Georgetownrose

…from glory to glory

The Heart of St. Valentine

heart-of-st-valentine2There’s a lot on my mind about this special day…

It’s special for me in multitudes of ways…

I remember my mother on this day. Once, when we were celebrating my birthday, she told me that when she was carrying me she hoped that I would be born on St. Valentine’s Day. Alas, God had other plans; I was born shy of that date. But that did not discourage my mother. When I was confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church at age 12, it was the custom for confirmands to take the name of a saint and martyr of the faith. My mother encouraged me to take the name Valentina, a feminine variant for St. Valentine. Being the obliging child that I was, I saw no problem with this, and took the name gladly…

I had very little knowledge, and less understanding at the time, of the true life and joy of St. Valentine…

Another way that this day is special to me is that I have another opportunity to bless my husband of 48 years with extra gestures of love and gratitude. So very thankful to God for giving me a man who loves me and makes me a better woman than I would be on my own…

In recent years, I’ve come to be more aware of who this man Valentine is. He was so committed to upholding Christian marriage that he prepared couples for their covenant vows and consecrated their commitment in a day when it was dangerous for the Church to do so…


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And now, in my senior years, I understand more of the heart of a man who desired to leave the legacy of a love that can never be shaken or lost; this love can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ. While Valentine was committed to preserving Christian marriage in the face of the emperor’s military recruitment agenda, he did so knowing that such a sacred bond was the type for the love of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church. And he was bold to speak out for the love of Messiah Jesus…

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There is another thought that I want to express to all the dear ones who read this blog–all the ones who are not married. If you are in Christ, this day is a special day to remember His love for you and to pass the message of Messiah Jesus on to others. Because this is the heart of St. Valentine…

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And as one who has been confirmed in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, having taken the name of this witness for my Lord and King,  here is my prayer for you on this commemoration of the life and ministry of St. Valentine…

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…for such a time as this…

Millenium King

I wonder how many of our readers remember the turn of the century from the 20th Century to the 21st Century. I remember the tidal wave of Y2K worries and fears which swept over this earth. They seem rather insignificant now, in light of the greater fears and worries which have swelled across this world wide neighborhood in the preceding decade of this century; and we are now well into the next decade with greater knowledge of many things, and multitudes more of questions and unknowns looming ahead…

Rarely am I ever given the enviable gift of poetic expression,  but what I will share with everyone today is my heart answer to all that might shake and unsettle and inflame and threaten us in the days and years ahead. This flooded my heart as I was pondering the threshold of the year 2000. As I read it again from time to time, I realize how very relevant my modern day psalm is to all that I have since seen rising around us.

May this gift which the Spirit of God poured out on me bless you and encourage you all the days of this year and after…

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Millenium King: A Psalm for the Century

Patricia Stachew, 2000 A.D.

In the Shadow of His Wing,

While all the spectres, terrors of the world

With their threats and warnings

Of agony, rage and pain are,

Subject to His Sovereignty, unfurled;

We hold no bitter rage, nor dread,

While amid the fears and tremors

Of this planet’s fallen soil we tread.

Tossed in trials, we stand safe, unmoved;

Afflicted, yet healed

By the everpresent Balm outpoured;

His Perfect Faithful Love for us is proved,

The warfare won by One Yeshua, Saving Lord.

Our eyes once blind, now beholding,

His birth and saving blood revealed,

With unearthly joy,

We, though dying, live and sing.

While on this earth, we trust and walk

In tender mercies yet abounding;

Quickened with His spoken Word,

The Written Record of His vows fulfilled; so great

A cloud of witnesses surrounding.

Now, onward through this latter age,

Lives transformed as heirs of His Estate,

While strength and breath remain,

Unshackled from the bonds of futility and rage,

Unchained by Hedonistic pleasures proven vain,

His Love compels us speak of joyful tidings we have heard;

And of Victory in the Battle

He has waged,

Gently, boldly talk.

