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The Four Women of Lineage

As we step into this holy time of Advent I always find it so comforting to know that long before Mary, before Joseph God was at work, making a way.

From the bosom of Abraham, a line was forming, winding its way through the generations. Children were being born to women, women carrying the lineage of men.

This line of lineage would make its way to Joseph the earthly father of our Savior, Jesus the Christ.

Within this line there are many women who carried this precious lineage, yet there are four who were called out by name.

Tamar, left to live life as an abandoned widow would refuse to give up. Redemption would find her as she carried the twins of Judah, from the tribe of the Lion.

Rahab, filled with bravery, would choose the God of Israel, and protect His people. She would come to know the redeemed life of a wife and carry the son of an Israelite.

Ruth, after a life of loss she would make her way to her Kinsman Redeemer and would be filled with the joy of new birth.

Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah who would also bare the consequence of King David’s sin, would know the heartache of losing her first born. Yet redemption would come, and she would carry one who would be called, the wisest of men, into the world.

The Four we’re outsiders, scorned, judged, and abandoned, yet they chose to press on. As they birthed their children, they did not know that they had stepped into the glorious line of lineage that would lead to the birth of our Savior- Jesus.

Poetry · Uncategorized

Home

Here most of us are, sitting at home.  On any normal day isn’t this the place we long to be?

Here is a little reminder of the beauty of Home –

 

Home

A place of solitude

The building of a sanctuary

Where peace is found

 

A place of communion

The ringing of laughter

Where joy is shared

 

A place of gathering

The keeping of conversations

Where bonds are made

 

A place of meals

The filling of the empty

Where hearts are warmed  

 

A place where wisdom is taught

The falling of tears

Where grace is given

 

A place of warm blankets

The drifting off to sleep

Where rest is found 

 

A place of understanding

The art of listening close

Where knowledge is known

 

A holy place

Where rooms are filled

With precious and pleasant riches

 

D.E. White 

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Abide

To Abide is to remain, to stay, to dwell, to reside, to submit, to connect

Ever find yourself trapped in a frantic pace?  You’re running every night, your husband is complaining he never sees you, you can’t remember what your kids look like and you’re not sure when you all sat down to dinner together.  Oh yes… and you are tired, cranky and overwhelmed.  To top it off, you have convinced yourself that this is all in the name of ‘Serving Jesus’.

You’re working hard to produce fruit for Jesus, but you have never consulted Him about any of your decisions.  You’ve said yes to anyone who asks, because that’s what ‘Good Christians’ do and it’s left you feeling alone and empty.  You mt dear, have become disconnected fro the only one who can sustain you, Jesus.  Jesus warns us what will happen when we disconnect from Him –

The Vine & The Branches

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;for without Me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

 I am the Vine

Jesus declares that He is the Vine, the stem that is full of all the nutrients we need to produce fruit in our lives.

 You are the Branches

A branch is the subdivision, a limb, an off-shoot of the main stem.  The branches are dependent upon the stem to sustain life.  Jesus declaration is clear He is the Vine – We are the branches.

He (or She) who abides in Me

We choose rather our branch stays connected to the Vine or not, we choose to abide.

  • We choose to stay connected to Jesus
  • We choose to submit to His way of doing things
  • We choose to dwell in His presence
  • We choose to pray
  • We choose to listen
  • We choose to remain in Him
 Bears much fruit

Here is the promise for those who abide in Him- they bear, bring forth, produce, give birth to much fruit. 

What kind of fruit are we to be producing?

His Love 

His Joy

His Peace

His Patience

His Goodness

His Faithfulness

His Gentleness

His Self-Control

 

This is spiritual fruit and we cannot produce it on our own.  It’s impossible! It flows from the Vine into our branches that touch the world around us. We can try to muster it up ourselves, but we cannot sustain this fruit on our own.  Before we know it our branch is wilting.

 for without Me you can do nothing

In case there is any question, when you separate your branch from the vine, you may have some left over fruit for a time, but be assured apart from Jesus, there is no way to produce His fruit.

