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

From Rags to Riches

poor clothes

© Jeanne E Webster. All rights observed and reserved.

Luke 15:20 “…But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion…”

 

“Upon the cross of Jesus

Mine eyes at times can see

The very dying form of one

Who suffered there for me:

And from my stricken heart with tears,

Two wonders I confess–

The wonders of redeeming love

And my unworthiness.”

~Elizabeth C. Clephane

 

“Beneath the Cross of Jesus” has always been a favorite hymn of mine. It bores deeply to the very core of my being. As I sing the second verse my throat lumps up, my heart skips a beat and I am transported to that God-forsaken hill, standing in the shadow of my tormented and tortured Savior.

Trembling, mumbling, praying, hurting and crying, I kneel and bow before the King of kings and Lord of lords. His blood-drained form beckons me look up… and I see… the wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.

Imagine having a “father” who loves us despite our deliberate disobedience, our numerous jaunts in the dirty gutters of shame, repetitive relishments in the pits of selfishness, consistent pointed fingers at others’ mistakes and those moments or years of rejection when we forsook Him for Satan’s lies. How a holy God could hear our pleas for forgiveness, much less pardon our iniquities? Sins come wrapped in a package that can only be bought by a sinless person. What a dilemma for mankind! No person has ever lived a sin-free life.

But wait. The priceless wonders of God’s redeeming love are mind-boggling. You see… His love covers our sins and remembers them no more. “Why? How?” you ask.

Well… a long time ago God came down from heaven in the form of His Son Jesus and paid the ransom for our sins. The cost was death to the Redeemer. Jesus was savagely whipped, flayed and mocked til His body was almost bled out, with crucifixion being the final indignity.

Hanging by three stout nails pounded through His hands and feet into a rugged chunk of wood, He saw us afar off atop that hill called Calvary. He died a slow, horribly agonizing death, for you, me, and all who believe in His redemption and saving grace. What a Redeemer; what a Savior!

His death and suffering would not have saved us from the fires of hell if not for what happened three days later. Rising from His grave, He set the captives free from the hold of hell, loosing the bonds of death over us. He lives forever, and so shall we!

He rose up into heaven to reign with His Father and is preparing our new eternal home. The Holy Spirit was sent to enlighten our way through Bible study, as Jesus unceasingly prays for our souls. Oh, believers, the wonder of it all!

The next vision that we see is a stark contrast to the sinless form of a holy Son: our utterly depraved unworthiness. We are all so undeserving of His love and grace. No matter how hard we try, we can’t make ourselves good enough to approach a holy God. Looking upon our soiled “garments”, our spirits can only cry out earnestly as with the prophet Isaiah, “Woe is me! I am undone!”

Oh, may we meditate upon the amazing grace of God!

As Helen H. Lemmel so eloquently penned: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim In the light of His glory and grace.”

 

 (Photo source:

http://10ipresentselizabethanengland.wikispaces.com)

Hey! . . .

listen

 

© 2011 Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed.

“Hey, you no da lawd?”

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“Huh?”

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“Da Lawd, you no him?”

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“Who is he?”

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“He’s my bes’ frend, dats who.”

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“Huh?”

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“My bes’ frend!”

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“I don’t get it.”

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“Ah met him when ah was los’.”

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“Lost? When did you get lost?”

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“Many a yeer ago, it was.”

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“Huh?”

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“Ah was a sinner, da worst you ever seed.”

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“A sinner? What do you mean?”

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“Ah was goin’ to hell fer sure! Ah was bad.”

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“No. What do you mean bad?”

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“Ah lied, ah stoled, ah hurt peoples.”

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“You did?”

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“Yep ah did! Ah tole you ah was bad.”

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“You aren’t bad anymore. What happened?”

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“Ah got real lonesome once and feelin’ bad, an’ ah was walkin’ down da street an’ pass dis church an’ hears dis voice callin’ me. He sez, ‘Come home, come home. Jesus is callin’ you home.’

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“So ah walks up da steps an’ rite thru da door…and dere he was! He was standin’ dere wid his arms wide open. Ah takes a sit and listens real quiet like. Ah heard about dis Jesus.

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“He loves even lil’ chil’ren. He loves everyone, even me. Even tho’ ah been bad…even tho’ ah hurt folks an’ lie an’ steal. He forgives all da bad stuff and makes me feel clean. Ah don’t ‘member feelin’ so clean, ever. Ah always feel so dirty. But ah heard ‘bout dis Jesus man and he was makin’ me feel good, like ah was somebody.

