Georgetownrose

…from glory to glory

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit: Goodness

arc art bass bowed string instrument

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Good morning, everyone. From out of the confinement of covid-19 quarantine, I am sending greetings. Confinement has not been all bad. I have been studying in one of Ligonier Ministries’ volumes entitled “Developing Christian Character,” which is an in-depth exploration of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. In a world where we see much of the manifested fruit of the fallen human spirit, the Fruit of the Holy Spirit wherever it is manifested is like life-giving sweetness.

One of the manifestations of God’s good gifting to us in this fallen world is Goodness, and Goodness is what breathes in truth and in beauty. Evangelical Christians tend to limit the expression of goodness to that of works of mercy and kindness. This is needed, to be sure, and a fitting offering to God. But Dr. Sproul went on to widen my understanding of Goodness to that element of all that God intended for this earth to yield and produce under our stewardship.  We deny these in many ways, and the world has taken the arts and made them into expressions of corruption rather than the beauty intended to glorify God. Therefore, one of the life applications assigned to his students has been to take time each week to exercise our appreciation for the good, beautiful and true by visiting an art museum, reading a classic novel, listening to some of the classic works of music by Bach and others, taking a walk to enjoy the beauty of nature, etc.

I have been able to find music, a blessing which has lain dormant in my life for a long time. Now, in these months of yearning for some goodness and beauty, God has led me in my pursuit to a young European musician. If you have not already seen and heard this young artist, I am introducing Mr. Stjepan Hauser, cello maestro.

Stjepan Hauser

Stjepan Hauser

June 15 is a Monday, and Mondays can be challenging and disheartening even when we are not in any level of covid-19 quarantine. God has seen fit to bless this world with beauty and goodness in the life of a young musician whose artistry is a winsome blend of excellence and energetic charm. With his versatile expertise and talent, Stjepan Hauser could choose to remain aloof from all the commoners and reserve the blessing for the elite and moneyed classes, denying the rest of us any fruit of the labor he has invested in coming into the excellence of his art. Instead, he has generously and humbly given this world music and shared beauty that God has given him. It’s yours to enjoy while God still blesses us with the mercy of technology.

The link in his post below is the second concert in his series he titled, “ALONE TOGETHER.” Click on that link on Monday, June 15. See the times for the live stream in your time zone.

In the meantime, here is the link to his first concert in that series titled “ALONE TOGETHER,” which was aired in April:

 Among other pieces, it features the music from his first solo classic recording, titled CLASSIC HAUSER.🎶👌

With my spousal caregiving commitment, I can no longer travel; but if I could, I would pay good money to attend one of this young man’s live concerts. If you can travel and if you want to enjoy the blessing of attending a live concert when his tour resumes, here is the link to his website for information on his current schedule and ticket availability: Hauser Official – Tour Schedule 2020

May the goodness and beauty of this gift lift your soul to give thanks to God for His mercies new every morning…

Psalm 39 – Reflections

written on my heart

Reading the Psalms – McLean Presbyterian Church

Psalm 39

As of Passover/Resurrection this year, I have been living alive in Christ for 39 years this side of glory. Because of the sudden, acute onset of generalized anxiety disorder, for 16 of those years, I have been in the care of a psychiatrist and therapeutic counseling. I only admit that by way of introducing one of the medical components embedded in the care disciplines of these professionals. That component is a questionnaire which every patient must complete on a periodic basis to assess the advance or relief of their condition. One of the questions focuses on the patient’s level of thoughts of death and/or dying, chiefly whether they are thinking they would be better off dead. The questionnaire also probes whether the patient is considering ways to take the matter of dying into his/her own hands.

Long before I was ever assessed for anxiety disorder, there were times in my life as an atheist humanist that I considered how I might end my life; as a humanist, I was not actually wanting to leave a mess behind for someone else to clean up. As a humanist in the moment of realization that I was a total failure at being master of my own destiny and the highest form of life in the universe, all I really wanted to do was to cease to exist—essentially, to have never existed at all. Suicide did not fill the bill for accomplishing that, since it erases nothing and only adds more to the failure.

As I reflect on David’s lament, I realize that God was making me lament my folly to within an inch of my life, as he says in verse 9:  “…Because it was You who did it.”  It is God who opened my eyes to the truth that 5…Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor…Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain; he heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather them…”

I was loudly and profoundly awakened to the raw truth that human life, in all its attempts at autonomy and achievement, is the most vulnerable on this planet,  as David says in verse 11: “When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity, You make his beauty melt away like a moth…” because God’s holy gaze is directed at humanity.Psalm 11.4 reminds me: “The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD’s throne is in heaven; His eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man.”