When we plunge into serving without staying connected to Jesus, we will find a whole lot of work, a whole lot of running that leads to one withered lady. The only place we’ll be finding fruit is in the produce isle.

Pray, listen, graft yourself into Jesus, say yes to the fruitful things and no to the fruitless ones.  Then you will feel him flowing through you, nourishing you, sustaining you.  Instead of feeling exhausted and cranky you will be healthy and vibrant, producing beautiful and delicious fruit, that draw all those around you to Jesus.

 

 

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Peace

Peace

Peace is a state of harmony, freedom from distraction, anxiety, obsession and annoyance.  It is a place of well-being in mind, an inner calm. 

 We can have many things, but when we do not have peace we feel that gaping hole and try to fill it with anything we can grab a hold of.  The peace that Jesus offers surpasses any kind of worldly peace that we may try to chase down.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you

Jesus is speaking to His disciples and we, as followers of Christ, are included in this declaration.  Jesus was preparing hearts for His departure, He was leaving and Holy Spirit was coming.  As Holy Spirit works within us, the peace of Jesus steps into our lives.

My peace I give to you

Jesus clarifies by saying My Peace.  The peace that Jesus gives is an end to the brokenness within us from our sin.   Through Jesus’ gift, His sacrifice for our sin, He restores our relationship with God and fills us with His lasting peace.

Not as the world gives to you do I give to you

The world offers up peace as well.  Here is the problem with the world’s peace, it simply doesn’t last.

  •  Money will not bring us lasting peace.
  • Praise from others will not give us lasting peace
  • Landing the perfect job will not give us lasting peace
  • Attention will not give us lasting peace
 Let not your heart be troubled

A troubled heart is heavy; it taxes our body and our mind.  Jesus Declares – ‘Don’t allow yourself to go there, resist when you begin to feel anxious, nervous or worried.  Lean into My peace, it is always here.’

Neither let it be afraid

Fear can paralyze – fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of what other people may say or think, fear of world events that are beyond our control.  Jesus declares –  ‘Do not let fear to access your heart, choose to allow  My peace settle there.’

The moment we accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation, His peace was declared over us.  In the midst of life storms, you will find His deep peace, a peace that you may not be able to explain, it will be a daily anchor for your soul.

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Believe

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. 

Do you believe this?”

 John 11: 25-26

In this verse we are slipping into a conversation between, Jesus and our busy friend Martha.  When Martha took the time to talk with Jesus, He poured out who He was, to her and to us.

 I am the resurrection and the life

 First, Jesus declares that He is the Resurrection – The One who would rise from the dead

Second, He declares that He is not just Life but – The Life – One who would die, but yet live again

The life that Jesus is offering here is not only our physical life, from our birth to our death, but a spiritual life that goes much further than this.

 He (She) who believes in Me

Here is our only action step.  Do we believe that Jesus is the Resurrection and The Life?

 Believe

 To accept something as true, genuine or real

To have a firm or wholehearted conviction or persuasion

 Do we believe that Jesus is the Resurrection, that He died and rose again?

  • Do we accept Jesus’ words as true, genuine, and real?
  • Do we believe wholeheartedly, that Life is really found in Him?
  • Can we simply believe?

 I’m not saying that believing is easy, many people struggle with placing their belief in Jesus.  His promise for our belief is huge.

 Though he (she) may die, he (she) shall live. 

 No surprise here, one look through old pictures will tell us that our bodies are aging and dying, life as we know it is dying.  Once we take our final breath in this life, we take our first breath in The Life, In Jesus.

 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.

We see that living and believing go hand in hand, as we believe, we live.

Jesus defeated death on our behalf, through his resurrection.  When we place our belief in Him we step into a life everlasting. It can be hard to wrap our minds around this thought of our life operating outside of time as we know it.

Do you believe this?”

Jesus asks us to overcome our unbelief as He leaves Martha and us with one final question, Do you believe this?  

 Martha declared “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

What do you Declare?