Friday, July 27, 2012

Hello Jesus...

She sat alone in the dark…
All her hopes dashed.
A life spent in futile exercises of frustration.

Exhausted, she held no hope for reprieve.
What to do? What to do?
She thought, “Tell it to Jesus. Pray to Him who hears all.
What good will that do? He won’t hear me!
Even if He does hear, He won’t answer me!

She pondered her dilemma.
After all this time, will He listen?

Thoughts of childhood and church seeped in.
She remembered the nice old lady who taught the children stories from the bible.
What was that story which always caught my attention?
Was is Jacob? No. Jezebel? No. Job? Yes, that was it!
What was it his wife told him? Curse God and die!

As a little girl, she couldn’t understand why anyone would curse God!
But now, facing setback after setback, she understood how a person could give up; give up on life, give up on friends, give up on family, give up on everything, even God.

Again, she wondered…will He listen to me?

God blessed Job, but what could He do with my broken, tattered life?
What could I say that wouldn’t be rejected? What will I say that God wouldn’t dismiss?

She thought long and hard, but no answer was forthcoming.

That nice old lady would always have the children hold hands and pray. She thought, Back then as a little girl, I believed in prayer, but now, I don’t even know how to pray.

What was it she used to say to us?Prayer is nothing more than talking to God!

Again, she thought, That’s right, just try talking to God; perhaps He will listen! What do I have to lose?

In the quiet of her bedroom, she knelt down and clasped her hands together.

Softly, she slowly began to talk, Hello Jesus, I know it's been a long time, but….

Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).Spiritual Sundays

Friday, July 20, 2012

Who Do You See?


I will lift up my eyes to the hills--from whence comes my help?

Standing under a darkened sky,
    Alone with my thoughts.
My constant question is,
    What will you do?

I process this question…
    running it through every algorithm in my brain.
The results are still the same..
    Does not compute!

All I see...
    is the question.

One of the classic lines in the movie, The Matrix is:
    “It's the question that drives us…1
        but...
Is it the question or my own inability to see?
Have I becomes so consumed with the question,
    that I cannot see what lies before my eyes?


And then I hear a voice so clear…
    it resonates within me,
    in my spirit...
    in my mind...
    in my body.

Causing me to lift my eyes upward,
    to Him…

The voice echoes in my mind…
    “I will lift up my eyes to the hills--
    From whence comes my help?
    My help cometh from the Lord,
    which made heaven and earth.
2

All too often, I only see the question…
    instead of seeing The Lord.
But now, in this moment,
    under the canopy of the night’s dark sky.
You remind me once again…
    You are my help.

When will I understand…
    You are The Answer to the question.
Why do I forget to lift my eyes to You?
I smile, the smile of a child, filled with joy.
    the joy of knowing You.

I don’t know how You will help me,
    but I'm looking to You Lord.
I don’t know when You will help me,
    but I'm looking to You Lord.
I don’t know what You will do to help me,
    but I'm looking to You Lord.
I know my help comes from You.

I will look to You…
    trusting you to do what I cannot.
I will wait on You…
    to perform what concerns me.
I will smile at You
    for the assurance of Your love.
It’s You I see Lord…
    not the question.

Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).
Footnotes:
  1. The Matrix, 1999, Warner Bros. Pictures; Directors: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski; Writers: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski. Watch video clip when Neo Meets Trinity
  2. Psalm 121:1-2, NKJ

Friday, July 13, 2012

Reprint: God Hears My Cry

Note: For some time now, I've thought of sharing a reprint of an earlier post which has been integral to my life as a Christian. I can remember so many instances when I asked myself:
"Is God listening? Does He hear me?"

What I have learned is that "He really is God!" This means that God has the capacity to not only hear me, but everyone else; all at the same time. I find this fact both awesome and facinating! So today, Friday the 13th, I am reprinting a post from last year. I do hope you find it worth reading.

God's Blessings to you.


My eyes cry a rain, image courtesy of my.opera.com

Most of us who are familiar with the life of David know he was a warrior and a king. We remember David as the shepherd boy who killed the giant Goliath. We remember the bond of brotherly love between David and Saul’s son Jonathan. We remember David as having a heart after God causing him to repent from the murder of Uriah the Hittite; we don’t think of David being fearful.

But there were times when even David was afraid.

David understood that there’s no shame in acknowledging my fears.

What makes you afraid?

The unknown causes fear. The things I’m unfamiliar with can cause fear to rise up in me.

I remember as a child, we lived in an apartment and the one window in this bedroom I shared with my brothers faced an interior brick wall of another apartment building. There was a space of about four square feet that ascended from the base of the buildings to the roof.
God hears my cry, image courtesy of markmallett.com
God Hears My Cry
Next to this window was a closet which my mother used to store her clothes. She did this because her bedroom had no closet. The closet door was never shut. I suppose it was due to the small size of the closet, and the amount of clothes hanging on the rack and the door hook, that made it difficult to shut.