Since my re-birth in Christ Jesus 39 years ago, I have never given thought to ending my life at my own hands. Nevertheless, I confess that I have thoughts of death daily. As a Christian it is hard not to have thoughts of death, since in Christ, we are aware of the corruption of this flesh we inhabit. More days than not, I am keenly aware that I walk under God’s holy gaze, and the “kavod”—the weight of His glory is the closest thing I can think of to being either extinguished, or changed as carbon is pressed into a diamond. It is one of the most extraordinary total physical and spiritual experiences a person could ever know this side of glory; and I can only take so much that I must cry out as David did in verse 13:  “Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength, before I go away and am no more.”

At 72, I am closer to knowing—even if vaguely—the measure of my days.  To be sure I know more keenly how frail I am, and I pray:  “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. Deliver me from all my transgressions; do not make me the reproach of the foolish… according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.” (Psalm 39.7-8; Philippians 1.20-22).

Soli Deo Gloria.

Re-discovering music…

…hath charms.

Music is a giftApril has been a challenging month for many around this world. Waiting is not something we humans do very well; and in the USA, we find waiting and being quiet especially upsetting, disquieting, and even a torment to the soul.

I am no stranger to waiting, but this month has tested whether I will truly discover the Providence of God even in unsettling circumstances. People who know me well know that I am an avid, daily student of the Word of God; many know of my unwavering labors of love in prayer for people whom I know and for fellow humans enduring temptations, testings, and trials this side of glory on a fallen planet. But not many know how much I value music for living well this side glory.

One of the most pleasant of surprises has been becoming re-acquainted with music and how it stirs up joy in my life. I am thanking Spotify for that pleasure; it has enabled me to develop playlists of music my husband and I have enjoyed from early in our life together, but which became eclipsed by the onslaught of much to do, and the demise of the best musical programming on broadcast radio.

We began our joint musical library back in the late 60s with vinyl discs and open reel tapes on high quality stereo equipment. (Although vinyl discs are emerging as a respectable medium for recording and playback, I reckon that only professional musicians nowadays know what open reel tape systems are.)


“Finding old MUSIC you used to love is like

getting back in touch with an old friend.”


As the media transitioned from vinyl discs and open reel to cassette tapes, we transferred favorite albums from our library to the cassette medium, and onward up the tech chain to digital media. We still own our audio stack comprised of stereo amplifier, stereo turntable, dual audio cassette recorder, and dual disc recorder/player, with two speakers which would make modern speakers sound pathetically anemic. However, operating all that equipment has become more like work than pleasure. Spotify to the rescue! Within a matter of a few hours of browsing, voila! Favorites galore in various genres from long ago to more recent artists.  And Spotify streams vibrantly through our laptop wired through our amp and stereo speakers.

Music never diesOne of the many joys of life this side of glory is beautiful music. The world of my mind and my heart is touched deeply by music.  I am moved to sing and to write and to live more deeply by the melodies and rhythms I hear. They must be melodic and lyrical to impress me as beautiful. They must have rhythm and resolution or I am left despondent, agitated and ill of soul.


“Music and Rhythm Find Their Way into the Secret Places of the Soul.” –plato


I am as gladdened by a stirring rhythm as any true music lover; I am known to dance and do a little controlled head banging to the beat of a great piece of rock and pop music performed well. I can groove and praise God at the same time.

There is, however, an entire genre of sounds which are peddled as “music” but which are nothing more than irritating harrassment and vexation to the mind and heart. Any musician who contrives the mischief of pointless cacophony and vain discord punctuating it with an unrelenting, stomping, jack-hammer percussive beating, leaves a harmful imprint on the human soul. Music ought not to be used as a weapon of a wrathful and vulgar spirit, but as the gift from God it is meant to be: good and true and beautiful. 


“Your heartbeat changes with the music you listen to.”


Since music is a fair and glorious gift from God…

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”

Psalm 95.1-2 NIV

This is a time for us who are trusting in the sovereign providence of God over all things to be…

…speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”

Ephesians 5.19 NASB

and…

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3.16 NASB


Here is a link to a long ago favorite, newly captured on my Spotify playlist:

“Jalousie” – Arthur Fiedler & Boston Pops

Here is a link to a old classic newly discovered and captured on my Spotify playlist:

“Classical Gas” – Mason Williams

Here is a link to a worship piece on one of my playlists:

“Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad” – Paul Wilbur


Note: I am not receiving any compensation from Spotify for my references and links to my playlists. However, you can sign up for a free Spotify account to listen to these shared pieces.  

