Georgetownrose

from glory to glory…

Archive for the month “January, 2015”

That You May Know the Certainty…

…Blogging for such a time as this

In the first century AD there lived a physician who came from the city of Antioch in ancient Syria. He became a student under the teachings of the apostle Paul, and followed Paul until Paul’s execution in Rome. The physician’s name was Luke. After his study under Paul’s teaching led him to embrace the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, Luke served God daily, remaining unmarried and childless, yet fruitful in the Holy Spirit throughout his years of ministry.

Luke lived in a world of cultural diversity, a world in which the truth was always debatable, always “relative.” Luke’s studies provoked him to write a record—a journal, if you will—of Jesus’ teachings, quoting Him from eyewitness accounts and interviews with those who had lived with Jesus during His life and ministry. In Luke’s journals he quotes Jesus’ call to those who follow Him in a world of cultural diversities, a world that preaches a doctrine to pursue the gods of pleasure, comfort and independence. Luke reminds those who trust the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ that they are not to be seduced into the complacency and inebriated slumber of those caught in the snare of will worship and pleasure cults.

The following is a quote by Messiah Jesus from Luke’s blog written “that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.” (Luke 1.4)

Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. –Luke 12.35-40

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Handwritten Journal Entry – November 2014

I penned the following journal entry in the space of 20 minutes during our monthly Ladies’ Spiritual Journaling group. The topic is usually fortified with quotes from the Scriptures and from other wise sayings. Sometimes there is a brief introductory commentary, and always, there are questions upon which we can hang our thoughts as we approach our journaling time together.

I have to say it took me more time to type this from my handwritten notes than it did to write with my pen in my journal notebook… This is the truth as I live and breathe…


Speaking the Truth in Love…For Such a Time as This

A true witness delivers souls, but a deceitful witness speaks lies. –Proverbs 14.25

Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life. –Ezekiel 13.22

…That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ… –Ephesians 4.14-15

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. –John 8.32

These are among the many Scripture passages which remind me and exhort me to stand courageous to protect what is true and to guard the hearts of others from deceiving ideas…

All ideas have consequences…

I can think of all the times I have had spinach in my teeth, or a bit of breakfast stopped on my cheek on the way to my mouth, or my blouse had one button which escaped being fastened; and people whom I believed were my friends never spoke a word to alert me that my appearance was less than tidy. I remember my private shame and humiliation that I had been left uncorrected for all this minor error to be seen in public–for ridicule.  Somehow, it seemed I wasn’t worth being told the truth about my error. My friends did not think enough of me to protect me from humiliation in just this small way…

…How much more my life, my eternal soul in the holy gaze of God?…

I can remember the hurt and betrayal I have felt when I’ve discovered someone whose counsel I’ve valued has lied to me–pulled a political device with others in their circle to avoid telling me the truth, because they were afraid to tell it. My character and friendship over years of relationship played no part in encouraging them to be forthright with me instead of being evasive and deceptive… This for some smaller principle of life…

…How much more grievous would it be in regard to my eternal destiny?…

There are those who say they are Christians who somehow have the idea that the TRUTH is not loving when it comes to speaking the Truth to those enslaved to ungodly social behaviors. Truth and love in many Christians’ minds are like oil and water. When did that happen?…

If the truth really does set one free–and Jesus says it does–why would I not speak out on an eternal issue in my own world, in a culture locked in battle with the Deceiver himself? His aim is to persuade men to find consolation, comfort, ease, pleasure, significance, meaningfulness, in alternatives to the Truth–alternatives to what God has said is freedom–true freedom–not slavery or bondage to an appetite which the Deceiver has enticed mankind to satisfy… And it does not… And it grieves the heart of the God who made us; it grieves the faithful who desire to walk in what is true, to know the freedom of peace with the heart of God…

The truth is that in order for me to be willing to speak truth lovingly and boldly into the lives of others in this age of cultural alternatives, I must cultivate the heart of God for the lives and souls of others. I must care more for planting the seed of truth for breaking the chain of their bondage, more than caring for my own comfort zone, or for how they are going to react initially to my speaking the truth…

We renounce no friendship. But it may be the part of a friend to rebuke a friend’s folly. –J.R.R. Tolkien, “Silmarillion”

TRUTH: it’s the new hate speech. –unknown

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. –George Orwell

The worst thing about being lied to is knowing that you’re not worth the truth. –unknown

The truth shall set you free…but first it shall piss you off. –Gloria Steinem

The truth may offend; that’s not my fault…as long as I give no offense in speaking it…

Go Ahead; Make My Day!

