Bookends and Benefits

black-dog-bookend

It is always refreshing to read the good thoughts of other writers.
It brings another ‘voice’ , and other insights that can be pondered.

Alan’s writing sparked off in me a line of thought that is interesting.
If I were to sum up the bookends of my life it would be difficult, and I would need to ask that of others who know me, and don’t judge me to harshly.  One end could be contentment and the other, I hope, could be joy – well most days !
That is just a five-minute self-analysis, and I could be wrong – depends who you ask !
What are the bookends of your life – it’s a lovely line of thought and can be quite revealing. 

images.jpg open Bible

 But our lives are like books, and so could it be possible to sum up a book in two words ?  Its fun to try.

The writing further goes on to advocate Joy, and skilfully undergirds the benefits of being a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ.  These benefits, which are all  in Christ  are the bedrock of a beautiful book that can be invisibly read by those who would choose to ‘read’ a believers’ life.   Jesus truly makes all the difference in our lives.  By choosing Him as our God we have access to all these benefits and much, much more.

I hope that you too will be encouraged by Alan’s writing.
I have permission and am privileged to share with you the thoughts of Alan Webster’s Quiet Time 6-3-19 as he writes on :

Philippians 3:1   Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.

Surrounded by Joy

If love is the message of the Gospel, then the bookends are joy.
Having joy is a strength that can keep someone going despite the adversity they face.
It might not exhibit as happiness, for that is a fleeting emotion, but joy undergirds a heart during the hardest trials.   Joy in the midst of suffering exhibits as quiet peacefulness, a contentment of knowing that the present is not the end of the story.   It is trusting through the suffering, hoping beyond the pain, claiming the future glory in the present darkness.

How is joy possible ?  It is as Paul calls it – it is joy in the Lord.   If our joy were in anything else, it would finally disappoint.   But we have joy in a conquering Saviour, who even though He died, vanquished every foe and confounded every attempt to annihilate goodness.    We have a caring Intercessor who constantly consoles our circumstances and prays for us.   If nobody else knows, and nobody notices what we are enduring He has intimate knowledge and we are able to pour our emotions  at His feet. It is there that He speaks to us and fills us up with hope.   It is there that we are empowered to take another step, go another season.

We have a constant Companion who never leaves us.   The Good Shepherd never abandons us even in our dreariest days.   Even when we have failed miserably and everyone else departs, He continues to be faithful.   We can lean on Him and He will hold us up.   When we can’t He will carry us.    We have a Covenant-keeping Messiah who holds Himself to the conditions of promise.   He lavishes grace on us and ensure that we will make it to the end.  He seeks out the lost sheep, rescues the wanderers and stands beside the oppressed.
We are never alone.

With all the benefits we have, even on our worst days, we are comforted.   In the Lord, we can take hold of the rich promises which are all yes and amen in Him.   He pours His life into us and swells the living water from deep within our souls.   We can taste and see that the Lord is good. 

If our walk as believers are to be marked in any way, let it be Joy. 

          Laughing Lamb  

 

 

 

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Stand and Stare

 

I had seen the notice in the newspaper and thought I would make a note to attend the cancer support group, that was to meet at the Church in the village in Durban North. .
Come the day, I had a hesitancy to go.   Not knowing what to expect, and certainly not wanting to surround myself with strangers who spoke of troubles and problems and sicknesses.   My heels were becoming more firmly entrenched in my obstinacy, when I had a sense of the Lord saying to me, with His two fingers pointing at His own eyes :  ‘Keep your eyes on Me’    So the decision was made, I had to go to the meeting.
Talk about self-sabotage  – something I will have to look into at some time !!

However, it turned out to be a lovely day.  I had a lift to the meeting, so I was free to make quiet observations along the way.
One thing I noticed as we were waiting longer than usual at a robot – ( We have power outages in our country at the moment.  It is a national crisis as our electricity generating plants are in a state of disrepair !!)  –  there was a team of municipal ladies in red overalls  weeding and sweeping the gutters in the streets.   One had a long sharp blade type cutter with which she cut the weeds, the follow-up lady would sweep up the weeds, and another two would trim and clean the pavement, sidewalk or verge as some call it.
All very proper, and although very menial it was a form of employment, so very necessary for our people.  But here is the spark that lifted my day.  One of the young ladies looked very becoming for she wore a long curly “weave” or hair piece that made her look like a career woman!   As the traffic began to move and we passed by I gave her an invisible salute, for here was a young lady holding her own, doing a days work on a  hot humid day, looking the best she can while embracing a lowly work.

