You Gotta Have Heart

 

©Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

Psalm 139:23 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know me and see if there be any wicked way in me…”

Recently I sought my doctor’s advice regarding a chronic imbalance problem.  He directed me to undergo a stress test to evaluate my heart’s functions.  The first phase of this test is a cardiac ultrasound machine which takes pictures of the heart in action prior to the stress-induced treadmill aspect. Following the treadmill exercise, the patient returns to the ultrasound machine for additional pictures of the heart which is now recovering from the stress.

As I lay upon the table underneath the machine, I watched its creeping movement as it tediously crossed over the chest area, clicking photos as it swept the heart area from the right to the left. Words from a psalmist came to mind as this medical contraption fulfilled its duty for the technician. “Search me, oh God, and know my heart…”

Laying there I prayed, “Lord, search my heart and my spirit as this machine is doing. Search out any defects or irregularities that inhibit my heart and make it whole again. You are the Creator and know me through and through. You don’t need pictures to review; you made all the parts. I lay here spread out before you and confess any sinful willfulness. Repair my heart, Lord, and correct its path. Point it in sync with your will and purpose. Thank you, Father. You are the Great Technician. In Jesus’ name.”

Amen!

Humor Coming On!

© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed.

What a warm humid day almost in May! Baseball games are being played, gardens are being planted, flowers are being bloomed, birds are being nested, bees are being buzzed, rains are being gathered, winds are being blown, and poets are being silly!

The essence of this wordy spiel is the word BEING. “Let everything that has breath and life reveal its Creator, almighty God. (Psalm 150:6)” After enduring the winter doldrums, one cannot hold in the living words, action words, words of LIFE. Yes, it is a time to play, to rejoice, to give thanks to our heavenly Father, for all good things come from Him.

This time of year can be fickle, as this sampling records from the mighty pen of Robert Frost:

Two Tramps in Mud Time
“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.”

Good thoughts I’m sending your way to embellish your month of May. And as my dad always said: “Keep a liff upper stip!”

 

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!

Mothering Memories

 

 

Girl Blowing on a Dandelion --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved.

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Do you ever have memories that poke a hole in your sunny-day balloon, sucking joyful moments forth with heart retching thuds of regrets?    Yea, sure you do; everyone does.  A single dandelion in May can move torrents of tears from the bottle of hidden hurts.   Yes, a single flower.  You don’t call a dandelion a flower?  Ok, how about a blossom?  I say, anything that breaks winter’s bleakness is a blossom, a flower.  But oh, what a blossom this was!  It drew the attention of Annie like a hound to a hare.  She couldn’t leave it alone; she just had to pick it, take it home to her mama.  In her mind, her 5 year old mind, that dandelion was the prettiest thing she had ever seen.

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Poking up from the dingy freeze-dried grass in the old apple orchard, the buttery globe beckoned to the frolicking girl.  She scampered over to the lone flower and swiped it from its tall green stem, a smile wrinkling up her blushing, freckled face.  That was her final act–her short life had ended.

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She had lost her balance while turning towards the house and was swallowed up in one gulping burst of air rising from an old well left uncovered so many years ago.  Her slight willowy body was found two days later, her chubby fingers still clutching the dandelion.  Her mother knew at once what had transpired that day; her little Annie had found a flower for her.  If only she had gone with Annie to search out some treasures, if onlyif only.

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Why did that dandelion pop into view from the entire realm of their surroundings?

Why hadn’t they been told about the uncovered well when they bought the place last winter?

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Memories haunt us as nothing else does all our live-long days.  How tightly woven are our days.  The hours, minutes and seconds, all fit together like a new suit.  We are gifted with a new cover each day.  The question is what to wear.  All too often we dwell on the suit that was cast off yesterday.   In all reality we can’t wear it; it doesn’t fit anymore.  It was made only for one day… then disappears into the foggy dew of yesterday.    We have changed.  Tomorrow is a new day, sporting a new suit, prepared for us by our Creator.

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“Learn to put on the mantle of love,

the cloak of joy,

the robe of peace,

the wrap of longsuffering,

the scarf of gentleness,

the stole of goodness,

the cape of faith,

the shroud of meekness

and the overcoat of self-control.”

Select your wardrobe carefully, that you might live in the Spirit and also walk in the Spirit.  Amen

Gal.  5:22-25

Heavenly Lullabies

bible2

 

 

Heavenly Lullabies

 

© 2013 Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

 

“Happy New Year!” is on its way; it’s knocking at the door.  Are we ready with some tried-and-true resolutions to spruce up the old BODY?   Weight loss, new job, quit smoking, kick the drugs and booze habit, smile more at the world, spend more time with the family, lean harder on the budget, sock more money away each month . . .these objectives will certainly tidy up our persona for a better year ahead. 

What about our spiritual features?  Are they on extended vacation from the divine practices and nourishment our sacred nature requires?   Hopefully not. The world distracts our focus away from godly nutrition, pleading instead to the louder more sensual intonations of our carnal nature.  Instead of developing a deeper faith in our Creator, we find ourselves tossed about, clinging to life on a slippery slope and being slapped by one fear after another.