It was during the night that I began to notice a stationary figure standing in front of that open closet door. This motionless figure stood there, tormenting me with fear. I would call for my mother asking if I could sleep with the light on but my pleas would fall on deaf ears. Both she and my grandmother would try to assure me that no one was in the room but as soon as they left, my tormentor returned. I became so afraid that sleep was impossible unless I used the covers as a cocoon. I began to imagine that each night, my tormentor would climb up the walls and through the window, standing there by the closet door, in the dark and silence; waiting for the right moment to do something terrible to me.

In the morning, my tormentor would be gone; his opportunity lost because I’d hidden myself under the covers. Each morning, I’d cautiously open the window, peering down to the ground below hoping my tormentor was somehow trapped; unable to escape. I was never able to see my tormentor during the day. As a child, I had not reached the point where my logic would override my imagination. It never occurred to me that during a full moon, this corridor of brick walls would illuminate with light, creating shadows that seemed to move as I peered from beneath the covers.

I was afraid because I saw someone who wasn’t supposed to be there; so I hid under the covers.

I didn’t know what to do, or whom to call for help.

One night, I needed to go to the bathroom, but there was my tormentor, standing there waiting for me to get up. I waited and waited, but my tormentor stood motionless in front of the door, silently watching me. Finally, I picked up a shoe, sat up in the bed and threw it as hard as I could. To my surprise, the shoe knocked my tormentor to the floor. I got up and walked cautiously over to the closet door to get a close glimpse of my tormentor. Standing there with a shoe in my hand, ready to beat my tormentor senselessly, I looked down on the floor and lying underneath my shoe was my mother’s black and white polka-dot silk blouse. This made no sense to me.

Where was my tormentor?

I picked up the blouse and hung it back on the door. It was then that I noticed something from the moonlight shining through the window. The blouse seemed to morph into something I'd seen many times before. Was this the hideous, frightening monstrous figure that tormented me for so many nights? I walked over to the bed, sat down and peered in the direction of the closet door. There was my tormentor again! I hurled my shoe, again knocking it to the floor. I ran over to catch a glimpse and lying there was my mother’s silk blouse.

My mother never asked me about the shoeprints on her blouse, and I never saw my tormentor again.

The things I’m unfamiliar with can cause fear to rise up in me.

Unfamiliarity with God may even cause me to fear Him.

David understood that even during his darkest fears, God hears his cry; David knew that God is on his side:

My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side!1

Then shall my enemies turn back in the day that I cry out; this I know, for God is for me.2

Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me.3

When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.4

I think about how powerful, and alive those words are as they speak, resonating in my spirit:

"...God is for me."

Fear is a type of enemy. The bible says:

Hear My Prayer O God, image courtesy of faithquestfreefall.blogspot.com
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.5

God gave me three spiritual weapons to overcome my fears:
  1. The spirit of power, to face my fears.
  2. The spirit of love, to faithfully trust Him with my fears.
  3. The spirit of a well-balanced mind, to know He is greater than my fears.
My fears retreat because God is for me!

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen?6

Knowing who God is, and that He hears me means that my fears cannot harm me. God hears me when I cry to Him. As a child, lying in my bed, afraid of the dark, wishing for some light, my fear grew to be a monster-sized terror. I was alone. I didn’t know what was there, or who to call for help.

I’m not alone anymore. God is for me. Jesus is called, Immanuel, which means, God with us. He won’t ignore my cry; He hears my cry. Whatever fears lurk in the shadows of my life, I will call out to the Lord because I know He hears my cry.

Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).Spiritual Sundays
Footnotes:
  1. Psalm 56:9, NLTB
  2. Psalm 56:9, Amplified Bible
  3. Psalm 56:9, NIV
  4. Psalm 56:9, KJV
  5. 2 Timothy 1:7, Amplified Bible
  6. Romans 8:31, The Message Bible
References:
  1. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
  2. The Amplified Bible, by The Lockman Foundation, Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, ISBN-13: 978-0310951414
  3. King James Version, The Crusade Analytical Study Edition, Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc., PO Box 90011, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
  4. The Message Bible, by Eugene H. Peterson, NavPress Publishing Group, Colorado Springs, CO, ISBN-13: 978-1600060250
  5. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  6. The New Living Translation Bible, by Tyndale Charitable Trust, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, ISBN-13: 978-0842384896
  7. Matthew Henry's Commentary, McDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia 22101, ISBN 0-917006-21-6

Friday, July 6, 2012

Life!

Life
Life in Christ, (image courtesy of Mudpreacher.org)

What is life?
Is it fulfilling to you?
Is it joy unspeakable?
Is it something you do?

Does it define your purpose?
Does it set you free?
Do you have enough?
Are you all you can be?

How do you see life?
Is it really God’s gift?
Is it God’s measured love?
That is able to lift?

Lift me from sin…
Lift me from shame…
Lift me from heartache…
Lift me from pain.

Life may not lift me…
    from all of my shame.
I may have some heartaches…
I may endure pain.

But life is worth it all.
It’s the gift that God gives.
He makes me brand new…
    so I'm able to live.

Life is gratitude.
Life is worth living.
Life is the peace of God.
Life is the joy in giving.

Life gives thanks…
    to God up above.
Life is the joy…
    for His immeasurable love!
Poem by MTJ

Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).