The Dust of Broken Promises

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© 2016 Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

2 Chron. 7:14  If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven  and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

 We are living in troubled times, not merely in America but the world over.  Wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines and pestilences and earthquakes in various places, all these are shaking up the dust of promises we have broken between our Creator, almighty God.  He admonishes us to “humble ourselves and pray . . . seek his face and turn from our wicked ways.” 

Humility combined with the fear of the Lord brings honor and life.  

Proverbs 22:4. 

It brings into awareness a true and right relationship with God.  The Bible contains many references regarding humility in the concordance at the end of the book.  Reviewing these examples of how actual people developed a strong union with God may help instill in us this same humility.  They lived moral lives, worshipped God in awe, yet prayed and fasted,  repented of their sins and asked God for forgiveness.

Another source of godly living is following the lives of strong Christian leaders in today’s world.  Listen to their words, watch their actions, and pray for their relationships with God.   We can learn from true followers of Christ as they demonstrate their love for Him.

A minister of the 1900s who vividly expressed a deep and humble adoration through his prayer life was A. W. Tozer:

Lord, I would trust Thee completely; I would be altogether Thine; I would exalt Thee above all.  I desire that I may feel no sense of possessing anything outside of Thee. I want constantly to be aware of Thy overshadowing Presence and to hear Thy speaking Voice.  I long to live in restful sincerity of heart.  I want to live so fully in the Spirit that all my thought may be as sweet incense ascending to Thee and every act of my life may be an act of worship. Therefore I pray in the words of Thy great servant of old, “I beseech Thee so for to cleanse the intent of mine heart with the unspeakable gift of Thy grace, that I may perfectly love Thee and worthily praise Thee.”  And all this I confidently believe Thou wilt grant me through the merits of Jesus Christ thy son.  Amen.

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.

(~John Sammis)

 

Humble ourselves and admit it . . . we’re broken.  Let’s pray, folks.

Charge!

 

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Galatians 5:16-17This 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.”

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“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.”

(author unknown)

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The above verse is quite a mouthful, isn’t it? I would imagine that it holds true for most of us. The body is quite hard to control, rein in and subdue. To put it frankly, the Christian life is a battlefield. The flesh desires to sin; the Spirit is constrained to obey the things of the Spirit. Each day of our lives a constant war between these natures presents itself anew.

Paul describes to the Galatians a stark comparison:

“The works of the flesh are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, sexual excesses, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings….

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

The differences are startling!

As in any war, action must be taken to achieve victory. The finger points at each one of us, dear Christians. 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.”

© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved and observed.

Gotta Goal?

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© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved and observed

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.

Between Heaven and Hell . . . There’s a Cross

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Between Heaven and Hell . . . There’s a Cross

 © 2011 Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

 

The cost of following Jesus has a steep price tag, particularly in family relationships.

Luke 12:51-53 “Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? I tell you, No, rather division. From now on there will be five in one household divided, three against two and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

A daughter accepts Christ as her Savior and her life changes. She begins to exhibit characteristics of a Christian, and her family is taken aback. Soon they are estranged and the costs begin to mount up for the girl. She suffers hateful accusations meant to prompt a change in her faithfulness to Christ.

“Well, hello Miss Goody Two shoes!”

“Who do you think you are?”

“You’re not fun anymore.”

“We’re not good enough for you anymore?”

“You’ve stopped swearing.”

“Gee, you’re as phony as a two-dollar bill.”

“You’re not my daughter anymore!”

“Don’t cram that Jesus stuff down our throats.”

“You’re not welcome here till you change back to your old self.”

“You can go to hell for all we care!”

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We pay a steep price for our fellowship with Jesus. Our Lord warned us that we would be scorned, hated and abused, but our reward is heavenly.

Luke 9: 26 “If any man will follow me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily. Whoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, will save it. What’s your reward if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?”

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I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;

I’d rather be His than have riches untold;

I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;

I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand

 

Refrain:

Than to be the king of a vast domain

And be held in sin’s dread sway;

I’d rather have Jesus than anything

This world affords today. 

 

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;

I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;

I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;

I’d rather be true to His holy name.

 

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;

He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;

He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;

I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.

~Rhea F. Miller, 1922

 

What’s in Your Closet?

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© 2013 Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

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Colossians 3:12  “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, may I put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, bearing with others and forgiving others . . .

