If a tree falls…

If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it,
did it fall?

And likewise, if a “Christian” acclaims to be “Christian” and no one around can hear “HIM”, who’s s/he working for… really?

Faith and Works …

14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? …
26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. 

… James 2

A tale of two trees

This post started in a completely different direction yesterday [If a tree falls...], or so I had thought anyway.  As I had gazed out the kitchen window last evening, I took particular notice of two certain trees which struck me by their appearance, and I thought…

Here are two trees, both living and breathing in the Sun’s light, but one appears taller, fuller, and more pronounced in stature then the other.  “Lord, what does this say about the bigger tree and what does this mean for the lesser?”  I thought there was more favor for the bigger tree and how it showed itself strong for all the eyes to see, and less for the leaner and oddly shaped tree because it was different in its presentation and stature, appearing to deliver less fruit.  I found myself pondering on all these things and what they could mean.  So as it is the case with me, I held this thought up before God and found His answer in a direction I was not looking.  My question… “Does this shed the light on or speak to one’s witness Lord?”

‘Naturally’ I continued to see things in my own light, until…

Immediately my mind went to a recent picture I had posted of the two trees and the Sun rising between them, positioned and appearing like a candle flame…

  [When I see a candle, it speaks "unity"]

In my search to locate this certain picture in my picture library folder [or... for a better or more relevant one to post here], I found a treasure [at least to me]…

  Here’s the shift…
I could not take my eyes off this picture I had taken, and others from the same folder much like it.  At first I thought better of the fuller, bigger, more pronounced tree, until I saw the heart wrapped up in & embracing the Sun, in the now… ‘not-so-less’  tree.  And ‘more so’… how this tree in season, moves faster to the next, to fulfill its reason and purpose for living, breathing, & producing in the Sun.  Oh my God, “THANK YOU”, what a gift!

 Can you see what I see?  Doesn’t it almost look like the tree ‘with heart’ is dancing?  … I DO!

“When they entered, he [Samuel] looked at Eliab [a son of Jesse] and thought, “Surely the LORD’S anointed is before Him.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  [1 Samuel 16:6-7]“

“… Now he [David, the youngest son of Jesse] was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward.” [1 Samuel 16:12-13]

 ‘At first I thought better of the fuller, bigger, and more pronounced, until I saw the heart wrapped up in & embracing [The Son], in the now, ‘not-so-less’ one. And ‘more so’ when one is seasoned… moves faster to the next, to fulfill its reason and purpose for living, breathing, and producing in [The Son]. Oh my God, “THANK YOU”, what a gift!’

There’s no barking up the wrong tree with God… ;)

 i am @ least!  Until that day…
…  jams4JESUS

Much to my delight this morning, my daily devotional & Scriptures from Dr. Charles Stanley and the InTouch.org ministry… appeared before my eyes.  I am confident in saying that 1 Samuel 16 was a gift from God for me… for today.

Now that’s a statement! 

1 Samuel 16

Samuel Goes to Bethlehem

1 Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.” 2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3 You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate to you.” 4 So Samuel did what the LORD said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “Do you come in peace?” 5 He said, “In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

6 When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’S anointed is before Him.” 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 9 Next Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” 11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.”

David Anointed

12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward.

~

James 2
Faith and Works …

14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.


Love how the Sun’s light shines through the heart of the now ‘not-so-less’ one. :)

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God could have left YOU alone!

“Can you find a God of mercy in the Book of Job?”

“Yes, I think I can…  God could have left Job alone!”

Here him out… you won’t regret it! <3

God made the same choice for YOU & me.
And if He had left us alone…
where would that have left us?

 

Bob Sorge will be at the Airport Christian Fellowship Church in Dexter, NY this Saturday and Sunday, June 14th & 15th.  Saturday at 7PM & Sunday at 10AM.

“No charge for admission.  A free will offering will be accepted.”

