Wrestling Routine

hope

 

© 2014 Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed.

Haggai 2:4 “Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work…for I am with you, saith the Lord.” (KJV)
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“Be strong, all the people of the land, says the Lord.”

This is something we need to take personally. Write our own names here and REST in the Lord’s promise, “I am with you.”

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Are you lying in a bed of pain and woe? Do you groan because you no longer are able to drive yourself here and there? Do you need someone to help you get dressed in the morning and undressed at night?

“What is the sense?” you ask. Because the Lord says, “I am with YOU!”

You may be unable to do many things, but you can always sing and pray. And that, dear women, is your REST.

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When Samuel Rutherford lay in Aberdeen prison, Scotland, ages ago, he wrote at the top of his letters, “God’s Palace, Aberdeen.”

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When Madam Guyon was imprisoned in the castle at Vincennes, France, she said, “It seems as though I were a little bird whom the Lord has placed in a cage, and that I have nothing now to do but sing.”

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And prisons shall palaces prove, if Jesus abides with me there.
~from Mrs. Charles E. Cowman’s “Springs in the Valley”

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The past two years I have been at rest, thankfully in my own home and with family. A muscle disease has burdened me with pain, depression and many devastating side effects from the medication. All through this I have had this mighty ally, yet lost sight of Him off and on due to my missing the target of hope. Instead I focused on tomorrow, the next day, and the next day. And the day after that. I lost sight of my Lord. Many a time.

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Patience is a hard virtue to master; faith can be an elusive routine to secure

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“I’m learning, Lord!”

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Message from Debbie

feather pen

Merry Christmas Faithful Ones, Friends & Loved Ones:

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At the beginning of this rich and meaningful holiday season, I ask myself, “How will you celebrate what Christmas really means this year? “ Mentally I go through my catalog of reasons why this Christmas would be “different.” I have come up with quite a reasonable amount of reasons why this year things WILL be somewhat different or, might require a bit of “tweeking.” Until, I somberly go over that list and realize, again, that consecration of Self has no season or clime. A manger and fresh hay was sufficient for the Holy Child to begin his earthly sojourn in, and the consecration of all his life. That some swaddling clothes [strips of cloth] and enough warmth was sufficient for the King of kings to feel watched over, and that a few humble souls to welcome him with pure awareness was sufficient purpose to have heavenly angels spring forth in glorious hallelujahs and have his Identity known.

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I don’t believe any one of us had less, and, now have a thousand times more. I admit, it’s nice to have more of certain things but, it isn’t always better, for, much of those things can become distractions or idols. The world is suffering from too little of what WE could and should have so much more of, i.e. kindness, patience, time, faith, hope, trust, and goodness. Are we celebrating what Christmas really means?

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Elaine Cannon once observed: “People can be obedient like Mary, be defenders of Christ like Joseph, share the good news like angels, humbly seek the Lord like the shepherds, go to great lengths to bring gifts like the Wise Men. Also, filled with the glowing Spirit of God, they can guide others to Christ like the Star of Bethlehem!”

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I believe we’re all seeking and trying and achieving to reach the righteous desires of our hearts, and that we’ll continue to. This Season take the time to light a candle for every man to see the world of promise and hope where the Holy One awaits their welcome, the path of purpose and, the awakening to their true identity. Be that shepherd or shepherdess that celebrates Christ’s birth, life and resurrection every day whether it’s December or July.
I pray your celebrations be filled with sufficient health, peace, faith, hope and the incomparable fruit of LOVE that is available to us in Him.
Have a Wonderful Season of Holiness!

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Your faithful sister & friend ~

Debbie Avila

“Ye Shall Know Me by My Fruits” | Words Make a Difference. Use Wisely

What’s in Your Closet?

shirts

© 2013 Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

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

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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 arrived spiritually. 

Tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, 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 wear it in the presence of an adversary and 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 merciesKindness maybe?  Or better yet, how about humility underneath the long-suffering

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

  

 

 

 

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

© Jeanne E Webster

Hebrews 11—a brief

First generation Jewish Christians suffered the soul-splitting surgery of having to give up long-held traditions, only to be persecuted by family and foe alike.   Their most crushing anguish: Christ had not yet returned . . . and there was no apparent sign that He would return.

The Book of Hebrews exhorts them to hold fast to their faith in Christ.  Chapter 11 is a form of trail of tears of God’s people as they had sojourned towards the Promised Land.    Example after example of those who lived by faith in God is accounted as a good report, signifying their righteousness in the eyes of God.  “By faith. . .” they lived and died, ever advancing towards their goal.   Study this chapter.  It is a soul awakener, a study in Christian economics.  The price on the world market had been steep:  torturing, stoning, cutting apart by swords, burning alive in pots of hot oil, lunches for lions, wandering destitute, sick and tormented.  The writer of Hebrews affirms in v. 38, “Of whom the world was not worthy.”

Christians today have the same goal, and at times, comparable anguish while seeking our eternal home.  We face times of weakness, trials, pain and sufferings, persecutions, cruel mocking, bonds and imprisonment.  And, yea, even death.   Our brothers and sisters in many countries face these trials on an everyday basis.  May we be comforted in the promise that faith sustains; emotions fade away.

Heb. 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

Seek the joy that comes from doing God’s will.  Even though the fruit is unseen, know that it is there!

Shalom

Warning

© Jeanne E Webster

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Proverbs 1: 7-9

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  My son, hear the instruction of thy father and forsake not the law of thy mother. For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head and chains about thy neck.”

Fearing God, believing and knowing He is the ALLmighty, is The place to begin in achieving growth in wisdom and grace.  He has the “whole world in His hands,” as the song goes.  If you are in this world, my friend, you are in His hands.  Learn of God; don’t be as fools.   Let the jewels of wisdom shine from your being yet warn you of your attempts at folly.

“Always distinguish between warning and threatening.  God never threatens; the devil never warns.  A warning is a great arresting statement of God’s, inspired by His love and patience.  This throws a flood of light on the vivid statements of Jesus Christ, such as “How can ye escape the damnation of hell?”  There is no element of personal vindictiveness.  Be careful how you picture our Lord when you read His terrible utterances.  Read His denunciations with Calvary in your mind.”  –Taken from Oswald Chambers’ Studies in the Sermon on the Mount.

Shalom

Jacob’s Ladder

©Jeanne E Webster

 

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Gen. 28:10-12, 16-17 … Jacob went out from Beer-sheba and went toward Haran.  And he lighted upon a certain place and tarried there all night because the sun was set; and he took the stones of that place and put them for his pillows and lay down in that place to sleep.  He dreamed and saw a ladder set up on the earth and the top of it reached to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.”  In addition, he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place!  This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

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Remember the old Sunday school song:  We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder?

We are climbing Jacob’s ladder
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder
Soldiers of the cross.

Every rung goes higher and higher
Every rung goes higher and higher
Every rung goes higher, higher
Soldiers of the cross.

Rise, shine, give God glory
Rise, shine, give God your glory
Rise, shine, give God your glory
Soldier of the cross.

Keep on climbing, we will make it
Keep on climbing, we will make it
Keep on climbing, we will make it
Soldier of the cross.

Jacob’s dream of seeing angels going up and coming down a ladder to the heavens is suggestive of Christ being the means of access to heaven for believers.   Peter reiterates this point with the “precious promises” we receive from God and our Savior Jesus Christ:

2 Peter 1:4-8

“Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises, so that you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 

“Besides giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, love.  For is these things be in you and abound, they ensure that you will shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”                                         

LOVE
BROTHERLY
GODLINESS
PATIENCE
SELF-CONTROL
KNOWLEDGE
VIRTUE

[             FAITH             ] 

Father, help us to grow stronger and greater as we climb towards our spiritual maturity in the fullness of Christ.   May we truly become fruitful in our walk here on earth and not become blinded by the lusts of the flesh.  We long to see afar off, where our Savior awaits our homecoming.  Amen