The Chrysalis

Copyright Jeanne E Webster–All Rights Reserved

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He slumped into the snow and died
Alone, but for the snarling winds
Veiling his final words of life:
“Oh, Lord! My God!” he cried.

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Swaddled within the soft embrace
Of feathered, wispy crystals,
His body lay shrouded in a chrysalis:
He came to the end of his race.

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The boisterous winds became still,
The menacing clouds recoiled;
Stars shone with ethereal light:
It was his Father’s sovereign will.

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Aloft now, his soul began to roam,
Seeking to touch that holy hand
Of his waiting Lord and King:
“My son you’re welcome home!”

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Tis the story of how my dad
Met his lot on an icy road,
He lost control of his car:
Oh Lord, that wreck was bad!

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Dad was in the winter of life,
A slower glory-filled pace;
Ever a faithful man of God:
His grace bewails the fife.

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I miss my dad, mentor and friend,
Yet I know he’s home with God
Walking ’round with his loving smile
In that heavenly land of no end!
Shalom

(Fictional story of my Dad’s passing)

A Wondering Day

 

 

© Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

Have you ever had “wondering” days
When you sit and reflect upon things?
Certain thoughts will linger and laze,
. . . before you know it, take wings.
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I’m wondering about Mary today,
The mother of Jesus, our Lord.
Lingering resolve to woefully stay,
This event of such tragic accord.
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Evil prevailed on that cross up high. . .
They mangled him then nailed him fast.
Judas betrayed this holy One. Why?
For silver that would never last.
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Mary tarried on that blood-soaked hill,
Weeping… needing to hold her boy.
Knowing that his body they did kill
But never could his spirit destroy.
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His ravaged flesh was taken off the tree;
Mary’s tears flowed with his blood.
She cradled him ever so lovingly
As the soil churned into red mud.
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His corpse was taken to a tomb quite near,
Wrapped up in spices and herbs.
Mary trudged home with Sabbath tears,
Her heavy heart greatly disturbed.
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Do you think underneath all that dirt,
This hill still preserves hallowed mud…
Evidence of Mary’s excruciating hurt-
Her tears mingled with Jesus’ blood?

Hey Judas!


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© Jeanne E Webster   All rights reserved

Envision this:

While going about your daily business two thousand years ago, a certain man ambled by and addressed you with sound authority. You had recently heard bits of rumors about him… he is a prophet, a great teacher, and a healer. He invited you to join him and his group of followers, and perhaps sensing something unique about him, you decided to follow him too.

You lived, ate, walked, talked, slept and pondered with him and his men. He told you about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the Ten Commandments. He explained some of the mysteries of scripture, cured diseases, resurrected people from the dead, and told you how to live a pleasing life for God.

How mesmerizing he was explaining how to love people and love God, warned you of false prophets, calmed your fears, forgave your sins and taught you how to pray. Gradually your admiration for this man grew into a secret desire for some of his power.

One day he called you and his other disciples around him and chose twelve to be his closest apostles. You were one of the twelve! What an honor! What glory! To be one of his inner circle! That’s a choice position! You must really be someone special!

Soon after this event, he gave you and the others real POWER: power to heal the sick, make the blind to see, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons and raise the dead. WOW! He told you to go to the cities where the Jews lived and tell them “the kingdom is at hand!

Repent!” Pretty heavy stuff here! Pretty heady too!

For three years, you and the other disciples performed miracles and followed this man. He took you and the others aside one day and asked, “Who do men say that I am?”

One of your group answered, “Elijah!”

“A great prophet!” said another.

“John the Baptist!” answered another.

Peter spoke up, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

The Messiah?! The Son of God?! Just think of that! You have seen, felt, and experienced the Messiah!

You saw him perform thousands of miracles, weep at the loss of a friend, have compassion on the poor, the children, and sinners. What honor, what pleasure, what glory and power and elation filled your spirit. You not only witnessed the Messiah and His works down here on earth, you were among His special disciples. That was something to write home about.

Then…now that your head is puffed way up out of proportion, and your heart is filled with pride…then…this Man says something that immediately bursts your bubble. The hot air is still hissing from your big balloon when he continued, “I must suffer many things in the days ahead…the elders and chief priests and scribes are going to reject me…I will be killed…and after three days I will rise again.”

