Wisdom and Grace

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Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

The picture is of my 96 year old mother and her 98 year old brother.  These two people epitomize wisdom and grace.  The have walked in the ways of the Lord since they were young children.  Their lives show the results of letting the word of Christ dwell richly in ones heart and mind.  They bless the lives of all who know them.  What an incredible legacy, an incredible example they have been and continue to be.  In these later years they have received the changes of life and body with grace and thanksgiving.

I am especially thoughtful of my mom this morning because she was taken to the hospital last night due to pneumonia.  Dear Reader, I would ask for your prayers of health for my mom and thank you in advance.

New Again

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Revelation 21:5

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

My husband and I greatly enjoy bringing items back to life.  We admire the craftsmanship of other times and places and desire to see that workmanship preserved.  One of our great desires is to find a home that has been neglected over the years, buy it and restore the greatness and uniqueness of the house; to breathe life back into home.  It is a desire of our hearts.

If it means so much to me to restore a home, then how great is the desire in God to restore a life?  I dream about restoring houses; does God dream about restoring me/us/you?  I make plans for what I wish to restore; does God make plans for His restoration “projects” too?

In the hands of the Master Restoration Craftsman, all things, all peoples can be made new.

Words

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Psalm 12:6

And the words of the Lord are flawless,
    like silver purified in a crucible,
    like gold refined seven times.

I recently read a book just for the fun of it; a good ole, fiction work of mind candy.  One of the main characters in the book was well known for only saying what he meant and meaning what he said.  This made it possible for the main female character of the book to be able to trust him at all times and in all circumstances because there never was a shadow of doubt of what he thought or what he would do.

Ever talk to someone or read something that someone wrote in which they use a mountain of words and yet you have no idea what point they are attempting to make?  It feels like trying to stand on sinking sand.  What good is it?  Why would someone go round and round the proverbial bush never arriving at a destination?  Our world is full of  words; news, advertisements, music, talk shows, entertainment, literature, gossip, speeches, lectures, conversations, emails, blogs, and on and on those words spin and swirl.  How many of those words are “flawless?”  I took a philosophy course in college.  The professor of that class irritated me to no end because he continuously danced around naming God.  He would use every vague notion in the book to loosely describe the Author of life but never EVER call the Creator, God.  Why?

The only reason ever to be vague, to use mountains of words to say nothing is because there is something to hide; something we don’t want to be discovered or understood.  Man, I am SO thankful that God does not operate in the shadows; His words are flawless.  There is no sinking sand found in our Lord, only the firm foundation of truth.  I like someone who says what they mean and does what they say.  Amen and Amen!!!!

His Grace, Our Gain

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“How can we judge someone else when we are all just a Jesus away from hell ourselves?”                                      -Creflo Dollar

Yes! and Amen!

I know that I have played judged way too many times in my life.  I didn’t think I was judging others.  I didn’t mean to be judgmental and yet I was.  This Christian walk can be such a tightrope walk sometimes between love and behavior.

Definition of Grace from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification

b : a virtue coming from God

c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace

Ephesians 4:1-7  As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

I am finding as the years of my life increase that it isn’t so important to stand up for what is right as to stand with those who are in need; to stop judging and start holding/caring/giving.  God has stood with me in the darkest hours of my life; in disastrous messes that I have created.  God has never abandoned me nor pointed a finger at me.  He has gently and continuously called me to Himself and in Him darkness cannot dwell.  Rules and regulations don’t work.  It is by grace that we have been saved and through grace that we should love others.

On Our Way

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Luke 17:11-14  

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master,have pity on us!”  When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

“..as they went, they were cleansed.”  So much of life is about the journey; the moving from one place in life to the next.  God has His reasons for the directions that He gives us.  The lepers were given the instructions to show themselves to the priests and as they were on their way to the priests they were cleansed.  It was not being with the priests that cleansed them but the journey; a journey of faith.

Rejoice in your journey.  Trust the One True GPS, God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

Prepare a Place

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John 14:1-2

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”

My husband and I are preparing to sell our house and move 800 miles away.  We have lived in our current location for over 30 years.  We have raised our children and made a home in a land that was foreign to us upon arrival.  We have established deep roots with friends, work and community.  We have heard and are acting upon the clear voice of God that it is time to uproot and move, but that does not make it easy.  What was once “foreign” is now home.

For me the most heart-wrenching struggles involve my children.  Youngest son flew the nest this past summer and lives several time zones away from us.  Miss him like crazy but we know that he is finding his way in this world.  Eldest son is presently at home with us while finishing his college degree.  He is an army veteran who spend time in Afghanistan.  He flew the nest earlier than most but has needed to land once again at home in order to prepare his wings to fly in the currents of this world.  When he left to join the service my heart went with him and I did not breathe for four years until he was once again home.  It is hard to leave him here while we move away.  Children are suppose to move away, not parents.  His return to us after war was a gift of indescribable joy; how can I/we leave him?  And yet God’s voice is clear, it is time to move on.

In those times when doubt and sorrow swirl in my head and in my heart, if I turn my focus to God I hear these words, “I go to prepare a place for you.”  The disciples did not understand nor want Jesus to leave and yet the Lord knew that He had to leave so that He could prepare a place for all of them to be together.  Sometimes doing something painful means making a way for something good, even extraordinary.

I have to trust and believe that God is preparing something good, something extraordinary for us and for the ones that we love.  My focus must be on the Lord and my trust must be in Him, if I lose focus, then like Peter (Matthew 14:22-31) I will sink into the watery swirls instead of standing while I walk toward Jesus.

Dear Ones, I go to prepare a place for you, for us.  I don’t understand why I need to prepare a place 800 miles away, but God does and I choose to look to Him and walk towards Jesus.

His Heart for Us

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Psalm 103:13

Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

Had one of those dreams in the wee hours of the morning that caused my mood upon waking to be very sad and heart-broken.  The dream consisted of my youngest son at about three years of age.  I was trying to get ready and out the door for work and my son was busy doing everything but finding his shoes so that I could help him put them on.  As he sat on the piano bench were he was playing a newly created tune, I knelt down, looked him in the eye and tried to explain to him that Mommy’s boss will be very upset if Mommy is late for work.  With that my son slid off of the bench and with crocodile tears in his eyes tried to find shoes.  His tears turned to sobs and my Mommy heart began to break.  He found a pair of slipper-like black shoes.  He handed the shoes to me, sat down in front of me and continued to heave sobs of great emotional depth.  By now I knew that there was no way that I would be able to get him to the sitter and make it to work on time and again my heart just broke seeing my precious, sweet child in such distress.  As I took the shoes from him and began to put the first one on I saw that the shoe had a big rip in the side.  I showed my son and the tears of distress that followed were of a child who was trying to do the right thing in a world he did not understand, did not want to be a part of, but so wanted to keep the boss from hurting his mom.  It was the face of a three year old who was defeated.

As I write to you it is probably three hours since I had this dream and I am still very upset.  The child of my dream is now a man of 24 and all I want to do right now is pick that sweet baby up in my arms and hold him close.  I can’t turn back time and hold that three year old again and so the dilemma of a Mother’s Heart.  And I asked God this morning, “Why?”  Why should I hurt so from a dream?  I have wandered my house this morning with an aching heart and empty arms.  Not knowing exactly what to do, I turned on my computer and checked emails.  One email contained Psalm 103 and when I reached verse 13 I smiled and said, “WOW!”  I heard the Lord say to me, “Kay, I understand the heartache.  You are not alone.  Your children are not alone.  I can pick them up in my arms and hold them close.”  The Lord showed me that He knows full well the ache of a Mother’s Heart.