My Sacred Refuge

 

 

© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed

 

Psalm 55:8 (KJV) “I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.”

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Everyone occasionally needs a place to escape the cares of this world, be it a quiet room, a shed, a nook in the barn, a fence post, or a piece of land where nothing intrudes into one’s thoughts and feelings. The burdens of the soul shall melt away whenever one slips into this serene, sacred realm.

For many a year, my place of refuge was a tiny chunk of land resting beside the Flint River. It was merely half an acre, but my, what a busy patch of green!

Squirrels scurried here and there burying their nuts for the long cold winters while frolicking rabbits waltzed around the grove of prickly crabapple trees. Gorging on bugs and grubs by the thousands, fat and sassy moles punched the rich, dark loam upward into long tunnels crisscrossing the grassy field. Various ducks and geese nestled alongside the banks of the rippling, cool water, displaying their beauty and serenity, whereas the feisty kingfishers zoomed overhead, diving into the murky river for their catch of the day. In the early morning dew, occasionally a deer would come tiptoeing along the lower bank, tenderly chomping fallen acorns.

Whenever this idyllic wonderland beckoned to my sagging spirit, I’d mosey on down and head for a special old tree alongside the riverbank. Snuggling down next to its weather worn trunk, I’d silently sit for a while and spiritually blend in with the land.

I sensed the spirit of the trees and the grass, the leaves and the dirt, the river and the animals, the wind and the rain, the snow, the fog, and the mist.

Within my soul came healing as I rested and communed with God. I’d tell Him all my troubles, my needs and sins, mention folks in need of prayer, praise Him for all His blessings, and thank Him for His grace. Sighing softly as the tenseness within my weary body slowly ebbed away, my spirit was restored, fully refreshed and strengthened to face anew the matters at hand.

Thank you, Father, for that mystical plot of land that served so faithfully as my refuge many years ago. Those memories shall be treasured forever.

Shalom

O God my God!

 

Psalm 107–Give Thanks unto the Lord 

. © Jeanne E Webster All Rights Reserved

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“Oh, that mankind would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!”

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Even though. . .

We rebelled against the words of God… We were bound in affliction and sins… We despised the counsel of the Most High… We hated all manner of His sustenance… We drew near to the gates of death… We were at our wits end… We were brought low through affliction, oppression and sorrow…

hugnn

Despite  all this. . .

His mercy endures forever.

He redeemed us from the enemy.

He delivered us from hunger, thirst, and despair.

He leads us in the right path.

He satisfies the longing soul.

He fills the hungry soul with goodness.

He brings us out of darkness.

He brought us from the shadow of death.

He broke our chains asunder.

He sent his word and healed us.

He calms the angry seas and storms.

He keeps affliction away.

He watches over us like a shepherd.

 

Whoever is wise and will see these things,

They shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord!
~Shalom   feather-pen.jpg

Out of the Body and into the Brink

©Jeanne E Webster

Waves Breaking Near Shore

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Mark 5:1-20

Crazed, self-mutilating, straying hopelessly among the hills and tombs of Gadarene, a demonized man rushed toward the only person in the world who could  help him     . . . Jesus.

As Jesus debarked from his ship, He admonished an unclean spirit to remove itself from the man and demanded to know its name.

“My name is Legion,” crackled the demonic spirit.  “Don’t bother with us, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God; send us into that herd of swine.”  Whoosh! From the body of the persecuted man into the swine herd the multitude of spirits bolted.  Without warning they stampeded down the hillside and into the sea, where they soon drowned.

The swine herders, greatly disturbed at their sudden loss, streaked about the town and countryside, broadcasting the event to anyone who would listen.  Later returning to the scene of the crime, who did they see?  Clothed and in his right mind, the completely restored man sat there talking one-on-one with Jesus!

As Jesus re-boarded the ship, the man followed Him and asked to join his band of followers.  Jesus rejected his request, telling him instead to go home and disclose this event with his friends.  The man joyously departed and presented the compassion and greatness of the Lord throughout the entire region.

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Put Your Hand in the Hand

By GENE MAC LELLAN

♫  ♫  ♫

Put your hand

in the hand

of the Man Who stilled the water,

Put your hand

in the hand

of the Man Who calmed the sea.