The scheduled meeting was quite a large one,  and I was welcomed and acknowledged as a newcomer, and escorted to a seat with a companion throughout the meeting.
The people, mainly woman, were cancer survivors gathering to share their stories.   I sat quietly and listened.   I again realised just how good God has been to me through my own encounter with cancer.

There was both suffering and strength in the room, with an open willingness to talk about their survival journey.   There were some who had nursed mothers, fathers, brothers and loved ones through cancer.  These were  the close family members of cancer patients, (often not regarded) who go through their own particular emotional traumas when their loved ones face the cancer challenge.
Tea and cake were served and we huddled together, like mother hens, to talk around everyday normal things and events.  These are things women do best  – apart from surviving cancer !
The scheduled programme of listening to an inspirational talk on cancer was shelved as the electricity was off.  Some of the ladies spoke at random and the rest respectfully listened to their experiences.
There were one or two caregivers, who had a  wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with this disease.  A small group from Reach for Recovery, who do wonderful support work through their volunteers, had also come to the meeting.  The leader of their group later  came over to speak to me and told me of their work.    She was an elderly Indian lady, with a red dot on her forward indicating she was a Hindu,  and had so much empathy. The love was quite tangible, as she leaned in to give me a hug to say good-by.
I came away feeling emotionally cuddled, clucked over, and ‘seen’   It was so good to be with a group of genuinely caring people.

The meeting had finished a little earlier and I had to wait on the pavement for my ride to arrive.   As the Church is right in the heart of the ‘village’ there were car guards hanging around.  The Church has a crèche, and parents were arriving to collect their kids.  A lot of poverty has filtered into this little suburban region, so there is a soup kitchen on certain days.

Methodist Church

During tea I had overheard a Church member lamenting that their church have many elderly people,  little youth activities, needs repair as its 80 years old in the making.   By today’s wealthy mega Church status it may need a boost or two, but I reckon by Heaven’s standard they are right up there with the best of the best.
It’s a place where vibrant community happens, and the church is at its centre.

I was getting a little impatient waiting.   February is our hot clammy humidity season, and we have been having particularly heavy hazy, lazy days.  I looked up and saw the bluest sky I had seen in a long time.   It was a beautiful radiant bluer-than-blue sky.

corn flower
Best described I suppose would be a ‘cornflower blue’.
I sensed the Lord giving me a wink, and knew  He was watching from a clear sky.              “Just wait”,  I thought Him say.

It was then that I saw a beautiful tan and white boxer dog, tongue panting with a dry thirst, coming toward me.  I gave a little whistle, but he turned and bolted on.   Just then a car stopped,  a lady got out and shouted to the car guard to stop and catch the dog.  For just a moment he stood a little gazed then slipped off his tattered sandals and ran after the dog.  ‘Yeah, he’s not going to catch that dog’ I thought to myself.   The lady in the car sat awhile and frantically watched the scenario unfold.
Never underestimate the power of the grapevine !   The car guard shouted to someone on the opposite side of the road to stop the dog.     She then saw the plan and followed the chase in her car.    I will never know if the boxer was re united with his mistress – I hope so.   But it was an interesting way to pass the time while waiting on the street called Community.

To sum up then, my observations of the day, was a well-groomed aspiring street sweeper,  met a cuddle of caring women,  saw a real faithful old church, spied the bluest sky ever, and watched a barefoot car guard willing to go the extra mile – a nice slice of life.

So don’t hesitate when you get the opportunity to quietly observe real life as it passes by.
You won’t be disappointed.

William Davis, in his poem Leisure, said it this way :

“What is this life if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare”

 

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A Beautiful Centrepiece

 

 

It Is Christmas Time.

Christmas-Tablescapes-106

No matter your culture or creed, or what name you may want to give it,  it is that time of the year when the wheels of the world come briefly to a halt and allow us to be recreational, recuperative and even merry.

At its centre is family and festivities, a time to share and a time to remember, a time to love and to be loved, and a time to remember those who aren’t loved and those who are lonely.

It is a special time of the year, and a good time to reflect on the grand story of God and His love for mankind, through His Son Jesus, who was born in a humble stable.
Old, but ever-fresh Christmas carols, impart to us the grand story in simple song.  One of my favourites is O Little Town of Bethlehem.

