2 Peter 1, Verses 1-4 - Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Hebrews 6, Verses 19-20 - This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Luke 23, Verses 44-45 - Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
Seven sayings of Jesus on the Cross.
Many people emphasize and empathize with the "man-centered" nature of Jesus Christ. It is standard belief in many universities and colleges to profess that Jesus was a historical figure, a man, and perhaps a prophet. In this article I focus in on the "God-centered" nature of Jesus Christ - this is the divine side of Jesus. Jesus is more than holy and virtuous - a man or woman can be holy or virtuous, but Jesus embodies glory and He is nobility, magnificent and super-natural.
Jesus has the wherewithal to upset humanity and shake kingdoms, to bring saving grace to mankind once and for all with a harsh sacrifice, and to do so outside and inside of our time-space continuum. Jesus is beyond man in every way, and He touches the Creation pure in heart and pure in thought. Whether he hung on the usually shown cross, or an "X" cross, never mind, he hung there, and while he did so, darkness came upon Him and others, and the earth shook. He spoke. He died. He was raised from the dead after 3 days and seen later. And so he endured what no man can endure, if He paid for our sins as Christians believe and the Bible tells. In Hebrews it states that Jesus is an eternal priest, and that He is from the highest order - he carries the name "the Son of God".
Jesus's advocates for everyday men and women. He is a redeemer, and many have been redeemed indeed! The Bible says He even intercedes on our behalf. For someone so noble and virtuous to speak on our behalf is a magnificent thing. For what king has sacrificed like this before or after? Jesus should be the King of our hearts and the King of our minds. He is the Redeemer, the Intercessor, and our Saving Grace, and this is evidence of His divinity.
The Bible explains so many revealed mysteries in the New Testament. These are because of the teachings and revelations of Jesus Christ. You can read these for yourself - these spiritual truths. From reading it is clear He is the anointed of all the anointed, the holiest of the holy, and wisest among the wise. The revelations and teachings are indeed sound! The history of Jesus, was that amongst times of great religious and political turmoil, that God the Father decides to act, and the Father gives His Son for us (an incarnation of Himself God), and then the ripple of the Son of God makes its mark on the reality of mankind. The Son of God has made a difference in my life and my reality, well over 2000 years later. He is as truly divine as he is also a man, 100% both. He is alive today as He has always been.
Dear God, I am so thankful for redemption and saving grace! I am so thankful for the Bible containing spiritual truths and revelations! The ripple that you sent over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ, has made a difference in my life and the world I live in too. In Your time and space continuum, you see the past, present and future of each of us everyday men and women, and You choose to love us. Today, again there is great religious and political turmoil, but what was completed or finished on the cross, shall always be finished. There are more blessings than can be counted for what was achieved on the cross by the Son of God, and His divine nature is plain as day. Thank you in all Your honor and glory and grace. I elect to identify as a Christian because of Your mighty name and for Your Son. In Jesus Name, who is the High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Amen.
Excerpt from On-line Article, The Chopra Center, "Lighten Up: The Healing Power of Laughter" by David Simon, M.D. - The healing system of Ayurveda teaches us that nourishing our five senses enlivens our health and well-being. I have found that it’s just as important to cultivate our sixth sense . . . our sense of humor. We’ve all found ourselves facing difficult circumstances, mired in worry. When a good friend calls and has us laughing at ourselves, we’re reminded that there is more than one way to view a situation. The very experience of laughter shifts our perspective and opens us to new possibilities. We feel internally tickled as we make a connection between the predictable way of looking at a situation and an offbeat way. Laughter allows us to temporarily step outside our space- and time-bound state and touch the field of awareness that is boundless and eternal. The American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, “Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer.”
Excerpt from book, "Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" by John Gray, Ph.D. - "The Primary Love Needs of Women and Men - Women need to receive: 1. Caring, 2. Understanding, 3. Respect, 4. Devotion, 5. Validation, 6. Reassurance. Men need to receive: 1. Trust, 2. Acceptance, 3. Appreciation, 4. Admiration, 5. Approval, 6. Encouragement."
Ephesians 5, Verses 22-33 - Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Quote by John F. Kennedy - "Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men [and women]."
Quote by Gandhi from Nonviolence in Peace and War - "Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement. Properly understood and applied it is the most potent instrument of action."
