Written in the Wind

© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved


Nicodemus, teacher
Order of the Pharisees
Sanhedrin member
Rabbi (master of Israel)


Dear Nicodemus:

This letter confirms our conversation last night regarding eternal life. You questioned my statement that a person cannot enter heaven without being born again. You wanted evidence that a person can be born again after he’s grown. As a Pharisee, a rabbi and teacher, you don’t comprehend this?

I explained to you that one must be born of the Spirit, not a rebirth from the womb. Being born of the flesh is a physical birth; being born of the Spirit is a spiritual birth. There is a touch from God framing the spiritual birth which is granted to anyone who believes in the Son of man. He descended from heaven and will return to heaven, evidence for the passage of regeneration for everyone who believes in Him.

You have heard me preach of earthly things yet you don’t believe them. How will you have faith in what I tell you of heavenly things? Moses lifted up the brass serpent that represented the sins of Israel; everyone who looked on it was healed. So will the Son of man be lifted up for everyone to see and believe in, and they shall have eternal life. God loved everyone so much that He put upon the Son of Man the sins of the world. He was lifted up on Calvary for all to see and believe. Those who have faith in Him will not perish but have everlasting life in heaven.

You see, Nicodemus, God didn’t send his Son into the world to condemn everyone but to save them. They condemn themselves if they do not believe in the name of the only Son of God. In all reality, this is the truth: light has come into the world to save the souls of everyone. But people love the darkness, as it covers the evil deeds they don’t want discovered. Those that live good lives are drawn to the light because their deeds will be shown to be of God.

The wind blows where it wishes, Nicodemus. Even though you can’t tell where the sound comes from, listen to it, as it is from the Spirit. Believe in it and be born again, this time of the Spirit, and you will have eternal life.

Love,
Jesus

(Paraphrased from John 3:1-21)

A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do, huh?


© Jeanne E Webster  –  All Rights Reserved


Galatians 5:16-17 “This I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are contrary the one to the other, so that you cannot do the things that you would. “

The above verse is quite a mouthful, isn’t it? I would imagine that it holds true for most us. Our bodies are quite hard to control, to rein in, and to subdue. To put it frankly, we’ve got us a full-brewed battlefield. The flesh desires to sin; the Spirit is constrained to obey the things of the Spirit. Every day we face this conundrum of natures.

Paul continues with a stark comparison of the two natures:
The works of the flesh are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, sexual excesses, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, reveling….

Paul adds some powerful drama here with this warning…As I have told you before in time past, that they which do such things (as a lifestyle) shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

But the fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…. The differences are startling.


“Within my earthly temple there’s a crowd;

There’s one of us that’s humble, one that’s proud;

There’s one that’s brokenhearted for his sins

And one who, unrepentant, sits and grins;

There’s one who loves his neighbor as himself

And one who cares for naught but fame and pelf.

From such corroding care I would be free

If once I could determine which is me.”


As in any war, action must be taken in order to achieve victory. The finger points at each one of us. Will we remain passive and continue to tolerate the works of the flesh within us? Or shall we rear up off our sanctified haunches and give way to the power of the Spirit to crucify this flesh? The victory has already been won; we merely have to give the “Charge!”

“Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”

Figure It Out


© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved.



During times of life’s struggles and turmoil, it’s natural to first open our arsenal of combative tools. Next we reflect upon our strengths, both physical and mental, and thrust the old “heave ho” at the enemy line. Before we realize it, however, our resources are exhausted and lie grounded like paper airplanes with shredded wings. Relief is not in sight! Our spirit chokes on the “winds of war” and our hands raise into the air, desperately grasping for a reprieve. But where will help come from?

Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts.”

This is our surety: The Lord is our strength and our shield. Our power to combat life’s struggles lies from the gracious auspices of our loving and almighty God. We may ask how this works. It’s simple. Trust Him, with all our hearts.

Believing that He is God, ascertain that He is able to provide all our needs. Who else in this world could do that? I can’t think of anyone or anything else. Not even the strongest person in the whole universe nor all the armies in this universe. If we can’t meet the challenge of combating catastrophes, no matter what we confront them with, what good does it do for us to trust in our OWN understanding? Nothing!

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Do not trust our own understanding. Our intellect, wit, cleverness, or competency have not come forth and rescued us. They give us no comfort. They do not refresh our soul.

But . . . God gives us our daily bread, steadfast love, undeserved forgiveness, leads us in comforting ways, protects us from unforeseen trials, and welcomes us back into His presence when time is no more.

With ALL our hearts . . . believe in God . . . trust in God.



Trust and Obey

by Daniel B. Towner


When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.


Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.


The Holocaust Happened!

 

© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed.
.

 

Knuckles of uniformed SS troops
Knocking
Voices hushed, hidden behind doors,
Talking
Feet of frantic ones shuffling, slowly
Walking
Spirits of bravery waning, yet still
Balking
Train cars swallowing up entire families
Shocking
Gassed bodies at death camps ghastly
Gawking
Nazi soldiers crazed, hatefully defiant,
Mocking
Dead body after dead body after dead body

 

Clocking Holocaust time at . . .

