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Exploring the Adventure of Aging

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Organizing the Unmatched Sock Drawer that is My Mind

How can a drawer full of white socks not match? These are questions that often occupy my thoughts in the moments early in my day. It takes a few minutes to pull them together into pairs, choose a pair and put them on my feet.

It is the same scenario with my mind. How can a brain that floods with streams of consciousness be unable to construct one clear sentence? Organizing my thought patterns takes a bit longer than a few minutes in my sock drawer. And that is just so I can put a few sentences on a page, so you can imagine what happens when I need to verbally respond.

Let’s just say, I trip over my own tongue more than I trip over my own feet. This does not happen as often when I am fully engaged in a conversation, going with the flow, responding and listening. No! This tripping usually occurs when I am asked a question that requires forethought.

Truth is, I am a writer not a speaker. I can speak. I have spoken–even at national conventions. I enjoy speaking to audiences. But that type of speaking has already been filtered through and sorted out. I do not do a manuscript because I find my speech patterns hampered by being tethered to podium or script. Nevertheless, mental structuring does happen. I do insert it into a file in my mind.

However, in front of an audience or in casual table conversation, when asked a question that requires a quick construct, I babble a bit–ok, sometimes I babble a lot. Last night I was asked by a friend what I was writing now. Now, I know what I am writing. I know what it is about. But give a synopsis off the cuff. Did not come out clear at all. I wasn’t even sure what I was writing. Old people, chickens, murder–let’s just say my newest attempt at a novel, Fowl Play left a foul taste in my mouth and baffled expressions on my dinner companions. Now I know I need to plan out a synopsis, file it in my brain, in case I am ever asked that question again.

How do you organize your thoughts to write or speak? I always begin with a bottle of water, a cup of coffee, and my quiet time with God. My devotional today explored, believe it or not, James 1:19:

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I kid you not. And that verse got me to these few blogging words. How do you organize? I am always looking for new ideas that might help me clear the clutter of unmatched thoughts in my head.

Porch Story–Chapter 13 with Introduction

Note from Carolyn: I have been off for a couple of months, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year…I also started a new blog exploring my seventh decade. If you are interested it is at http://www.lifeinmyseventhdecade.wordpress.com. But I don’t want to neglect Braking Points nor do I want to fail to finish “Porch Story” for myself if not for anyone else. I also want to continue to share the bits and pieces that I find encouraging and enlightening in scripture, prayer, meditation and the act of living life in the here and now. BRAKING POINTS..times to stop, look and listen. So with that here is the 13th chapter of “Porch Story” for anyone who cares to read.

Chapter 13

“While the doctor talked, my mind only partially engaged with what she was saying. CAT scans, PET scans. lab results. diagnosis, treatment options, on and on…I drifted away. They say at the moment of death your life flashes before your eyes, but I have always had flashbacks to earlier times, mostly at night when the devil tries to bring up every transgression I have ever committed. But while the doctor talked, I suddenly remembered holding Clara, immediately after her birth, hearing her healthy cry, and watching her latch on to my breast, suckling as if she were starved. Before I could stop them, tears rolled down my cheeks not because I was dying but because of the beauty of that moment with Clara in my arms for the very first time. It will be saying good-by that I will hate the most.” From Eleanor Brown’s Journal

With Clara’s luggage packed inside, Brian scowled at his sister, obviously miffed by her avoidance of his phone calls, hugged his mother and bid the threesome of females good-by.

“Are you headed to the house, Brian?” Nancy inquired.

“Later I thought I would go visit GiGi and Dad.” He leveled his gaze at Mandy, “It wouldn’t kill you to go visit them too.” He even cringed at the judgmental tone in his voice. Mandy glared back, but held her tongue, shrugging her shoulders slightly. Nancy studied the exchange between her two children before pointedly turning to Clara and asking, “Mandy’s been camping here. Would you like me to help you get settled, before…?” Hesitantly, she waved her hand around the room the untidiness evident. “before we tackle the journals?” Her voice quivered.

Clara reached out, touched Nancy’s arm then collapsed again into the safety of her hug. Traces of moisture spilled onto both of their cheeks intermingling. In that instant both grew unaware of time or space or the occupants who were inhabiting it with them. Brian and Mandy unaccustomed to seeing their mother cry shared a silent inquisitive look, their own animosity dampened by their shared concern.

