The Light is Sweet

                                                       

                                                 Lift your eyes to the hills.

                                 The Lord Is my light and salvation, whom shall, I fear. 

                          Walk in the liGht and have fellowship with God.

                Fear God and keep His commandments.

 The Lord will be your everlasTing light.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life” (John 8:12, NIV).   Ecclesiastes 11:7 tells us that the light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sunHow pleasant it is to behold the Son.  He is the light that shines upon the hills. Have you felt the warmth of His sweetness?

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The Empty Tomb and The Risen Son

 Early on the first day of the week while it was still dark Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said “they have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him.” If I could go back in time, I would express to Mary that the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead now dwells in His believers and because of His Spirit, His followers have life, can walk in the Fathers statutes, have unconditional love, and serve God and others without self-interest.

 I would tell Mary knowing Jesus is an experience of the fullness of joy and oneness, for He prayed for His disciples that all that the Father has given Him be protected by the power of His name so that they may be one as He and the Father are one. Jesus asked the Father to protect them from the evil one and sanctify them by the truth of His word. Jesus also prayed to the Father for all believers that they would unite as one just as He and the Father are one. Jesus said He has given His believers the glory that the Father has given Him, declaring “I in them and you and me so that they may be brought to complete unity then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” I would tell Mary Jesus has made himself known in order that the love God has for Him is in His believers and He is in them. He also said that the Spirit of truth will guide them into all truth, not speaking on His own but speaking what He hears, and He will tell them what is yet to come.

 I would tell Mary that Jesus’ gospel message and the kingdom’s imminent coming is being proclaimed all over the world, many are being saved and transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. And visual technology is how the gospel message along with knowledge that is increasing is being communicated. Reflecting back in scripture God told Daniel that knowledge would increase in Daniel 12:4, which it is also through visual and virtual technology which would amaze her.

Finally, I would tell Mary His followers worship and celebrate Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection every year and her finding His empty tomb. In addition, His followers continually thank Him for His saving grace and redeeming love; rejoicing, thanking God in all circumstances, and praying constantly, for it is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus. And the name of Jesus is exalted as He sits at the right hand of the Father and reigns in His kingdom. His followers are waiting patiently for His return. There would be plenty more I could tell Mary or even give her a Bible, for I would not be able to write everything in this short story and some things are better left alone, she would not be able to anything about them only God can and those He has called and equipped to fulfill His purpose. End of story giving God all the glory and the risen Son, Jesus Christ our Savior. Love from the Father.

Keep it Real

Keep it real pastor, real as the life of Jesus.

His death and resurrection.

Keep it real pastor, the red blood of the lamb.

Keep it real pastor, my sin revealed.

Keep it real pastor, persecute me.

Keep it real pastor, hit the nails in the right spots.

Keep it real pastor, allow me to sweat and bleed.

Keep it real pastor, so I can suffer.

Keep it real pastor, so I too share the heartache and pain.

Keep it real pastor, for the truth will prevail.

Keep it real pastor sure it will hurt me.

Keep it real pastor so I can endure.

Keep it real pastor until I persevere.

Keep it real pastor soon my joy and peace will come.

Keep it real pastor until Jesus and I am one.

Reading: 1 Peter 4:1-3

Therefore since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lust of men but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles when we walked in lewdness lust drunkenness revelries drinking parties and abdominal idolatries.

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A Walk in the Garden

As a teenager (now 71) this was one of my favorite songs. I remembered it on the first or second day of our tour in Israel as I walked through a garden.

I Come To The Garden Alone

 I Come To The Garden Alone

While The Dew Is Still On The Roses,

And The Voice I Hear Falling On My Ear

The Son Of God Discloses.

And He Walks With Me, And He Talks With Me,

And He Tells Me I Am His Own;

And The Joy We Share As We Tarry There,

None Other Has Ever Known.