Excerpt from book, "The Power of Prayer to Heal and Transform Your Life" by Sherry Hansen Steiger - As early at the 1930s Yogananda was teaching that true prayer is based on the very precise laws that govern all of creation: "Our physical bodies and the material world we live in are condensations of invisible patterns of energy; That energy, in turn, is. an expression of finer blueprints of thought-the subtlest vibration-which governs all manifestations of energy and matter; That God brought all creation into being by consciously willing His ideas to condense, first into images of light and energy, and then in the grosser vibrations of matter." Yogananda declared that we, as human beings made in the image of God, have the freedom to use these same divine powers of thought and energy. In his view, prayer is actually a daily necessity in order to have a harmonious living.
Excerpt from Shakespeare, "Troilus and Cressida"
The beauty that is borne here in the face
The bearer knows not, but commends itself
To others' eyes: nor doth the eye itself,
That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself,
Not going from itself; but eye to eye opposed
Salutes each other with each other's form;
For speculation turns not to itself,
Till it hath travell'd and is mirror'd there
Where it may see itself. This is not strange at all.
Everyone has heard that love makes the world go around. And yet it does so through relationships, including marriage, a special bond of love between two people. But what else is essential to marriage besides love? Here's my take... The 5 Elements of a Good Marriage are: 1. Have a Sense of Humor [Fire], 2. Affection (Her) or Space (His) [Water], 3. Commitment (and Re-dedication) [Earth], 4. Prayers [Wind], 5. Regard for One Another [Gold]. Fire is energy, and like magic, through electricity or in its raw form, can transform and sustain. Water is the breath for those that live in another world such as the seas - essential. It is flexible and mobile and the source for life. The Earth renews itself every day and over longer periods. It is from whence we came and where we will return as part of a cycle of life and death. The Wind is a form of Air that can carry a dove from here to very far off for good reason. Some say the wind contains truth. Gold is pure and noble in nature; it is beautiful and valuable - it is money. Whether you see the allegories as completely as I do or absurd, the point is the 5 elements of a good marriage I am emphasizing have elemental character. They are essential to marriage such as fire, water, wind, earth and gold are essential to life.
Let's start with number 5. Ephesians 5, verses 22-33 points out the way a man should regard his wife, and how a woman should regard her husband. They regard one another in love, the wife to show respect to the husband and the man to love his wife as much as himself. To regard one another with love according to these verses is a difficult task. To witness it in action is to understand the purity and beauty of marriage with Christian values built-in. To love God we must love one another, and this is an especially true command for couples who embrace marriage. For marriage is not just an expression of love, but one of the essential building blocks for society.
And one of the essential building blocks of a spiritual relationship with God is prayer (number 4). Without prayer and intercession for each other's mate, life may not move forward. It is prayers, even our thoughts, grunts and groans, that are carried up to God to be heard. God knows every hair on our head and each thought, and He hears us when we direct our attention towards Him. If He can sustain or destroy a nation, He can direct or strengthen a marriage. Sins and lack of care for life's blessings will give us over to debased lifestyles and relationships. There are a lot of marriages who are in the gutter for lack of respect for God and lack of communication with God. There are also a lot of couples, like myself, who appreciate a prayer together out-loud with their spouse, a prayer from their spouse for them, or an answered prayer for something their spouse needed.
Number 3 is commitment and re-dedication. In the Shakespearean poem above we must "face each other". We see our spouse differently than they view themselves, and vice versa. Who do you see in the mirror and who do you see standing next to you? Now? Before? We begin facing each other "in love" and later face each other with mature deep love. To get there we must accept and tolerate, we must encourage and sustain, we must reflect and grow, and with all our imperfections and flaws we must dedicate ourselves to each other and the relationship on a continual basis - we must commit with who we are facing. The alternative is to walk away. It is common for a couple to partially walk away or deliver a mini-heartbreak to their lover along the way, but that should not be a goal. Commitment and re-dedication are inter-related with the very definition of marriage, and are required for a marriage. Wedding vows often include "through the good times and the bad times, I am with you" or "for better or for worse, I am committed". Again, a successful marriage is not easy, although some aspects are more fun and joyful than commitment during hard times. Be committed.
I've learned one thing from my own marriage and watching others. Women "like" affection and men "like" space (number 2), and this is in general (but in many cases true). Women and men are wired differently, and it is more likely that a woman will benefit from hugs, sweet nothings, a well-thought out gift, or man bragging on her in front of others. Men have their caves where they go to think or not-think, a place to avoid clamor and double-down on pastimes. I found it of value to support or maintain independent times for my husband to do whatever he does, and to be clear about needing a specific kind of attention from my husband that is important to me. It is important to understand how your mate is wired, so you can understand which top priorities reign for each other and create space, give attention, or whatever rocks your boat so to speak for your relationship.
