Don’t Mess with the Man!


© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved

 

“He is your praise and your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.” Deut. 10:21

Moses spoke these words to Israel prior to their journey into the land of promise. He had placed the tables of stone into the ark as God had commanded, and now it was time for Israel to prove their mettle.

“Go in and possess the land which I have sworn unto your fathers.”

Moses exhorted Israel to:

Fear the Lord
Walk in all His ways
Love the Lord
Serve Him with all your heart and soul
Keep His laws
Circumcise the foreskin of your heart
Be flexible
Love the strangers among you
Trust the Lord

The exhortations above sound quite familiar, don’t they? As Christians, we hold to each of them in our daily walk with Christ. Moses was admonishing Israel to remember all that God had done for them and to cling to this great God who had brought them out of bondage. We too need this reminder.

It’s all too easy to interact with God as if He were a sugar daddy or an easy mark. NO! He is the awesome God of Israel, the great I AM! Don’t mess with the MAN! Fear Him, respect Him, stand before Him in awe, and esteem Him. He’s number ONE.

Walk in ways that reflect His love and mercy to others. Love Him with that bone-deep, heart-booming passion born from a worshipful spirit. Serve Him heartily, wholly, with all the gusto you can muster. Keep His commandments and you’ll reap many rewards. Discipline yourself, lean into the yoke and pull hard. Right next to you on the other side is Jesus. Just remember that.

Love the stranger among you, for you were once strangers also. Cling fast to the Lord and He will always be with you.

Make it a practice to praise the Lord–-with thanksgiving and a humble spirit. Think back to the wondrous moments He lightened your life. Ponder what He is doing for you right this moment. Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him . . . our wonderful Redeemer!

Amen

The Song of the Lark

 

© 2013 Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved

A dazzling orange sphere emerging in the eastern sky
[Or is it slowly setting in the west? Any comments?]
Roof ridges atop a teetering, shadowy farmhouse and barns
Cutting into a golden idyllic horizon.
.
Acres of lush verdant weeds/crops lie in a blurry expanse
Fast forwarding to the large brown cultivated plot of dry rows
As the viewer closes in on the central figure with amazement
A peasant woman standing in the front of the field.
.
She is the foremost and largest object tiered in the painting
A dark blue bandana wrapping most of her dark brown hair
A faded blue weather-worn short-sleeved blouse
Tops her denim work apron tied across her mid-section.
.
Muscular arms and hands accustomed to farm labors
Dark cotton-looking full length skirt stops at mid-calf
Soil smeared stout feet walking forward in mid-stride
Along a well-worn compressed field path.
.
Thick black eyebrows outline her bright blue eyes
Her lips part in wonderment as her cheeks flush
Standing erect, her eyes seem transfixed and glassy
She waits–gripping a scythe in her right hand.
.
Lo, she is suddenly mesmerized by the song of a lark
Her entire being appears to hold in pause mode
Beautifully enraptured facial features,
Almost religiously painted, one can sense the passion
Of the young peasant woman abruptly taken aback
By the sacred sound of the lark.
Beautifully done.

 

[Ekphrastic poem describing a painting by Jules Breton: The Song of the Lark]

The reproduction seen here does not do justice to the painting, as it is dulled in brilliance and the colors are quite subdued. This is offered merely to give the reader a small semblance of the real painting.

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Treasure-Filled?

treasure

 

©2010 Jeanne E. Webster. All rights reserved

Recently I heard someone describe many of our politicians as “empty vessels,” perhaps hinting at a dearth of ethics and/or morals in the political arena.

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthian church regarding “earthen” vessels filled with the indwelling of God. (2 Cor. 4:1-18) What a contrast!

A return to the old covenant scripture reminds us that God dwelt in a tent among His people as evidence that He was with them. Today we know His presence within our hearts, placed there by that same Spirit of the living God as evidenced by the new covenant. Our power or strength had nothing to do with it. This treasure is none other than the gospel of Christ, the image of God. You want to know more of God, then look fully into Jesus’ face!

Why would God see fit to put into our feeble bodies such a great treasure? …So that the world may see Christ in us through the “excellency of God’s power.” Another fine contrast! He knows our frames, how weak we are, easily “troubled on every side yet not crushed, perplexed but not desperate, persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed.” Yet we strive to live that the life of Jesus will be manifested in this mortal flesh. Though every day our physical bodies perish, every day we grow spiritually. We know and believe with certainty that God will raise us up in like manner as Christ.

Reflect upon the things that are not visible to the naked eye; the things we see are only temporal, while the invisible things are eternal. Shine forth into this world of darkness this “light” in earthen vessels, and may we clothe ourselves in thanksgiving for the great work God has done.

“Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;

Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move;

Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,

And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

“Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love

One holy passion filling all my frame

The baptism of the heaven-descended Dove,

My heart an altar and Thy love the flame.”

~George Croly