Bob Sorge at Airport Christian Church June 2014

Bob Sorge is an author and itinerant speaker. In 1992, he suffered a vocal injury that caused his voice to be reduced to nothing more than a faint whisper. As a result of the injury, he is only able to whisper for an hour each day before the pain forces him to be silent. Before the injury occurred, Bob was a senior pastor and worship leader. As a result of the vocal pain and weakness, he was forced to resign after serving his church for 13 years. Since that time, God has led him on an unexpected journey as a minister in the body of Christ. Through his personal suffering and the desperation of his own pursuit of Jesus, God has given him a message that empowers believers to find God’s redemptive purposes in the greatest trials of life.

http://bobsorge.com/

 

Here’s how it all started…

 

 Julie A. Mason “What do you do when you can’t quit and you can’t keep going?” [This too is the place that I'm at.] And even when the Lord impresses upon me this question “What if I made you exactly who you are for such a time as this?”– I still can’t help but ask Him… “What is that, exactly?”
“Thank you Bob” for opening my mail and delivering just the right message I needed… for such a time as this. And I agree- The Lord’s not done with you [& prayerfully me] yet! Our best days are ahead of us with Jesus! 8-) “GOD BLESS YOU!!!”

[I hope to see & hear you this weekend at the Airport Christian Fellowship Church in Dexter, NY. I pray you get lots of rest until then.  ]

 

If YOU still feel like you’re walking alone on this journey, please join us for one or both services this weekend– “We are praying and believing this will be a powerful and encouraging time.” [Airport Christian Fellowship]

 

You can find the rest of Bob Sorge’s Story & Itinerary at http://oasishouse.net/

 

“Thank God!  I’m not alone!”
…  jam4JESUS

And sometimes, it’s the still small voice, that ‘gets me’, and I… Him!

“Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;  and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire… a still small voice.”

[1 Kings 19:11-12 NKJV]

 

If you’ve heard way too much wind, endured too many earthquakes, or have felt like you’re the one always under fire… maybe you too are looking for that still small voice?

God’s not done with YOU yet.. either! 8-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UPDATE:  Saturday, June 14, 2014…

Tonight’s the night!  Bob Sorge will be at the Airport Christian Fellowship Church in Dexter, NY, starting at 7PM.
“No charge for admission.  A free will offering will be accepted.”

I hope to see you all there! 8-)

For Pastor Bob…
“May the Lord Bless you indeed!. And…
Enlarge your territory, speaking volumes with your voice- for Him.
That His Almighty, Merciful, Grace-Full, Loving, Wise, Saving…
Truth-Full, Just, Redeeming, & Restoring Hand would be upon you.
That He would keep you safe from all evils,
And NOT with PAIN, but through it “There’s Jesus”…
So others may know God all the more.
GOD BLESS YOU!!!”

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A “Different” Name?

 After Mary Magdalene was helped up from the dirt, away from the stones (“Thank You Jesus”), and left her past behind her, she really was… “a different Mary”!

I attended a Mary Martha Ministry Brunch recently, where the contrasts between Mary and Martha, Mary and Judas [being "sold out" for Jesus vs. selling Him out], AND- Mary and Mary Magdalene [I brought up this part] were addressed.  There were but a few of us present, but I believe the ones who were there, were meant to be.

“A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with Him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping His feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray Him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for My burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me.”  [John 12]

It was kindly pointed out to me at the brunch, that the two- Mary Magdalene and Mary (the sister of Martha) were not the same.  And although I had heard and read the commentaries [and viewpoints] on which Mary did what, for some reason on this particular day, it finally made a difference to me.

There was conversation among the women in our group, of those that appeared to be a type of Mary or a Martha.  (As many of you probably know by now, there has never been any question which one I resemble– even before I spoke at a Mary Martha Conference with - “A Love Story from a Mary” on Valentine’s Day 2010).  But, what surprised me at this brunch-meeting, was how Mary [the sister of Martha] was being portrayed- as the introverted or quiet one.  (I know I’m not that… anymore, anyway.)  So I thought-

“Are we really talking about the same Mary?”

“Yes” taking the Bible into right context
is very important, but I think taking 
all things personal and to Jesus, is also.

I don’t believe in coincidences whether it’s now or then.  So what do I make of all the Mary’s?  When I read the Holy Bible, I sincerely do my best to take it all in, and I’m not shy at all about talking to the Lord, of all I’ve read about It.  So when it seems like almost every woman in Jesus’ day is named Mary… I do believe, there’s a very specific reason for it.

