I’m Flyin’

© Jeanne E Webster – All rights reserved

 

 

I am a perpetual dreamer.  As a little girl, I believed in the little stories I read, the songs I sang, and the few movies I saw.  I could vanish for a whole day in the words of Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah—

“Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay My, oh my, what a wonderful day Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

“Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder It’s the truth, it’s actual Ev’rything is satisfactual Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay Wonderful feeling, wonderful day, yes sir!”

~ by Ray Gilbert

and rematerialize with that bluebird on my shoulder.  Every word etched its meaning into my spirit, and the sunshine did head my way.  It’s the truth…it’s actual.

Being little was the grandest time of life.  As little people we accepted things with simplicity and an anything goes attitude.  If we could imagine it, then IT was real.  Do you remember playing cops and robbers?  Cowboys and Indians?  (I must interject here that I was a tomboy!) You could be Tonto or the Lone Ranger; you became Dick Tracy til you went to bed and woke up to a new identity.  Or you became Silver and could run faster than any other horse.  You even knew where to find the best sour grass in the whole world, that secret place out behind Grandpa’s barn.

I think my favorite hero to play was Superman.  There was this special field near my house that had a long narrow lay of the land, with a slight dip in the middle of it, perfect for lift-off.  I’d start at one end of it and run for all it was worth til I reached the middle.  There I would jump into the air, arms outstretched and nose to the clouds, believing with all my stubby legs that I was IN THE AIR…only to set down a few seconds later on the dusty dry ground.  But I kept trying and trying…and trying.  Oh, what fun, acting as these imaginary people.

One song especially affected my young life:

Somewhere over the Rainbow

*composed by Harold Arlen and the lyrics by E.Y. Harburg.

When all the world is a hopeless jumble And the raindrops tumble all around, Heaven opens a magic lane When all the clouds darken up the skyway, There’s a rainbow highway to be found Leading from your window pane To a place behind the sun, Just a step beyond the rain

Somewhere over the rainbow Bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow. Why then, oh why can’t I?

 

I sang that song with my heart, thinking that if I truly believed, I could fly over that rainbow with those bluebirds.  With childlike faith I DID fly over the rainbow.  It launched me into an imagined escape from the very troubled world in which I actually lived, an escape I desperately needed.

I still dream…every time I read a book, a poem, watch a movie, attend a play, hear Handel’s Messiah at Christmas time, and more.  Heaven does open, like the song trilled, to a place beyond the sun, just a step beyond the rain…to a whole new world that God calls heaven.  The Bible states that a heavenly home waits for everyone that has drawn their life on the account of Jesus Christ.  And it’s not a dream.  It is reality.  It’s signed, sealed and delivered…waiting for the nod of your head, the creaking open of the door to your heart, the throwing down of the ultimate freewill of one’s soul.  “Yes, Lord, I am yours.”

L’Chaim!

 

All Clear!

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 ©2016 Jeanne E Webster.  All Rights Reserved.

Revelation 1:5e “…unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood…”

 

Whenever our city water supply develops defects, a boil order is issued.  This alarm warns residents that the water is unsafe to drink and needs to be boiled prior to drinking it. This order is issued quite often and makes me wonder how safe our water really is. After repairs have been completed, an all-clear statement is then issued, meaning the water is safe for drinking.

How aware are we of spiritual dangers that lurk in our environment, such as television and radio programming, movies, video games, magazines, and books?   Do we need to “make repairs” prior to issuing an all-clear signal?

Water is the primary sustainer of life; let’s make sure it is clean.

Spiritual food is necessary to sustain and enhance spiritual life; let’s make sure it is of God.

 

Dusty Road to Forgiveness

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© 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 

 

 

 

 

 

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

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© Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved.

The self-seeking soul is a robber, for he steals from God that which belongs to Him and takes for himself that which belongs to others. Not only does self-seeking carry on its devilish work out in the world but also in the gatherings of religious people, in the house of the righteous, even in the hearts of those who desire to follow the unselfish Jesus. It is self-seeking when one desires to appear more pious than others, to pray more beautifully than others, when one always wants to have the advantage for oneself. But the scriptures say, “Cursed be the deceiver.” Malachi 1:14 K.J.V. ~by G. Steinberger from Footprints

After reading and deeply gleaning from old Malachi, I must admit: I have been, still am at times, A DECEIVER! Meditate on Malachi 1:6-14 and see what you find within your spirit. Are you a deceiver also? Think about that.