Earth

There is no woeful portent of impending doom,

Nor promised global peace and wealth foretold

Which ever have escaped His perfect sight,

Eclipsed His everlasting glory,

Or loosed their power from His omni-potent hold.

This truth have we, solid, faithful, constant;

No fable of contrivance, nor old wives’ story,

Amid the ebbing, flowing tides of circumstance,

Capped with misty apparitions of the coming night,

And laced with glittering world-spun webs

Conceived for numbing bitter,

Hopeless gloom.

Now, with joy, we live to tell–

With neither bitter rage, nor dread–

While amid the fears and tremors

Of this planet’s fallen soil we tread:

The Kingdom we are here to spread,

To increase and multiply

Is that of Him Who reigns:

His Name Immanuel!

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Confessions of an American Voter – 2020 Edition

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

I am revisiting my post of the same title posted in November of 2016.  So much has unfolded in our American landscape over the past four years of history. None of us could have known ahead of time the events over which we and our leaders have had no control, despite the frantic grasping for explanations for all our struggles, sufferings and losses…

I recently viewed an epic film entitled, “The Legend of 1900” about a boy born on the high seas aboard an ocean vessel. He was abandoned by his mother and raised aboard the ship where he spent his entire life, never stepping foot on land. A moment came in his life when he decided to venture off the ship into the sea of life in the land of New York City.

courtesy Medusa Cinematografica: “The Legend of 1900” (Italian: La leggenda del pianista sull’oceano, ‘The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean’)

When he viewed the immensity of the city scape from his place on the exit ramp, he could see no end to it. At sea, he could always see the horizon, even though the ocean, too, is immense… 

In our days, dear ones with me in the immensity of life adrift on the American “ocean,” we are all looking for the horizon…

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Here is another year in my voting experience where I am more keenly aware that I could not vote either for my selfish inclinations or upon my hopes for the American pledge of allegiance; I was forced to vote totally surrendered to the sovereign will of God—as a citizen living in a nation where some, at least, believe that we are a nation under God, but who now realize that we are not indivisible and where liberty is only for those who will submit to the sovereignty of the God of the Holy Bible, knowing that He alone is The Horizon to Whom–even in His immensely immeasurable, infinite Being–we can see the end of all these immense things which are too big for us…

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courtesy Medusa Cinematografica: “The Legend of 1900” (Italian: La leggenda del pianista sull’oceano, ‘The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean’)

If you are an American or aspiring to become a citizen of this nation, I pray that you wilbless-god-americal always honor allegiance to the republic for which our flag stands; but I pray you will do so recognizing that this land, its people and its leaders are subject to the sovereignty of the God…

that hath made and preserved us a nation…And this be [your] motto: ‘In God is our trust.’

–Francis Scott Key, “The Star-Spangled Banner” vs 4

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…and may He have mercy upon us all.

A Ride through Glory…

Everyone I know is hungry for something beautiful in the midst of all the difficult circumstances of these times. My old husband and I feel the pain of it all in this last season of our lives. We feel the declining light level more keenly and we look more hungrily for things to do in a day to remind us of the glory that awaits those who belong to God in Christ Jesus…

One of the activities in recent days, as autumn emerges in its spectacular color is to take afternoon rides in our locale. This year, we are taking rides every day to watch the mask of green slowly be drawn back as the true colors of the leaves begin to show themselves. I love musing on the prospect of the glory of the New Earth, when trees will never need the chlorophyll agent to produce food–because they will not be corruptible; they will not die. Their color will always be exploding everywhere in pure delight, for they will enjoy forever rest from their labors. This truth gives my soul rest as I think on the temporary labors this side of glory. I love autumn for its reminder of all things being created for God’s delight and glory…

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

One year, not so very long ago, I wrote how one autumn drive touched my soul and cut me open to see its glory through the lives of the leafy columns of the wood…