[In looking back, I ponder now... that some were named Mary,
after a mother, seeing the virtue & favor of God-
because of her Son?]

~~~

I awoke many times early this morning before actually waking up.  I had dreamt scene after scene of my past failures- what seemed like all night long.  I remember crying “Oh God why does this keep happening over & over again?”  “Why can’t I get it right?”

When I’d finally had “enough”…  I awoke.  As I was throwing the sheets (that felt like boulders) off from me, I felt as though Jesus woke me, shook the dust off me, and lifted me up and out of my dirty & filthy past. So from this (and even that) day forward… “I am different!”

And with this, a message…

“After Mary Magdalene was helped up from the dirt, away from the stones (“Thank You Jesus”), and left her past behind her, she really was… “a different Mary”!”

“And so was I!”

~~~

I think we put a lot of thought into researching baby names for the perfect match.  I also think [as Christians], we compare ourselves by name- to the Bible characters of the past.  So…

“Are you a Mary or a Martha; or some place in between?”

“Are you a Peter [formerly known as Simon]
or a Paul [formerly known as Saul];

or, are you like any other disciple…
called by a different name?”

What if we could (being all grown up), having been changed  from who we were and where we’ve come from… change our names to reflect who & where we are now?  Or, would it be deemed acceptable, if we were to drop, cut, or leave off the parts that are no longer with us… and travel lighter, packing just the nard?

So I wonder… Could the Mary (of Mary & Martha fame) been the “cleaned up” version of Mary Magdalene; only now, she leaves the place from which she came, drops the name that spoke to where she’d been, and emerges as the woman God would have her to be  … just “Mary”?

Jesus said ”Go. From now on sin no more.”
(No names were mentioned.)

Just a thought, from “a different Julie!”
… jam4JESUS
[[Did you see what I did ^ there?]]

“Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47   For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” … Jesus [Luke 7:44-47]

After Mary [wherever she came from] was helped up from the dirt, away from the stones (“Thank You Jesus”), and left her past behind her, she really was… “Different”! 

And so are we!!!

John 8… The Adulterous Woman

“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they *said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]

 I’m not naming names or have any right whatsoever to throw stones, but…

“Are we not ALL GUILTY of leaving our first love for another?”

(“Thank You Jesus”… we’re now “Different”!)

Luke 7…

36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”

Parable of Two Debtors

40 And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, Your sins have been forgiven.” 49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” 50 And He said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

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“Where is God NOW?!”

What an AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL… BROKEN HALLELUJAH! ♥

Reason to Sing… [25 minutes]
A Journey Through Pain « River of Life, Copenhagen NY
-with Karrie Roch

If you’ve ever wondered “Where is God?” in the midst of an inconceivably bad day; when you’ve lost more than you thought you had- having waited so long to have it; when you’re stuck living in the middle of your worst nightmare and can’t awake to shake it; or when you feel like there is no one left to share it & ‘you alone’ are alive to tell it… have a listen to Karrie’s journey through it all. [You'd be wise to bring your tissues!]

As you journey with her, expect to be in shock, watch the love of your life disappear, loose feeling in your body, hear heart-breaking news, remember once again- your worst fears, operate in shear disbelief ['God would never do this to me!  He loves me!'], be angry with the world, forget how to breathe and everything else you once knew about Him, re-learn how to worship, ‘Speak the Truth about God, until believing it’, push through the songs, pick up that guitar, and find a reason to sing.

“His presence was silent at times,
but strong and protective!”

“God showed me something tremendous!”
“During announcements, God dropped something in my heart;  He spoke to me in that moment–
And He said… ‘Just as your dad was there with you, right beside you… I was there for you all the more!’”

What a God-given blessing and power-full living testimony Karrie is and will continue to be. 

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” [Esther 4:14]

“There is God NOW!”
… jams4JESUS

It was clear to me, as Karrie began speaking about her Dad, even while in the midst, the height & the depth of her nightmare, I could see exactly where God was! Right by her side!  How did [& do]I know?  The same reason you do.  We’ve seen Him!
(And for those of you who don’t… Sing your heart out until you do!) :D

38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8]

11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.  [Revelation 12]

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I Will Rise!

Death is not an option for those who follow Jesus!

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  [John 14]

So may this RESURRECTION SUNDAY,
be the first day… to the rest of [our] eternal life.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  [John 3:16]

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead…

“JESUS IS ALIVE!” 