A good sense of humor (number 1) is so closely interlinked with giving a relationship magic and energy it is no-duh that Fire is the element it relates to. Humor and light-heartedness can cure many ails, as the deep-and-serious weighs down so many arguments and bogs down so many relationships. Couples who can laugh, and people in general who can laugh, find life to be much more enjoyable and worthy of living, than those who are a glum lot or lame in attitude. When we can look at a situation from a new angle and manage to stir up a smile, we heal ourselves and often that situation. While we don't want to laugh ourselves into ignorance, we do need a reality check when our worries have surmounted Mt. Everest. As the youngun's say, "take a chill pill. LOL." If you have a good sense of humor your laughing right now because that was a good joke.
So these 5 elements are my take on what makes a marriage tick. My husband wrote down his top 5 and they vary from my own. I asked a friend and her number one factor is "reliability", and I agree that is essential, especially in relationships where kids are involved - we need to be able to depend on our partner. My sister mentioned being comfortable around one another in the relationship makes a marriage stick - to face each other comfortably. I would appreciate your point of view, and this is a chance to make your own contributions in the comments.
Dear God, Sometimes I need to focus and re-prioritize my day and life around what has proven to work for me for decades - for myself, but also in my marriage and relationships which have been continuous since birth or since youth. Forgive me as I forget to use common sense sometimes. At times my relationships go through a crash-and-burn and then rebirth because I do not keep up the heavy responsibilities of maintaining good healthy relationships all the days. Thank you for healing and recovery in those cases, as I dearly care for my husband and close family members, and I am glad not to have lost them. To be face-to-face with someone with all our imperfections, to be vulnerable when we fall short, and still love as we ought is a challenge. I ask You to help me with those challenges and strengthen my relationships in the face of adversity - in both good times and bad times. Help me to stay light-hearted in serious times, and not be bound by endless worry when my feelings are paranoid, dark, offended, angry or hurt. Thank you for Your teaching of how one should regard her husband - with respect, to submit; I fall short all the time, and so does he at loving me perfectly, but I think we strive a good bit. Thank you for this incredible thing we call love. I hear God is love. Amen.
James 5, Verses 13-15, Pray for the Sick - Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
James 1, Verses 5-8, Pray without doubting - If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Psalm 30, Verse 2 - O LORD my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.
Psalm 41, Verse 3 - The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.
Matthew 8, Verses 1-17, 28-34, Jesus Heals the Sick - Jesus Cleanses a Leper (Mark 1:40–45; Luke 5:12–16 ) 1 When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant (Luke 7:1–10 ) 5 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” 7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one,‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour. Peter’s Mother-in-Law Healed (Mark 1:29–31; Luke 4:38, 39 ) 14 Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. 15 So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them. 16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.” Two Demon-Possessed Men Healed (Mark 5:1–20; Luke 8:26–39 ) 28 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.” 32 And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. 33 Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.
Luke 21, Verses 1-4, The Widow’s Two Mites (Mark 12:41–44 ) - 1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
Hassidic Writings (adapted)
There are three ways children express sorrow:
Some children cry;
Some children are silent;
Wise children know how to turn sorrow into song.
Heaven, prayer by Langston Hughes
The place where
And birds sing-
To each stone,
"Well! And you?"
First of all, we should pray for the sick because God answers our prayers and we should care about the sick - and the Bible tells us so. God sometimes answers prayers by not meeting our wishes for others because that is His will - he answers it differently than we may ask, or he answers it in a different timeline. I have had my prayers answered as I was praying a prayer, and I've had a prayer answered a decade later. In some cases a prayer goes seemingly unanswered, but a rhyme and reason stands behind the unanswered prayer as much as the answered prayer. We should not pray with a doubting attitude, for our God is powerful. When His will is lined up with our will, mountains can be moved. Let's move mountains for the sick.
On a weekly basis, I visit Hospice patients during their last times here on earth. Some have outlived most who care for them, and others leave behind loved ones who are in great sorrow at their passing. Many have made their mental and spiritual preparations for leaving this world, and others are truly upset at the living conditions where they find themselves. The afterlife awaits all of them, and a lifetime of choices becomes their framework for meeting the Maker. We should not only pray for the sick, but care for the sick, and we should hope eternally that the judgement each man and woman faces is for the good. My ultimate hope is that my fellow men and women are beside me in Heaven one day and that I am there too. My hope is that the next time someone close in my life dies that I can turn my sorrow into song - it is a great way to dedicate the life of a loved one while still here left behind, and it is my wish for the people I leave behind one day. The one thing I have learned in my days in questioning the Bible, is that God's judgment is complex; some give more, but more is expected of them, while others do nearly the most that they can and it appears to be lacking (think of the story of the Widow's Two Mites). It is not wise to judge someone's passing or salvation status, although we may be very confident about fellow Christians. So pray for everyone.
