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)

New Year Pause


©Jeanne Webster – All rights reserved

Resolutions, everyone? How about a revelation then? I’m not a great resolutionist of idle thought, but give me revelation of a gap in my relationship with God, I’ll report for duty every time. This New Year I have resolved to intensify my closeness to God. My spirit tells me I need to; my heart rejoices with the thought.

Where do I begin this trek? I think I’ll start with my prayer time. I’ve rather become a mite flippant, a little fiddling instead of a lot of communicating. With a bit of introspection, we could all draw closer to God, don’t you think?

A favorite hymn that always causes me to ponder with wonder:
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I Know Whom I Have Believed
~Daniel W. Whittle 1840-1901

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me he hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for his own.

Refrain:
But I know whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that he is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

 

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

Refrain:

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word
Creating faith in Him.

Refrain:

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.

Refrain:

BUT I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED,
AND AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE
TO KEEP THAT WHICH I’VE COMMITTED
UNTO HIM AGAINST THAT DAY.
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Happy New Year, my friends in Christ.
Shalom,
Jeanne

Have Mercy on Me

©Jeanne E Webster- All rights reserved

 

Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, sat
Beside the Jericho road,
Crying out to those passing him by
For alms to lighten his load.

One day a great crowd swarmed on past
He inquired, “Who goes there?”
When told that it was Jesus the Christ,
He shouted into the air:

Chorus:
“Son of David, have mercy on me!
Oh, please have mercy on me!”
Some of the crowd tried to quiet him
But he still cried out his plea.

Jesus heard him and looking around
Commanded, “Bring forth that man!”
Bartimaeus rose and dropped his cloak
And grasped for the Master’s hand.

Jesus asked, “What do you want of me?”
“Oh my Lord, that I might see!”
Jesus replied, “Then go your way;
Your faith has set you free!”

Chorus:
“Son of David, have mercy on me!
The Lord had mercy on me!
I once was blind but now I see;
Christ Jesus has set me free!”

Are you stuck by your Jericho road,
Tired of your life full of sin?
Cry out to Jesus; He is the door.
Open it and walk right in.

The crowds may tell you it’s all in vain:
“Be quiet; let Him go by!”
But open your heart and pray out loud;
The Master will hear your cry.

Chorus:
“Son of David, have mercy on me!
The Lord had mercy on me!
Oh, what joy is ours, what peace divine
When Christ Jesus sets us free!”

Based on Matt. 20:30-34

(I have written the score for this song also.)

Don’t You Care?

 

© Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

 

Mark 4:37 There arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship asleep on a pillow, and they awake him, and say unto him, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?”

And he arose and rebuked the wind and said unto the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them: 

“Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly and said one to another, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Jesus had preached to thousands from the deck of a large boat that day, expounding in parables the mysteries of God. Some Bible scholars believe our Lord used this method of teaching as judgment on the hearers’ spiritual dullness, yet leaving intact God’s willingness to enlighten and save them. Later, alone with His disciples, Jesus revealed to them these mysteries.

Evening drew near and our Lord told them to sail across to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. They soon departed the shore, having sent away the masses of people; their Master was at rest in the stern of the boat.
Quite rapidly, as happened often in that area, a vicious storm had developed, with gale-force winds hefting their muscle and pitching wave after wave of water into their boat. It soon became dangerously full, stoking the worst fears of the disciples. A day basking in the warmth of their master’s voice bearing witness of God’s love to the people had now ended in an evening of extreme terror.

Their first thoughts were, “Do something!” “Wake up!” “Don’t you care if we drown?!”

They were gut-cut afraid; out of their minds afraid. Where was the Watchman? The Master was present in the boat but asleep on a pillow. He was sleeping on His watch!

“Master! Master! Save us! We’re going to drown!”

How many times do we reach a like stress point and scream,  “Master! Save us!”

