Georgetownrose

…from glory to glory

Archive for the category “My Stream of Consciousness”

Weak Days & New Beginnings…

Lately, I have been having an onslaught of weak days—feeling tired, floundering, losing interest in ordinary things, overwhelmed, even a little sick…wondering greatly what has attacked me, as if knowing the “WHY” or the “WHAT” would give me the rational strength from within to effect my healing and release from the weight. News flash! I looked and there was no strength from within…

So, I started talking it out with the Lord; and in my conversation with the Lord, I have had to confess my rebellion, my “I don’t want to do ‘it;’ I don’t feel like ‘it’…” a pattern of thought which I have allowed myself to entertain for far too many days and nights…

Well, I figured I  needed some sanctified cognitive behavioral therapy…

By God’s grace, it occurred to me to just stop for one moment and challenge that repetitive thought pattern, wondering why indeed I would permit that to have its way in my sanctified mind, instead of calling out to Jesus to touch me and make me want to do “it” (whatever “it” I am refusing to do in the ordinary life and my dusty existence). The current catalog of “its” for which I have lost my rhythm and interest include simple things like making decisions, a reasonable appetite, making healthy meals, knitting, a daily walk, simple sewing projects and writing…

I am reflecting on why this sudden relapse into the old patterns of thought, old habits, which seemed to flee from me in the springtime of this year…I remember that then I began a new beginning of seeing the matchless grace of Christ, how sufficient His grace is for me, how perfect His strength is made in my weaknesses…and blessed release from old habits, enjoying a new beginning…

Just now, I am realizing in my heart—not just an intellectual kind of recognition—but down in my kishkes—that this discipline in my walk with Jesus is a seasonal kind of experience…Well, duh! (I don’t know why that is so mysterious a concept to get into my grey cells and remember; perhaps, the influences of this culture)…

I find that I am constant and seemingly unchallenged in my commitment to a new beginning for a period of time. Then, without warning, I am prone to fall away—my thinking skips beats; the focus I once enjoyed without a grievous effort has now, of a sudden, become a constant, unyielding struggle to regain.  I lose my former breath which once fed my soul and filled me…and I realize I need another new beginning…in my weakness I need another healing touch from Jesus…

So here is a new season, the Feast of Trumpets, the Days of Awe and Remembrance…a wonderful and timely moment for another new beginning…to remember that the grace of Messiah Jesus is sufficient for me, for His strength is made perfect in my weakness 2 Corinthians 12.9

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All I need to do is call on Him to make me want His strengthening grace to do what He has formed me to do from the womb…This is the discipline I dare not forget or fail to recognize from season to season …

Beloved, if you are going through this kind of season, may God grant you the grace to recognize it for what it is; and by His grace, may God bring you to Him to find the truth that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient for you, that His strength alone is made perfect in your weakness. By this may He grant you a new beginning…

Which Miracle is Bigger?

2 Kings 5.1-20: the days of the prophet Elisha and his encounter with the Captain of the Syrian army–Naaman the leper…

Wondering which miracle of God is bigger:

 

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that He so thoroughly cleansed and healed Naaman of his leprosy…

OR

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that He preserved the knowledge of His great sovereignty over all things in the heart of a little Israeli lass taken as a slave to serve in a pagan culture…

Makes me adore Jesus more and cling to His promises that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail” against the Body of Christ in any age on this planet…

O Lord God of Israel – Jonathan Settelsnapshot2

Suppressed Memories, Buried Joy…

Springtime is flowering all around me, and I am struggling to feel the joy and the comfort and the jubilant excitement of the season springing into life from the warmer breezes, the dazzling pinks and yellows and white blossoms and all the new baby leaflings against the brilliant blue skies, until…

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 The scent of a bed of hyacinths in full bloom unlocks memories and tears away the web that has shrouded my soul in a poisonous coma far too long…And jubilant sounds of birdsong…

Rejection, abandonment; still stinging after all these years, like a vicious spider’s effort to keep her prey from escaping her grasp…this permeates my life like a sickening, deadly venom…

Even though I know that God has used the childhood wounds in His sovereign grace to bring me into His acceptance by the embrace of the Lord Jesus Christ—who is more to be desired than even a happy family life…