Healing the sick was a big part of Jesus's ministry. While we cannot do the miraculous ourselves, we can lean on God and His ways to direct us. We are nurses, doctors, caregivers, volunteers, friends or family members, co-workers or acquaintances through church or other organizations. As such, we should remember each other in times of sickness. Often I am glad to say we go overboard in showing our love to the sick, and it may be God's way of protecting His sheep. Healing comes in many forms - the healing by Jesus in Matthew 8 ranges from one who is paralyzed and tormented to one possessed with spirit. Jesus heals the blind, the feverish and of course advocates for each one of us before God so we can survive the judgment. We should in turn advocate for anyone who is suffering with illness - whether with action and/or with a prayer.
Dear God, I pray for the sick I come in contact with in my life, especially those who are dying. I pray especially also for healing for those among my family and friends who are stricken with long-term or short-term illness, and that they may be comforted even with a seemingly difficult diagnosis. I pray for myself who has some difficulty and a diagnosis of both arthritis and schizo-affective disorder. I pray for children and young adults who face difficulty early in life and may struggle day-in and day-out. When others pray, I hope that I can fulfill the answer to their prayer for the sick with my action. I pray that no one who is paralyzed with stroke or another difficulty face torment, and I pray that those who are not comfortable become comforted. I pray for those I come in contact with be fully prepared for their meeting with you - their personal judgment before God through Christ. I pray the world of medicine continue to improve. I appreciate the stories of survivors and wish to hear more of them. I pray that mountains are moved for the sick, just as mountains are moved for those that are not sick. I pray for good insurance and quick diagnoses for those that are just figuring out what ails them. Thank You for the many blessings You pour upon the suffering to raise them up. Thank You for the many blessings in my life despite my difficulties. In Jesus name, the great Healer, Amen.
Lord's Prayer from Anglican Book of Common Prayer, 1662
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
1 Corinthians 15, Verses 20-28 - But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also camethe resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Matthew 10, Verse 14 - And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
Acts 20, Verse 35 - I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
1 Corinthians 13, Verse 13 - And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Many with the Christian faith agenda will evangelize and dust off their feet with those that don't listen to what they have to say, and nothing much is accomplished. Instead, an attitude and active life of charity, born out of a personal belief in God and Order, the non-agenda form of Christian evangelism, exists in a way that propels man forward. It is one major way that God's will is done on earth as it is in heaven. The mantra shall be always "do what is right", especially and in particular for leaders with power. Why? It works. We must be a giving people in order to receive.
Many already strive, and have historically, to negotiate peace and right solutions by being flexible enough to work with many agendas and maintain a "do what is right" charitable mantra. More of this is needed. Men (and women) in power often have different agendas. The classic-humanist agenda propelled Christianity and Protestantism, by looking back to the success of Rome and Athens and pining for a pure form of Biblical teaching and intellectual ideas worth spreading. It warred against powerful interests and still does to this day. As such, Christians and others often view our leaders as debased - as being deluded, evil, stupid or ruled by Satan. Some of this is warranted, but we cannot accept this with arms folded and sit idly by. Power can corrupt but it is not necessarily so. Power can also be noble and sympathetic to the common man. Much of this world is secure and safe and it is not simply God's blessing upon us, but also the hard work of existing and historical moral leadership. God-fearing leaders have accomplished much and I am personally thankful.
Widespread peace could theoretically be conceived by each and every man and woman together deciding to be a man and woman of peace and charity and uniting as such. Or as history tells us, by injecting chemicals and school lesson plans into the masses to dumb us down and put us into a negligible numb state. Or through de-population for easy control by the powerful over a smaller less complex group of people. These are all agendas of some in power. But if a non-agenda, non-direction-choosing-for-all, "do what's right" form of charitable leadership became more viral - peace on a world-wide basis would be within everyone's grasp, and without instituting dirty agendas. The spiritual kingdom would flourish among men and women, more than it does today. We just need good leadership and followers will follow.