You’d think I would have gotten over my SELF by now, being a Christian for over half a century. Are you over your SELF now, my Christian friend? Let me warn you; it’s all too easy to answer, “Yes.” I ploughed through my motive file and polished it up with all the honesty I could muster… and saw the real ME. I was shocked and ashamed, for SELF had deceived me. My motives were the clear indicators, the defining marks.

I realize I need some soul therapy, some deep-down soul cleansing. Like that old song goes, “I’m gonna wash that man right outta my hair”…well, I’m gonna wash that SELF right outta my soul. Oops … wrong again. I can’t rid my spirit of selfishness, but I know a Man who can: Jesus Christ, my Lord and King. There’s a tiny bit of selfishness in this article I’m writing right now. I know it. I feel it. I will pray the Lord remove it. I have no need to boast, except in the Lord Jesus. In Him I will live and breathe throughout all eternity.

Amen

Putting On

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© 2013 Jeanne E Webster – All rights reserved

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

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 fully arrived spiritually.

Tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, 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 worn in the presence of an adversary, 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 mercies? Kindness maybe? Or better yet, how about humility underneath the longsuffering?

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

This is My Blood

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© 2009 Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved and Observed.

 

 

Have you ever had “wondering” days

When you sit and reflect upon things?

Certain thoughts will linger and laze,

And before you know it, take wings.

.

I wondered about Mary today,

The mother of Christ Jesus, our Lord.

She tarried with intent to stay,

(Heart and soul of woeful accord),

.

That day when they took Jesus, her son.

They mangled him then nailed him fast.

Judas betrayed this holy One

For silver that would never last.

.

She tarried there on that blood-soaked hill,

Weeping… wanting so to hold her boy.

She knew his body they did kill

But never his spirit destroy.

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His ravaged flesh taken from the tree;

Mary’s tears flowing with his blood.

She cradled him so lovingly

As the soil churned into red mud.

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His corpse, taken to a tomb quite near,

Was wrapped up in spices and herbs.

Mary trudged home with Sabbath tears,

Her heavy heart greatly disturbed.

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Do you think underneath all that dirt,

Does that hill still preserve hallowed mud…

The evidence of Mary’s hurt—-

Her tears mingled with Jesus’ blood?

Old Bones …Old Bones

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© Jeanne E Webster.  All Rights Reserved and Observed.

Matt. 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you forgive not men their sins, neither will your Father forgive your sins.” (KJV)

Christians, Jesus taught us to forgive others as we hope to be forgiven by God. Do we pray earnestly for God to forgive our sins? Does He forgive us because we prayed earnestly and were sorry? We have a double clutch here to deal with, a twin assessment.

Christ says: 1. You forgive others AND you will be forgiven. 2. You do not forgive others AND you will not be forgiven. Our choice can be a double-edged sword: “If not…then you will not…”

The choice we make also brings out the worst or best in others and ourselves. A forgiven soul is a renewed spirit, no longer shackled to the agony of despair. An unforgiven spirit and/or an unforgiving spirit cannot be transformed; the presence of sin hinders any restoration.

We see here that God has the perfect solution to sin’s hold over us. We acknowledge our sin, repent, and we walk free…wait a minute…oh, yeah, AND forgive the person who did me wrong. Hmmmm, that’s not so easy, is it? However, we do it; we forgive, sometimes begrudgingly, so God will own up to His part of the deal. Most times we do not realize that our forgiveness has enabled another to breathe freer, hope longer, and see clearer the right way to live. This interaction trickles out to others and furthers a godly perspective. In other words, the world gets nicer, the natives drum slower, and life is good.

Let’s take this one step further: you’ve blundered, repented, then asked God to forgive your sin, which He does. Will you be an unforgiving spirit to yourself? If so, you are an unforgiven spirit wandering through life unable to accept the best God has in store for you. Forgive yourself. Fragmented into two words, forgive means “on behalf of, share.” (For means “on behalf of”, and give means “share”) Share on behalf of whom? Yourself.

We all have stubbornly dragged around old carcasses of mistakes too long. We bury them, then later dig them up to chew on again. We won’t let them alone, whether out of embarrassment, shame or anger at ourselves. We find it troublesome to forgive ourselves when we’ve really messed up big time, to say nothing about the many small incidents. We kick ourselves in the pants, we bite at everybody, we appear down in the mouth, and fret over the memories and won’t let them go. Well… why not? God has forgiven us! We need to forgive ourselves; then we’ll be all better. Let’s start today. Get out those old chewed carcasses and bury them one last time. They are held against us no more. What a brighter, cheerier outlook we’ll have. Release His power and accept His best. Amen.

Shalom