Unfathomable to my reasoning mind is that after years of counseling, I discover that the wounds of childhood rejection have burrowed so deeply into my soul that I cannot even remember how the lovely things God put into my life made me feel…even to this day, I am numb to how the beauties and blessings make me feel…I can neither put words to the pleasure, nor can I feel it fully, embracing it, allowing it to wrap me in the touches of the moments of comfort…

Like a recurring bad dream, I feel the loss more vividly in every unfulfilled hope of friendship near at hand—every joy which is followed by changing circumstances over which I have no control—instead of rejoicing in the moment and the season of the joys of that friendship while it is near at hand, and blessing the friends as God sends them on their appointed paths apart from me…

The loss is what takes hold of my soul…and I have turned a lock on my heart that is barring the way to enjoying new moments, new seasons of friendship with those God has moved into my reach and touch…Instead, I anticipate the ever-looming hand of change which promises to move these ones I would grasp as friends far away from my reach and the presence of their touches of kindness and endearment…

 Something deep in my soul cries out to me that this is sin. I know that God commands (even promises by the giving of His Spirit to my life) that I will not covet another’s joy or pleasure or blessing; nor will I make an idol of joy or pleasure or blessing…But to suppress recognition and embrace of God’s gifts of joy and moments of pleasure and blessing because of fear of loss of them, or by choosing to feel the pain of old wounds: that is sin, also—grievous sin… It is a root of bitterness—not unforgiveness, but simply a self-imposed famine bringing with it needless suffering…for myself and for those who want to be my friend and to share their blessings with me for as long as God would have them in my life…

 The 23rd Psalm says: “…Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” (vs.6)…

 The same God who rescued me from my self at this season 35 years ago, is the same God who has been watching over my life with all its pain and all its pleasures to bring me safely into the rapturously loving grip of the Lord Jesus, My Shepherd…The same God who is sovereign and supreme and holy and majestic and far above all that I am or can conceive, is the same Great Shepherd who employs His hounds of love to follow me with goodness and mercy… And I have been acknowledging them with scarcely more than an obligatory word of thanks…I have insulated my feelings from their kisses, their warmth, their attentiveness, their sympathies, their sensitivities to my weaknesses and needs; their unconditional affectionate gestures…and God calls to me as He cried out to Adam in the garden: “where are you?” (Genesis 3.9; emphasis, mine).

He knows where I am…it is to this place He has tracked me, this Springtime when I caught the scent of hyacinths and heard the jubilant birdsong in my “coma”…And, this gorgeous Springtime day, with the wind of His cleansing blowing all about me, I step out into His gaze and surrender… “I have heard You, but now my eye sees You; therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes…” (Job 42.5-6).

Father, I need Your healing Hand upon me…Rescue me again from my SELF…

Abba Father, Lay Your Hands on Me

Spring has come again…

…behold, all things have become new


To all my friends who read my stuff, I pray that this piece is not a total “bummer” for you; I know that others struggle with wounds that seem to escape a full healing… These are my confessions of the joys and pleasures I have habitually buried as if in some irrational way, I have been expecting some other time to be a more appropriate time to enjoy them…losing out on the moments and ultimately the memories… Maybe you have experienced some of the same things; maybe you know someone dear to you who is locked inside a prison web of their own spinning… I pray this encourages you in some way… Many blessings from my restored soul and healing heart to yours…

Signs and Wonders for Times Like These

I have had the great joy the past three weeks of preparing to bring the message of Messiah Jesus to my church’s K-2nd grade Sunday School. We have been talking about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the grave and His subsequent appearances to the beloved women and 11 disciples. We talked about how He helped them see that these things are the work of God in keeping His promises from long ago, ages past, in the Garden of Eden and all through the thousands of years before Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary…

This Sunday, we are going to jump ahead a bit to Acts 3-4. This will take the children to The Beautiful Gate and Solomon’s Porch in the Temple to see how Peter and John expressed that they were sure of the Truth that Jesus is Lord, and all the excitement that came with that experience…

My studies this week have reminded me of what it means to live without doubting the Lord Jesus in a very troubled world. My meditations on Acts 3-4 have taken me back to readings in a worship service at least five years ago, upon which my heart could not keep silent. What follows below is from a journal I wrote following that worship service, and it resonates in my soul again as I prepare to visit Acts 3-4 with my children this Sunday. That  journal entry so long ago was a note I shared in an e-mail to my fellow choir members to encourage them in these times. Here it is, intact and uncut. Hope it is a blessing to you…

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Shalom, y’all!