Out of my distress I called on the Lordthe Lord answered me and set me free. –Psalm 118.5

My week was rolling with joy having enormous fun preparing for a children’s Sunday School class–more fun than I’ve had in a very long time. Everything was prepared for their busy little hands and their hungry minds. It was late, very late, but I was elated before I retired for bed in the wee hours of Sunday morning. One would think that, with the wash of elation and anticipation of the session with the K through 2nd graders, sleep would evade me and my mind would gallop onward driven by the excitement of sharing with these young minds. Not so. I was at perfect peace and able to surrender the experience with thanksgiving and trust to God’s watchful care; and so I slept–until…

…You know, the usual nocturnal call–nothing extraordinary about that; but when I turned to rise to answer it, the room began spinning like the panning sequences you see in some movies. I closed my eyes and flexed my neck and shoulders, to no avail; the room kept spinning out of control…I grabbed my cane and carefully navigated the short hall back and forth between bath and bed with a temporary relief from the vertigo. But when I crawled ever so carefully back into bed, and turned to my side to lie down and sleep, the room began to spin at an unearthly speed. I actually felt like I was standing still, yet feeling every bit of earth’s 1500-mile-per-hour spin on its axis… Settling back in bed, the room mercifully stopped spinning long enough for me to sleep another two hours before my alarm would wake me to rise and prepare to go to church. I thought when I woke that the vertigo was past; my meditation and prayer to God had put it to flight, until…

I turned to rise from bed; the earth was asserting its spin on my room again. I was first a bit alarmed, wondering what could have caused this sudden attack. Then, I was crestfallen at the thought my day would be altered and the joy of being with the young children in Sunday School would be taken from my day. I cried, “Conspiracy!” Then I called our church’s 24/7 prayer line for prayer…

“FOOL!” you say. “You should be calling 911! You could be having a heart attack–or a stroke!” Yes, I suppose that is always possible; but I wasn’t so absolutely sure of such a dramatic event as that. Anyway, I reasoned, if I die today I would rather die passing on my LIFE in Jesus to the next generation than anything else. So, I thought, “Go ahead; make my day!”  So I prayed with my friend on the phone. She, in turn, passed my distress and my need on to others in my church family who minister in prayer. I waited. I tried to slowly exercise my body in some delicately executed stretches, which helped everything except the spinning in the room. I was fine; it was the room that was in trouble, as far as I was concerned…

I waited, moving about with my cane for support as the room refused to settle down. Although my footing proved to be secure, I did not trust my ability to drive. With that unfortunate technicality in mind, I called my teacher partner. Voice mail. Left her a message about the possibility she would  need to recruit a helper and to be prepared to teach the class if I could not arrive in time to set up the classroom. Nearly half an hour had passed since my prayers were spoken in one accord with my friend on the prayer line. I began to consider hiring a taxi to drive me to church, or just resigning myself to the victory of spiritual opposition throwing a wet blanket on my day. Until…

I noticed something was changing; the feelings in my stomach changed from an edgy quease to more of a quiet suggestion of hunger. In the moments following, I found relief from the earth’s intrepid rotation on its axis. The wild ride had come to an end. I could move; I could bend to dress; I could–DRIVE…

First thing I thought of were my friends on the prayerline who needed an update; no sense keeping them occupied in earnest intercession for me when God had already answered our prayers. I called my friend with my news. I was humbled to hear her answer me that she had been standing in the kitchen asking God over and over again, “Please, Father, make this go away so she can go and teach the children!” She was as ecstatic as I was, and dismissed me with a blessing to get ready and go…

God did not disappoint me. My teaching partner and I were like cream in coffee–smooth and energizing. Our activities and story time went better than I can remember from some years past…DID WE HAVE FUN??? YES! WE. HAD. FUN! Knee deep in the Word of God at the waters of the Jordan River with Jesus and John, God the Father and the Holy Spirit, God made my day…

…And if I die today, I will die having served my Lord and Love, Jesus Christ, exactly the way He has formed me to serve…

Theme, schmeme…

Blogging 101: Love Your Theme

Today’s assignment: try out at least three other themes — even if you’re happy with the one you first chose. Try one you’re drawn to, and one you would never use.

…More than enough is superfluous.

Dream Reader, Where are You?