He Speaks, And The Sound Of His Voice

Is So Sweet The Birds Hush Their Singing,

And The Melody That He Gave To Me

Within My Heart Is Ringing

The song was written by C. Austin Miles (1868-1946) a Pennsylvanian who was an educated pharmacist turned gospel song publisher and writer who one morning reflected on Christ’s resurrection after reading John 20:1-18. Mr. Miles had a vision on March of 1912, he said he drew his Bible towards him and it opened to his favorite chapter of John 20:1-18,  he goes on to say that the meeting of Jesus and Mary Magdalene had lost none of its power to charm as he read it that day, he seemed to be part of the scene and became a silent witness to that dramatic moment in Mary’s life when she knelt before her Lord and cried, Rabboni!

The article explains that Mr. Miles goes on to say that his hands were resting in the Bible while he stared at his light blue wall. And as the light faded, he seemed to be standing at the entrance of a garden looking down a gently winding path shaded by olive branches. Mr. Miles the author of the song, describes the arrival of Mary, Peter, and John as they gathered at the tomb followed by the appearance of Jesus. This article written about Mr. Miles goes on to say that he awakened in full light gripping the Bible with tense muscles and nerves vibrating under the inspiration of the vision where he began to write quickly the words which formed into a poem.

According to this article Mr. Miles wrote his narrative after reading John 20:1-18, the article explained that he seemed to be a part of the scene. And that he felt he was walking with the risen Christ in the garden. when I sing this song I also feel as I am walking with Jesus.

For further reading you can find this article by the title ‘ History of Hymns: I Come to the Garden Alone’-Discipleship

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His Voice

I listen to hear His voice.

To make the right choice.

He keeps me on a straight and narrow path.

When He speaks and says don’t do it.

I have brought you through it.

 I am His daughter and I belong to no other.

He gave me spiritual eyes to see.

And ears to hear as He leads me.

There are some who attempt to sway me.

But I listen to hear His voice.

So that I will make the right choice.

He keeps me on a straight and narrow path.

As He brings me to His Holy mountain.

Reading:

Psalms 43:3-4

Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight.

Revelation 15:1-4

Revelation 15:1-4

A few days ago, as I was driving from Florida to South Carolina (a six hour drive), a strange experience happened. In the middle of my phone directions, Revelation chapter 10 started playing from my audio Bible. I was a bit surprised because I did not touch the audible app (that I knew off). I wanted to stop it from playing because I never drove on this particular highway before and wanted to pay attention to the road. However, I couldn’t stop it because I was driving with both my hands and did not want to get off the road. So I decided to let it play till the end where eventually it would stop playing. So I listened. I caught a few scriptures that I wanted to remember to place in my journal. However, when the audio stopped after Revelation 22, I heard the orator say “ The genealogy of Jesus Christ” in Matthew chapter 1. At this point all I could say was this is something God wants me to know.

After settling down at home I remembered hearing the “Song of Moses the Lamb” but I did not hear what chapter in Revelation it was in, so I did a little research on google, then BibleGateway.  As I reflected on the above experience, my thought was “What would we do without the power of God’s Spirit who uses all things, including technology to connect, reveal, and teach believers the Word of God and make things known. To some this experience may sound hard to believe and to some it’s not for they know that God is sovereign and can do all things (Isaiah 45:7-9).  Therefore, I am sharing my experience and one of the passages from Revelation.

In Revelation 15:1-4 John said:

“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished. And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
    O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
    O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord,
    and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

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Hannah a Praying Woman

Hannah was one of two wives of Elkanah,who could not have any children whereas, his other wife Peninnah had children, this made Hannah very unhappy and tearful. Although her husband treated her with loving affection by giving her double portions of his sacrifices and shared one portion of the sacrifices with the other wife, his sons, and daughters. Elkanah understood that God had closed her womb.

But on this particular day Hannah would not eat and kept crying and her husband was questioning her why was her heart sad and why was she acting that way. He felt that she should be happy because she had him, who was worth more than ten sons. Hannah was deeply distressed and went to the Lord in prayer and made her request. Philippians 4:6-7, instructs the believer to not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let his or her requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard his or her heart and minds in Christ Jesus.

