hope.
Words of caring and concern.

Boundless, embracing, extravagant Love!  In spite of our failures, shortcomings, sins, and choices.  

God's language sounds the same to the Chinese, the Aussie, and to New Yorkers of any ancestral background.

He speaks the same language to all nationalities, denominations, and genders - no matter what their preferences may be.

If it is in the heart, it will speak

He speaks the same language to those who deny Him, who have hardened their hearts against Him, and those who curse His Name and malign His Character.

He even speaks the same language to Believers who think they have the right to judge, point fingers at, and "Bible-thump" others because their sin may be different than their own.

This New Yorker thinks we need to learn how to speak God's language.

The language of LOVE.






Because of Him and Unto Him,





Sunday, June 11, 2017

No Mountaineering for This Girl!

Photo Courtesy of Donald Case

As soon as I saw this photo this morning, a blog post began to stir within me.  Right away I knew it represented the human soul.  

                    the mountain range                      the flower field 
                    harsh                                                gentle                                   
                    dark                                                  colorful                   
                    cold                                                  welcoming           
                    hardened                                        free-flowing
                    immovable                                     transplantable
                    impenetrable                                 whimsical 
                    humorless                                       playful
                    loud like a silent scream              quiet and peaceful                                                                       looms in the background            out front for all to see

There can be two sides to all of us: what we allow others to see vs. what is the "behind-closed-doors" us, which can ever be looming in the background.  

If I center my eyes on the mountain range, it seems to overwhelm the landscape towering and powering over all else.  But, when I center my eyes on the flower field, the mountain range is so in the background that I hardly notice it.  

I do believe in MY soul, the "mountain range" is much more blurred at this stage of life and the "flower field" has emerged the dominating view of my landscape.  However, every now and again I sense the "mountain range" trying to pursue its original potency and forefront position.  But, daisies win out over rock.

Mountaineers gain mastery over mountains by ascending the walls of them.

Through diligent pruning to have succulent fruit bearing, the wildflowers of my soul are free and flowing in the breezes of life. Hopefully, bringing joy and welcoming beholders into the landscape of my life.  I don't have to scale the mountains of my soul to try and conquer them.  By focusing on the beauty and the quiet gentleness of God's Word, mastery over those mountains is attained.  It just happens.

Oh, Hallelujah!  Thank You, LORD, for showing me this today.  Thank you for Don Case's photography that You spoke to me through.  A quiet and gentle spirit (1 Peter 3:3-4) is the landscape of my soul now for which, LORD, I am eternally grateful to You for!  With all that I am, I thank You.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, June 5, 2017

Crimson Perception

The color red stirs up all kinds of emotions.  Red is a powerful "power" color and a mood-changing color.  

"It's the color of cupid and the devil, the color of love and hate. It brings to mind hot-blooded anger and Scarlet-Letter shame. It means luck in China, where bridal wear is red, mourning in parts of Africa and sex in Amsterdam's red-light district." (Scientific American)

And there are so many shades of red.  I love a deep blue-red.  When I was ordained I wore a deep blue-red dress.

We associate the color red with Love.  

My OneWord for this year has been "fullness".  I took it from Ephesians 3:16-19.  I desire to be filled with God's fullness - which, of course, is Extravagant Love.

Initially, as I was writing this post, I thought to myself, I want to be "wrapped" in red.  However, now I know I want to have red flowing from me; for God's Love to be so full within me that it overflows outwardly.

This is called an Osiria rose. Rare and hard to find nowadays. Obviously, it is a genetically modified flower.

The crimson inner layer of the petals coupled with the white of the outer layer has an absolutely stunning effect.

Years ago, when I was seeking The LORD's confirmation about whether or not a family member received Salvation on his deathbed, we ordered flowers to be delivered to the funeral home in another county, which had to be FTD'd. When we arrived at the funeral home, Joe and I sat down right next to a large basket of these roses.  (And this basket must have been one of about 50 floral arrangments that lined the three walls of the room.) They were absolutely stunning!  Joe and I marveled at them having never seen roses like this before.  As I went over to inspect them, I read the card.  They were from us!  As I read our names, I heard in my heart. "His sins are washed whiter than snow by The Blood of The Lamb."  (Ps. 51:7)  Confirmation!  A bit later that same night, I got up - much more confidently now - to present the eulogy.

Oh, how we are loved and therefore washed whiter than snow by The Blood of The Lamb of God.  We are adored and adorned by God Almighty.  Hallelujah! 

