Faith, Uncategorized

A Feast Fit for Heaven

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Do you remember your favorite food from when you were a child? What was your Mother’s best recipe?  You know, the one that you could recognize just from the aromas that drifted through the house, stirring your appetite in anticipation of dinner time.

I bet your Mother, or your Dad, or your Grandma knew what your favorite meal was, and as he or she worked to prepare the recipe, you entered their thoughts and maybe even brought a grin to their expression as they imagined the look of bliss and delight radiating across your face as you enjoy it. And you Moms that are reading this, you know the pride and love I’m talking about when you prepare your son’s favorite food, no matter how old he gets. You present it and watch him enjoy it as if you are looking at your angel-faced, little boy again. Such joy… such infatuation.

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I’m sure I’ve said it before, but my Mother was a fabulous cook! The finances may have been limited, but we ate very well! Ask me what my favorites were from childhood, and two things instantly come to mind.

First, her biscuits and gravy. Outstanding! She had it perfected, so much so that at one time she was dubbed among our family as ‘the biscuit queen’. Of course, the scrumptious biscuits provided the perfect base on which to ladle that delicious gravy, which she literally slaved over at the stove, endlessly stirring and stirring until it was just right.

Several years ago, our family gathered for breakfast at Mom’s house, and she made her famous biscuits and gravy. Mmmm! As I savored the flavor, my taste buds strolled down memory lane, and as we feasted, the truth came out.

Yes, my sweet Mama’s true motivation in preparing this family favorite was all because… my brother was attending! Didn’t I tell you? That mother/son bond is a strong one! Well, some would take offense at that, wouldn’t they?! But being that we all were reaping the benefit of my mother’s devotion to her boy, I think we could let it slide.

(I have to stop and laugh here LOL. Of course, we gave Mom a little bit of a bad time, it was priceless! She laughed too and couldn’t deny it. But I assure you, it was all in fun and love lol. There was no offense, just lots of love, laughter, and life. Precious moments that last a lifetime.)

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My second favorite-food memory is of the luscious, home-made chocolate pudding… thick, creamy, and served hot right off the stove. We would eat it with plain white bread.

 

The best part of my chocolate pudding memory is that we would occasionally have it for breakfast. What a way to start the day! I suspect that perhaps on those particular days, when the cupboards were looking a little empty, staples like sugar, cocoa, and milk became a delicious solution, but all we knew was that we felt special.

 

 

There is one more feast that comes to my mind… that is the wedding supper that is being prepared in the kingdom of heaven. Will it be a meal of actual, real food? I don’t really know. Perhaps it will be food as it was originally designed, as it was in the Garden of Eden before man was corrupted by sin, and with new, uninhibited taste buds we will savor every flavor in all its intended perfection. Perhaps

But the heavenly food that entices me the most is the spiritual food that will be served, the table piled high with heavenly bounty, fit for a King! I’ll take an extra-large helping of everlasting peace, with a generous side of abundant joy please!

Sitting along side of us are the ones we loved here on earth, the ones who accepted their invitation and went ahead of us, waiting for our arrival. What a precious reunion that will be!

But the best part of the celebration dinner?

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Him! The One who is seated there with us… the One whom we adore… our Lord Savior, Jesus Christ, seated in His rightful place beside God the Father. We finally get to look at His face! With genuine delight and love beaming from His eyes, He serves to us, all the promises of the kingdom of heaven… how sweet and delicious each one is! He is overjoyed that we are finally here!

 

 

 

The invitations were sent long ago. I’ve accepted mine… have you?

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Here is some help with that.

Peace with God

Growing with God

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“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
   To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Rev 3:19-22 (NIV)

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Faith, Uncategorized

Touching the Heart of God

This is a little bit longer than most of my stories, but if you will bear with me and read til the end, I believe there is something God wants you to know today.

 

I was reading this passage from the Bible this morning. This takes place during the time of Christ’s ministry here on earth. News of the miracles which had taken place had spread throughout the land, as people spoke of this man called Jesus, who did marvelous, unexplainable things and who spoke with such wisdom.

 

Often, very large crowds followed Him wherever he went. Some seeking a healing for sickness, some desiring to hear what He had to say, and some who were simply curious about Him.

 

Mark 5:21-43 (NIV)

When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake.  Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet.  He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.”  So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him.  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.  She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.  When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,  because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”  Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.  Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.  He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.  When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.  He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”  But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.  He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).  Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.  He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.”