Phillips Brookes, an Episcopal priest wrote the original poem.  Lewis Redner, his organist wrote it into music for the children of their Church to sing on Christmas day in 1868.
ref:Wikipedia.

I have extracted a few lines from this carol to create a centrepiece for my reflection this Christmas season. 

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light 
The hope and fears of all the years, 
Are met in thee tonight.

These few lines place the everlasting Light, which is Jesus Christ, as a beautiful centrepiece  between Hope and Fear.   If you think about it these are pivotal points in  the human condition – a make or break in life.  If you don’t have hope you are in despair, if you have fear you are depressed, even oppressed.
Jesus raises hope and He erases fear.
This Jesus, the everlasting Light,  is the centre of God’s grand story.  In the beginning there was Light, in the end we will live in His light, and in the middle is the beautiful centrepiece of His life, death and resurrection.

The hope and fears of all the years, right down the many generations, are met in Jesus .    He is the centre between the old and the new, in between our yesterdays and our tomorrows.  More pertinently today,  He is the beautiful centrepiece in the personal hopes and fears of the ordinary Believer.

Let this old-fashion carol unveil the grand story for you far better than I can.
Take a few minutes to listen,  it may ring some distant bells for you.    For an extra jolt of joy, sing along with the words on the screen.  The tune is simple and repetitive but the words are truly profound.  Make it a Christmas centrepiece moment.

I hope this will leave you with a warm glow of the true meaning of Christmas, and the sureness of knowing, that in spite of it all, you are loved by God – for you are the beautiful centrepiece of His affection.

WISHING  JOY  TO  YOU  AND  YOUR LOVED ONES,  THIS  CHRISTMAS  TIME.

Christmas-Bells

Consider the Seed

 

VeryBerryPorridge

I have been on one of my jaunts, and down numerous rabbit holes looking for good food.
I have come to the conclusion that pretty much everything needed for our consumption for a healthy life is tied up in nature, and more pertinently in the small but mighty seed.

In my meanderings I started off in Genesis, and found, what seems to me to be a comprehensive summary of God’s provision of food for man and beast.   I read that on the third day God spoke –

” And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit whose seed is in itself according to its kind.  And God saw that it was good. ”  Genesis 1:12

Seeds are the primary method of propagation in most plant families.
And so God in His goodness and provision perpetually stocked up man’s pantry for food, as a self producing food factory, all through seeds.

When I told my husband that seeds are good for him, he promptly told me that he was not a budgie !!    That is what comes to most minds when we speaks of seeds.  But seeds are so much more than bird food or cattle feed.

seeds
I researched and read that there are different types of seeds.
GRAINS :    A grain crop is a grain-producing plant.  The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legumes.   Grains and cereals are synonymous with caryopses the fruits of the grass family.     ref : Wikipedia
Examples of grass seeds  :  maize, millet, barley, oats, rye, spelt,wheat,  sorghum.
If you think about it these form the basis of our cereals, providing health-sustaining food for our bodies.
They form the staple diet of many people groups, and their nutritive value is immense.

green-peas

Legumes : or grain legumes are members of the Pea family and they are higher in protein.
Some examples :  Chickpeas, common beans, common garden peas, fava beans, lime beans, lentils, lupins, mung beans and soybeans.

HERBS

thyme

In general use, herbs are plants with savoury or aromatic properties that are used for flavouring and garnishing food, medicinal purposes or for fragrances.  Ref : Wikipedia
Some examples : Basil  Parsley, Thyme, Sage and Dill.

 

Fruit

FRUIT  AND  VEGETABLES 
Botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all other plant-parts, such as roots, leaves and stems for example :  
Fruit – apples squash tomatoes,  – while roots such as beets, potatoes turnips,  and leaves such as spinach, kale and lettuce, and stems eg. celery, broccoli are all vegetables
Ref : http://www.livescience.com

peach fruit

Fruit trees :
The fruit tree and their seeds provide us, with a little heaven on earth.
Fruit has natural filtered water, natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, flavours and other nutrients too.  Cool and refreshing, nutritious and absolutely delicious all at the same time – and a veritable natural pharmacy !

Dr Cherry in his book The Bible Cure says :
Grains, seeds, fruits and vegetables are sources we have available to us for carbohydrates.
The main focus of your food intake should come from the following groups of complex carbohydrates
+  Green/yellow vegetables.
+   Grains, including cereal, rice, whole grain breads,
+  Fruits.
+  Beans and Peas  

What astonished me, was the fact that this food is self-generating – of course terms and conditions apply e.g. good soil, moisture, sunlight, and air must be in supply.