Everywhere we look there is turmoil, anxiety, fear, tension, and dread.  What are we to do? Is this what life is all about?  To put it succinctly, NO!

Life is relying on the Lord for strength and sustenance in the physical body AND in the spiritual body. 

Jesus warns us to quit worrying about things that hinder our walk in the spirit. As Christians, we have precious encouragement, “Don’t worry about what tomorrow will bring you, for it will take care of itself.” (Matt. 6:34)

What’s He saying here? Do not worry or become over-anxious.  Ok, but why does He say this when all about us are fearful distractions? Are we looking in all the wrong places for help?

He adds:  Matt. 6:33: Don’t worry about what you will eat, what you will drink, or if you will be clothed.  Non-believers worry about those things!   “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness…and all your needs will be provided to you.”

In summation, Jesus tells us that God is still in charge of our lives; He knows our every need. “For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of these things.” (Matt. 6:32b)

What assurance! What RE-assurance! Our heavenly Father knows. Think about it. God is the creator of all things, even us, and planned the world’s itinerary from its beginning onward. And here we are, worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow. “O ye of little faith!” (Matt. 6:30)

Phil. 4:6-7 “May I be anxious for nothing, and in all things by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, may I make my needs known to You; and I know that Your peace, which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind through Jesus Christ.  Amen.”

 

May the melodious wisdom of our Father saturate and strengthen our hearts and minds as we feast on His bountiful promises.  Let us relearn the heart songs of His Word as heavenly lullabies that trickle into our inner realm, releasing our fears and weaknesses. 

Joy to the world; the Lord has come!  Be refreshed!  Be renewed!  . . . by His peace and joy. 

Alleluia and Amen!

 

M or M

redsoxwin

 


© 2013 Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

 

Matthew 6a:24 “No one can SERVE two masters; for either he will hate the one and will love the other, or he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” KJV

Jesus says here that we cannot serve God and mammon. Let’s delve into His meaning so we can apply this wisdom to our minds. What does serve mean? It means to become a servant of, or, become enslaved.  When we serve God or mammon, we are taking care of business for God or mammon.

All right . . . who is God? God is the Creator who made everything in this world. He made people from the dirt of the earth. I’ve heard the expression older than dirt, and now I know how far back that goes! Therefore, God is the Main Man, the head honcho, the Master, number One. He says so Himself in Exodus 3: 1-12. This might be a good place to pause and read all about it! The Old Testament is chock full of exciting discoveries.

Mammon is all about wealth, money, greed, ambition, and/or riches. Oh, that! Yes, that. Right away, we see that we have a dilemma. That little two letter word, or, snaps our attention. How does serving God differ from serving mammon? Serving God entails presenting to Him all our praise, honor, love and adoration as part of our daily lives.

How do we serve mammon? Serving mammon is submitting all our love, praise, honor and adoration to our possessions and achievements. Wealth, money, greed, ambition, and riches become the main reason for getting up every morning. Yes, they do become our masters if we trust in them for our daily needs. We cannot trust in God while we trust in our selves, our money, our possessions, our positions, our anything. We are NOT servants of God if we devote our given time (our life) to anything other than God.

Example: A Boston Red Sox player is at bat. He is there to drive in runs for his team so they can outscore the New York Yankees. Yet, when this same player defensively plays center field and purposely allows a Yankee player to hit a ball past him, he is defeating his purpose. He cannot play for both teams! He cannot serve both the Red Sox and the Yankees. One team has to hold all his attention and devotion or he is not good for either team.

So . . . as servants of God, we also must be wholly committed and devoted to God and to the things of God. We are on God’s team and anything we do to hinder or dishonor this team results in a loss of our usefulness and effectiveness to this team.

In Luke 2:49, Jesus tells his parents that He “must be about His Father’s business.” As children of God, we also have a single purpose in this life. Our hearts, minds, and spirits must always be about our Father’s business. We know we cannot truly serve Him while we are about the business of anything else. We must correct our course daily by communion with our heavenly Father.

“…by the mercies of God, present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Rom. 12:1-2 (ASV)

 ~shalom

 

 

 

 

 

Our Birthday Pledge, July 4, 1776

declaration

 

 

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

He has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their Public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People and eat out their Substance.

He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our Legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the World:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

He is, at this Time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.—And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

John Hancock
Samuel Chase
Wm. Paca
Thos. Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Th. Jefferson
Benj. Harrison
Thos. Nelson Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Robt. Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benj. Franklin
John Morton
Geo. Clymer
Jas. Smith
Geo. Taylor
James Wilson
Geo. Ross
Caesar Rodney
Geo. Read
Thom. Kean
Wm. Floyd
Phil. Livingston
Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett
Fran. Lewis
Lewis Morris
Rich. Stockton
Jn. Witherspoon
Fra. Hopkinson
John Hart
Abra. Clark
Josiah Bartlett
Wm. Whipple
Saml. Adams
John Adams
Robt. Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Step. Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Saml. Huntington
Wm. Williams
Oliver Wolcott
Matthew Thornton
Wm. Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
Edward Rutledge
Thos. Heyward Jun.
Thomas Lynch Jun.
Lyman Hall
Geo. Walton