Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Who Goes Between?


Has your heart been stirred with a longing to help those who are far away and in such heavy need?
 Maybe it's the heartbreaking news coming in from the Texas flooding?
Or maybe it's the concern over those you love who are in difficult places? 


One morning recently, I was overcome by the beauty of the Morning Glories climbing over the bench in our front yard.  As I reviewed all of my photos where I had tried to capture what I felt there, I was disappointed when I saw my shadow smack-dab in the middle of the bench! How could I have missed that?  

But then the Lord opened my eyes to realize that HE had given me a beautiful picture to illustrate the Scripture that had been dwelling in my heart all day.





“May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other."  Genesis 31:49


Many have spent beautiful times of fellowship on this very bench:  

my grandchildren and I 
my husband and I
my friends and I
my Mom and I
even my Mom and my Vietnamese daughter-in-law's Mom

I am missing so many of them now.

Oh, yes, I know that my prayers are vital for those I love. But I have so many things I wish I could say, ways I wish I could actually touch each one.  How do we handle that absence? How do we deal with the void we feel when we are separated?

 
In my searching, I found these thoughts in Matthew Henry's Commentary on Genesis 31:49:

"Friends at a distance from each other may take the comfort of this, that when they cannot know or succour one another God watches between them, and has his eye on them both."


And what of the beautiful story of friendship that is shown between Jonathan and David? 

  Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.1 Samuel 20:42

These thoughts again, from Matthew Henry's Commentary found a home within my heart:

 "They referred themselves to the covenant of friendship that was between them, both of them comforting themselves with this in this mournful separation: 'We have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, for ourselves and our heirs, that we and they will be faithful and kind to each other from generation to generation.' Thus, while we are at home in the body and absent from the Lord, this is our comfort, that he has made with us an everlasting covenant."


What will I do with the longings when I want to be with those I love? How can I carry the weights of longing to make things better for those who are in difficulty?


Ah, there is the point of JOY 
coming as I trust. 


In the invisible places,
I see a shadow 
of a PRESENCE
going between.

The Lord dwells
Where I can only long to go.
The Lord blesses
When I can only envision grief.

Every Friendship
Every Relationship
Every Love 
When I call HIM into the center
Will be covered by HIS Shadow.

HE WATCHES BETWEEN YOU AND ME. 




Here is the link to another Faith Blogger who actually is living through the Texas Flooding now, and shares ways to currently help:


And, I am excited to be a collaborator with another sweet Faith Blogger as she has opened a Facebook page to answer questions about what Fibromyalgia really is. If you have ever wondered how to explain Fibro, or even what it feels like, please visit her page for some great information that she has pulled together:



I am linking this week with these great sites:

 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A New Heart



"Jesus calls us; o'er the tumult
Of our life's wild, restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, 'Christian, follow Me.'"

 --from the hymn by Cecil Alexander, 1852




When you find yourself in an unexpected season, how do you react? I have found myself taking up both hardness and surrender, with a heart that has revealed my own tendencies to waffle back and forth.


But God has no intentions of letting my waffling change His Plans. He is forever working to bring about GOOD.


When this week's prompt showed up at Ronovan Hester's site, Ronovan Writes, 
for his #Haiku #Poetry challenge,
with the words "Shell & Coast,"
I was set to find pretty lakeside images
with dreamy vacation thoughts.


Oh, but how can I not listen to my heart when it is being stirred
with the truth of where I am actually walking? 

 




 

 

 

A New Heart

Break this hard heart shell
When I want only to coast
Thru life, Lord, move me.

 







"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekial 36:26



In these days where my physical condition of waffling between pain and rest
mirrors the way of my heart,
I hear a VOICE beckoning to me,
calling me.


Come, follow Me,
and I will remove your stony heart
and give you a tender heart of flesh
with a single minded will
to pursue the way of love.



Whatever the place where we find ourselves,
be it planned or unplanned, 
there is a way to choose
LOVE
within the day,
within the moment.

There is always
SOMEWAY
that our lives can speak of Love.
There is always
SOMEONE
to be blessed by a tender heart
and a tender word.



I am thankful for these online communities that prompt my heart in ways both surprising and convicting. Take a risk and give it a try for yourself! You may just find an inner poet lurking within your heart as well.




Great sites to link with this week:




 
 
 





 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Where is Hope?


When you take a break from something, do you ever have a hard time rejoining that activity? I have so missed being able to join in with the Haiku Poetry Challenge offered by Ronovan Hester over at his site, Ronovan Writes. 
So when his words for this week's prompt showed up in my inbox yesterday, "Hope&Stay," I thought I would jump right in: those words are just my style!




But the weariness of a full weekend caught up with me, and the words were nowhere to be found. In fact, the ENERGY was nowhere to be found either.  So once again, I paid attention to my "inner voice" and let the waves of weariness wash their way to the shore.



All the better for the listening,
because our heart
speaks more clearly
than our minds ever could. 

The mind needs time and rest
to catch up to what
the heart already knows.















 Arms of Hope

If weary I fall

Strong arms securely stay me

God, my hope restores

--BG






Jesus, My True Hope

My hope is secure

Not in my own strength resides 

On Jesus I stay.

--BG








 (Thank you Mariah Hanson for this original photo!)




Are you watching the waves now?
Is there a washing of the heart
flooding over you too?


I pray this song by Matt Maher will bless you
as it has blessed me:



 "Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him."






I am linking this week with:

  






 
 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

An Eye of Forgiveness









Is there no one here to speak for me?
She had cried out in her shame.
Buried beneath a sin so deep
With no way to escape
The judgment poured down on her.

                           






But Jesus stepped into the crowd
Bent down on the sand
And waited, waited for her
Accusers
Those without sin to cast the stones.


Woman, He asked,
Where are your accusers now?
None stood here without sin.
Neither do I accuse you then.
Freedom became her theme.


Another woman bore a shame
She knew her part in the sinning game
But saw in Jesus’ eyes
Forgiveness calling her out
Mercy drawing her in.


From the depth of her freedom
Came a Love stronger than shame
For ONE had pled her case.
An offering for mercy’s sake
Of much she was forgiven.


Alabaster jar broken open
Fragrance filled the judging room
A washing clean had happened
Worship spilled the tears there
As Love was finally free.
                          --BG



Jesus pled their cases
Jesus spoke up for those
Who could not speak




You can read the stories of these two women, the first one in John 8:4-11, and the second one in Luke 7:36-50. Jesus brought each of these women into a life of forgiveness, something the leaders of his day were not expecting. To the first He said:  



“Then neither do I condemn you,”  
Jesus declared. 
“Go now and leave your life of sin.”

And to the second He spoke:
 
“Your faith has saved you; 
go in peace.”



My own heart has been taken up in the stories of those around me, friends and neighbors, who have found themselves in need of rescue.  


When the world condemns, 
and even at times the Church ignores, 
where is the true Body of Christ to be found? 

Am I so willing to speak?
Am I so willing to forgive?
Am I so willing to bring in?  


Oh, friend, may we take 
JOY 
and love with the same
 LOVE
so freely given to us.  

May we point to the
RESCUE
that only our Savior can give.