I was young once…

Yorktown Rose2…and younger everyday

As I write this I am listening to music from my Spotify radio platform, taking me back to decades past when my love and I danced to the delight of Latin rhythms. Facebook has re-emerged in my life as a way to re-connect with friends and family enduring the long weeks of quarantine. With our church being forced to connect online via the benefits of ZOOM technology, I miss the sensory experience of “surround” love, the palpable presence of the Holy Spirit among us, and the exposure to the spectrum of inter-generational affection and interaction.

Ed and Pat at Springfield HiltonAmong the many interests I have pursued during this period of extended confinement with my love, I have found a few new FB “friends” on the planet who are young and beautiful and talented. Some of them have introduced me to their own exploration into what is enduring, and beautiful and excellent. I could be very jealous, allowing my mind to drift into bitterness at my own displacement from the rising generation in which these young virtuosos have distinguished themselves. Instead of dwelling on the loss, I am stirred to think about the decades ago when I and my love were what the world would call “young.”  In his advancing decline in his body, my aging brother-in-law’s heart craved the joy of socializing with us.  He called us “young blood.”

woman wearing pair of white and black pumps

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

Now, in this season of my life in a vessel which no longer meets the world’s criteria for youth, where can I find the consolation for a heart that still conceives of youth and beauty, that is thrilled by beauty and vibrancy of what my deceased brother-in-law often called “young blood?” In this season of my journey from glory to glory, my memory abandons me momentarily at times as I chase after a word which has dashed through my gray matter like a jackrabbit, only to disappear through a hole in

my boogie shoes

my boogie shoes

my head. And the realities of the fall have devastated my fashion sensibilities. The second law of thermodynamics, from which no one can escape, has left me no choice but to decide whether I wish to walk on my own two feet in shoes which accommodate arthritic feet and high arches, or to wheel about in a chair, my feet adorned with the fashion to which my vanity and tastes still gravitate. So now I dance to Latin rhythms in my San Antonio Shoes and be glad for it…

Oh. My. God! (No blasphemy intended) All I can do is bow in wonder before God who is at the work of making all things new…

If I only knew then what I know now!  Then, in my much “lovelier youth” I lived in a dream detached from the reality of God’s power in a world broken and defiled by the rebellion of my ancient ancestors who exchanged their reality in the beauty of God’s presence and life for a dream of being the masters of their youth and beauty. Their dream of youth and beauty apart from God unleashed on the entire cosmos the nightmare of the second law of thermodynamics…

July 17 2018While I listen to the lilting rhythms and melodies of Latin music, I remember that in Christ, the second law of thermodynamics will have no hold on me. Ah, you say to me, “But your glory is fading.” I say to you what the Word of God says to those who trust Him alone for “dear life:”

according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4.13-18

While I walk in an aging vessel enlivened by the Spirit of God through faith in Christ Jesus, I no longer walk in a dying dream. In Christ Jesus, I am younger now more than I have ever been in my more lovelier years, because I am,  “with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, [being] changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3.18).

I listen and I notice and I thank God for the beauty and excellence I find He is still cultivating in the “young blood” who still share with others, whether or not they know in their beautiful youth that their giftings are from God. I know; and I write for the glory of God to encourage readers to give glory to God for their youth, beauty and gifting…

Because…

We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

2 Corinthians 4.7

Georgetown Rose D

Passover and what it begins…

thorns and gold2

source unknown: I do not own the copyright on this image.

…A Night Different from All Nights

In this season while we are all quarantined and waiting, I have been praying and revisiting the wonders of what God has poured into my own poor earthen vessel concerning the Passover and the Feast of Firstfruits + Resurrection. The Biblical Feasts herald not only a new beginning but the end of all things old…

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

1 Corinthians 15:20-23

As promised back in March,  you can find the message and  celebration of the feast which follows on the “third day” of the Passover season: Yom HaBikkurim/The Day of the Firstborn/Firstfruits + Resurrection HERE.

If you find any blessing in what is shared with you in these pages, “pay it forward” by sharing with others the links to the things you find here…

God  has sovereignly blessed us with the way to reach out in encouragement through the medium of a world-wide web.  Let us who are skilled with its use keep covenant with the God who has given the gift by spreading the truth of who He is…

I invite you to share in the joy that nothing can take away…

Messiah is risen!  L’Chaim b’Yeshua! To LIFE in Jesus!

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Revelation 1.4-6

 

 

Twenty Years Later…

…and still relevant.