Finally, Clara shifted away from Nancy, scanned the room and spoke, “Why don’t we meet for supper…”

“At our house.” Nancy interrupted, looking pointedly at her children and not at Clara.

Both shared uneasy glances and then nodded.

“Are you sure?” Clara asked.

“Yes, and then we can talk about how we want to carry out Ellie’s wishes.”

“Ok. And, Mandy, would you consider staying on here with me? I think having company in this big house would be good.” Clara stated, not at all sure she really wanted company.

“I’d like that, thanks.” Mandy turned to Brian, “I think I will go with you to see GiGi and Dad,”

“Let’s all go,” Nancy said, “and give Clara some time to rest and get settled. Oh, Clara, your grandparents will be here this evening. They have a driver bringing them from Wichita Falls.” The look on Clara’s face prompted an unexpected laugh from Nancy, full bodied and deep and then she found she could not stop laughing. The shocked looks on her children’s faces rather than tamping her outburst made her laugh even harder. Clara’s face twisted slightly before she too dissolved in a fit of giggles. Brian and Mandy stood uneasily to the side before smiles brightened their faces.

It felt good to laugh, Nancy thought. Ellie would have been laughing with them. In that moment Nancy knew her eulogy needed less sentimentality and more humor. It needed to be a realistic portrait of a complicated but wonderful friend.

“I will follow you all over to see Mom, GiGi, and Dad.” Nancy said as the Wingate’s left Clara standing in the living room of Ellie’s house.

>>>>>>>

“Have you ever seen a dead person?” Les asked Jessie. The others had gone except for Jessie’s little sisters who were camped in front of the Burton’s TV, watching Sponge Bob. The Burton’s still had cable service, a fact not lost on Jessie.

“No. Have you?”

“No. Maybe we should go down to the funeral home and take a look at Miss Ellie…you know, before tomorrow so we don’t act too shocked or something.”

“What do you mean?” Like on a slab, or one of those drawers like on TV?”

“No, I heard my Mom talking to someone on the phone and they should have her in a casket all prettied up by this evening sometime. We could walk down and go see her.”

“I d-don’t know,” Jessie hesitated, stuttering slightly on the words, “What if someone sees us? Or, if she looks really bad. I mean she was hit by a train, Les?”

“Lots of people go to viewings. It’s respectful,” Les said proud of his use of the word “respectful”. He liked practicing new words, but that didn’t mean he wanted to learn a new language. He hastened to add, “My grandmother says the funeral folks use all sorts of make-up and stuff so folks just look like they are sleeping.”

“Should we take something…like flowers…I don’t have any money, Les. My Dad says we are probably going to end up in the poor house…but I don’t even know where the poor house is, do you?” Jessie had been storing up all the tidbits of information she could accumulate from her parents arguments since they were laid off, trying to prepare herself for whatever was coming. She had a boatload of negativity that she carried everywhere she went. She knew it was all bad, but she didn’t understand most of it.

“Nah, we can just go and pay our respects,” stated Les, a tone of authority in his voice.

“Ok,” Jessie murmured. “What time?” She eyed Megan and Cindy across the room, knowing she would have to get them home and find something for them to eat. She rose, grabbed her sisters’ hands over their protests and dragged them toward the door.

“Oh, Jessie…dress up like for Sunday School.” Les called after their backs as they retreated through the hedge.

>>>>>>>>>

The phone rang almost as quickly as the Wingate’s were gone. It was Matt Ryan at the funeral home. Could she bring something for Ellie to wear and did she want to view her mother before they put her out for the public? It struck Clara that who ever wants to see their parent dead before or after the public, but she simply said that she would pick a dress and yes, she would appreciate a few minutes alone with her mother. Apparently her worries about the funeral arrangements were uncalled for. Ellie had made all arrangements two weeks before. Matt Ryan knew her mother was dying before she did. Childishly, she decided she had never liked the man and then, had she ever even met him?