This is what Hannah did she prayed and wept bitterly making her request known to God in addition to making this vow “Oh Lord of host if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant but give me, your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life and no razor shall touch his head” (that’s another story).

According to this story of Hannah, Eli the priest was sitting on a seat beside the doorposts of the temple, and had observed Hannah, at first, he thought she was drunk. She explained that she had a troubled spirit. And we know that there are times that we have a troubled spirit. The priest after hearing her petition told her to go in peace and the God of Israel grants your petition that you have made to him. She said let your servant find favor in your eyes and when she left the priest, she was no longer sad. And as the story goes Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son, who she named Samuel who became a great judge and prophet.

Reflection:

Today we have the Great High Priest, Jesus Christ to take our prayers to and he tells us not to let our hearts be troubled. You believe in God believe also in me (John 14:1). In  John 15:14-17 (NIV) Jesus said, I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I have called you friends for everything that I learned from my Father, I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit, that will last and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  

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God My Mentor

God you are my Mentor the center of all that I do

So that I can fulfill your Kingdom purpose and plans

Prepare me, train me, and equip me

Bless me with the ability to see

What you see, give me ears to hear

What you hear

Holy Spirit teach me and lead me

Across the dry lands and the sea

To advance Your Kingdom

The way you desire it to be

God you are my Mentor redirect me

If I take a detour speak to me

Through Your Word and Spirit

Or a person or my dreams

To help me understand all that you mean

As my loving Father and Mentor

Let me see your splendor

And Father once again as my Mentor

Help me meet your expectations

For this generation and the next.

2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

A Whisper

As I sat in my car eating, I heard God whisper, “a homeless person will be coming to you.”  When He said this, I kept looking out the windows of my car. While I was eating my chicken sandwich, I saw two women walking behind my car with a baby buggy. As I was putting nuts on top of my kale salad, I heard someone talking. I looked out the window of my driver’s side and there stood a woman with her mask on, she was trying not to get to close to the car to talk. However, I am hard of hearing, so I told her to come closer. She said she was homeless and showed me where she was sleeping. She said she wanted to get something to eat across the street. I looked in my car where I kept spare change and it was not enough to give to someone. And I had none in my purse. So I told her to go to the restaurant and I will come and pay for her food. Once there I decided to stay and asked her if I can sit with her. She said yes. So I got s cup of coffee and sat with her.

  We sat and talked for a good 30 minutes, sharing some things we had in common, we both had a family member with Down’s syndrome, and we spoke about God and how He provides.  And I told her some funny things that happened to me the past week, we laughed together. We talked with one another like we were close friends. The Spirit said to treat her like she was doing me a kind gesture by allowing me to sit with her while she ate and not as I was doing her a kindness. So I thanked her for allowing me to spend time with her because I needed someone to talk too.  

As we continued to talk, I noticed that I could hear her every word which surprised me, because I am usually asking people to repeat themselves or telling them that I did not hear them. Therefore I shared that thought with her. Before we departed, I asked her could I pray for her, and she said yes. We went out to my car, I took her hands and prayed for her. After I prayed for her, we hugged, and I spoke her name. I know that some of you are saying, I shouldn’t have touched her, but I am a person who likes to touch. When I got into my car, I thanked the Father for this time spent with the homeless woman. It brought much joy to my heart and hopefully joy and hope to hers.

Moral of the Story: God can orchestrate or ordain an event that will demonstrate His love and glorify Him.

Bless Those

I want to bless those who do the will of my Father

Jesus said my business is to do the Father’s will

Bless those who care for the widows, poor, and the fatherless

 And yes Father

Bless those who help, and provide shelter for the homeless

Bless those who fight for social justice

Bless those who have passionate, love, peace, and forgiveness in their hearts

And yes Father

Bless those who are growing, living, and loving, in the likeness of Jesus

Father let your blessings rain down

Bless those whose service is to honor You.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:1-3

  Blessed, are those whose ways are blameless,who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart they do no wrong but follow his ways.

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