In the midst of all that we are experiencing, I invite you to stop awhile and muse on “Autumn’s Desire” and the expectation of how LIFE in Christ Jesus is truly a ride through glory–for such a time as this…

https://georgetownrose.wordpress.com/2017/09/22/autumns-desire/

Greetings and Blessings at the Feast of Tabernacles…

1890 Holman Bible - Tabernacle with Scripture

Graphic: Public Domain, The Tabernacle in the Wilderness; illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible
http://thebiblerevival.com/clipart/1890holmanbible/color/thetabernacleinthewilderness.jpg
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…On this Festival of Our Joy, sending a greeting and blessing to all fellow image bearers of the God of creation…

While you sojourn in this wilderness world in an earthen vessel, may you know the blessing of God’s true presence in Messiah Jesus, our Immanuel, wherever God takes you, whatever God ordains for your life this side of glory…

While you wait for what next unfolds in this wilderness experience, may you rest confidently in the knowledge of the purpose God has breathed into your life in all things…

While you walk through this world of shadows and barren places, may you drink deeply from the wells of the sweet water of salvation in Messiah Jesus…

While you contend boldly with the consequences of life in a fallen vessel, may you embrace walking in the light of the gaze of a holy God bathed in the oil of the joy of the Holy Spirit, clothed in the pure righteousness of Messiah Jesus…

May you know the joy and peace of His Kingdom and Government increasing in your heart and life.

Sukkot – Feast of Tabernacles

L’Chaim b’Yeshua – To LIFE in Jesus!

Pray for Awakening…

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” –Psalm 122.6

Greetings on Yom Kippur…

Yom Kippur Image - Fall Feasts on WP

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Taking this moment to share in the celebration of our Great Atonement in Messiah Jesus. For all who know the manifold grace of God through His Son, this day is a day of earnest intercession for all who remain in peril of missing the blessing of His forgiveness…

May all who realize the pure righteousness of Messiah imputed to them by God’s grace, remember, rejoice and walk daily as those whose names are written in Heaven…

May all who know the holiness and pure righteousness of the Lord Jesus declare the Truth with boldness and grace in a world which is on an irrevocable course to discover Him who holds the Books of men’s works and the Book of Life…

Yom Kippur – So Great an Atonement

To LIFE in Jesus!

Pray for Awakening…

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” –Psalm 122.6

Greetings at the Feast of Trumpets…

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Feast of Trumpets – Year of Our Lord 2020

Taking this special opportunity to share the joy of anticipating the return of Messiah Jesus. For all who realize the holiness of God, this season brings with it expectation and an exquisite mixture of joy and trembling, as we remember what the Lord Jesus’ work will be upon His second coming…

May all who know Him, abandon the shadows and give Him the preeminence in all things this side of glory… not only for this day, but for every day in your life as you wait His return…

May all who know the Lord Jesus declare the Truth with boldness and grace in a world which is on an irrevocable course to meet His holy appearing…

The Autumn Holy Days Introduction

The Feast of Trumpets – Yom Teruah

To LIFE in Jesus!

Pray for Awakening!

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” –Psalm 122.6

 

The Church and the State: A History Lesson

Photo by David Besh at Pexels.com

I have been studying A Survey of Church History with Ligonier Ministries’ online study community. So far, I am halfway through the first segment on the Ancient Church which takes its students through the period between A.D. 100-600.  When I reached the lecture and discussion concerning the emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity, I found the lecture enlightening and encouraging to my soul in times like these. The discussion questions on the content of the lecture made all my little grey cells rally to comprehend the implications of history and try to articulate for contribution to our study community.

In our times, many Christians are confused and troubled about the prospect of living in a world where Christianity is considered a hate crime in some circles, and at least something to be despised and rejected.

There are two parts to the discussion. I hope my observations and contributions will be enlightening and encouraging to those who trust in Christ Jesus as the Head of the Church and the Sovereign King over all things. My answers to the discussion questions are in block quote format.


Part 1: Why do some scholars argue that Constantine’s conversion injured the church? Why do some argue that it helped the church? 