She found the dress, shoes–shoes? whoever sees feet in a coffin?–jewelry, all in a bag, clearly marked in Ellie’s broad script, “For my funeral”. Lump in her throat, she pulled the bag off the hook. Carting them out, she stopped dead in her tracks. How was she getting to the funeral home? Guess I will have to take the Mighty Moose. Backtracking through to the kitchen she grabbed the keys to her Mom’s GEO tracker, a relic from the 1990’s, which she found in the garage. Thankfully, it started right off. Matt Ryan had remarked that Ellie’s viewing room was filling up with flowers and other memorials, so they wanted to get her out as soon as possible.

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God forbid that folks had to wait to get a gander at the woman who had been hit by a train. Clara grimaced as she and the Mighty Moose took off.

What I Believe Makes Me Who I Am–Theology on an Icy Morning

I am not the most succinct person in the whole world, so boiling things down to a few words about something as all encompassing as “My Theology” is mind boggling. I could point to the Bible and say I find it there and be truthful, but even in there I find more to explore about the world, history, and people. God has planted himself everywhere, if only we could see. Paul wrote in Romans that God is evident in all creation, so none of us are without knowledge of Him.

I encountered a Aborigines’ account of creation and the fall of man in which the evil one was a bat! The Biblical account and this tribal story are remarkably parallel. No wonder that the symbol of death is the “Bat”. We also were visited by retired missionaries, the Eubanks, to Thailand, who shared the story of entering a classroom in Thailand to share Jesus with a group of children for the first time. The majority religion in Thailand is Buddhism. As they spoke to the children, Mrs. Eubanks noticed one child who listened closer, her eyes growing brighter and brighter until her body could not contain what she had to say. She waved her hand excitedly and exclaimed, “I know this Jesus! I just didn’t know his name.” The Eubanks expressed how God surprised them by already working in the hearts of the people of Thailand. He was there a long time before they arrived.

So, the enormity of God and of my meager theology cannot be boiled down easily, but as I consider His Scripture, I realize my basics from cover to cover are there. God’s Love, Justice and Mercy with which I form not only by theology, but my worldview. I am a Christian, but I am not the only Christian.

And so on this cold, December morning, Here is my paraphrased theology in a bursting nutshell:

In the beginning God created and it was good. God existed before all creation, before the beginning and in creating used the words, “Let us make….”, so the One God has more than one person. Human beings with free will sinned and while the good God created remained, weeds grew, blood was shed, storms brewed and sickness with death entered history. God chose Abraham to bless ALL the peoples of the earth.

Emmanuel
Emmanuel

At the perfect time in history The Word (Christ Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. Out of his life, death and resurrection we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

The Holy Spirit remains within for the believer and in the world to call non-believers to Christ. But this time, this earth has an expiration date known only by God. We are therefore called to be His witnesses to all the World. And until then I pray “Come Lord Jesus, Come.”

I know too that others seeking also to boil things down have done a better job than I. So I turn to “Creed” Rich Mullins’ theology song from the Apostles Creed:

I believe in God the Father almighty
Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth
And in Jesus Christ
His only begotten Son, our Lord
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of the virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate
He was crucified and dead and buried

CHORUS:
And I believe what I believe
Is what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not
The invention of any man

I believe that He who suffered
Was crucified, buried, and dead
He descended into hell and
On the third day, rose again
He ascended into Heaven where
He sits at God’s mighty right hand
I believe that He’s returning to
Judge the quick and the dead
Of the sons of men

CHORUS

I believe it, I believe it
I believe it
I believe it, I believe it

I believe in God the Father almighty
Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth
And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son,
Our Lord
I believe in the Holy Spirit
One Holy Church, the communion of Saints
The forgiveness of sin
I believe in the resurrection
I believe in a life that never ends

CHORUS

I believe it, I believe
I believe it, I believe
I believe it, I believe it

The Word became Flesh and Embraced me with Grace
The Word became Flesh and Embraced me with Grace

Should have just gone to that first, RIGHT? So At Christmas…Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

Here’s the Utube link: http://youtu.be/H-61MaWETiU

Preparing for Christ–One Tiny Seed

The whole of creation in one tiny seed
From the womb of a virgin to meet the world’s need
Came a root and a shoot from one tiny seed
The wonder of Christmas to fill the world’s need
Overcoming our sin, our hunger, our greed
One tiny seed, one was enough to meet all my needs.
One tiny seed
One baby King

Fertilization happens when a sperm meets and penetrates an egg. It's also called conception. At this moment, the genetic makeup is complete, including the sex of the baby. Within about three days after conception, the fertilized egg is dividing very fast into many cells. It passes through the fallopian tube into the uterus, where it attaches to the uterine wall. The placenta, which will nourish the baby, also starts to form.
Fertilization happens when a sperm meets and penetrates an egg. It’s also called conception. At this moment, the genetic makeup is complete, including the sex of the baby. Within about three days after conception, the fertilized egg is dividing very fast into many cells. It passes through the fallopian tube into the uterus, where it attaches to the uterine wall. The placenta, which will nourish the baby, also starts to form.