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“He cared ‘bout me and loves me so much. He is God’s son and come here long ago. He let da bad people beat on him real bad. He was bleedin’ so an’ dey drag him thru da street and make him tote dis big wood cross. Den dey stuck him wid dese real big nails an’ stuck him to dat cross til he went and died. Dey put him in a cave an’ shut it up wid a big rock. All his frends was sad an’ afraid an’ dey run off an’ hid out.

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“But three days later he come back to life! He done climbed out of hell! He was all better. He wasn’t bleeding anymore. He promised to go back to heaven an’ make houses for everybody who loves him, so dey can live in heaven wid him someday. He promised to come back again too. An’ he will take us home to live wid him an’ God.

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“He sed he was God’s only son an’ dat he will forgive all our sins if we let him love us an’ take out da bad stuff.

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“Ah want him to take da bad stuff out so ah bowed my hed an’ asked him to take it out. An’ he did! Ah knows he loves me an’ ah loves him too.

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“So…do you no’s da lawd? He died fer you an’ he loves you.”

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“Ah, er, no, ok…tell me more. Tell me more.”

 

Old Carcasses

Medical

 

 

© 2013  Jeanne E. Webster.   All rights reserved

Been thinking…

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)

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 but have not asked God to forgive your sin.  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.  If God forgives you, you must also forgive yourself; set your spirit free under the auspices of our Almighty Father.

Forgive yourself.   Fragmented into two words, forgive means “on behalf of, share.” (For meaning “on behalf of”, and give meaning “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.

Okay, Daddy!

Boy Hiding Gift Behind His Back

© 2013 Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

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“What do you have in your hands, little one?

What are you hiding there?”

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“Nothing, Daddy,” he said,

With a whisper and a prayer.

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“You’re looking ill at ease, little one.”

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“But I’m careful, Daddy.”

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“Open up and let me see;

Those things you don’t really need.”

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“I‘ll give them up one day, Daddy!”

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“Ah, but I want you to have a joyful life;

Give me all your toxic devices;

They’re not good for you.”

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“Give up those seeds of Selfishness

And that big ball of Pride;

Tricky Hypocrisy bid adieu

Let bones of Contention slide.”

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“Okay, Daddy, is that enough for now?”

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“Give me your pinch of Hatred

That pocket of Deceit and Envy,

The stinky black bag of Backbiting,

That shiny boasting coin called Me.”

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“How can I give up all these, Daddy?”

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“You must if you want the best

Of life that I have for you.

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“Let me have that snip of Lying

And biting Promise Breaking,

That sooty batch of Cruelty

And lots of Tricky Handshaking.

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“Your Judgment list of others

Is corrupt and so unclean;

Your rock of  Hardheartedness,

Will bring you down so mean.

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“Repent and ask forgiveness;

Give me your unclean baubles;

They only bring pain and suffering

Adding more and more big troubles.”

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“Unfilled hands should clutch things

Like Grace, Peace and Joy,

Salvation, Glory, and Honor

And Eternal Life employ.

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“I offer you Charity and Patience,

Remission of sins and Hope,

Mercy, Blessing and Humility,

And tons of Wisdom to cope.”

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“Okay, Daddy!”

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NaPoWriMo   Day 19

A Piece of Peace

Image

© Jeanne E Webster

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Gone are the worthy grades in school

The family get-togethers at the pool

The drugs keep telling him he’s cool

…doesn’t realize he’s playing the fool

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She’s waiting tables and turning tricks

Mind’s cloudy…nothing seems to click

Known on the street as one cute chick

…doesn’t realize she’s getting really sick

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Preaching sermons Sunday morns and night

Those Bible verses he can so easily cite

A bottle of booze he’s hidden out of sight

…struggling to step back into the Light.

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People everywhere are battling each day

Failing yet trying to get back up some way

Keeping those demons somehow at bay

Oh, Lord, bring peace into their souls today

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Lord, we all need your peace in our souls today.

Soul Shine

Image

Soul Shine

© Jeanne E Webster

Thank you for the memories,

The joys and wonders of life,

The blessing of divine glories…

What peace abundantly rife!

~

You birthed me as a baby girl,

Swaddled up in my mother’s arms;

Tenderly kissed my golden curls

As I snuggled in her charms.

~

Thanks for all my family and friends,

Thanks for pretty flowers and weeds.

Sunshine and rain brought amends

As You sought to establish Your seeds.

~

Oh God, my sins no longer sting

They’re hung on the cross of Jesus.

He entered into my life to bring

A life so much more prestigious.

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Your truth appeased my doubting heart

I was healed by Your living waters.

Eternal life You did truly impart

To my lost spirit and many others.

~

I peered inside my very soul;

Faithfully, You are present there.

See that loving spirit glow…

A sweet heavenly flare!  Amen

(jew)