Scholars who observed how Constantine’s conversion injured the church saw that this leader who was unschooled in Scripture and not discipled to understanding what it means to belong to Christ used his position of authority and popular appeal to make decisions in theological matters, binding his decisions to civil law throughout the empire he ruled. Other scholars liked that Constantine used his imperial position with connection to the Church because he favored Christianity throughout the empire. By the end of the fourth century, Christianity under Constantine had changed from being a persecuted people to a favored and protected religion of the empire. Both outcomes of Constantine’s conversion combined with his position as emperor have made the Church in Europe a government supported (and in some places, enforced) institution. Nevertheless, the cathedrals and majestic churches of Europe are now not much more than art galleries, markets and concert venues.

Part 2: Does Scripture provide any clarity on this matter? Why or why not?

I really had to put my “thinking cap” on for this answer. Jesus reminded His disciples that in the world we would have tribulation (John 16.33); that the world hates Him and it hates His own; that His disciples are not of the world, even while in it (John 15.18-19; 17.14); that we are to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what belongs to God (Matthew 22.20-22). The apostles wrote to the churches and reminded them that there is one Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1.21-23; Colossians 1.17-19). So, while it was merciful that for awhile the Christian Church had a breather from being hunted, captured as slaves and used in Roman arenas as blood sport for entertaining the Roman Caesars, and while it was grace that for awhile the Christians were protected under law from Jewish persecutions and pagan discrimination, as a Christian I would be thankful to God but not trust the emperor or the system “as far as I could throw it.” I would be using the period of grace for all it was worth to be in worship, study of the Scriptures, fellowship, prayer and instruction of my children (something America failed to do during its decades of grace).

In the Older Covenant Scriptures God exhorted Israel’s king to be in the Word of God day and night and to have his conscience and thinking informed by it and conformed to it (Deuteronomy 17.18-29). If Constantine did this; if Constantine had godly Christian leaders around him to counsel him and instruct him, then his leadership as a Christian emperor would have been exemplary—perhaps rivaling David’s or Solomon’s. As it is, I do not know enough about Constantine’s personal hunger for the Word of God or his employment of godly Christian men and adherence to the admonitions of the apostle Paul in the matter of his conduct as a Christian and his accountability to others in the Body of Christ. I could be wrong, but I would wager that Constantine neither approached David’s heart toward God nor the apostle Paul’s exhortations in the matter of accountability.

If there is any clarity in Scripture at all about this issue, it is the solid truth that God is able to use all the misguided attempts at a man-made “Kingdom of God” for His purposes. God is sovereign–always, over all things.


Lest there be readers who would use this text to justify all the political and social entities on this planet whose agenda it is to cut all ties between the state and God, you are grossly mistaken. While the state in this fallen world has never been commissioned to be the head of the Body of Christ on earth, the state has no authority apart from God. The state is irrevocably accountable to God for its exercise of the authority granted to it by God. Scriptural history bears out the truth that, The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21.1). And long before Constantine ever was contender to the imperial throne of Rome, Daniel knew and acknowledged:

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.”

Daniel 2.20-22

I don’t like the new block editor…

It is way too complicated. Give me simplicity every time. I just want to open my draft window and write. Don’t give me a bunch of distractions. I want to be able access my alignments, my formatting, my hyperlinks, my media inserts, my quote blocks and text colors, etc. without some new fangled diversion…

I don’t want to have to go hunting for the classic editor every time I start a new writing entry…

I come from the school of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Just sayin’…

In a world of distancing…

man wearing black crew neck shirt reading book

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

…drawing near to God

He is only a prayer away…

In 1986, the love for God and for His Word, and the joy of walking and breathing His LIFE in my life, came spilling out on to the pages of a journal recording my Scriptural discoveries about His perfection. Prayer: Living with The Most High is that journal.  Apart from a few refinements and an adaptation of the print copy to accommodate online reading, this edition holds to its virgin origins. My prayer is that He who has known you from eternity past will use this offering to end any trace of “spiritual distancing” between you and The Most High…

Prayer: Living With The Most High

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