MESSIAH HAS COME! LIFT UP YOUR HEADS! Messiah has come! Lift up your heads! The fullness of time has arrived and the grace of God is revealed for all of mankind. His arms are wide open to give His embrace. Messiah has come! Lift up your heads! The angels deliver the message of peace for God has sent Jesus from heaven to earth to deliver from death--its power will cease. Messiah has come! Lift up your heads! True life has come for people on earth The promise is given for those who will seek. Messiah has promised for each a new birth. Messiah has come! Lift up your heads! One day we will stand in his presence in heaven, free from life's sorrows and sickness and pain, free from the hold of sin's old nature's leaven. Messiah has come! Lift up your heads! Let rejoicing begin and our praises ring out, for Jesus has come to show us God's love. Messiah has come! Of this we will shout. (2021)
Christmas has passed but the Light does not. May it never go out in my life. May it never go out in yours.
THE LIGHT HAS COME
The Light has come
for Christ was born.
He came to earth
to face men’s scorn.
The Light has come,
in manger laid.
His life poured out–
the price is paid.
The Light has come
to lift our souls
from darkness’ hold
to make us whole.
The Light has come.
He died, now lives.
He’s ransomed me.
True life He gives.
CANDLE OF HOPE
God’s candle blazes in the dark
among the shadows, cold and stark.
It sends its warmth against the chill
of death that lurks, waiting to kill
the seeking heart. But this bright light
draws close to seeking hearts with might
to fill with light where there is none.
It lights the way, bids seekers come
to find the kingdom of Jesus Lord
who fights the dark with Truth’s sword.
The dark dispelled, the light is cast,
God’s hand will hold the seeker fast.
Life is never easy. About the time it settles down, something else happens.
Last December, I totaled my car and dealt with a sprained shoulder. My kind sister gave me her car, old and needing some repair, but got me around. After a couple months, for various reasons, I gave it to my daughter for her son. It wasn’t that I was ungrateful, but decided it was the best procedure for me. I asked my sister if it hurt that I gave away her gift to me. She said no, it had a good home.
Last June, I fell and sprained my right (I am right handed) wrist. It is hard even to write. At times it feels like it is healing, but the past couple weeks, it feels as if the healing has stalled.
The arthritis in my knee and hip have been acting up. I am grateful for the exercises I have. They help.
Now my kind sister tells me she has lymphoma. My baby sister. I lost my dad in 1978, my brother in 2012 (my younger brother) and my mom in 2014. My heart grieves for my baby sister as I pray for her healing.
So what do I do in the face of trials and suffering? It is easy to let the suffering get me down and honestly, at times it does. But I know God has a purpose for it. I live in a broken world. I reflect that Jesus came to a dark world, caught in the enemy’s grip to bring life. Jesus’s suffering gave life to those who embraced Him. Then He rose, and I see His promise to me is real. I am eternal being and He points me to life eternally in joy.
But how does that speak to my trials and suffering? Just as Jesus suffering brings comfort and life because He understands what I am feeling, so my suffering can help others experience life. I wrote a poem book of my emotions on the deaths of my loved ones. As I give it to people who are experiencing loss of loved ones, they express how grateful they are. One lady said she knew I understood; I had been there. I see life birthing into people’s hearts through my understanding.
I see my own understanding grow when someone ministers to me through their trials as they put their arms around me and give me their love. Or even as I watch their lives and see how they deal with their situation.
It will never get better until Jesus returns and sets all things right, fulfilling His promises to His people. This time on earth seems long to us, but as I get older, I see how short it is. Then He will dry my tears and as I live with Him, I will be able to serve Him in joy.
Meanwhile, I take stock of my blessings and ask God to give me a grateful heart for His many gifts. Key to living through my sufferings.
Thanksgiving Day is over, but thanksgiving never should be. I posted this picture of Christmas in lights to remind us: the most wonderful reason to be thankful is that God Himself came down to earth and took on human form. Because of Jesus coming to earth, suffering, and dying, we have access to God through Him. That is the greatest reason to give thanks that I can ever think of!
A story of life
A story of death
A story of earth
A story of heaven
A story of hope
A story of life
God’s story to us
The story of Jesus
A few months ago, we celebrated Christmas–God incarnate, coming in the flesh as a baby. How neat to celebrate that time!
But now the baby is grown. He has died. He has risen. He is alive. I celebrate because I have life in Him, beginning when I came to believe in Him and accept His lordship, to go through eternity! So I celebrate. I have hope!
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you when he was still with you in Galilee?”
(Luke 24:5, 6)
THE TRUTH BE TOLD
The truth be told we’re tied to sin.
Iniquity, transgression tell the truth
of our lives. Sin tosses us bare bones for
life but death is our reward and takes our hope.