With globalization of leadership the complex and increasingly complex must become less so - the matrix web put up in previous iterations prevents right leaders as they arise from within from solving problems. Instead, a mentoring form of nobility for leaders with meritable ideas must surface for adoption at an increased pace, and it must be administered with the "do what's right" charitable mantra. Moral leadership blessed by God will duplicate then triplicate, etc. in number. Solving problems does not need to take place on the world stage like a game of poker as it appears to now. The world finds itself in a place where it should speed up its preparations for final Judgement. Jesus is in the process of putting all His enemies underfoot and the glorious spiritual Kingdom is inviting us all in. We must answer with right action so that, "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
Dear God, I pray for our leaders today and also our future leaders that may take charge after I pass away. There are those on the front lines on peace-keeping and peace-making duty, who confront a reality very few comprehend or know about. There are those who are sandwiched between loving the small blessings in life and making hard sacrifices that create turmoil and depression in their mind. And there are those of us who sacrifice, some by shedding blood and others with an array of hardships. We ask for blessings upon us all and for miracles to occur. We ask for justice and the softening of hearts in all the right places. We ask for mercy and thank you for the grace you have bestowed upon us already. We shed tears for the lost and hope they find their way. This world is complex, the rabbit hole is deep, the matrix overwhelming. We pray that You, who are in control of it all, wipe the tears of those who sorrow. We hope it is Your will that the world will improve and peace, hope and joy overtake mankind. We ask for good moral charitable leadership to show us the way. We ask the Spirit to work upon all of us, and for good followers so that peace may abound. Please forgive us for our sinful ways and bring us to spiritual maturity. In Jesus name. Amen.
Psalm 23, Verses 1-6 - [A Psalm of David.] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Peloubet's Bible Dictionary, "Wilderness of the Wandering" - The region in which the Israelites spent nearly 38 years of their existence after they had left Egypt, and spent a year before Mount Sinai. They went as far as Kadesh, on the southernmost border of Palestine, from which place spies were sent up into the promised land. These returned with such a report of the inhabitants and their walled cities that the people were discouraged, and began to murmur and rebel. For their sin they were compelled to remain 38 years longer in the wilderness, because it showed that they were not yet prepared and trained to conquer and to hold their promised possessions.
1 Thessalonians 5, Verses 16-18 - Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 46, Verse 10 - Be still, and know that I am God.
Quotation by the author, "I go on long and treacherous journeys on angels' wings."
Psalm 107, Verse 17 - 22 - Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. 18 They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. 19 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 20 He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. 21 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. 22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.
I was reminded of an important lesson today - be still or busy and know that I am God. I am very familiar with getting busy and worrying about my diet, someone else's behavior, the bills, or an intense project, and having my thoughts get focused on certain problems; I get self-absorbed. I get wrapped up in Life without remembering the Author of all Life. I choose to be distracted because doing what is right is harder than just knowing what is right, and I've turned my face away from God. I act like I do not know things, avoid and forget what I need to remember, and chose excuses over right action. I may turn down the level of my prayer life to near nil. I forget of His being there, and it means I am absent in His plan for me. This absence can happen for a short-time or a long-time, for as long as months. I can be worked up into a tizzy or face a spiritual depression. I know well that the dark night of the soul is a lonely walk without God. In some ways it's a mystery - the darkness, who often calls us to a stillness that allows us to see God and become present in life again or for the first time. God calls out to us throughout our life. We should respond by following or returning to Him.
God is always listening to us; we cannot hide from God. His listening ear, His judgment and His love - we are exposed to them even when we are deaf to Him, defending our mistakes, or hating others. God wants us to acknowledge Him, to glorify Him and to seek His will. That means to think of God in our decision making and prioritizing. It means to talk to God and to receive His word.
I am often impatient when life gets busy, and time wears on me instead of boosting me forward. In those moments I often forget to talk to the Author of time, who intervenes in the timing of things. From the rising and downfall of kingdoms to the end of each man or woman's life, God is present. The Intervenor sends His angels as armies on our behalf, and we must react - we must flinch - we must acknowledge. For He is great! It is better to take your life journey while riding on angels' wings than the alternative plan. For be still or busy and know that I am God - acknowledge and glorify God with your focus and action. Chose, know and remember with right-purpose on the forefront of your mind. Take comfort that there is an Author of Life - acknowledging this takes the weariness and anxiety out of life; it helps boost us forward in busy times.
Dear God, Stay with me always. Forgive me for the times I have been absent from my spiritual walk with You. Be with me whether I am busy or still, as you were with me at my beginning and will be at my departing. Also, keep me close when darkness surrounds me, as my heart needs guarded. Shine Your light upon me. Your timing is not my timing, but Your plan is much greater than mine - I can look into the past and see that. I pray I remember that often and enough. Your daughter in Christ, the Redeemer. Amen.
Michelle is a woman of depth whose faith has pulled her through some difficult times. She finds beauty and inspiration from life experience and literature, sourced from all ages and walks of life. Michelle seeks to inspire other women in their personal journeys, especially those who struggle. Michelle is also a mental health advocate, writer & engineer. Her other website is www.freemindbooks.com.