Your mind spun out of control, the thoughts flashed by one after another with lightning speed. WHAT? He just said the elder, chief priests and scribes did not believe He is Messiah. They are going to kill Him? He will rise again in three days?

Peter spoke out, “Lord, You don’t have to go through all that. We’ll fight for You. I’ll lay down my life for You! Don’t say things like that!”You didn’t want to hear things like that either.

The Master rebuked Peter and called him, “Satan!” He continued, “Whoever saves his life will lose it but he who loses his life for My sake will save it. Don’t be ashamed of Me because if you do, I’ll be ashamed of you when I come again to judge you.”

Over the next few days or weeks He warned you of more things to come. “Don’t be deceived, for many will come in My name. There’ll be wars, earthquakes, famines and lots of trouble. You’ll be delivered up to councils, be beaten and brought up on trial before rulers and kings. You’ll be hated by all men because of Me. But endure, be faithful and you will be saved.”

Passover arrived. You joined the others in an upper room, had a good meal, good discussions and maybe got a little drowsy when you suddenly perked up at the voice of Jesus. “One of you is going to betray Me!”

That took your drowsiness away! “Betray You, Lord? Me?”

Jesus answered, “He that dips his hand in this dish with Me, that’s who it is. Woe to the man by whom I am betrayed! It’d been better if he would have never been born!”

You slowly rose from your resting place, walked over to Jesus and asked, “Master…is it I?”

He looked up at you and replied, “Yes, you have said it.”

You immediately left the room. Meeting with the chief priests and scribes later, you told them, “Jesus and His disciples will be in the garden of Gethsemane tonight. Go get Him! I’ll greet the prophet with a kiss.”

That evening you approached the garden, followed by the priests, scribes and soldiers from the temple. Walking over to Jesus you proclaimed, “Hail Master!” You leaned forward and kissed Him on His right cheek. He peered into your eyes and asked, “Friend, why did you come here?”

Later, after realizing your mistake, you had second thoughts about this event. You didn’t know it would go this far. You gave the money back. Jesus didn’t have to be crucified. “Why don’t they stop this awful nonsense?!” But it is out of your hands now.

Dejected, you found a rope, put a noose in it and prepared to end your misery. Seconds before you flung yourself off the tree branch, you vividly saw again your Master’s face and hear His last words to you, “Friend, why did you come here?” Thus was the fate of Judas Iscariot.

It might be that Jesus asks us that question today. “Friend, why do you come to Me?” Is it for the glory, the power, the esteem, the need to feel better than others? Or do our hearts reply, “Whoever saves his life will lose it but he who loses his life will save it.”

“Don’t be ashamed of me because if you do, I’ll be ashamed of you when I come again to judge you.”

Do we truly mean, as the old hymn so eloquently pleads:

Just as I am without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me;
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee
O Lamb of God…I come…I come.
Just as I am Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve.
Because Thy promise…I believe!
O Lamb of God…I come…I come.
(Just as I am, written by Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871)

Dreams of a Little Girl

© Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

I am a perpetual dreamer. As a little girl, I believed in the little stories I read, the songs I sang, and the few movies I saw. I could vanish for a whole day in the words of . . .

“Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day.
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!

“Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s actual!
Ev’rything is satisfactual!
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay,
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day, yes sir!”
~ by Ray Gilbert

and rematerialize with that bluebird on my shoulder. Every word etched its meaning into my spirit, and the sunshine did head my way. It’s the truth…it’s actual!

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Being a child was the grandest time of life. As little people we accepted things with simplicity and an anything goes attitude. If we could imagine it, then IT was real. Do you remember playing Cops and Robbers? Cowboys and Indians? (I must interject here that I was a true tomboy!) You could be Tonto or the Lone Ranger; you became Dick Tracy til you went to bed and woke up to a new identity. Or you became Silver and could run faster than any other horse. You even knew where to find the best sour grass in the whole world, that secret place out behind Grandpa’s barn.

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I think my favorite hero to play was Superman. There was this special field near my house that had a long narrow lay of the land, with a slight dip in the middle of it, perfect for lift-off. I’d start at one end of it and run for all it was worth til I reached the middle. There I would jump into the air, arms outstretched and nose to the clouds, believing with all my stubby legs that I really was IN THE AIR…only to set down a few seconds later on the dusty dry ground. But I kept trying and trying…and trying. Oh, what fun, acting as these imaginary people.