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Once again, there was a very large crowd pressing in around Him, following him that day. To put it into perspective, when the bible speaks of a large crowd, it may mean 50 people, or it could easily have meant hundreds or even thousands. Remember when he fed 5,000 people with just a few loaves and fishes? Or the time when Jesus got into a boat and anchored just a short distance from the shore and taught the people from there, because the crowd was so large.

 

So as you read the story, you can imagine why the woman had difficulty reaching Jesus.

 

Several years ago, we attended an outdoor production of ‘Jesus of Nazareth’, or ‘The Passion Play’ as it is sometimes called. During the portrayal of this particular scene in scripture, as Jesus walked toward Jairus’ house and the crowd pressed into Him, the entire scene suddenly turned dead silent. All the characters stood frozen in a suspended pause, and the spotlight shown down on one single personthe lone, solitary woman, pushing her way through the people, using all her strength and power, desperately reaching her arms as long as they would go, never letting up until finally, she was able to reach through with one hand and just grasp the end of Jesus’ robe. It was quite a dramatic scene. Had it not been slowed down and highlighted, the entire moment would have been completely obscured. So anytime I hear this story, that scene replays in my mind.

 

This woman probably never thought she would actually be able to get Jesus’ attention that day because of the crowd of people. I assume that because she was an older, chronically sick woman, that she was perceived as unimportant in society, perhaps even invisible or outcast, her status in life meager. I doubt anyone even realized she was there. But in her mind, it was enough that she just touch Jesus’ clothes and she knew she would be healed.

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But Jesus did notice her, and He turned and looked for her. Little did she know that her one, small moment would be of such significance that it would be recorded in the Word of God, for future generations to learn of the magnificent faith of this one poor woman.

 

The most obvious focal point of this passage of scripture is this dear woman’s faith… so quiet, yet so monumental that Jesus actually felt the healing power leave His body! There’s so much more to learn from that alone, but today, there is something else I want to share.

 

It’s like us sometimes. We see the wide world all around us, we see all the striving, we see all the needs around the world and around our communities, we see people hurting and suffering. We think, surely, my needs are insignificant in comparison…certainly, my status in life is less valuable when I look around at our fast-moving world of high achievers. How can God possibly see me, when there are so many pressing into Him?

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But I think that when you speak to Him, or you praise Him, or you weep, that everything else in the world suddenly becomes dead silent… the noise and turmoil and chaos comes to a halt and all goes quiet….

 

And in that moment, just as Jesus stopped what He was doing and looked for her, so does He look for you. And God’s spotlight shines upon just you… His focus becomes centered on you alone… you have His attention and He bends toward you and sees you… and hears you… and loves on you. And just as He felt the power leave His body when the woman touched His clothes, so does He feels the power of His Spirit being siphoned from Himself to you, because you are not just touching His robe, you are touching His heart, as you are restored, comforted, strengthened, and filled with joy.

 

You are His most important child, and I am His most important child, as is each and every one of His children. Yet that does not lessen our individual value in His eyes, not even in the smallest degree.

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Keep pressing in through everything around you, keep reaching out to touch the heart of God. He sees you, He is listening, and He loves you.

 

 

 

 

 

Faith, Living Life

Come & Rest

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

 

I offer these well-known and comforting words spoken by Jesus as He beckoned those who were weary to come and rest in Him.

Days become weary… we robotically replay daily routines until they morph into one big blur. Some days are just like that, and we feel the need to take a break and rest.

Do you ever feel the need to lean against someone and just release all that heaviness you’ve been carrying around?

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I remember, as a small child, laying against my step-dad’s chest, listening to his long, heavy breaths going in and out, while feeling his firm chest rising and lowering beneath me. Though not soft and pillow-like as a mother’s embrace, that strength and rhythm felt strong, yet soothing.

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As you become relaxed and still in quiet commune with God, feel His strength. Let His Spirit wash through your soul and sooth, as you are renewed and restored. Lay your head on the bosom of His majestic strength and feel the rhythm of His unfailing love for you.  Listen for His quiet, soothing voice saying, “Come, just rest”.

 

Here are some songs that bring me much comfort when I need to put everything else aside and just bask in who Jesus is and His love for me.

 

Enjoy

 

MercyMe- I Can Only Imagine

Kari Jobe- Be Still My Soul

Kari Jobe- Fall Afresh

Playlist Simply Worship #1