One definition of a seed :  A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food.  It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plant which occurs after fertilization and some growth with-in the mother plant.   Ref : http://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/seed
What is an Ovule ? – the part of the ovary of seed plants that contain the female germ cell and after fertilisation becomes the seed.

Perhaps that is a bit to much information !   But seemingly a pattern is set, which I suspect is a pattern for not only food but for the way of Life itself.  The ovule, is where the seed grows.   Humans too come from the same concept.   There must be a blue print for the pattern of Life.
The life-cycle of the seed, to me, reflects such a pattern.

However, apart from the marvellous provision that the seed provides for our good food, our health and well-being,  the seed also illustrates for us life-lessons.
“Be fruitful and multiply’   That is the purpose of the seed to be productive and to cause increase.
“There will always be seed-time and harvest time –  a pattern for the prosterity of life.  There are seasons in our personal lives too …… ” a time to cry and a time to laugh, a time to make war and a time to make peace”
“Sowing and reaping” is a principle not only applied to the farmer, but to reciprocity, to  finance and even hinge on justice and reprisal.
Seeds are in our genealogies.
(Yes,  somewhere in every family tree there may be a nut!)
God planted a seed  in Abraham, with the promise of many many descendants, even while his wife Sarah was old and barren.   Abraham believed God, and so began the story of the People of Faith, who  would exponentially grow in history,  to make the invisible God known to the nations of the world.
Hidden in plain sight, but perhaps a little obscure in the heap of histories,  is Jesus Christ, who is Abraham’s Seed,  (ref : Gal 3:16)
God’s promise of salvation for the People of His Promise, that would extend far beyond Abraham’s imagination.

Not all seeds grow, but all have potential to grow  – (author unknown)

A seed can hold a destiny, because faith (what you think and what you believe) is like a seed.    The promises of God are the seeds of faith.  We can believe them, nourish them in our thought-life to grow a better and more abundant tomorrow.
The Seed is the word of God  – Luke 8:11
It is good spiritual food for intellectual understanding, and the sound development of  mind, soul, and spirit – and that of our societies !

Mustard_Seed Tree

But there is another life lesson the seed brings to us, and it is that of transformation.
“………  unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.  (John 12:24
If a grain of wheat dies, it can produce and become more.  More grain,  – and more bread to give food and life to many who are hungry.

wheat ear

That is perhaps the hidden essence of life – to die so that there can be a rebirth.   A surrendered life of ‘becoming’ is an ongoing process, but carries with it seeds of great magnitude, and a new consciousness.    One just has to ponder the story of the Cross of Christ, and the resurrection power of transformation.

All plant life starts with seeds.   They are small, but they are mighty.   Seeds are not just little ‘husky’ things, but carry various and necessary compounds that work in our bodies in many precise and methodical ways to grow cells or to repair damaged ones.  Therein lies the wonder of the seed.
Seeds, plants and nutrition all have a part to play in the restorative power that can bring healing and wellness to a sick body.

Plants are loaded with essential minerals, vitamins and disease-fighting nutrients that are often lacking in our modern-day diets.
I read of some cancer fighting plants, with their unique compounds found in their substance :  There are many more of course
Garlic and Onions : – Allium compounds, which increase activity of immune cells that fight cancer and indirectly help to break down cancer causing substances.
Grapes : contain ellagic acid., this compound blocks enzymes necessary for cancer cells to grow, thus slowing the growth of tumors.   Grapes also contain compounds that can prevent blood clots.   Another substance in grape skins (resveratrol) prevents deposit of cholesterol in arteries.
Citrus Fruits  – contain limonene, which stimulates cancer-killing immune cells (T-lymphocytes and others)   Oranges are shown to have strong anticancer benefits.
Some 60 anti-cancer chemicals contained in citrus fruits.
Tomatoes –  contain lycopene, an anti cancer substance, some researches suggest may be stronger than beta carotene.
Watermelons, Carrots and Red Peppers also contain this powerful substance.
Broccoli and Cabbage  – contain indoles, can effect estrogen converting it to a benign form that will not stimulate abnormal breast cancer cells.   These cruciferous vegetables contain multiple cancer fighting chemicals.  Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower also fall in this category.
Ref : The Bible Cure. Dr Reginald Cherry M.C.  Siloam Press.

vegetables-colorful

I for one, would like to applaud those who are sowers of seeds, the farmer, the teacher and the preacher, for they scatter seeds that bring us good food for increased growth, health and sensible development.