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” Isaiah 11:1

In our yard in Tulsa, Oklahoma we had a beautiful ornamental Crabapple tree. In the spring enormous blossoms exploded on every branch, in the summer lush green leaves shaded the house, but in the fall, the time of crab apple fruit, little dry inedible fruit let us know that for all its showiness, the tree had no sustenance.

In one of those typical Oklahoma thunderstorms, lightening and wind struck the tree down, leaving only a small stump after we cleared the debris, but you know what happened, shoots appeared in the spring and today there is a Crabapple tree in that yard. Not the flowery showy tree it had once been, but a tree that produces real fruit. You see it went back to its original seed.So in the womb of a willing Mary, God planted his original seed. A seed that would meet all our needs, If only we concede that we have a need and He can meet it.image

Formed by His Hands

The She Reads Truth http://shereadstruth.com current Bible Study explores Women in the Bible. The first two lessons were on Eve, the mother of us all, known more for her failings than for anything else. Still Eve was special to God, so special that HE FORMED both Adam and Eve. Amanda Williams puts it this way:

“Amazing, isn’t it? Our God, the One who speaks the world into existence and who flings stars and planets and galaxies into the sky with a word, He scoops up ordinary dust in His almighty hands and forms humanity.

Matthew Henry notes in his commentary that the word “formed” is used in Genesis 2:7, whereas the words “created” or “made” are used for the rest of God’s creation. The difference, Henry says, is that “formed” indicates a slower, more gradual work, a “work with great accuracy and exactness.”

The impact of mental image of God with his hands shaping tenderly the man and then the woman led me to leave the following as a comment the morning I read the scripture and then the devotion. I pray you who read this find a blessing.

With a word, God created the heavens and earth
With a word, He set the stars into space
With a word, the oceans, lakes, and rivers flowed free
With a word, the fields, the mountains, forests of trees
But with careful attention, an act of His Grace
He knelt in His garden for the work of His hands
And in His own image God formed the first man
With careful attention, an act of His Grace
With His own hands, taking from the first man
In His own image God formed the woman
With careful attention, a Gift of His Grace
He breathed life into these works of his hands
On the sixth day, the woman and man.

Creation of Man and Woman by Edwin Lester
Creation of Man and Woman by Edwin Lester

Friday on the Court

After 30 minutes of fast paced ( I lie) tennis...ready for McDonald's
After 30 minutes of fast paced ( I lie) tennis…ready for McDonald’s

After our fitness class this morning, Terry proposed that we play a little tennis this afternoon, perfect day for it, 83 degrees, low humidity, sunny, slight breeze…it would be the first time since his shoulder surgery in January for Terry to pick up a racket. I really do not want to try and remember the last time I had one in my hand. Nevertheless, after lunch, we packed up the rackets, water bottles, and our two dogs and headed for Hopkinsville. We really like the courts there and don’t really know where any are closer to us.

Ready to return the ball, I love this man, who loves Jesus.
Ready to return the ball, I love this man, who loves Jesus.

We volleyed. Did not play a single set, although both of us did try out our serves. Thankfully, no one else was on the courts. We chased balls, hit a few and in general had a great time. After 30 minutes we both needed to quit, hopefully, we can go a little longer next time. Or not.

At McDonalds we got dipped cones…great deal for $.99 each. Took the dogs for a short walk and headed home. Days like this are important through out a marriage. Spontaneous togetherness, unplanned and yet just right. (Ok, I know that wasn’t a complete sentence.)

Writing this I realize how often I over plan, trying to think of every contingency and forget nothing usually leaves me weary and cranky. Today, my husband and God reminded me to be open to the moment and enjoy right now.