Take a look at yourself, and you can look at others differently.

Put your hand

in the hand

of the Man from Galilee.

Trust in the Lord.  He will disperse your demons, change your direction, and heal all your wounds.  Amen!

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The Morning Blessing


©Jeanne E Webster

Psalm 124

1If it had not been Jehovah who was on our side,

Let Israel now say,

2If it had not been Jehovah who was on our side,

When men rose up against us;

3Then they had swallowed us up alive,

When their wrath was kindled against us;

4Then the waters had overwhelmed us,

The stream had gone over our soul;

5Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.

6Blessed be Jehovah,

Who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.

7Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers:

The snare is broken, and we are escaped.

8Our help is in the name of Jehovah,

Who made heaven and earth.

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Night was over; an uneasy dawn crept in the bedroom window.  I stirred, shuffling the covers over me, trying to feel that warm snuggly feeling one more moment before I rose to a new day.  I needed the warm and fuzzy.  Months had come and gone since I had sensed my “safe room.”  My soul limply clung to memories, recalls of known, tried-and-true sharing with my heavenly Father.  Where had they gone?

An ominous presence had staked out my habitual trails, smearing the pathway thoroughly like a dense smudge pot cloud.  My outgoing attitude had changed into defensive warfare, a struggle to survive.  Something had changed, as if I had been hung out to dry.  Small and large satanic darts found their targets on a daily basis, and I was becoming sore and weary.  Where were the days of yore?

My spirit resolved to endure the onslaught, knowing beyond a doubt, “All is well with my soul.”  I went about praying, asking my friends for prayers, praising God, reassuring my spirit with those familiar Words of Life in the Good Book.  I knew, yes, I knew this would pass.  I just needed to hang in there on the promises of God and let Him do His work in me.  And He did.

After rising from a good night’s sleep, I greeted my husband in the kitchen for breakfast.  As we prepared the toast and coffee pot, I glanced out the window at the humming-bird feeder and took a second look with awesome wonder.  Behind the feeder, sheltered from my view, was a golden bird’s tail hanging down.  What?!  I couldn’t speak.  I pinched my husband shirt and mumbled, “Mmmm ooofff!”  He turned and peered at my focal point.  Yikes!  It was a Baltimore oriole!  Our first up-close look at one.  In that split second the bird walked around the feeder and offered a full front look.  He walked around the red bottle, tapping on the holes to the sweet nectar but having no success.  In a few moments he was gone.

What a treat, a super blessing…and a cloud breaker!  Thank you, Lord.  He hadn’t used the grey-speckled wings of a dove to break the ominous spell; it was a beautiful yellow oriole.  We were both instantly transformed at this splendid sight, within a foot from our eyes.  I could feel the positive influx into the air as it discharged the negative ions.  After breakfast we went straight to the oriole feeder on hand but never used, filling it with orange nectar.  I read in the bird book that orioles only eat very early in the morning and after 9 or 10, they have finished their daily feeding.

As we were hanging the feeder in front of the kitchen window near the humming-bird feeder, I noticed a pair of wild turkeys off in the distance shuffling along the ridge.  My husband had never seen them in that area before.  To top off the morning, a pair of Canadian geese flew over the house, honking all the way.  Oh, what a wonder spell breaker!  The morning of the birds!  Praise be to God!  Amen.

Do You Know Your Own Strength?

 

©2011 Jeanne E Webster

A farmer who was out plowing with one mule kept yelling at it,

“Giddap, Pete! Giddap, Barney! Giddap, Johnny! Giddap, Tom!”

A stranger, observing this, finally asked, “How many names does that mule have?”

“Only one,” answered the farmer.  “His name is Pete, but he doesn’t know his own strength, so I put blinders on him. Then I yell the other names at him, and he thinks three other mules are helping him!”

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In a serious sense, we sometimes feel we have blinders on when trying to plead our cause before the Lord.

We know not how to pray.”

Reaching out to others not only strengthens us but deepens our zeal. There is nothing like prayer to bring hope to the downcast, peace to the anxious, or healing to the sick.  Let us pray together.

James 5:17b The prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 

Matthew 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.