A few years ago, for my own faith studies, I wrote every name and description I could think of to describe God. I ended up with over 40 recipe cards! That didn’t suffice my learning, so I researched each name, really digging into the Bible and “Bible Gateway” (great app/resource)!
The ultimate, creator of the world, Alpha, righteous, almighty, reverent, Father, Son, love, Jehovah, sovereign. 1 John 4:8, “whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love.” The beginning of most prayers; “Dear God”
Just a few for today, will add more in upcoming posts. Feel free to add some of your own!
Have you been kind? Thoughtful? Forgiving? Did you go out of your way to help a stranger? Or were you stuck in a rut, unable to do more than required?
We all have days that are upbeat or down in the dumps. All that Jesus asks of us (ALL!!!) is to be His “hands and feet.” With that in mind, how could you have turned your day around? This is fodder for me, when I’m laying in bed at night wondering if today was pleasing to the Lord. Oftentimes, no – it wasn’t.
But we are blessed by His forgiveness and grace. Without it, we would be walking on the edge of everlasting sin.
As I look out my window, I see that our Asian Lilacs are “so close,” ready to pop with bloom any minute now! And the fragrance!!! If the computer had smell-o-vision, wouldn’t that be a joy!
Have you ever brought flowers from the outside; in? Did you notice the ants crawling around? Oh great, I think – now we’ll have ants in the house! But really, it’s just one or two stragglers from having lived on their beautiful blooms. The ants need whatever the flowers provide, the flowers need sunshine, rain and weeding. The ground needs sustenance to survive long winters. It truly is the “circle of life.”
You too, are a flower, ready to bloom! A walk with Jesus, is a lifetime journey. There will be bugs and disease, droughts, floods, an overabundance of beauty, and sorrow when the season ends. Living in faith, being aware of those little nudges, studying the Word, fellowship with like minded people, all help grow the person you are – and will be.
I took the entire month of May off from writing. I needed time to decompress, read, take walks, enjoy my days. I lasted almost 30 days. A few days ago I decided it was time to start this blog again, and have committed to writing every single day. Why? Well, it keeps the blog fresh and it also helps open my eyes to what my Savior wants me to see, AND share with you!
So far I’ve been inspired to write easily with an open heart and mind. I’ve always touted that it’s not my messages; they are coming 100% directly from God, I’m merely the messenger. So as the days and weeks and seasons change, I hope you are encouraged with these words.
James 1:17 But whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God, the Creator of all light, and he shines forever without change or shadow.
Hebrews 2:4 God always has shown us that these messages are true by signs and wonders and various miracles and by giving certain special abilities from the Holy Spirit to those who believe; yes, God has assigned such gifts to each of us.
There are some very old school words in our prayer, scripture and even hymns. While I do prefer the more modern versions of the Bible, it’s comforting to hear or read words that I grew up with. The Lord’s Prayer is probably the prayer most littered with thee’s and thou’s. Let’s see how it compares with present language.
The Lord’s Prayer (King James Bible)
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. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer (The Message Bible)
Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.
Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read or seen the movie “The Shack” you may not want to continue on. It took me three attempts to watch the movie because it was too real and heartbreaking. When I finally did, I was thoroughly inspired by the characters. God is a strong Black woman, Jesus; a Middle-Eastern man and the Holy Spirit is a wispy lover of all things gardens and flowers.
I find it confusing the Trinity; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit because they are the same, right? I also know from my Catholic teachings (newbie here, remember?) that the Mystery of Faith is that we don’t understand, and it’s okay. We can explore, as I am doing-writing and sharing.
Some describe the Holy Spirit as a “nudge” maybe similar to a spiritual kick in the bootie! Also an entity (some say a “person” but what does that mean?) that you can talk to intercede with Jesus. Maybe like Mother Mary. I personally have a problem these instances, I was taught to pray directly to Jesus. Even my own sister who passed away in 2020, a lifelong Buddhist, used Tibetan prayer flags to send requests. I’m not sure why we need to guide our hopes, concerns and gratitude “out” or “to.” I’m sure a theologian would provide a long list of why.
In the meantime, I will keep reading, talking, asking questions and if I never know, it will be okay, because ultimately, walking in faith, with Jesus is the ultimate truth.
I think of Doubting Thomas, he didn’t believe that Jesus was back from death, he didn’t believe and needed proof. So Jesus produced it by having Thomas touch his wounds. That was all he needed and was able to join in the celebrations!
We often doubt the circumstances we are in; wondering if Jesus is in the details or are we left to our own devices?
Doubting is a valuable tool, it teaches us to search out truth and not give up until we have found it. It can be as simple as your child lying to you or noticing a discrepancy in your checkbook. A little white lie can escalate or lack of funds can create bouncing checks. We can’t just let go of what we don’t understand, we need to pursue and get to the bottom of it.
I do guided imagery at night sometimes when I can’t sleep. It is also an effective prayer tool. Jesus saw that I was sad, grieving my sister – He asked if I would join Him on a walk. And we did, through beautiful gardens, with fragrant blooms and delightful colors. He told me that the veil between the living and the dead is thin, occasionally spirit can catch a glimpse of the other side, and when I feel my sister nearby, she is feeling me too. I don’t know if it’s hogwash, but it sure felt sensitive and caring.
Jesus enveloped me in love. It was a hard day of sadness, tears, and even a mini miracle. I have been in the process of scanning pics, saving to the cloud and then tossing the actual photos. A neighbor came to the fence yesterday and handed me a photo, said she found on the ground by our mailbox and wondered if it was mine! YES! It was a photo of my sister and brother when they were children! How funny that THAT would be the photo that landed outside the garbage can!
Today in church, I was moved to crying during this song. I have heard before and always have the same reaction. Palm Sunday is such an emotionally potent day. Imagine being Jesus, you arrive to Jerusalem, the people are waving palm fronds at you, laying down their garments for your lowly donkey to walk over, there is a feeling of joy and celebration in the air and then………the mobs start shouting “crucify him, crucify him.” And you aren’t even able to defend yourself because you know this is the way. Your path. Christ died for sins he never committed. On a lighter note, I love the concept of not only Jesus being a lamb, but we are called to be also.
As we gather together for the journey of Easter, be as present as you can; and if you cry in church, it’s okay – it means that Jesus is touching your heart.