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Showing posts from 2017

In a World Wind

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"When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth." ( Genesis 8:11) Turmoil and life’s difficulties can leave the soul with unrest. We wonder if restoration will arrive. We debate ourselves and find that sin is at the root of the troubles in this world. We’ve entertain it. We adjust and make sin comfortable. We twist the Word of God to make it what we want it to say. Our justification leads us down a road of trouble. But, Noah was a man who was found righteous in the eyes of God. He heard God’s direction and though it seemed ridiculous he followed through. He believed God. In this fallen world sometimes, we are the dreamer with interruptions assailing at us. The vision was given but the realities seem to escape us. So many days and weeks in the flooded waters. I know I heard God. As he waits and waits I wonder did his heart grow weary or stronger? When we wait on

Was Blind But Now I See

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" “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16) When babies are born their eyes don't have the ability to fully focus. Their eyes are developing. "Babies learn to see over a period of time, much like they learn to walk and talk. They are not born with all the visual abilities they need in life. The ability to focus their eyes, move them accurately, and use them together as a team must be learned. Also, they need to learn how to use the visual information the eyes send to their brain in order to understand the world around them and interact with it appropriately." ( aoa.org ) “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they

Reject or Inflict

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They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” (John 19:17-22, NASB) Is he King to you? When confronted with the Truth what is our answer? For a while I did not believe. God’s mercy and patience sought me and rescued me from sin. We can reject or inflict. If we reject him there is nothing else that can rescue us

How many stamps am I worth?

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Memories are a funny thing. I’ve been awake for about an hour and just like that something triggered and brought to life these hidden gems, even made me smile. When I was a little girl living in the Bronx, I remember walking the streets under the raised train tracks. I can still hear the chuck-chuck-chuck rhythm in the background. I never second guessed the noises in the air. It was city life. Hand in hand with my mom we’d walk to our destination. One hand holding mine and the other in her pea coat pocket with her booklet. There was this Redemption Center that we would go to. We’d browse the front window and then walk inside. Based on how many stamps my mom accumulated; this determined the item we could take home. But what if we were missing a stamp? Redemption is “the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.” It was a lot of work to own anything on the window display in exchange for the stamps we collected. In never

Mary or Martha

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“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) Hey, Jesus is coming over today! What would be the first thing we would do? Hmmm, perhaps clean the bathroom. Touch up the living room. Make sure there is something to eat. Oh, did you run the dishwasher? Pick up your dirty socks from the floor!  Oh, no the guest room looks like a storage bin!!! The very familiar story of Mary and Martha. Martha often is seen as the “busy Martha”, so worried about the “house” when Jesus was visiting. According to the Lord’s comment, “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) Indeed she was preoccupied with other responsibilities. I wondered what

Praise Weapon

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Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. ( Psalm 8:2 a) When I think about an infant, the freshness of this little life, it is their cry that is so fascinating. It calls to our attention to respond. Is he or she wet, are they tired, or hungry? Are they praising God? The Psalmist here points out the praise. How can an infant praise God? I love the reminder that we have all been created to worship God. Why not the infant? The Psalmist is speaking of establishing praise. The writer here expresses that children and infants praise God and with it establish a stronghold against the enemy! My intellect tells me that praise must be formulated. Praise must somehow be a strategic time consuming plan. But the Spirit of God says otherwise. He reminds us that we follow the leading of His Spirit! Let’s remember David a young boy reaching in his bag; grabbing a tiny stone and fling it to the ene

The Fob

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I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” ( Matthew 16:19) How convenient is life getting? In the days of old if you carried a lot keys on a keyring you were mockingly called a “super” or a superintendent; one who maintains a building with tenants. This job required 24-hour monitoring. If something broke, heat failed or pipes burst the superintendent quickly came to the rescue. See, he had the keys to all the apartments, to the furnace room and if you lived in the Bronx, he also had the key that opened the roof exit door. Hence, he carried all the keys that amounted to quite some weight on his belt. Nowadays we barely use keys. At least not the old fashioned brass or nickel keys that jingled. When I leave my house I walk right up to my car and the door opens automatically. My key is now called a fob and it authorizes and identifies me as the owner. I arrive a

It can't hurt me if its dead!

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"As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4) Yesterday was a very difficult day for me. When Rheumatoid Arthritis (“RA”) flares us it does not care what day of the week it is. It’s not concerned that you had plans. The pain comes from all angles and makes no apologies for the agony it causes. Disruptions of life! Whether we are dealing with a physical trial or other changes that challenge our daily lives, we all have a choice to make. So, yesterday my husband had to take day off from work. He literally was my crutch to get up, sit down, lay down and rise again. It seemed that every 25 minutes I had to move my body to relieve it from pain. This was our ordeal for 24 hours that began at 3 AM. He cooked and literally fed me. Let’s just say it was a day of heartache. I am what some would call a “type A personality”. I can’t sit still. I have to-do list everywhere.  I'm not sure I understand t

Eclipse

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The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5) Did you see it?  Everyone is talking about it. The lesser light obscuring the greater light; a Solar eclipse. The best part of all the images I’ve seen is the glowing light! The fact that once the moon stands in front of the sun it creates a beautiful glow; the sun itself still shining around the moon. Absolutely beautiful! When Jesus walked the earth we read in the Book of John, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1) It’s a brief explanation of Christ, the Light coming into world that was in darkness. The world full of darkness could not overcome the Light! Stand in front and cause those that Christ died for to stumble. Make them turn from their Creator. Try to make them forget their purpose and blind them so that they cannot see. Now let the Son of God step into time and the revelation that unfolds Salvation begins. The words of th

Yield the fruit of the season!