Me, please do not use this for training purposes unless it is to highlight "wrong form"
Me, please do not use this for training purposes unless it is to highlight “wrong form”

Carefree before God

Carefree Adults, Disgusted Teenager...Ah!  Life!
Carefree Adults, Disgusted Teenager…Ah! Life!

When I was a child, I loved dancing across the front lawn, in my bare feet, twirling and twirling until I got so dizzy I fell down.  I loved laying on my back on a pallet on that same lawn at night with the expanse of the Milky Way across the dome of the sky.  Somehow, heat and bugs bothered me less back then.  Truth is I loved the times in my childhood when I could really be a child.  Even the boundaries imposed by parents were safeguards and not so restrictive that they prevented us from digging a huge hole in our backyard in an effort to “dig to China.”

My childhood was shortened by illnesses, financial problems, alcoholism, and a growing sense that I could depend on No ONE, but myself.  And yet, I still had moments when God’s grace reached me, moments of knowing I was not alone.   Even with those moments, after I was around 12, I never lived free.  Not only did my family issues entangle me, but bad choices on my own part led me far from the faith of childhood and from freedom.  And then backed up against a wall, I built, I submitted to Jesus and He has worked in me from then until now to set me free.  I am a work in progress not a finished project, but I am closer to living free than I have ever been before.

As God often does He led me to my next step through a daily ritual I began again in the last 6 months, regular quiet time with Him.  In this process, I recently finished a http://shereadstruth.com study on 1 Peter.  Near the end of the study in the 5th chapter, I encountered a familiar verse:  “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. “(1 Peter 5:7 KJV) or in the NIV translation:  “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  Not an unusual reminder, for Jesus preached the message of releasing our burdens to God, long before Peter wrote his letter or Paul wrote, “Be anxious for nothing..” to the Philippians.  So familiar it was, an age old directive, but then I read the verse in The Message:  “Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.”

And from that came the following verses

He said,
Come, Come bring all your burdens,
Come, Come lay down your problems
Cast off the weight of all of your fears
Lay down the pain, Child, every wee care
‘Cause I’ve got you right there.

Come, Come give me tomorrow
Come, Come share all your sorrows
Cast off the tears, climb on my knee
Snuggle in close, Child, as close as can be
‘Cause you are precious to me.

Live free, Live carefree before me
Carefree, Alive every moment
For I have your burdens and I’ll see you through
Dump all those fears, for I care about you.

I’ve taken your sins and cast them away
I’ve picked up your burdens
I’ll carry you through just cast off your cares
I’ll be care full for you!

And then,

Live free, Carefree before me
Love with the love that comes when you’re free
I’ll never let go, I will see you through
So never look back..I care about you
‘Cause you are precious to me

And I died on a cross, with you on my back, So you could live FREE
Do it for Me!

Blessings on you all,

Carolyn

Hard to Hug a Stiff Child

image

It is easier to hug a dirty child than a stiff one.  The child who has been running through mud puddles all day long, who hears Mom or Dad calling, perks up, and heads filthy and full force into their waiting arms may transfer some dirt, but as his small pliable body willingly yields, a hug comes easy.  Not so, with a stiff child, a child who refuses to come when called.  A child who exhibits disrespect for her parents, disobeying their rules right in front of them.  A child who considers the folks as “just not good enough”.  Even if you manage to get your arms around them, you might as well be hugging a board.

In Isaiah 65:1-9,  I hear The Lord lamenting a nation of stiff children.  They ignore his offers of help, they ignore his voice, even though he stands with open arms ready to accept them, even though they are dirty, ready to hug them and to bless them.  He knows the road they are traveling down will lead to destruction. But, no!  They taunt him, run from him, yell, “Stay Away from Me!”  I cannot help but see them as defiant teenagers.  

As a parent I hurt for God.  As a sinner, I realize how my rebellion and defiance have hurt God.

A friend of mine had a daughter who at sixteen packed a bag, left a note and disappeared for over a year.  No phone calls, not one postcard, nada, nothing for over a year.  My friend and her husband lived as she put it like dead people walking.  After the initial tears and recriminations neither could chance allowing any emotion in their life, lest they destroy each other. They became wooden faxcimilies of real persons. At night they lay beside each other like wooden people, staring at the ceiling, not talking, not loving, consumed with the loss of their daughter.  Their two other children received wooden care and learned to make themselves invisible at home, seeking tenderness from thankfully church friends and other family.

