‘Tis The Season

christmas card picture

 

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

(Luke 2:11 ESV)

Another cold winter morning persists as I awake to the yearly task of preparing Christmas well wishes to extended family and not too distant friends.  And as I prepare and address each card….I marvel at just how drastic and sudden our lives seem to change each and every year….

Of recent births and deaths….. Of happy marriages and painful divorces, and of blended families that seem to heal from old wounds.   The stable greeting of a family member or friend I have come to depend on… yet quietly wondering if that greeting will survive one more year.  The scattered well wishes that will never be heard from again…at least not here. The cheerful Christmas wish from yesteryear which is now a painful and hurtful attack.    The now silent and sometimes painful echoes of the past mixed with the security and well-being of the present day and always closing each year’s end…..

Today…it is converging all at once on a Christmas believer who truly knows the reason for the season.

Cards of old friends who are now foes…and of old foes who are now friends.  Cards of those who were once considered strangers… but this year or last, our paths have crossed…and perhaps only for a short time….But smiling at the thought that my own handwriting in the greeting card I send this year may one day remind them of an old Christmas past…..

Family members who share strong bonds and family where bonds are now broken… Christmas cards of old and ones from just last year…. Fancy and playful, religious and serious….All providing a moment in time for us to revisit a fractured friendship or a silent voice… a ravaged family or a true love that never fails to cease…….

I rummage through broken boxes overstuffed with the memories of Christmas …. And I stop to cherish the precious handwriting on a Christmas card of one no longer with me…..The dried ink as vivid, alive, and still ingrained as it once was….. Just frozen here in time.   I touch their once written script and lovingly embrace their memory of a distant past….But only because I remain hopeful of a future celebration

 For I truly know the reason for the season…

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(Romans 6:23 ESV)

 

Rejoice if you truly know the reason for the season!

And pray for those who do not!

 

 

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Familiar Adversaries

 

cabin trees 2

“For it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death.  You will be hated by everyone on account of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.”

(Matthew 10: 20-22)

 

 

Before the first snowy morning dawn approached…a heartbroken prayer was gently and softly spoken…

 “Do not forsake me Lord, for I have warned others of the continuous works of evildoers….yet I fear I have lost the battle…”

And this battle waged was not fought on torrent enemy grounds…but in safe and familiar sanctuaries …..

By quite familiar and desperately loved faces.

Much adored ones but now turned foes…..Always embraced will be my present day adversaries…

 From the relaxed and easy surroundings of my past.

… They thought nothing to speak ill of me…

Their evil and vile language so unspeakable….so completely incomprehensible….

“I’m on my knees before You…..

I submit!”

“Where must I go from here Lord…

Do I concede to my once loved adversaries… or do I carry on without them?”

This is where this hard fought battle has found me….

 Among an open void filled with thorns and spikes

  A mighty wasteland it has now become, once vibrant and beaming with color.

I’m even more desperate to advance among the corn fields and forest You gave me…

 With the loving prince you once hand-picked.

 A ferocious warrior indeed who rescued this hurting daughter from afar…

And will always kept her safe and warm within.

I long to proceed to the winding and peaceful paths which clearly scream your Name,

 And abruptly awaken me from sleep….

…And bring me back to life once again.

Surely a hidden and heavenly blessing I have yet to fully realize…

For the poison also inhabits Your wondrous beauty which equally sustain us both .

cabin trees

“For son treats father contemptuously, daughter rises up against her mother, daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own household.”

(Micah 7:6)

 

 

“Sustain me Lord, please hear my plea this cold and bitter morning….

For my perseverance is severely lacking,

Please help me complete this long and hard life’s journey.”

Allow us both now to seek refuge in the forest you have given us…

For our twilight years are fast approaching.

 And the hard labor of years behind us… are scoffed and ridiculed…

they remain unnoticed…

By those who do not know You……..

A Desperate Warning to Christians, Part 1

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Therefore the law is ignored and justice is never upheld.  For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore justice comes out perverted….

Habakkuk 1:4

I remember that overcast summer day not too long ago when marriage was redefined by the United States Supreme Court…and considering my background and all the heartache I personally experienced of rejection, abandonment, and being the best friend…the only true friend… to my gay brother back in the late 1970’s through early 2000’s, I actually rejoiced!  I felt instant relief!   My immediate thought quickly turned to him…what would he think?  What would he say?  Would he celebrate this long fought “victory”?  All while painfully recalling the hatred others exhibited for my brother…. hatred from family…hatred from friends… and hatred from the church. The shroud of secrecy that gripped my family… and severed those who were left behind and barely surviving after a fathers’ adultery and a parents’ divorce… and my brother was constantly having to live in silence under a cloud of continual suspicion and guilt.