As for me…
“I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain!
I will rise on eagles’ wings…
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise!”

I am eternally grateful Lord!  “Thank You Jesus!!!
…  jams4JESUS

There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well”

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
[x2]

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

DSC05417  DSC05425
I captured this sunset last night!

But today, we rise to Resurrection Sunday!

 

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The Day after…

jams4JESUS:

I was reminded of my post ["The Day after..."] earlier this morning, and even having written it a little over 3 years ago, I could not help but think of it now as… “The Drama after”. “Don’t take this the wrong way Julie- but drama. The Lord blesses you with a dramatic calling.”

Well, I don’t know about all that, or even what to call me, but what I do know is this– I need only be known as ‘one that the Lord loves and uses’. So if it’s with drama– drama it is!

And as for “The Day after”… I sincerely experience, share, and do feel the words I’ve put in Mary Magdalene’s mouth, for such a time as this. And I wonder –
“Doesn’t everybody?” Haven’t we all loved someone so deeply; trusted wholeheartedly; hoped for the impossible to be possible; expected miracles; added our own agenda; listened and watched so intently; sought to grasp or savor every word, experience, or memory; poured our hearts out; gave it all we had, even to the last drop… and in an instant, all that, was gone [and with it, our hopes and dreams]? Or, while in ‘that place’, we’ve found ourselves again– feeling completely alone, void, invisible, unlovely & unlovable, empty, in the company of doubt, drought, & insecurity, or surrounded on all sides by darkness? How many times have we of little faith been at the feet and mercy of Jesus, crying out loud with… “Help me Lord, I’m drowning here!” “Why am I so alone?” “Oh my God, I thought You loved me. What am I going to do now?” and “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”

So this morning, I found myself once again, identifying with many people of the Bible [because His Word ‘is a living for me’]. And most specifically, I thought about Mary Magdalene. Who is one, I’ve found a significant connection to…
“Turning toward the woman, He said… “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” 49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” 50 And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” [Luke 7:44-50]

So here’s my drama as told from the viewpoint of Mary… the day [or two] after The Old Rugged Cross…

Originally posted on nnyPHISHnet's Blog:

 … The Cross!

What did that look, sound, and feel like for Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter, the beloved John, Mother Mary… or to you????

I can only imagine…
The heart of Mary Magdalene, from the Cross…

“N_O_!   How could this happen?  It can’t be real.  The memories of the Cross will stay with me forever.  I couldn’t bare to see You suffer, but I couldn’t stand to walk away.  I wanted You to see me.  I wanted to be there for You, like You have been… for me.  I wanted You to see that You’re not alone.  Oh God, I have failed You.  Because of me, there’s You… high and lifted up on a cross.”

“Oh my Lord!  I look around.  Where have all the people gone?  Did they not see You or hear You?  Were they not touched by You, healed, or fed by You?  There is such great emptiness here now Lord.  My heart grieves Your loss.  You were the great…

View original 391 more words

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“THANK YOU!”

It is a Very Good Friday… because Jesus really finished it on Thursday.

And for that, we all have cause to worship Him!

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” [John 15:13] 

… Love, Jesus

Once again…
“THANK YOU” for the Cross, my FRIEND!!!

… jams4JESUS

“For God
so
loved
the world, that He
gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him
shall not perish,
but have eternal
life.”[John 3:16]

“HALLELUJAH!”

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The Fire, continues…

“Little did I know at the time, that behind the scenes, God was causing all things to work together for good, to those who love Him, those called according to His purpose.”

The Fire Changes EVERYTHING!

The Fire really had changed EVERYTHING for me that day, and everyday since.  It has taken me four years just to tell you this much.  And as you can see, there is “much”.  I do apologize for the length.  As it is, I’ve revised it numerous times already and I’m probably not finished [sleeping on Him usually provides me a different perspective by morning.  And so it was the case, this morning.]  If you read this post yesterday or even earlier in this day, you’ll probably find it different, and hopefully “better”, today.

In all honesty, it was the journey from this fire, that has opened my eyes to see God’s wonder working power, and also, how He orchestrated [and still does] all events and people to work together for His good and plan-full purpose.  I am still amazed today by it all.  Starting within days and continuing to the present, God has brought people into my life or highlighted the ones already in it, that confirmed not only the messages from the fire, but a perspective to where I was to go from there.