Auschwitz-Birkenau
Belzec
Bergen-Belsen
Bogdanovka
Buchenwald
Chelmno
Dachau
Gross-Rosen
Herzogenbusch
Janowska
Jasenovac
Kaiserwald
Majdanek
Maly Trostenets
Mauthausen-Gusen
Neuengamme
Ravensbrück
Sachsenhausen
Sajmište
Salaspils
Sobibór
Stutthof
Theresienstadt
Triblinka
Uckermark
Warsaw

Holocaust Day, Jan. 27th: the day of remembrance.

Take the Ball and Run with It

 

A little old lady was the chosen speaker at a convention composed of writers, composers and other artists. Retired now, she had been a pioneer architect, having built stunning monuments across the nation. Her motto that a house or building needs to be more than a shelter out of the rain gained her increased respect and praise throughout the years.

Giving advice to her listeners, she advised them to remain true to their creative form of energy. “I set myself a creed,” she said, “a measuring rod, a goal to work for. That goal is this: I want everybody to be better for having lived in my house.”

Translated to individuals everywhere, anyone could make that very same statement. “I want somebody to be better for having read my poem,” says the poet. Or “I want someone to be better for having read my novel.” Or a composer, “I want somebody to be better for having heard my music.”

We can continue this into our lives also. What are you building? A house? Work so that it will make someone better for having lived in a house you built. Are you a seamstress? Work so that garment will make someone better for having worn it. A schoolteacher? Teach so your students will be better off for having been taught by you. A neighbor? Don’t we all have neighbors? Live so your neighbor will be better off for having had you as a neighbor.

Take the ball and run with it in your life, attributes and endeavors. I hope my efforts here will help someone have a better life. People are watching you, did you know? If your actions help just one person have a better day, a better life, you have not lived in vain. Have a nice day and a blessed forever.

But I Could Catch the Biggest Bull Frogs

© Jeanne E Webster All rights reserved

Thank you, Lord, for Mom and Dad,
My angelic grandma I loved so.
Abundant sustenance all my life,
Safe environments in which to grow.

I respected my brothers and sisters,
Though we fought like cats and dogs.
We played and wrestled and got dirty
…I could catch the biggest bull frogs.

You gave me a sound body and mind;
I learned well to read and write.
Mostly I behaved quite proper;
A few wrongs but tried to do right.

Summer time we got rounded up
One year for that Bible school;
Met this gentle young man, Jesus,
Who taught me the Golden Rule.

He’s led me down life’s pathway,
Soothed my heart and hell-bound soul.
Cleaned me up one side and another;
Dug me out of that dark, deep hole.

The loving heart you gave me, Lord,
I used for lost sisters and brothers
That forgiving spirit was harder to bear;
But you said we should love one another.

Oh, the wisdom in that there Bible,
The tools for us to use in our lives.
I’m finding new ones most every day,
‘especially joys from just being alive.

A thankful heart and loving spirit
Is my offering, Lord, back to you.
Reflecting a happier way of life,
And a heart that’s tried and so true.

Summer Dawdlings

© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved.

“Summertime…and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.”

I’ve always liked that song, mainly for taking me back to memorable  summer vacations spent at my grandparent’s home in Massachusetts. Those lazy, hazy days of summer were the happiest times of my childhood.

Small town life in the mid-1940s was kid safe; one could play outside unsupervised from sunup to sundown with no problems. We’d stuff a peanut butter sandwich in our pocket after breakfast, and off we’d scamper on our all-day carefree adventures.

Our youthful bantam legs struggled as they carried us up that steep knoll to the top of Walnut Hill, then braked as down, down, down we coasted to the placid waters of Lake Mattawa.

Dawdling around the lake edges for a while, we’d skim stones across the water, search for baby fish, and wade into the warm clear waters to extract pretty rocks or other treasures not too far out into the lake.

After resting from our arduous one mile trek, we’d wander through the adjacent pine trees and head for Uncle Brad’s house. to play with our cousins.  We had an unwritten privilege of fishing rights to his pond, and after we had dug up worms and crawlers, we’d grab some of his many fishing poles and scamper down to the stagnant, bubble-gurgling pond. We were delighted to snaggle luminous bluegills and sunfish, and catfish and brilliant yellow pike were always in bountiful supply.

Tiring from catching such “huge” fish, we’d retreat to Aunt Winnie’s back porch and eat our sandwiches and partake of her home-made lemonade especially set out for our disposal.

It was our habit to linger a while after our repast and visit the hen houses, barnyard and outbuildings of their chicken farm. What merriment was had while playing in the granary, jumping on top of the loose corn and smelling the aromas of earth’s harvest offerings!

Next we’d ramble on south a couple of miles towards Aunt Judy’s house and spend the rest of the day interacting with her eleven kids. We’d play hide-and-seek, cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, and with adult supervision, we could play croquet. We had no store-bought toys; we merely used our imaginations, which in all reality, was pure delight… pretty much.

Once one of my cousins dared me to pick some poison ivy and rub it on my arms and legs. So I double-dared him to do it too. Well…the next day he had poison ivy all over his body, and I had nary a blister. To this day I’m not allergic to the ivy!

Aunt Judy filled our tummies with her family’s supper fixings before we headed back to Gramp and Gram’s home. If the sun was still halfway up the western sky, we’d stop off at the churchyard and wander out back to the cemetery to pick the delicious wild strawberries there. They were so tiny but, oh, so succulent!

Summertime…heaven-sent days for earth-bound children, quickly spent and forever gone. Oh, to be a kid again!?