I’m still meditating on the Lessons from this past Sunday. Both the lesson from Acts 4 and the Epistle from 1 John 3 are powerfully encouraging.

The verses from Acts 4 remind me of the powerful prayers of the faithful:

…The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us’…Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be done through the Name of Your holy Servant, Jesus.

Much of that prayer, spoken in the first days of the Church, not only echoes the prophecy in Psalm 2.2-3, but it also speaks of the posture of the world against the Church in our day. Rulers take counsel together against God, against the Deity of Christ Jesus, and against His anointed–those who are believers in Jesus Christ, bearers of His Holy Spirit. The adversarial agenda is to break our bonds into pieces and remove our influence from this world, to silence our praise and to discredit our testimonies. And yet, young and new as the early church was, their prayers in response to the threats were bold and completely trusting in God’s agenda: “Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that…they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand…that signs and wonders may be done through the Name of Your holy Servant, Jesus.” (And the place where they prayed was shaken.) Wow!! This is powerful prayer, because it focuses on God’s agenda…

The verses from 1 John 3, a powerful link to those in Acts 4, are a wonderful reminder of God’s unfathomable love, that we should be called the sons of God.

When I reconsider the prayer of the early church in Acts 4, I started to think about the greatest sign and wonder of God’s outstretched hand of healing for these times. What the Lord laid on my heart both encouraged me and showed me my need for His continuing transforming work in my life. I share it with you from my heart, not to preach, for I have not attained. I share it to encourage you as my family in Christ in times hungry for signs and wonders. Here, then, are signs and wonders for such a time as this…

…love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your mind, and with all your soul and with all your strength…do justly…love mercy, and…walk humbly with your God…have love one for another…Love suffers long and is kind; does not envy…does not parade itself…is not puffed up…does not behave rudely…does not seek its own…is not provoked, thinks no evil…does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…never fails…And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

–Deuteronomy 6.5; Micah 6.8; John 13.35; 1 Corinthians 13.4-8,13

It can’t be faked. It’s the authenticating sign of God’s work of restoration, regeneration, and healing in a fallen, human heart. Here is wonder in a sickened, dying world:

…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control.”

–Galatians 5.22-23

As I reflect on the radiant glory of this, I rejoice and I tremble at the same time. On the one hand I shout praise to God. On the other, I earnestly pray for His greater transforming work in my life by stretching out His hand to heal all the stuff in me that resists love and that obscures the wonder of His redemptive power where He has set me in this world.

Now, Lord, as our brothers in Christ prayed two millenia ago, look on all that threatens Your work and quenches Your Spirit in us in our times; and grant to Your servants that with all boldness we may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal the inmost infirmities in us, and that signs and wonders may be done through the Name of Your holy Servant, Jesus, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever–for such a time as this. Amen. (from Acts 4.29-30)

Blessings always,

Patricia

Time Flies

I was just looking at my last post dated February 25. Time has flown and, in that rush, waves of thoughts which compete with my focus have poured over my little grey cells. One stands out and begs to be voiced. Soon, my friends, soon…

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Meanwhile, life is pressing me into focusing on the every day living to keep home, body and soul together. And I have been reading others’ posts as time allows, always sharing some thought of acknowledgment, thanks and encouragement whenever I have the blessing of time to read your posts. If I have not commented, it means I have not had a chance yet to read your work. But I will in due time.
Don’t neglect the gift that God has given you. Keep writing and expressing what is true and edifying for times like these, “…redeeming the time…” (Ephesians 5.16)

Drifting…

The new post window is open and here I sit with my fingers on the keyboard…

The weeks have drifted by, washed in currents of reading other friends’ posts, led on paths to re-visit Middle Earth, immersed in the water of the Word of God, and plunged into dialog with other hearts…

My little sailing ship has cut through many currents, venturing far and wide across the seas during what I hope is the very last blast of winter in our region. I’d rather be someplace tropical and sunny, but I am exceedingly grateful for God’s mercies on my stretch of the sea of life…

Now that I’ve managed to steer my little craft back into harbor, I am beginning to think about how to blog all the things I’ve discovered and learned on my little voyage to encourage all who are in this boat with me, as I sail from glory to glory…