Here is a very small remnant of how good our God really is– to those who love Him, those whom He called [even that day]…

A few months after the day of the fire, the volunteer fireman [my school buddy from the first roadblock -  see "The Fire Changes EVERYTHING" for a frame of reference], actually made his way through the church one Sunday morning, shortly after the service had ended.  [He did not attend there- or anywhere to my knowledge, prior to the fire.]  I don’t know his reason for being in the area or at the church that day, but he made it all the way through the sanctuary to speak to me, passed everyone else, and requested that I pray for his sister who now had cancer.  What a privilege!

I had just shared with him at a benefit that we both volunteered at [about a month after the fire and for the fallen fireman at the Farm Petting Zoo], of how I saw the Lord working at the fire and where I thought his fireman friend was now.  [When I was driving around and praying for the Lord to save him the day of the fire, I felt as if the Lord had done just that-- pulled him off, up, and out of the fire- Himself.]  My fireman friend then shared with me the details of the fire I had not known.

The fireman that died [who was considered "close family" by all including the owners of the farm, and was also scheduled to be in the family's wedding party within a few weeks], was one of the first to respond at the scene.  Because of his close ties to the family, he personally wanted to go up first and check on the fire status [even at a risk to himself]… out of love & loyalty to the family.  Unbeknownst to him or anyone, there was a dangerous sleeper-like fire rekindling and waiting to awaken at an opportune time.  [I know an enemy like that!]  So when he had reached the top, it exploded.

When my friend told me all these things, I knew what I’d saw was real.  The fallen fireman never really fell to his death.  The Lord took him in flight… “Jesus saves!”  My fireman friend said “I hope you’re right.”  [He must have seen something in what I had said, because within a short time, he was asking me to pray for his much loved sister.]  “Me too!” I said.  And “Thank You Jesus!”

The Fire, continues…

A month after the fire, the first day of the two-day benefit for the fallen fireman, I attended a women’s conference in the morning before heading to the benefit to volunteer.  It was called “A day of encouragement”.  [I know I needed one at the time.  My days since the fire had gotten seemingly worse than better.  "Be fully aware of what you ask for-- He just may give it to you."]  The details and what occurred at this [sadly misguided] conference will have to be told in its own post or chapter.  If the speaker’s plan for this conference, along with her actions, were orchestrated to bring about tongues of fire, the wrong fire was captured.

An excerpt–

“Here I was, a nobody in a guest church for ‘a day of encouragement’, with my hands over my ears, and my head bent down between my knees, waiting for ‘the fiery crash’… crying “Oh God, make it stop!”  [To me, all that I heard, sounded more like an airplane engine trying unsuccessfully to start, having been fueled with the wrong power source.  So when it eventually started moving -- it wasn't "good".]“

But- “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

And so He did!  I had met a woman right after the conference had broke for lunch.  [She, as it turned out, happened to work at the farm's Petting Zoo in the summers.  But I did not discover this until after my breakdown.]  She was seated near a pastor’s wife that I knew and loved, so when I broke down [rare occurrence] and shared some of my scenes from the fire that were still open wounds to me, this woman shared and comforted me with hers.

I do not remember the details of her story, except for this- she could not get there either, so she had prayed her heart out for Jesus to save them.  All of them, because she was their friend, too.

The Fire, continues…

There have been hundreds of events, and even more people, that have blessed me and have testified to God’s omnipotent grace and power over [and from] just one fire, that for me… changed everything.  I had met people at that time that I now serve alongside of.  So many have blessed me that I would be negligent in trying to name  them all.  And I could no more attempt, to do or speak justice, to the multitude of testimonies that have come out from the fire.

I will say this, that even after all that the owners of this farm had been through [especially my friend who not only lost her 99 babies, her dear fireman friend - who was like a son (she initially had to be hospitalized for the trauma), and her own Mother dying the second day of the benefit]… our God reigned!!!  So many people flocked to the Lord from that day forward.  “Hallelujah!”  It’s like watching a fire ignite and spread– brushed, fanned, and powered, by a totally & amazingly different source. — an ignition by the Holy Spirit.  “Wow God!”