We know all too well Jesus is with us, see Him at peace among us, believe He is watching over us, yet we grow fearful, not necessarily of dying but of believing that Jesus can save us, no matter what storm thunders through our lives. It is said that faith dispels fear only in proportion to its strength.

After quickly rebuking the winds and the sea waters, Jesus scolded the disciples, and scolds us today, “O ye of little faith!”

Faith turns and flees the scene of terror, leaving only fingernail strength hanging to the dangling threads of our Master’s garment.

“Why are you so afraid?” Christ admonished His disciples, chiefly because of their little faith, not the lack of it.

Amid the tempest in our lives we too shrink back in fear . . . when suddenly the storm is over. He has hushed the howling of legions of marauding tribulations. He has stilled the storm; the waters have stopped and rise no more. We too utter a soul-deep gush of wonder:  “What manner of Man is this?!”

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O Thou, in all Thy might so far
~by Frederick L. Hosmer

O Thou, in all Thy might so far,
In all Thy love so near,
Beyond the range of sun and star,
And yet beside us here.

What heart can comprehend Thy Name,
Or, searching, find Thee out,
Who art within, a quickening Flame,
A Presence round about.

Yet though I know Thee but in part,
I ask not, Lord, for more;
Enough for me to know Thou art,
To love Thee and adore.

And dearer than all things I know
Is childlike faith to me,
That makes the darkest way I go
An open path to Thee.

(Written on the night of Hurricane Sandy, 2012, besetting the entire East coast, flooding New York City. A horrendous storm!)

Onward!

rocks

© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved

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Your great promises, Lord, kept me on track

Sharp-set stones deeply cut, my strength spent

I could not meet your eyes if I turned back…

So on I went.

.

You would not yield your faith in me

As menacing crags threatened to bar

I conquered inch by terrified inch to see…

My goal afar.

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I struggle now amid harsh golden years…

I flinch; falter blindly, yet deep within,

“You can!” my spirit, unwavering, hears…

Lord, we shall win.

Dusty Road to Forgiveness

whirlwind

© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved.

 

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he wrote, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do:  forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before…” (Phil. 3:13-14).

Paul’s exhortation is for 0ur ears also. Have we become too comfortable in our apprehended state?  Do we feel that we have arrived merely because of our age or years of service to the Lord?  Does our Christian life reflect maturity in our walk with the Lord?

Sometimes we feel we are on the right highway, yet other times we’re tossed about with the wind.  Christ is so close sometimes we can feel the hem of His garment!  On the other hand, we tremble like children in the presence of unknown paths ahead.  “O ye of little faith!”

Someone has well said:  “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday!”  Are we choosing to allow the past to handicap us for our future?  Do our mistakes, our weaknesses from our past still cling to us like festering sores?  If we truly have been forgiven and redeemed by the blood of Christ, the sordid past is long gone, like dust in the whirlwind.

There’s a song along this line:

If I have wounded any soul today,

If I have caused one foot to go astray,

If I have walked in my own willful way,

Dear Lord, forgive!

 

If I have uttered idle words or vain,

If I have turned aside from want or pain,

Lest I myself shall suffer through the strain,

Dear Lord, forgive!

 

If I have been perverse or hard, or cold,

If I have longed for shelter in Thy fold,

When Thou hast given me some fort to hold,

Dear Lord, forgive!

 

Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee;

Forgive the secret sins I do not see;

O guide me, love me and my keeper be,

Dear Lord, forgive!

Amen.

~~C. Maude Battersby

Source: African American Heritage Hymnal #366

 

1 John 2:28 tells us, “And now, little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”

 

Almighty God and Father, grant us this day the strength and courage to remain faithful to You and Your commandments.  Whatever our circumstances, whatever our past, walk with us into our future, because without You, we shall lose our way.  Enable us to keep the faith, run the race, and enter into Your glorious presence with tears of great joy and love for Your loving-kindness towards us.  In Jesus’ name…Amen 

 

 

 

 

 

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!