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, May 19, 2017

Suddenly...Brilliance!

(This is an untouched photo of the sun coming through my window)

The LORD always speaks to me through Nature. On a day, a few years back after my life was shattered into a thousand pieces, I was up early in the pre-dawn hours sitting in The LORD's Presence, allowing Him to soothe my devastated, clouded up soul.  

I sat pouring out my heart with my tears for I had no words within me that could convey what I was feeling - experiencing.  All I knew of this dreadful situation was that my life was now shrouded in absolute mystery and darkness.  What is Truth about my situation?  That question became the cry of my heart for months. The more I sought Truth, the more Abba exposed the hidden secrets and the plots and plans that had been put into action against my life. Abba surely had my back.

That morning, I sat in His Presence a long time before I finally realized the sun had come up.  Not only was it up, but it was shining brightly through my east-facing window.  I grabbed my phone and shot the above picture.

The sun's brilliance flooded my living room and The Son's brilliance flooded my soul.  Oh, how Abba loves His children.  He is all around us, showing Himself strong on our behalf if we only have eyes to see.  

It was Abba who brought the depth of the sins to the light.  Was it difficult to wrap my head around those things as they were exposed? Absolutely!  Was I able - at that time when I was so shattered - to process it all?  Absolutely not!  I was a devastated, nonfunctional mess.

But, God, in His infinite care of me was patient and ever so lovingly kind.  He took me by my hand and led me out of the valley of the shadow of death.  In time, I began to process. In time, I came to accept the absolute unimaginable as Truth. And I saw ever so clearly how Abba had my back.  Not only during this time of exposure but the prior years when the plotting and planning were being formed against my life.  Yes, my enemy's weapon was formed against me.  But, it did not prevail!  Because God's Word is True and never returns to Him void but accomplishes what He commands it to do.

His Lovingkindness, extravagant Love, and the brilliance of His Glory was the shield around my back.  He had me covered.  And it took His Brilliance breaking through my clouds to show me how loved I was by the One Who Matters Most.  Oh, Hallelujah!  

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Monday, May 15, 2017

A Hug Is Worth A Thousand Words


Galatians 6:2 tells us to "Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ."  This is the only verse in the New Testament that speaks of fulfilling Law.  The Law of Christ is LOVE.

If we Love, we should be bearing one other's burdens compassionately as in this picture.  We don't need to speak flowery words or quote Scriptures or preach a mini-sermon to someone who is hurting. We certainly don't need to say, "Oh, so sorry, I'll pray for you" and then walk away.

A heartfelt, empathetic embrace will speak it all.

Because of Him and Unto Him,



Monday, April 10, 2017

Learning from The Master

On a road like no other, two of Jesus' Disciples met Him while walking to the city of Emmaus from Jerusalem, but they did not recognize Him in His resurrected state.

While walking with the stranger, they just chit-chatted away with Him about the events that had just transpired in the last few days. This narrative, as told by the Disciple Luke, is found in his book, chapter 24.

What I want to focus on is verse 27:
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Why didn't Jesus just say, "Hey boys, it's Me!"? or remind them of various things they did together during Jesus' ministry so that they would realize Who was among them?  Or operate in Words of Knowledge or Wisdom about them and so display His God-ness?

In God's infinite Wisdom, He shared Old Testament Scriptures with -them instead.

Jesus put emphasis on the written Word of God.  Jesus could have just reiterated, "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  Remember boys?" The Disciples already heard those Words. What they needed to hear was the revealed Jesus Christ through the written Old Testament Scriptures, for The New Testament wasn't written as of yet. Every verse He shared with them pointed to Himself.

Old Testament Moses, born and died many hundreds of years before the birth of the Messiah, knew Jesus.  For it says in New Testament           Hebrews 11: 24-27:
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him Who Is Invisible
Moses, who wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, had Divine revelations of Jesus Christ.  And you find Him pointed to throughout all of the Old Testament.

We cannot get the full picture of Jesus Christ and all He did for us if we only read the New Testament.  The Old Testament - from Genesis verse one to the end of Malachi - points to Jesus Christ.  It is so rich in revelation about our God.  Unless you discover and understand The LORD God Almighty throughout the Old Testament period, you will never appreciate the dispensation of Grace that Jesus Christ's death and resurrection affords us today. And then you may fall prey to one of the many, many false doctrines being preached and believed today, and/or the ways and means our society now dictates as normal and acceptable.

When it comes to Scripture, may it never be "out with the OLD and in with the New."

Because of Him and Unto Him,