I can say hundreds, because on that benefit weekend alone, that’s how many attended, were touched, and where tens of thousands were raised [money too].  ;)

I’d prayed to God [begged actually] for Him to bring people into my life whose hearts “bleed like mine for Jesus”, and He did!  It was like watching a tapestry of people, piece by piece, add to a bigger more colorful picture.  Yet, we all bled, read, and appeared red.  [Kind of like coals when they are on-fire.]

To tie this all together… Just last Sunday, I heard a message that has resonated with me all week.  From this Scripture in Romans 12…

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

This is what I took with me from the sermon [specifically addressing the parts that pertain to these two posts and the fire]…

Back in His day, and the time in which Paul wrote this, every household would bring what they had or what they could, to the center of town and added their contribution to a massive fire pit [or altar?], to fuel the fire.  So everyday, someone from each household would venture to town to give… and receive.  They would bring a basket with them that was to be filled with the coals and embers that were created from the cooperative fire, and return home carrying these coal-filled baskets on top of their heads.  This basket of fuel would serve to warm their whole house and everyone in it.

So what we are to make and take away from this Scripture is not a curse ["Yah, take that you horrible person.  Serves you right for messing with me!"  Or... "Be judged all you who didn't join me for prayer at the fire."], but instead, how God [even through our pain], can challenge us to rise up and cause all things, including this one- as a heartwarming, self-less, Jesus-focused, “good” witness, and an amazingly grace-full blessing.  [["God Bless every body!"]]

“And from this day forward,
I could not settle for lukewarm
ANYTHING!”

I’m thinking today, that the fire on April 11, 2010 that had changed everything, was more like a baptism by fire, as I stood around the fire, in that beloved Baptist church.  Fire, water, and “Holy Spirit reign”…  I guess this makes all of them for me now. 8-)

I often ask for His baptism– all of them. If it’s the fire that clears away the chaff, the sin, whatever stupidity that exists in me– so be it! I want it GONE! Sure it’s painful, but I have never, even once, walked through the fire alone. He is present in the midst of the flames with me.  And although I don’t look as good or unsigned as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, I do pray I’m getting closer  –with Jesus. 

16 John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  [Luke 3:16]

I know that I should fear the fire, but I honestly don’t. Matter-of-fact, I’ve been drawn to it.  I revere it.  I am warmed by it.  I am mesmerized by it.  I’ve grown to appreciate it.  I find power in it.  And I can’t keep my eyes off of it [Him].  

♪ Come be the fire inside of me.  Come be the flame upon my heart.
Come be the fire inside of me… until You and I are one. ♪

“If you make Jesus your everything,
then He’ll be EVERYTHING– for you!”

The Fire, continues…

♪ You won’t relent until You have it all.
My heart is Yours! ♪
…  jams4JESUS

♪ I don’t want to talk about You, like You’re not in the room.
I want to look right at You.  I want to sing right to You ♪…

Video Favorites:
Set a fire…
You won’t relent until You have it all. My heart is Yours.
Come like a rushing wind.  Come like a fire again.
Come like a burning flame.  Have Your way!
Have Your way!
The fire continues…

Lord, I need You!
Break Every Chain
Broken Hallelujah
Hands to the Heavens
Forever – Alive Again
Build Your Kingdom Here
And All The People Said Amen

I’ve been singing “Set a Fire down in my soul that I can’t contain that I can’t control- I want more of You God…” for days now & everywhere I go. I have repeatedly asked the Lord, “If there is any wicked way in me ‘take it’, cut it out’, ‘tell me’ [so I'm aware of it], and yes, even apply the coals.  Take the coals from Your altar and burn out whatever isn’t Yours [I'm aware now of the pain involved].  Do whatever You must do… better is one day in Your court than a thousand elsewhere”.

 

Isaiah 6 (NKJV)

Isaiah Called to Be a Prophet

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”

And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

So I said:

“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

“Behold, this has touched your lips;
Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin purged.”

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

And He said, “Go, and tell this people:

‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

10 “Make the heart of this people dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?”

And He answered:

“Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant,
The houses are without a man,
The land is utterly desolate,
12 The Lord has removed men far away,
And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13 But yet a tenth will be in it,
And will return and be for consuming,
As a terebinth tree or as an oak,
Whose stump remains when it is cut down.
So the holy seed shall be its stump.”

 

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