But there are those who would modify the preciousness of the seed. These modifiers are those who tamper with the health and well-being of many generations to come !!   To them I say  ‘hands off our seeds’.

seed shoots

So in my jaunt in search of good food, the seed became the focal point of consideration.  Think about it, what comes first :   the seed, the plant, the flower, the fruit, the death and then the rebirth – a cycle and a pattern for the good life, both physical and spiritual.

All that, and more is the precious seed from which plants grow and provide us with the most, and the best nutrition for sustaining the life of man and beast here on earth.

Here’s to good food and good health. Let’s be thankful and eat from God’s sustenance for us, provided ultimately through the Seed.

Yellow-Mustard-Seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Story of a Sparrow

 

Let my sparrow drawing bring you a tender story.

Mossie

Written in the annals of our nation’s very diverse history is a story of a sparrow.

The background is the Anglo Boer war of 1901.
With the discovery of gold and diamonds, the British Empire came to occupy the land.
The British desperately tried to bring the pioneer Boers to submission.   The Boers,  fiercely resisted, fighting their enemy with guerrilla warfare,  that cost the British much.  Eventually a ‘scorched earth policy’ was implemented, where their farmsteads were burnt down, their fields salted so that they could not grow crops to survive.  Their women and children were taken to concentration camps.   But there was, overcrowding, bad hygiene, severe malnutrition, and endemic contagious diseases.  Over 26,000 women and children were to perish in these concentration camps of the Anglo Boer war.  The women in particular knew immeasurable grief as they  helplessly watched their children suffer, and give them over to death.
One such woman was Anette Marais, and the story goes …

“Anette Marais sat on a log and shook the dust off her tatty clothes.  Around her sit a group of women with familiar but weary faces.  Just a few feet away is the high wire fence of the concentration camp.
She opens her Bible and begins to read.   She had wrestled with God in the dark hours of the night, and begged Him for a message of hope for these women,  for who knows how much longer……!

Anette reads the words of Matthew 10:29 .
 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin?   And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Do not fear therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows
.
While she is busy reading these words, a small insignificant sparrow comes and sits upon her shoulder.
The group of women stare in surprise at the incident unfolding before their eyes.
And so the sparrow becomes a sign of hope in the impossible situation of the concentration camp at Bethulie.

It is fantastic to see how in the following months the sparrow of Bethulie became a beacon of faith and hope for these women.    On May 1902 the Anglo Boer war ended.
Anette, on returning to her home, met a women of influence, and told her the sparrow story.    She,  in turn, retold the story.
In 1923 General Jan Smuts had two sparrows minted on the smallest coin of the then South African currency.”
-cent-south-africa-1963.jpg

So remember the story of the sparrow on days you may feel small, insignificant, forlorn or forgotten.   May faith and hope be a beacon in our lives too.

PS     In South Africa, the sparrow is known as a Mossie.   I translated the story from Afrikaans.  The author is unknown.  More Afrikaans sparrow stories can be found in my Menu bar, just click on Random Writings and scroll down to Mossie Dag.
Reference on the background of the Anglo Boer War is from Wikipedia, should you want to know more.

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Re-bloom

 

beauty bouganvilla

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

 

hedge bouganvilla

A sunbeam-lit  Bougainvillea hedge

 

bouganvilla

Keep memory alive in a pot of beauty.

It was last year that I wrote on Beautiful Bougainvillea, so at the risk of being repetitive I am posting these pictures of the beauty that surrounds me,  to share it with you. The motivational gurus say if you want to be smart surround yourself with smart people.  I reckon if you want to be beautiful surround yourself with beauty.   And where can one find beauty at its best but in a garden.

I just could not helped being amazed at the lovely tangerine/pink Bougainvillea that I woke up to one morning, and met its beauty in a moment.   I mean it had been there all along, growing quietly and unnoticed until one morning it just said ” hello there ,  it’s re-bloom time again!”   And re-bloom it has, together with the other Bougainville’s in my garden.