In January 2015, I was a new Word Press writer. I shared a post which was not viewed by many, if any.  I am posting it again 20 years after the writing of the poem and five years after my introducing readers to it…

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. In light of what we see unfolding in our times…

…May this gift which the Spirit of God poured out on me bless you and encourage you all in Christ Jesus in the days of the weeks ahead… Soli Deo Gloria!

Millenium King: A Psalm for the Century

©2000, ©2020, Patricia Stachew, Stillwaters Publications, Reston, VA; all rights reserved.

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!

ChristTheKing3

©2000, ©2020, Patricia Stachew, Stillwaters Publications, Reston, VA; all rights reserved.

The God Who Keeps Covenant…

macro photograph of green leaf plant

Photo by Matthias Cooper on Pexels.com

…with those who love Him. (Deuteronomy 7.9)

In all the upheaval and fear in the world, I see Spring emerging as a sweet covenant promise of the Lord. Spring is coming, and with it is the mercy and grace of God declared in creation for those with eyes to see and ears to hear…

Spring’s Rising is my rant after winter’s waiting with the muted shades of nature, the absence of birdsong, the fickle winds blowing icy and mild to unsettle the body and challenge the trusting soul, and the light which is faded blue and vanishes too quickly in the days…

During my waiting days, I have been deeply into the study of the Word of God, finding comfort and encouragement for such a time as this…

During my waiting days, I have also worked on my site to order some of the static content into new page settings. If you visit my site, you will find a page entitled “The Biblical Feasts.” If you hover your pointer over that page link, two sub-pages will appear: “The Autumn Holy Days” and “The Spring Holy Days.” 

“The Spring Holy Days” page is newly published, and includes a Biblical Overview of the Springtime feasts of the Bible, as well as the full ordering of my 20 years of study and teaching on the Passover + The Days of Unleavened Bread. You can find the encouragement and reminder of the glory of the God who keeps covenant HERE…

There are more celebrations during the Springtime season which take us who are “tuned in” to the covenant-keeping God all the way to the advent of Summer;  and therefore, the Feast of Firstfruits + Resurrection will follow shortly. I will send out an update when that content is complete.

If you find any blessing in what is shared with you in these pages, “pay it forward” by sharing with others the links to the things you find here…

God  has sovereignly blessed us with the way to reach out in encouragement through the medium of a world-wide web.  Let us who are skilled with its use keep covenant with the God who has given the gift by spreading the truth of who He is…

Changing our glory for corruption…

man lying on brown dried grass

Photo by Gabb Tapic on Pexels.com

I thought this article worthy to pass on to readers. Rosaria writes it best:

Are We Living Out Romans 1?

Loved by God…

…a sanctified sinnerJuly 17 2018

In my recent on-line studies with Ligonier Ministries I have been learning more on God’s attribute of love.  The most recent session of the course entitled, “Loved by God,” has visited the spectacular grace revealed in the Scriptures on the subject of “God’s Electing Love.” 

Discussion questions always accompany the study sessions, and I typically dig deep into them. The online study participants are always encouraged to share their answers on the Ligonier Connect community portal where other fellow participants can comment and interact with us.

Each session has a theme verse for the topic. The topical verse for the session entitled, “God’s Electing Love” follows:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

—Ephesians 1:3–6

The particular discussion question which provoked my little grey cells to address dealt with the relationship between being a sinner chosen by God’s grace to be set apart for holiness and that of actually living as one sanctified by God’s grace while yet a sinner:

In what ways can sinners be holy as He is holy? Do you ever struggle with your own sanctification? In what ways have you progressed in this area of personal holiness?”

Before I could even form a thought on this question, I was driven back to the Scriptures to meditate again on the truths which my little grey cells tend to blur in the daily dust kicked up in the “helter-skelter” of the “ME” kind of life this side of Heaven. Laying hold of the Scriptures and feeding richly on the spectacular grace of the God who is the Ever living King of the cosmos cut through the accumulated “cataracts” on the eyes of this  mind He gave me and exposed the reality of being set apart by His own grace.  In realizing again that I am loved by God through His own electing grace, He “killed me softly” with His Word. What follows are the reflections on the subject of “God’s Electing Love” and the treasures which I found in His Word, both new and old…

There are two ongoing struggles in my life in this dusty existence, while yet being called out in the dust to live as one who knows the redemption from it by God’s grace. The first struggle is to remember that I am LOVED BY GOD and all that is wrapped up in that spectacular love package. The verses I have explored in this exercise are a few which ignite the fire of reality in my little grey cells and my bones and a longing to love God back. These are a few of the passages from the Word of God for my mind’s struggle to REMEMBER in this world of deceptions:

“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today.” Deuteronomy 15.15

“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine’.” Isaiah 43.1

“The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you’.” Jeremiah 31.3

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10.27-29

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15.16

“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 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 14.25-27

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2.9-10

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1.2-4

“…as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1.14-16

  • Created in His image and likeness to belong to Him;
  • redeemed from my corruption and the corruption of this world to know Him and to LIVE as one alive and not perishing.
  • To know His Kingdom and to declare it—to LIVE as one who belongs to His Courts, His Service, His Royal children, lieges and loved ones.

