Earthy Stuff

 

 

© Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

 

Recently I heard someone describe many of our politicians as empty vessels, perhaps hinting at a dearth of ethics and/or morals in the political arena. The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthian church regarding earthen vessels filled with the indwelling of God. (2 Cor. 4:1-18) What a contrast!

A return to the old covenant scripture reminds us that God dwelled in a tent among His people as evidence that He was with them. Today we know His presence within our hearts, placed there by that same Spirit of the living God as evidenced by the new covenant. Our power or strength had nothing to do with it. This treasure is none other than the gospel of Christ, the image of God.

You want to know more of God, then look fully into Jesus’ face!

Why would God see fit to put into our feeble bodies such a great treasure? So that the world may see Christ in us through the excellency of God’s power. Another fine contrast! He knows our frames, how weak we are, easily “troubled on every side yet not crushed, perplexed but not desperate, persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed.” Yet we strive to live that the life of Jesus will be manifested in this mortal flesh. Though every day our physical bodies perish, every day we grow spiritually. We know and believe with certainty that God will raise us up in like manner as Christ.

Reflect upon the things that are not visible to the naked eye. The things we see are only temporal, while the invisible things are eternal. Shine forth into this world of darkness this light in earthen vessels, and may we clothe ourselves in thanksgiving for the great work God has done.
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“Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

“Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love
One holy passion filling all my frame
The baptism of the heaven-descended Dove,
My heart an altar and Thy love the flame.”
~George Croly

Shalom

Treasure-Filled?

treasure

 

©2010 Jeanne E. Webster. All rights reserved

Recently I heard someone describe many of our politicians as “empty vessels,” perhaps hinting at a dearth of ethics and/or morals in the political arena.

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthian church regarding “earthen” vessels filled with the indwelling of God. (2 Cor. 4:1-18) What a contrast!

A return to the old covenant scripture reminds us that God dwelt in a tent among His people as evidence that He was with them. Today we know His presence within our hearts, placed there by that same Spirit of the living God as evidenced by the new covenant. Our power or strength had nothing to do with it. This treasure is none other than the gospel of Christ, the image of God. You want to know more of God, then look fully into Jesus’ face!

Why would God see fit to put into our feeble bodies such a great treasure? …So that the world may see Christ in us through the “excellency of God’s power.” Another fine contrast! He knows our frames, how weak we are, easily “troubled on every side yet not crushed, perplexed but not desperate, persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed.” Yet we strive to live that the life of Jesus will be manifested in this mortal flesh. Though every day our physical bodies perish, every day we grow spiritually. We know and believe with certainty that God will raise us up in like manner as Christ.

Reflect upon the things that are not visible to the naked eye; the things we see are only temporal, while the invisible things are eternal. Shine forth into this world of darkness this “light” in earthen vessels, and may we clothe ourselves in thanksgiving for the great work God has done.

“Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;

Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move;

Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,

And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

“Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love

One holy passion filling all my frame

The baptism of the heaven-descended Dove,

My heart an altar and Thy love the flame.”

~George Croly

 

 

Daily Reminder

hugnn

© Jeanne E Webster.  All Rights Reserved.

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“He is your praise and your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.” Deut. 10:21

Moses spoke these words to Israel prior to their journey into the land of promise. He had placed the tables of stone into the ark as God had commanded, and now it was time for Israel to prove their mettle.  “Go in and possess the land which I have sworn unto your fathers.”

Moses exhorted Israel to:

Fear the Lord

Walk in all His ways

Love Him

Serve Him with all your heart and soul

Keep His laws

Circumcise the foreskin of your heart

Be no longer stubborn

Love the stranger

Hold fast to the Lord.

.

The exhortations above sound quite familiar, don’t they? As Christians, we hold to each of them in our daily walk with Christ. Moses was admonishing Israel to remember all that God had done for them and to cling to this great God who brought them out of bondage. We too need this reminder today. It’s all too easy to interact with God as if He were a sugar daddy or an easy mark. He’s not either. He is the great awesome God of Israel, the great I AM!

Don’t mess with the MAN! Fear Him, respect Him, stand before Him in awe, and esteem Him. He’s number ONE.  Walk in ways that reflect His love and mercy to others. Love Him with that bone-deep, heart-booming passion born from a worshipful spirit. Serve Him heartily, wholly, with all the gusto you can muster. Keep His commandments and you’ll reap your rewards.

Discipline yourself, lean into the yoke and pull hard. Right next to you on the other side is Jesus. Just remember that.

Love the stranger among you, for you were once strangers also. Cling fast to the Lord and He will always be with you. Make it a practice to praise the Lord–with thanksgiving and a humble spirit.  Think back to the wondrous moments He lightened your life. Think today of what He is doing for you right this moment.

Praise Him, praise Him, and praise Him, our wonderful Redeemer! Amen.

Were You There?

cross

© Jeanne E Webster – All rights reserved

 

Breathless and panic-stricken from the recent Gethsemane fracas, he shadowed the throng into the palace courtyard. “Just a little closer,” he muttered, “I must see Him!” He could scarcely glimpse his Master amongst the incensed flock of scribes and elders. The intonations of hatred, death and lies emanating from them horrified his spirit.

“Who will testify that this man is guilty of blasphemy?” roared the voice of the high priest. “Will someone bear witness to this truth?”

After a hushed pause, two trembling voices clamored through the din. “This man said he could destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days. We heard him say that with our own ears!”