But One from heaven took human form and lived
in total submission to His Father, defeating
death and delivering deliverance to those
who choose His life. The truth be told,
our ties to sin are demolished.
Life is transformed.
We have hope.
DEATH HAS LOST ITS STING
Rejoice! for death has lost its sting.
The grave is empty, for the King
no longer lies in chains of death.
He is alive, defeated death.
This living King will soon one day
rule earth and heaven in righteous way.
No longer will the evil stain
what God has made, for Christ will reign.
Christmas. The angels proclaimed Christ’s birth with joyful songs and “peace on earth, good will to men!” But do we see that? There is no peace on earth. There are wars and rumors of war. Terrorists threaten everyone. There are lonely, grieving people. Death touches so many lives. What do we have to rejoice about?
But we misunderstand the peace God offers to man. When Adam sold the world into sin and Satan’s power, the relationship with God was broken and there was no peace on earth. Ever since, man has been at war with God, wanting to run their own lives, and finding frustration and unrest, not peace. Because Jesus (who is God) came to earth, lived, died, and rose again, he restored man’s relationship with God and through the relationship with Jesus. Even though everything about me is chaos and in tatters, I can have peace with God, true peace. And I rejoice. I have life with God, not just now, but for eternity.
BECAUSE OF LOVE
Glory could not hold him
when love called out his name
His Father bade him change his
clothes of glory’s reign.
The Son of God left heaven
to don a servant’s life
to dress in human skin to
serve those lost to strife.
Because of love he suffered;
because of love he died.
Because of love he rose that
with God we could abide.
The year marches on and we find life takes detours we would rather not take. But God is good and gives peace in the midst of those detours! I am hoping to become a regular on WordPress again as my life takes on more normalcy. Now as I approach Christmas and a New Year, I am grateful that God became a man to bring life and peace to men. May He bring life and peace to you this season.
WHO IS THIS JESUS?
Who is this Jesus, He who came
to earth from heav’n in human garb,
proclaimed Himself as one with God,
and died for men. Against men’s barbs
of unbelief, He called himself,
“I am”—the name of God, the One
Creator God who made all things
that now exist. He is the Son,
and He is God who rules all things.
When time is done, His righteousness
will rule and all will bend the knee
for He will end all wickedness.
Who is this Jesus, He who came
to earth from heav’n in human form
to bring true life to men on earth,
to give to all a bright new morn.
Palm Sunday, the 20th, was the time when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Imagine, a king riding on a donkey! The people thought he came to set up an earthly kingdom and they greeted him with the cry “Hosanna,” looking forward to their freedom from the Roman rulers. But Jesus’ kingdom at this time was one of the heart. He came to die. But it didn’t end at the grave. His Father raised him up to life on Easter and one day soon he will return to take his rightful place as ruler of all. Until that day, we worship him as Creator and God, waiting for his glorious day when he will rule as a physical king!
Our King comes.
Spread your cloaks!
Lift your branches!
Praise the King.
Our King comes
In the name of the Lord!
The Son of David!
Praise the King!
Our King comes
To deliver, to save!
Lift your voices!
Praise the King!”
They thought they knew peace,
But it is hidden from their eyes.
They do not know
My kingdom is not of this world
But they do not know
I came to die.”
As I look forward to the celebration of Easter, I remember that without the cross, there would be no Resurrection. The cross is about forgiveness, for through it, I am forgiven and I celebrate new life.
Come walk with me in fields of white,
in heaven’s place of glorious light,
where dark clouds part and souls wash clean
in Jesus’ blood. Come–see the scene
when He was killed and took my place.
Look close and see His pain-pierced face.
Hear his words, “Forgive their deeds.”
Those words for them beneath the tree,
are meant for us, yes, for all men–
the word of grace men’s hearts to mend.
The stain of sin is washed away,
the darkness gone. Come walk in day.
Come walk with me on paths of light,
cleansed with His blood, our souls washed white.
They stand straight and tall,
arms outstretched and reaching
into the heavens, to God,
their silent voices praising their Creator.
They never more except when the wind
blows and they respond to the rhythm
of the wind. No matter how life has bent
them, they stretch toward heaven,
their praises shouting in silent voices,
heard only by those who listen.
They fulfill their mission, assigned
by their Creator: refuge for the birds,
shade from the heat, life of oxygen
from their leaves. In winter and spring,
they show that life comes from death, and
even when their lives have been cut short
and they exist only as a stump,
new life forces its way from the soil
into life. Death proceeds life, for a seed has to fall into the ground
and die before it will truly live.
Season after season, through death to life,
they serve their creator, drawing life from
the water in the ground and returning their silent praise.