Blogging 101: Write to Your Dream Reader

“We are often like children skipping through the corridors of the kingdom, looking at everything, while pausing to learn the true value of nothing.” – A.W. Tozer

Dear Dream Reader,

You are sitting at your computer or laptop clicking away, searching social media or blog sites for something substantial to read: something to chew on, to provoke your thought, encourage, inspire you to persevere–reassure you that there are not just people but real humans at the other end of your communications device: a real human who doesn’t just write about him/herself; a real human who writes to include you and engage you through written posts–like messages in a bottle or letters you would find in your mailbox; a real human who doesn’t just harp on what you hear barking at you in the news and social media; a real human who speaks purpose and vision and reason into all the clicking and flashing traffic of the world web voices and images…

So I’m writing to you, Dream Reader, wherever you are. I am a human writer full of a lifetime of thoughts and encouragements to share with others. I am seeking a hungry reader who likes to read and values the moments spent engaging and being engaged in wise and edifying exchange with other writers through the printed word. Dream Reader, I know how to embed videos and photos in my posts as well as the next blogger; but you need no photographic or pictorial imaging experience. You do need an attention span long enough to absorb more than a nano-bit of information in one viewing.  You must be able to appreciate reading posts of all sizes and stay on track with serialized works. I need you to be willing to read posts which may not include videos or other visual images to catch your eye while clicking your way through the content. If you are the reader I hope you are, you would be willing to think through my posts making the best use of your God-given little grey cells, and dialog with me in a respectful, thoughtful responses…

And I say “dialog” because I will read your posts, too. Dream Reader, this is a two-way proposition…

I know you are out there in that sea of sentient humans. Dream Reader, please respond soonest…

And if you want something to consider before you respond visit some of the pieces found in the categories listed on the right of this page… May they bless you, Dream Reader…

It’s Not About Me…

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/blogging-101-introduce/

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

Funny the Blog 101 assignment would choose this to begin the new session. In the past 24 hours I had begun to consider sharing a bit more about what has influenced the content I share on a WordPress blog site. In my first “about” post, I concentrated so much on streamlining my introduction that I left out the fact that God used my childhood in Georgetown, DC to immerse me in a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-cultural environment while being grounded from youth in Catholic spirituality…

Many might conclude that everyone who came out of Georgetown, DC is the product of privilege and affluence, but that was not the case in my life. As God saw fit, my parents were “immigrants” to the DC metro area from the Mid-west during WWII. My father worked in a Government facility which supported our US forces in the war effort, and he and our family were housed in Federally provided housing for war-time laborers leased on Jesuit property adjacent to Georgetown University. We were the Capital City’s “poor relatives” until the lease on the land expired in 1955 when the community of which I was a part in the first part of my life this side of Heaven was dismantled and scattered. God provided a house for our family in a working class neighborhood of Arlington County, VA which introduced me to new schools and a student population which was less diverse culturally and ethnically, and awakened me to the existence of others more privileged and affluent than me. We were now the “poor relatives,” in a growing, suburban post-war region…

Did I feel poor? Not so much in the material sense; but I always felt left out–like a stranger–on the outside looking in. None of that feeling was because my shoes and clothes were second-hand or home-sewn. The poverty I felt was an insatiable desire to be loved and wanted by the father which God ordained would be my earthly dad. My mother loved me in a thousand ways which will be topics of other posts. For this moment, what is essential to say is that I was born with a God-shaped hole in my whole being which took a long time to be filled, and in perfect timing.  I can only say, as I reflect on that difficult passage in this life God has given me, that God must have wanted me to turn to Him with all my heart first and foremost. I believe–and not without evidence to the facts–that God left me unsatisfied by anything earthly so that He could show me His own extraordinary capacity to be both Master of all creation and supremely intimate Lover of my soul.  He used my exposure to Catholic liturgy to draw me back from the brink of despair to be reborn and filled with assurance of life and love and purpose…

God didn’t satisfy my appetite for being loved and wanted by my dad, even though before he died my dad voiced his thanksgiving that I was around to help him get through the hardest time in his life–his dying days. But for the grace of God, neither one of us could have foreseen the work and purpose of God brought to fruition in those two years of our relationship.  I could not have ministered to my dad if I had not already experienced the love of God as my eternal Father through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Indeed, I could not have known any mercy without the love of God as my eternal Father drawing me to the Arms of the Lord Jesus Christ…

Now, I write about Him and the LIFE He has given me in Jesus. By the power of the Holy Spirit  He has poured the exceeding riches of His grace into me. Why would I keep silent with so great a Salvation filling and satisfying my being in all kinds of circumstances–in tears, in laughter; in joys and in sorrows; in the painful and the pleasant; in the comfortable and the unsettling? That would be like a doctor withholding the cure for cancer from a dying soul…

Now, I need to insert this into my original “About” post…

A PSALM FOR A NEW CENTURY…

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…

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!

ChristTheKing3

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