Hope of Heaven

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Hope of Heaven

© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

 

Silent night . . . holy night . . .

The kingly head that was crowned with thorns

Once lay in a manger, sleeping,

Tenderly caressed by His mother, Mary.

 

O Come Emmanuel . . .

The hands that were cruelly nailed to the cross

Once healed thousands by His gentle touch,

Mercifully bestowed through His Father.

 

Amazing grace . . . how sweet the sound . . .

Those feet so harshly hammered to the wood

Once walked the sands of time for 33 years,

Presenting the hope of heaven

…to all mankind.

 

Just as I am . . . without one plea . . .

Oh Lamb of God, I come

I come!

white rose 

 

PR”I”DE

pride

 

Pricks & Pride

© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed.

~

A thorn in the flesh is healthier

Than a clot of pride in the heart.

A thorn will prick your attention;

Pride vainly numbs your smarts.

~

A thorn seeks immediate care

To purge the prick of its pain.

Pride probes for its pacifier,

Suavely sucking its own gain.

~

How quickly we yank the thorn;

It is most troublesome at best.

We leave fleshly plump Pride

Feathering and fluffing its nest.

~

Thorns set off many red flags,

Panic buttons and alarms;

Pride smugly veils its soul

Concealing its ways of harm.

~

Give me a thorn any old day,

Within my flesh or without;

I’ll rid it of its harmful deed

And quickly give it a shout!

~

But Pride: O me, O my, I cry!

Is a need I must have for sure.

Please spare me just a little bit.

How else will “I” ever endure?

I Think I am…I Think I am

© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

 

 

Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

 .

 

This might lie unseen to the casual reader, but the writer made an excellent point.  Thoughts affect us–or, what we think, we become.  I know this is true because I have chewed on this bone before.  A daily reading of my “thought” pulse will reveal why I am distraught, sad, happy or glad, just as a check of my wrist pulse will perhaps reveal an abnormal heartbeat. 

One day recently, I sensed I was in an irritable mood but couldn’t think why I was having a problem.  So I set about reviewing the events of the past day and week.  Sure enough, there was the “thorn in my flesh”…rearing its ugly head, poking me for all it was worth.  My husband had unknowingly hurt my feelings!  I had spent an entire day housecleaning and cooking a nice supper, was tired beyond a day’s repair, and he didn’t comment on the delicious meal I had fixed for him. 

Well, even though I was beat…even though I should have left some of the work for another day…even though I grumbled throughout the meal…even though I should have asked for his help…my feelings were crushed that he didn’t say, “What a great meal, Jeanne!” 

That thorn was plucked out immediately and tossed in the trashcan.  Here I had been in a stew, going everywhere with my thoughts of why he didn’t complement the meal, and in all reality, the ambiance that evening was glum, to say the least!  Why would he even want to say a word while seeing the grim look on my face? 

A newspaper column had an article about preventing wrinkles, with the usual remedies of soaps, creams and massages.  The writer certainly was on the right track:

The best way to prevent wrinkles is to think the right thoughts.  Think happy things, pleasant things, line-lifting thoughts; for thoughts are things.

Ugly thoughts, depressing thoughts, a mind with worry thoughts running riot within it will produce worry lines, tired contours, and sad faces.  Wrong thoughts will produce wrinkles!

But pleasant thoughts, keen-eyed anticipation, a happy outlook, a zest for living—all act better than the highest-priced creams to keep the face alive, alert and youthful.  Right thoughts prevent wrinkles!

Each of us should pull out that thought bag frequently and check it for negative ratings—bitterness, jealousy, envy, uncleanliness, and spite have to go.  Look what they’re doing to our faces!  Yikes!

`

NAILS AND THORNS

 

 

 

THE NAILS AND THE THORNS 

 

 

Matthew 16:24 “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.”

 

During this Lenten season let us reflect upon Jesus’ call to deny self and take up our cross and follow Him.

Self-denial is a cross. It lurks behind the shadowy cobwebs of our consciousness like a phantom shaman shaking its nail-and-thorn studded rattle at our measly attempts to curb its monstrous appetite for self-satisfaction. We try to avoid these nails and thorns at all costs because they hurt…they sting…they smart.

Where do we stand in regards to these nails and thorns?

  • When confronted with disparaging situations among our brethren, do we stifle our desire to cause strife?
  • When enticed to become involved with distasteful things, do we choose to obey Christ and live godly lives?
  • When we become totally wrapped up with work and family, do we submit to that still small voice that bids us find time to help the widows, visit the shut-ins, and give to the poor?
  • When facing false accusations and deeds from evil doers, do we face them with our Lord’s directive to turn the other cheek?

 

These are but some of the moments when “nails and thorns” rear their ugly heads in our consciousness. These are the causes of the “blood trickling down our brows and spurting from our heads and feet”. Nails and thorns have a way of doing that.

If and when we answer Christ’s call to deny ourselves and take up our cross, some of these nails and thorns will surely cause us to stumble and fall. That is inevitable. We cannot be made perfect while in these fragile, selfish bodies. But Christ is there to lift us up and send us on our way again. He already walked this road. Remember?

“And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20