It was John Keats who wrote in his poem Endymion ” a thing of beauty is a joy forever. Its beauty increases.”     I don’t think that we can be in a garden and fully appreciate the loveliness of nature in all its forms.   Amazingly God first created a garden and then man, to care and maintain it.   What a setting He created for man, and for the story of man, to unfold itself from – a garden!   Not the cosmos, not a distant star or a shallow pool of chemical soup  – no, a garden !

One of the lessons I like to take from the garden is the grace of the re-bloom.  Just when you think you have ‘arrived’ reached the top of the pile with nowhere else to go , or sunk so low that you cannot breathe with the waters of despair wallowing around you, or all is so futile and irrelevant – and begin to think what really matters in life?,  or even when all seems done and dusted, there is then the time of the re-bloom.   Re-bloom – it’s a thread woven into the life of the Garden.   And into the garden of  Life it is called the second chance, or the grace of God.   It is a thing woven in and throughout the fabric of life – our lives and the principles in nature.   I have been heard to whisper (even if only in my own mind)  – it’s never over till it’s over.

And that is perhaps why I relate so strongly to the Bougainvillea, apart from its beauty and the sheer joy it gives in its abundant profusion of colourful little petals that have the capacity to mass itself in awesome displays, for those along the highway of life.
And if you pass by that way often, you will encounter their re-bloom, and then remember for yourself – the grace of God, the God of the second chance.

shine throu bogan

Bougainvillea a thing of beauty indeed.

Pause to Ponder

 

Cross

Easter.    It’s that time of year again when the world slows down just a little, and there is time to pause and ponder on the things of God.   He has been around forever, and will be with us even when we are unaware of His presence.  He just is, and yet we miss Him, if we do not look for Him, or take a little time to listen for Him.

There is more to life than just living, and not everything is as it seems.  There is a mystery at play, a mystery in full view, if we were to pause, to ponder and to perceive.
Easter time is a good time to ponder on The Great Story of God, the story of righteousness, redemption and restoration, and all things good.  And for that we need to look at the cross, and the finished work of Jesus Christ.

aaron-burden-76177-unsplash

The cross is a place of brutal suffering – where Jesus was lashed with a whip of seven tails, that tore and ripped the skin off his body; where a crown of thorns mockingly pierced the flesh of his skull.   And so when we are in pain and suffering – God knows.
He was nailed to a wooden cross and crucified by a people that was called to be His own.
And so when we are betrayed – God knows.
The cross is a place of sacrifice – where God deemed it fit for His Son to die for the sake of mankind,  – that is you and me.  And so when we sacrifice for the sake of others – God knows.
The cross is a place of rejection.  He was rejected by man, and abandoned by God.
And so when we are rejected, abandoned and all alone – God knows.

Rejected rose

As the song goes   “Like a rose trampled on the ground, He took the fall and thought of me above all”

The cross where the significance of self and its sin, melts into the sacrificed life of Christ Jesus, that makes us acceptable, and worthy, and beautiful before a Holy God.

The cross, is a place of salvation – where forgiveness is given, but so often not received, because we do not ask for forgiveness from God, from others, even from ourselves and are hard-pressed to give forgiveness to those who have done us wrong.

So often are we pre-occupied with only ourselves, and don’t listen or  ask after the promises, and the ways of God.

The cross, is pivotal to the story of God, and to history itself.
The cross is a place of death, and death has to be breached, so that new life can begin.  The cross is a place of life – the place where heaven opens and righteousness and restoration happens.   The veil is lifted between earth and heaven –  and so He opens the way, for those who choose to believe in God and in His story.

holycross
Jesus died,  and rose again.  The miracle of all the ages.   He is the resurrection to the new life, the new creation, through a new covenant – a covenant of the heart !
And the new creation is what it is all about !  He is the beginning of our story, and He is the end of our story.   But it is not the final end, for if we receive His invitation to heaven, and ask Him to come and live in our hearts today, we join Him, and reign with Him in His resurrected life, and continue into the new creation that is coming.  A new beginning – a new story !!

So take time to ponder the old old story of Jesus and His cross, and accept His invitation today to real life, life bought by His sacrifice and His blood, and by His love,  for mankind, that is you and me, to shine before God.

John 14:6    Jesus said to him  ” I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

This Easter, pause to ponder,  and to pray … Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me for going my own way, and not following You.   Thank you for dying in my place.  Please come into my heart, and live Your life through me.  Thank You for the precious and miraculous gift of salvation.  Amen.

Red rose    Easter blessings to all.