Then one day she called, broke down and cried, begged for forgiveness.  They packed their bags and flew across the country to pick up their daughter who was no longer stiff, but covered in the mire that a life on the streets can foster.  They wrapped her in their arms and took her home.  But it took many years for this family to heal.

My friend said she never wanted to know the whole story of her daughter’s year on the streets.  I can understand that.  As I read this scripture again, I am reminded God does know.  He sees.  He crys out to us.  He doesn’t close his eyes even when he wants to do nothing else.  Fortunately, he doesn’t throw us away.  Even though he let punishment come to the people of Israel, He did not desert them.  

In my young adult years I walked away from God, ignored his people, ignored his Word, struck out with my suitcase packed and didn’t even leave him a note.  I was one stiff child!  Funny thing was as I entertained sin, I considered myself a more evolved “Christian”.  Talk about delusional dangerous thinking, I flirted with it and know what, “I got burned.”  God let me travel the road I chose, not seeking Him or His help.  I pretty much let God know that I could handle my life by myself….Stiff, Stiff, Stiff child!!   

Then when my whole world seemed to be crashing around me, I called home.  I ran dirty and broken into His arms.  He led me to His Word.  He restored “all the years the locust had eaten”.

So when I read Isaiah 65:1-9, I see myself in every line, but even more than that I see Jesus taking all my dirt, filth and rebellion on his back for me.  Jesus, always obedient, clean, accepting my sin as His own, so I could be free.  I still get dirty, but I know the one who will wash the dirt away.

He didn’t fly across the country to pick me up and bring me home.  He went to the Cross!

image

Picture References:

http://izismile.com/2009/06/25/dirty_children_16_pics.html
http://wwwphoenixlyrisis.blogspot.com/2011/06/lost-soul-of-child.html

Before and After–The View from Right Now 1 Peter 4:1-11

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“It seems so much smaller than I remember it.”  How did the yard, I played in as a child, with its enormous expanse shrink just as the house never large miniaturized.  The distances between home and school, between home and downtown shortened.  I recall my surprise as an adult revisiting old haunts, amazed that I remembered it so MUCH larger.  How could this be?  I was an adult 18 years old when I went away to college and it is true I never really lived there again.  No, I met my man, moved to the big city and only went back for short visits. Those short visits became farther between after my parents moved to be near us, consisting of a few highschool reunions.  Each visit, my hometown dimished in size.

The 1 Peter scripture looks backward and forward at the life of a believer.  After reading it, on my first morning walk with the dogs, I considered the shock–and yes, that best describes my reaction–when I revisited my hometown for my 15th class reunion.  In my memories I had imagined it so much bigger than the reality.  In most cases our pasts, including the actual places, diminish with time, but not so the rememberance of our sins.  NO, those memories revisited inflate into monsters.  Oh, as Christians, The Lord has forgiven us, removed our sins as far as the east is from the west, yet still I find them, mull over them, let them grow larger in my head, give them control they should not have and for HEAVENS SAKE!  It is time to stop.  Time to stop feeling guilty.  Time to let those memories shrivel and shrink, become minatures just like the old home place. So we can live in the Spirit as God lives.

It really doesn’t matter when the end of time or my end of time comes.  What matters is living freely in Christ into the New Future He has for you and me.

The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land. (Isaiah 43:18, 19 NCV)

So 1 Peter 4: 1-11 sums up how our response to Jesus should be.  Stay close to God, Pray, LOVE, Be open, Show hospitality, Speak as God directs, Serve as He enables….all this builds the Kingdom of God in Enemy territory…and do it all to the Praise and Glory of God.

If I keep my head clear
If I keep my mind set
My prayers will target God’s will

If I love deeply
If I love without fear
Forgiveness will blanket much sin

If I open my home
If I show hospitality
Grace will be manifested to all

If I speak God’s word
If I serve with God’s strength
In all I am. In all I do

God, the Father, God, the Son and God, the Holy Spirit WILL BE PRAISED!

Carolyn

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P.S. All grammatical, spelling, etc. are my own due to my poor skills as a proof reader.

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