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Paul exhorted Christians to take on or assume certain virtues and qualities befitting the elect of God.   This is a difficult exercise unless one has been endowed with intrinsic attributes in this area.  I’ve yet to come across anyone who has not struggled to some degree with this commission.  We all are in the developmental stage and have not arrived spiritually. 

Tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, bearing with others and forgiving others . . . like clothes hanging in the closet, waiting for us to choose which to wear.  Hmm, let’s see, I think I will put on tender mercies today; tomorrow maybe I’ll try meekness

Oh, I don’t think Paul intended his words to be so casually addressed. 

At one time or another we have probably tried all these on, ending up with egg on our faces.  Tender mercies might be easy to wear with a family member we love dearly and understand fully, but wear it in the presence of an adversary and the mercies fall flat and lifeless. 

As I prepared this post, I tried to envision which virtue garment would be the one most tossed in the washer!  Perhaps the humility one would stay the cleanest.  Nah, with added thought, that might happen but only because of prideful thinking; not exactly what Paul had in mind.  He’s down to the bone here, peering into the soul with a mega-lumen halogen light bulb. 

So, I shall regroup.  Be honest.  Act . . . no, not act. Get out the 100-X magnifying glass and take inventory of my true motivations.  Be real, in other words.  The words of Christ return here in bright fluorescent color:  “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Now I’m in for a day-by-day, moment-by-moment lifelong exercise, as it should be.  As when a person goes on a diet, the effort must become a daily habit in order to be effective.  There’s no other way.  Whether one dresses for other Christians or people in general, these virtues must be evident in our lives.

Perhaps the fashion trend today is a good thing, multi-layering.  Looks like I’m going to try it with this virtue accessory training.  Let’s see now, what goes good with tender merciesKindness maybe?  Or better yet, how about humility underneath the long-suffering

I think I have a long way to go here.   How about you? 

  

 

 

 

Who Are You?

 

© Jeanne E Webster

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“My name is Jeanne Webster,

Web…eb…ster, Web…eb…ster,

My name is Jeanne Webster…

Who are you?”

I remember singing this song in first grade.   As a way of getting to know each other, we’d go around the classroom and when it got to you, you’d sing this, using your name in place of the last student’s name.  It’s a good way to introduce yourself.

My name is Jeanne Webster.  I was born in western Massachusetts, grew up under the “Army brat” emblem, moved almost every three years, ending up graduating from high school in Germany. My early adulthood was spent as a soldier’s spouse and mother of four children; have seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I’ve worked as a nurse’s aide, certified medical tech, veterinarian assistant, Home Health Care assistant, and freelance writer.

I have been writing since I learned to scribble my name and going non-stop ever since. Non-fiction is my first love but lately I have ventured into the fiction domain. As you can see from my offerings here, I love prose also. Curiosity draws me into new territories and techniques, as I believe challenges are excellent stimulants for the spirit.

I am a Christian and take my faith in Jesus Christ most seriously. He is the focus of all my endeavors and the reason I am who I am. I have been a member of numerous denominations, from Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, and back to Catholic. Presently I do not hold membership in any church. I feel there are too many man-made doctrines infused into religion and therefore I present myself to Christ alone. Christianity is not a religion but a way of life.

A never-bored character, I relish poking around in the corners of my days, seeking out the easily overlooked weeds of life for a rose or two.  I love books, books and more books.  I even read manuals that come with new things I buy!  Crafts are my constant companions, along with the need to set down in hard copy my imaginings.   My thoughts are a whole different world; it’s a Jeanne in Wonderland most days.  My one complaint in life, if it’s really a complaint, is that there isn’t enough time in the day to explore the caverns of the mind and the outside world that God has blessed us with.

I love people, care for people, make new friends, pamper the old friends, and do a heap of praying for people.  You’re my sister, my brother, my mom, my dad, my son, my daughter, and on and on.  In other words, you matter to me.

Sooo…who are you?  I’d like to know you too!

[A reblog to get acquainted with my new blogging friends.]

Come to Me

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© Jeanne E. Webster

Out of the depths, I cry to Thee:

Come to me…come to me;

Dwell within my heart, dear One

Warm me as the noonday sun.

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Day and night, I long for Thee:

Come to me…come to me;

Whether you be near or far

Always be my rising Star.

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Through many a tear I cry to Thee:

Come to me…come to me;

Let me feel your eternal love

That is Spirit given from above.

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I shall always cry to Thee:

Come to me…come to me;

Til that day when I shall be

One with Thee, eternally.

 

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(Written many years ago as a babe-in-Christ)