“Aha,” salivated the high priest, circling the accused victim, “will you respond to this accusation? Is it true that you said this?”

Silence hung like sodden drapes over the perturbed assembly.

“I demand that you tell us by the living God if you are the Christ, the Son of God!” bellowed the high priest, pithily erupting nose-to-nose with the defendant.

Edging cautiously towards the perimeter, the disciple tried to blend in with the crowd. He couldn’t hear his Master’s reply, but seeing the animated reaction of the high priest, it hadn’t been well received.

“He has spoken blasphemy; you all heard it! He said he was the SON OF MAN!” Rending his clothes with utter disgust the high priest asked for a verdict from the frenzied assembly.

“He is guilty of death!” they shouted in modulating rhythm. “KILL HIM! KILL HIM!” Swarming over the Master like angry bees, they spit in his face and vehemently beat him, while others clouted him with open hands.

“Prophesy to us, you Christ!”

“Who just hit you?”

“Who spit in your face?” Scurrying toward the palace outskirts, he knew it was time to dissociate himself from the bedlam at hand. He was quickly singled out by a bystander while trying to blend in with the agitated mass.

“Hey, Guard! This man was with Jesus of Galilee.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” the disciple stuttered, casually trying to evade the allegation.

An onlooker blurted out a similar charge, “You WERE one of them.”

“NO! I never heard of him. Leave me alone!” he spouted, grabbing his robe closer around his face.

“Wait a minute!” another shouted, “This man really WAS with him; he even talks like a Galilean!”

“I don’t know what you’re saying! Dammit, I DO NOT KNOW THAT MAN!”

Off in the distance the eerie sound of a cock crowing dropped him to his knees as he recalled the words of Jesus, “Before the cock crows, you will deny knowing me three times.” “No! Oh, No! No! My Lord! Forgive me!”

Weeping bitterly, Peter dragged himself out into the darkness, never to be the same again.

(Paraphrased from Matthew 26:57-75 KJV)

 

Always-Forever

pink2.jpg

©2010 Jeanne E Webster- All rights reserved

 

They pounded through my mind
Like lightning bolts and booms
Their strikings hit once more
To plant their seeds of doom.

Never again….

I rest now in peace
The seeds are rooted out
The blitzes fade away
Like ghostly puffs of doubt.

Never again….

My redeemer now lives
Within my heart today
He’s my sure defense
The doubts He chased away.

Always….forever

In joyful flights of glee
My spirit flies so high
Flitting up and away
Like a dainty butterfly.

Always….forever

Shalom

A Mystery

light

…and then there was LIGHT
© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved.

Repeatedly it’s been said, “It was the best and worst of times,”
Discordantly, wisdom and absurdity sang redundant rhymes.

A tale of two cities, a contrast stark, between heaven and earth,
Perhaps one day may give way to a cataclysmic rebirth.

It’s true today as it was back in the eighteen hundred years,
Light and Darkness administrate, while Hope balances Fears.

Technological sprawl litters homes and clutters one’s workplace,
As ghastly suicides and boredom slither at a haunting pace.

Paradoxically, religious avow their creeds, yet God teeters on His throne.
Deviant sexuality lusts ecstatically, while AIDS and STDs gnaw bones.

Is human dignity recoverable, and standards of right and wrong?
Have we forgotten who we are…and to Whom we truly belong?

Dogmatic agnosticism imprisons, and spirit and mind decay;
Wandering tediously, life’s passage echoes, “We’ve forgotten the way!”

Long ago Truth was manifested, bearing witness of a place to stand;
A mystery revealed, heaven reached down a mighty helping hand.

The true Light shone in the darkness, and the darkness knew it not.
How great that light! How great the cost! Christ’s death our souls has bought!

Remember

hymns2

© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved.

 

“He is your praise and your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.” Deut. 10:21

Moses spoke these words to Israel prior to their journey into the land of promise. He had placed the tables of stone into the ark as God had commanded, and now it was time for Israel to prove their mettle. “Go in and possess the land which I have sworn unto your fathers.”

Moses exhorted Israel to:

.

Fear the Lord

Walk in all His ways

Love Him

Serve Him with all your heart and soul

Keep His laws

Circumcise the foreskin of your heart

Be no longer stubborn

Love the stranger

Hold fast to the Lord.

.

The exhortations above sound quite familiar, don’t they? As Christians, we hold to each of them in our daily walk with Christ. Moses was admonishing Israel to remember all that God had done for them and to cling to this great God who brought them out of bondage. We too need this reminder today.

It’s all too easy to interact with God as if He were a sugar daddy or an easy mark. He’s not either. He is the great awesome God of Israel, the great I AM!  Don’t mess with the MAN! Fear Him, respect Him, stand before Him in awe, and esteem Him. He’s number ONE.

Walk in ways that reflect His love and mercy to others. Love Him with that bone-deep, heart-booming passion born from a worshipful spirit. Serve Him heartily, wholly, with all the gusto you can muster. Keep His commandments and you’ll reap your rewards.

Discipline yourself, lean into the yoke and pull hard. Right next to you on the other side is Jesus. Just remember that. Love the stranger among you, for you were once strangers also. Cling fast to the Lord and He will always be with you.

Make it a practice to praise the Lord–with thanksgiving and a humble spirit. Think back to the wondrous moments He lightened your life. Think today of what He is doing for you right this moment.

Praise Him, praise Him, and praise Him, our wonderful Redeemer! Amen.