 “It is finally over”…….I thought.

Since the Supreme Court ruling…I have witnessed and read the fear of fellow Christians and of our great Christian leaders praying from the pulpit… or sermonizing a frightening condition…a feared future of losing our own religious rights… I would defend my position stating, “certainly the newly redefining of marriage would not result in losing our right to orthodox, long held Christian beliefs…That prediction is quite a leap!’  I would question their anxiety….marvel at their uncertainty….feeling safe in my own vindication of what was in my own past….. And refusing to look into the near future and taking into consideration that deep rooted hatred may eventually grow into an even greater disaster…..

This morning, I awoke to find a list of “hate” groups in the United States. This list appeared on CNN and was created by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Scrolling down the list of  the well-known hate filled groups in our country….I paused and trembled when I came across the Family Research Institute listed…… (See link below) 

 

“This is only the beginning”….I fear!

 

 

https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map

Eternal Midsummer Sun

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16) 

 

sunrise

 

I sit here very reluctantly with the imminent threat of storms looming overhead… yet still I eagerly await another early rising midsummer sun…. As the darkness continues to linger into daybreak… I am attempting rather unsuccessfully to embrace the predicted series of slowly moving storms which hastily interrupts my early midsummer morning. Late night storms have left my water starved annuals laying on their uprooted mangled sides… and a scattering of white and pink petals now lay across my parched wooden deck….. My sleepless night thoughts persist and I wander just too long in anticipation of the approaching storms… and my wandering mind only complicates the mix of emotions I’m experiencing from yet another one of life’s greatest disappointments….. Just another “failure” to add to my repertoire…but like too many failures in my already overstuffed life….this failure comes from within a deep and painful crevice of spiritually rooted connections and convictions with fellow believers….. Yet I feel a remarkable and undeniable familiarity to this type of great disappointment as I glance out my patio door staring blankly at the searing sheets of endless rain just beginning to pound the south facing side of my home…..

My thoughts take another turn to not only my own failures, but also to the multiple losses I have suffered throughout my life… Trapped within the walls of this sadly wandering state of mind…..  My thoughts turn to my sister.   I struggle to envision a much happier time where she stood firmly beside me… bravely fighting with her diseased and ravaged body in tow…. It was an extremely aggressive intruder which hastily interrupted her late winter morning sun many years ago…and many months before she finally succumbed to this ultimate life-robbing enemy…this sickening invader who eventually won the hard fought battle against her constant desire to remain here in this familiar yet darkened place….her final and seemingly unanswered plea to witness yet another one of her own early rising midsummer suns…..and in this frozen memory…. my heart sinks even lower.

With much regret….I think of the many disagreements my sister and I once shared….. Far too many of our own life’s experiences stood between the two of us and the One and Only Truth and our many experiences almost separated us from creating a final spiritual truce.  I being the lost prodigal child of a Great Comforter not too long ago and she being the ever faithful and everlasting daughter of a Mighty King… born in the faith and never wavering.  Sometimes this uncomfortable wedge created too wide a space for a compromise to even take hold…for a conversation to take place and grow…and to at last realize…… the simple understanding that our belief in the One and Only Truth did indeed take very different roads…. But both roads led back home!!   There are varied paths of Light that occur in this life’s constant darkness.   My road being twisted with many unwanted, and sometimes self-inflicted roadblocks… my footprints disappearing at long intervals of time upon its jagged edge and teetering on a lack of trust and commitment …her road well-traveled and worn with the unbroken trust of her steadfast feet.. Scattered were her footprints but never ever too close to its well-developed edge… yet narrow and unbending along the border…

 

road 1

 

The rain is tapering as the sound of thunder rumbles off into the distance as the storms move to the unsuspecting East…and my sadly wandering thoughts are slowly turning to the present-tense as I sense the departing storms and begin to plan my day…..yet I pause and attempt to envision my sister’s present day view of her eternal midsummer sun….so Majestic….so Gracious…and so very Merciful……but I cannot envision it for both the current and departing storms here cause too much turmoil……And there is yet another winding road for me to travel… but I know my simple belief in Him gets me through one more storm and one more jagged edge along its path…and I seek…and I plead… and I’m given comfort by Him once again… and by this simple truth…..

My faithful sister is the daughter of a Mighty King and I am the rebellious child of a Great Comforter!

 

pic of road 3

 

Take comfort in knowing He is there with you on your current winding road…..and there is nothing that can separate you from Him as long as you are a believer and you continue to simply believe in His promise!  