 

One song especially affected my young life:

Somewhere over the Rainbow
*composed by Harold Arlen and the lyrics by E.Y. Harburg.

When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around,
Heaven opens a magic lane
When all the clouds darken up the skyway,
There’s a rainbow highway to be found
Leading from your window pane
To a place behind the sun,
Just a step beyond the rain
Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can’t I?

I sang that song with my heart, thinking that if I truly believed, I could fly over that rainbow with those bluebirds. With childlike faith I DID fly over the rainbow. It launched me into an imagined escape from the very troubled world in which I actually lived, an escape I desperately needed.

I still dream…every time I read a book, a poem, watch a movie, attend a play, hear Handel’s Messiah at Christmas time, and more. Heaven does open, like the song trilled, to a place beyond the sun, just a step beyond the rain…to a whole new world that God calls heaven. The Bible states that a heavenly home waits for everyone that has drawn their life on the account of Jesus Christ. And it’s not a dream. It is reality. It’s signed, sealed and delivered…waiting for the nod of your head, the creaking open of the door to your heart, the throwing down of the ultimate freewill of one’s soul.

“Yes, Lord, I am yours.”

 

GODSPEED My LOVE

WOMEN'S WINDOW

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Somewhere My Love

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 Where are the beautiful days?

Where are the sleigh rides ‘til dawn?

Where are the tender moments of splendor?

Where have they gone…?

Where have they gone…?

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Somewhere, my love, there will be songs to sing,

Although the snow covers the hope of spring.

Somewhere a hill blossoms in green and gold,

And there are dreams, all that your heart can hold.

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Someday we’ll meet again, my love,

Someday wherever the spring breaks through.

You’ll come to me out of the long ago,

Warm as the wind, soft as the kiss of snow..

Till then, my sweet, think of me now and then.

Godspeed my love ‘til you are mine again.

~~by Paul Francis Webster

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“They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”  Isa.  35:10

(A sacred love of long ago.)    white rose

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THIS IS LIVING

To touch the cup with eager lips and taste,

not drain it;

To woo and tempt and court a bliss—

and not attain it;

To fondle and caress a joy,

yet hold it lightly,

Lest it become necessity

and cling too tightly;

To watch the sun set in the west

without regretting;

To hail its advent in the east

—the night forgetting;

To smother care in happiness

and grief in laughter;

To hold the present close

—not questioning hereafter;

To have enough to share

—to know the joy of giving;

To thrill with all the sweets of life

—is living.

(author unknown)

 

Forgetting. . .Remembering

 

 Thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy might.  Deut. 6:5

God wants his law in our minds not just on tablets of stone. Grow love for God—love does grow. The Holy Spirit initiates growth—seek it—pray for it—expect it!  True love from God is the human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion.  If we confess and live the confession of faith, love can be:
Kind
Non-bragging
Non-envious
Not rude
Not proud
Not easily provoked
Thinks no evil
Rejoices not in sin
Bears all things
Believes all things
Hopes all things
Endures all things
Never fails.

Phil. 3:13 … forgetting the things that are behind.

 

Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee.  Deut. 8:2
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Forgetting ills behind me, the sorrows past and gone,
Forgetting all my wanderings, too sad to dwell upon,
Remembering God’s great goodness, in times of stress and strain,
Remembering His restoring, I praise my God again.
Forgetting all my doubting, which dimmed faith’s vision bright,
Forgetting all the earth-clouds, the darkness, gloom and night,
Remembering God’s bright sunshine, and radiance of His face,
Remembering His long patience, I praise my God for grace.
Forgetting all unkindness which friends and foes have shown,
Forgetting and forgiving the wrongs that I have known,
Remembering God provided, unsought, each faithful friend,
Remembering love’s devotion, I’ll praise Him to the end.
Forgetting my repinings, when disappointments came,
Forgetting all the murmurings, which filled my soul with shame,
Remembering God was ever true to His Holy Word,
Remembering He was faithful, I praise my sovereign Lord.

 

~~A.G.