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That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” (Psalm 1:3) Believe it or not but if you live in the Northeast change is coming. Seasons are a beautiful experience! Today I decided to remove what was left of my cucumber vines. The season was very fruitful. The abundance was shared with my neighbors and friends. As I cut away all the dead leaves I noticed there was one vine that had attached itself to my window shutter. I could see even as an end is about to come that this vine continued to produce flowers—flowers that with the right conditions would turn into fruit. But, I realized that no matter how much this vine wants to continue in its efforts to produce cucumbers, the season will bring it to a halt. It reminded me of life’s cycles. One day I am 16 years old and life did not

Do as I say, not as I do

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Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no  knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it. (Deuteronomy 1:39) Do as I say, not as I do. Familiar? Wow, I hope I never used that on my son. A familiar saying that denotes the speaker as already guilty, wouldn’t you say? If I am doing things well than, by all means follow me as I follow Christ. But, if I am in error, Lord have mercy – DON’T FOLLOW ME! In the Book of Numbers the Bible unfolds this dance of disobedient children; children delivered by the very hand of God out of slavery. It’s a dance that exhibits the mercy of God to a generation whose parents grumbled over and over again, to the God who spoke with Moses face to face. The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declare

What's in a Name?

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"But for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt. I did it to keep my name from  being profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites."  (Ezekiel 20:9) Who cares what other people think? We’ve all heard this expression, specifically from our parents. Growing up we are sent to school and I'm sure we can all recall the voice, “who cares what others think, be yourself.” Our parents were trying to cultivate a sense of well being. They wanted us to flourish and thrive in this new environment. There were gifts planted deep inside. Our parents or overseer wanted them to grow.  We were discovering who and whose's we were. Perhaps it went something like this,  “don’t forget, you are a Rodrigues” or add your family’ name there. It defined who we were, our inheritance. There were certain qualities that our parents spent years trying to impress on us. How to love ourselves

What's on you?

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Exodus 14:22 Have you ever been standing next to someone and you can tell they have been by a fire? Roasting marshmallows is fun but if you just got your hair done, brace yourself, you will have to do it again.  The smell of the burning wood lingers close and ultimately those around you can identity that you were by the pit. You clothes smell, and even the ashes that have landed now reside in your hair. You were close to the fire but it did not consume you.  Actually you enjoyed the soft, warm chocolate covered graham treat. Life leaves residue that others can see. What’s on you? Life is a road of ups and downs.   Often the very place that was a blessing can become hardship. We can learn from the Israelites  as the story of deliverance unfolds. The LORD is making a way for them from bondage and oppression. Troubles cause us to either retreat and sulk or to persevere and move ahead. The truth is that in this world we will have trouble! (Joh

BOW!

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Mark 5:1-20 We were evicted after many years living comfortably. We had matured and were sure that we would remain. We saw him from a distance and had to rise and meet him. There was no hiding from his Presence. As he left the boat and his feet touch the ground, we traveled quickly, submission is all we had. All the authority, power and strength we had exhibited was now challenged. Actually we had no strength at all and our road of ruin was halted. He looked straight through me. He called to us. The ground that was firm began to shake. Who could do this?   Our grip was diminishing.  This is all we knew!  Where else can we turn to? We addressed him by Name, for this King required it even though he did not speak at first. His authority was evident to all. We left our hiding place exposed and left bare before Him. Bowing down before the King, we begged him not to torture us. He seemed to be interested in our “home”, this flesh that we had commanded for som

CLEAR!

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"After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray." (Matthew 14:23) CLEAR! The language used when you see someone go flat-line. The heart is in trouble! Learn the unforced rhythms of grace” is how Matthew 11 (MSG) reads. God is gentle. I’ve written about this before, but the subject is not exhausted. I’m still learning! The heart is racing. Thoughts are challenging me. The day is filled with request and I just got up. Sound familiar? How do I get away? How do I make my soul be still? How do I please God? Will he receive my cry for forgiveness? Will he be angry with me?  Lord is that really you? How do I know your will for me? Is my unrest due to sin? Did I miss you when you spoke? Show me Lord; show me your ways. The valley is a place of reflection.  It can be a place of anguish. Looking for answers that allude us. I can go no further downward. My eyes must look up, look to the hills where my help comes from, but

Looking for Rest?

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Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.  (Psalm 62:5 ) The great grandson of Solomon, Asa became King in Judah.  A man zealous for the Lord; he command the people to seek the Lord and he himself searched out the heart of God. “He commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands.  He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him.” (2 Chronicles 14:4-5) Asa desired to please God. When trouble came he did not resort to his own strength but, “ Asa called to the LORD his God and said, “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. LORD, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.” (v. 11) When he was discouraged the Lord himself lifted his countenance by sending Azariah the son of Obed the prophet. “Listen to me, As