Because I am loved by God, these are the things that the Holy Spirit reminds me about this spectacular sanctification of which I am privileged to live in Christ Jesus; and it is for Him and for His glory that I live and enjoy this calling.

The second struggle is a “good fight” (1 Timothy 6.11-13) as a sinner sanctified by the holiness of God and by His love. That “good fight” is YIELDING to the counsel, conviction, and correction of the Holy Spirit, and it is truly spiritual aerobics and a full and ongoing “cardio” workout.  Because I am loved by God, feeding on the Word of God and prayer without ceasing stays my mind on what is really real and true in a world of deceptions bombarding from every side. Because I am loved by God, by His grace, I am learning increasing tenderness to the conviction of sin and an increasing hatred for any “darling” sins which I admit to resisting and hesitating to surrender to Christ’s authority to cleanse; and I am learning the terrible effects of quenching the Spirit of God’s convicting work (1 Thessalonians 5.19) and the  grief such obstinacy brings to the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4.30). I am learning an ever increasing desire for the transforming and renewing of my mind that I would not “let sin reign in my mortal body,” and that I would “not present my members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin,” but present myself “to God as being alive from the dead,” and my “members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6.12-13) Because I am loved by God, there is that longing to more glorify God by living a “Romans 12” and a “Micah 6.8” and a “1 Thessalonians 5.16-18”  life as Christ who lives in me—the “good fight”Soli Deo Gloria!

When I am Weak…

spiritual battleI have not blogged for many weeks not because I have been particularly busy. I have not been traveling to far away places and enjoying limitless social gatherings with relatives and friends. Although I have not been busy in the culture’s understanding of what “busy” is nowadays, I have been occupied with living one day at a time–prayerfully, joyfully and thankfully. Truthfully, it has been a fight–a good fight–but nevertheless, a fight to do so. I have not been able to engage in the battle without the mercy of some medication, because the “good fight” I face every night and every day is anxiety disorder. The “good fight” broke out over 15 years ago, and God has mercifully granted me the blessings of an isolated few who have accepted me and prayed for me. He has also provided the blessing of therapists who not only respect but also identify with my Christian Biblical orientation for living in Christ with this kind of infirmity. But I am, after many years in one church, in a new church with new challenges to “connect” and with innumerable “opportunities” to exercise my gifting to serve–and most of all the greatest challenge to finding a sister or brother in Christ who is a local praying friend, unashamed to be my friend, understanding when I cannot join the throng of retreats, church socials, and ministry commitments, and willing to take time to pay a personal visit to our home.

I have not found very much in Christian literature or church counseling publications on the truth of what the weakness of anxiety disorder does to a person who loves Christ and longs to serve Him in the Body of Christ in response to that zeal, consuming fire and love. Today, in my quietness, I came upon this article published by another Christian, one whom I greatly respect, whose articles and teaching I have found at other times and on other topics come from the heart of the Word of God. He is also one whom I did not suspect as being a victim of the “pox” of anxiety. His name is Tim Challies. Some of you may know of him.

After another one of the series of nights struggling to rest without resorting to medication, I yielded to God’s merciful provision and was rewarded with sleep I have not experienced in a long time. Today, I found Rev. Challies’ article entitled “Some Things You Should Know about Christians Who Struggle with Anxiety.” He posted it on his blog site in August 2016. I believe today was my day to be encouraged and exhorted in a way no other fellow Christian has had the courage to talk to me. So I am sharing the link with you. Some of you know and experience this “good fight” firsthand;  others of you do not struggle with this weakness, but you have dear ones about whose inexplicable periods of uncharacteristic introversion or perpetual tiredness you are always finding a puzzlement and frustration. Rev. Challies explains it courageously and graciously.  I could not have said it better, but I am encouraged by this offering of his to be forthcoming with others in my family in Christ when I need to decline the many good “opportunities” for the sake of the best which equips me to fight the “good fight.” Here is the link to the article:

Some Things You Should Know about Christians Who Struggle with Anxiety – by Tim Challies

I close with a verse from Isaiah 30.15 which has become a living verse, a capable weapon in my “good fight,” and a continual blessed comfort in a culture which is opposed to any such exhortation:

In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

Post Navigation