 

Two Simple Words

pic of im sorry

 

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up His garments by casting lots.

Luke 23:34

 

Two words so honest… but only when spoken from the one who knows.  A simple apology, so hopeful and so pure… to amend a wrong….a sincere gesture of grace and reflective of a higher and unconditional love…the greatest type of love.

Two words so powerful… allowing the process of forgiveness to finally begin.  To mend the brokenhearted, the wronged, the abused…and all of those who believe.  A thickened salve to heal a past insult and lessen the pain of an unfortunate indiscretion…A sincere gesture of a higher greater mercy and reflective of a higher and unconditional love…the greatest type of love.

Two words so pure… but only if released from the lips of the one who speaks its continual song.  Its melody comforts not only the wounded, but also the one who holds the weapon.  Disarming the attacker and releasing the real prisoner from within dark and unforgiving walls…A sincere gesture of human love and reflective of the greatest type of love….a love which forgives a past unspoken apology.

Two words yet so painful when left unsung.  No reconciliation for the one who cannot utter a mere two words.  A growing silence which festers and destroys our only current hope.   The pride of humanity tried to slaughter this love…. …yet He asked for forgiveness for all those who could not find two words to say.   

When you looked out among the crowd of your vicious attackers…Did you see me standing there?

I am one of the forgiven,

I was present and silent among the crowd…

Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric Part B

tanti christ pic 2 FB

 

“But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.”

(Luke 19:27 ESV)

Just another Anti-Christ propaganda found on Facebook!

There are those who now want to target the Body of Christ with vengeance…targeting those who love Jesus….and also those who do not yet know Him.

They will deceive and twist… under the complete control of the deceiver….

Only hoping to break down those who have placed their trust in Christ.

And also mislead those who are yet wandering and lost.

The verse is part of a parable (story) that Jesus taught….This story that Jesus taught teaches about the judgement of God at this point….It does not suggest or imply that human governance should even follow this example.  Christ uses what could and often did happen to illustrate a point of Gods supreme governance!

His disciples were not a military group…in fact the overwhelming majority (excluding John) were slaughtered for their faith in Christ…. They were not equipped to fight or make war.

Jesus did NOT command His disciples to kill anyone….

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgement”….. (Matthew 5: 21.22)

“But love your enemies, and do good and lend, hoping for nothing again, and your reward shall be great”… (Matthew 22: 37-40)

“A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you that you also love one another”… (John 13:34)

This verse has nothing to do with an individual turning the other check!

Jesus is teaching that mankind will one day face the judgement of God….

Those such as these people who post on Facebook and elsewhere… and who only intently want to discourage those who have placed their trust in Christ….

Those such as these…

Who hate and have rejected The Christ…..the One and Only One…..

God will punish…..

GOD WILL PUNISH

Yet there is still time……time also for you.

Time for all those who do not believe………

Time for those who continue to mock and denounce….

Time awaits for those who still deny and reject…..

Our One and Only Lord and Savior.

“In blazing fire, He will inflict vengeance on those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.”

(2 Thessalonians 1:8)

 

An Open Letter to my Muslim Friend Part 4

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”

(1 Timothy 2:5 ESV)

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Dear Friend,

I could not fall asleep last night!  So I laid there and prayed for both of us….for you, I prayed that God would be with you and that He would answer the current needs of your heart!  For me, I prayed for courage and strength for I have been very fearful recently of a lot of things…and this has caused me to worry more!  I also prayed for the words to give you this morning….never wanting to offend you or your beliefs…never wanting to say something untrue! …never wanting our conversation to become mean spirited or cold!   You see, we view God through different eyes…but one thing I am absolutely sure of is that the God of creation…the God who created both you and me….He loves us both equally!  He does not love me more than you…or you more than me….He loves us both equally even though we see Him very differently!  After my prayer, I really felt a peace within me!  And as I lay there feeling more peaceful and calm….I wondered if you felt His Presence even more…more vividly…..more real… Like His arms wrapping around you like a father and son would embrace…. if only for just a minute…..I hope so my friend!

To finally answer your question my friend…..I believe the entire bible reveals Gods plan to redeem mankind and unite all the nations into one family and into one kingdom…This was all fulfilled in the God-Man… Jesus Christ!  The Bible is the complete autobiography of Jesus…beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation….Because of what Jesus Christ did for all of humanity…there is absolutely no need to add to what He has done….

…There is no need for a new religion…

There is no need for any additional sacred books

And… There is no need for “other” prophets of God….

This is the most truthful answer that I can give you!

Peace and Blessings……

Kathy

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”

(Galatians 1:6-8 ESV)