In the strength of the Lord…

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I woke this morning not feeling well–not feeling well at all. My entire night was a series of brief sleep periods interrupted by pain which I began experiencing earlier in the evening. I cannot put my finger on any one thing which might have triggered the pain which was accompanied by a persistent, but low-grade queasiness and a general feeling of un-wellness. I suspected that my thorn in the flesh, aka chronic fatigue syndrome, has reared its ugly head after a relatively long period of remission. Diagnosed with this, my own private adversary, nearly 30 years ago, I am no stranger to its devious tactics, attacking at the most unsuspecting times. It’s fickle; it retreats for awhile, lulling a “type A” into shifting recklessly into high gear. It blindsides when it re-emerges, wreaking havoc on all the momentum gained during its retreat, and somehow manages to confuse its victim about its visitation when the collection of its tools of torture begins its work of eroding both body and soul. It wrenches all the motivation and strength out of its victims, leaving them caught on a wicked tightrope between illness and wellness–it can go either way at any time…

Facing the day caught in a body tormented by the weakness and uncertainty about whether I was going to function at any level or simply cling to my bed was not my idea of a good morning. Had I not spent time praying in the night during those intermittent wakeful times between sleep, I would have missed God’s answer to my prayers when I felt His prodding to take courage and make a start this morning. Just enough of His strength to move my reluctant body out of the bed, planting my feet squarely on the floor and take the first step…

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Hot tea! That was my first thought upon discovering I could move without pain, although the queasiness was still stalking me. Thanks to my husband’s own eagerness for morning tea, I heard the comforting, merciful whistle of the kettle beckoning me to come and find therapy in the steamy, mellow blend brewing in my mug. I couldn’t help thanking God for so simple and basic mercy as the hot tea… And as I sipped and savored it, feeling the warmth flow through my aching being, I realized that I could take the next step, as God wooed me to trust His strength. I found I could stomach some toast with the tea; it did not turn to pain as I feared it might… Then I discovered I could consider putting on my jeans and working quietly for just a little while in my garden. God blessed me with the help of my husband, who, suffering with his own chronic pain and weakness, set a goal which we both could manage in the strength of the Lord…

Onward we went together, the Lord and I, a step at a time, throughout the day–a little bit of work and time to rest; no thoughts of retreat into my bed. My heart was encouraged by the triumphs of God’s presence, help and strength in my weakness; He won the victory for me over my inclination to hide, waiting and hoping for a painless day before I would walk with Him…

This evening, my thoughts don’t come so easily as I exercise my brain to put words to this day’s tender mercies. Nevertheless, I sense the presence and strength of the Lord to simply add a description of this moment in my life to the journals of the many lives in this community of writers. Someone out there is feeling weak in a world that has no patience with weakness. May my weakness entrusted to the strength of the Lord encourage someone among my readers who needs The Strength that the world cannot supply nor can the inner self summon.

I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD…

–Psalm 71.16a

Where my treasure is…

…thinking and meditating upon the Scripture, traditions, and the Spirit of God in the Autumn Holydays. October 4 marked the climax of the ten Days of Awe and Remembrance which began on The Feast of Trumpets, September 24 at sundown. The Feast of Trumpets is the Biblical name for what has become popularly knowntrumpets stained glass 3 as Rosh Hashanah or The Jewish New Year. The 10th Day of Awe is The Day of Atonement…

I will not elaborate on any of these here. My meditations on these things have saturated all other musings for the days remaining in this Autumn Holyday season; and so, the meditations of my heart and the words which usher forth in the days ahead will be focused on this best of treasures…

…for encouragement for the hungry hearted in times like these, for praise to the God who has loved me from eternity past, and for testimony of the LIFE of Messiah Jesus changing mine from glory to glory…

Listen to the sound of the shofar (ram’s horn/trumpet):

The Powerful Sound of the Shofar

The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because…[Yeshua] is nearer now than when we first believed.

–Romans 13.11

Almighty and everlasting God, You are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of Your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we  are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Messiah Jesus* our Savior; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever**. Amen.

–from the Book of Common Prayer, p. 234, Proper 22 (*Jesus Christ; **for ever and ever)

To blog or e-mail? Do it all from the heart…

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I admit it to the whole world: I’m slow and cannot keep up with the cultural pace in these parts of the world. I’m slowing down, people. It is a fact of growing older in the body, but my mind and my heart are not willing to become “seized up.” Many of my friends are younger than I. They still have places to go, people to see, and things to do. Who has time to sit at tea and simply chat about whatever is happening in their life–or to share some encouragement from the Scriptures or pray or share music with each other–or want to know the story of an older woman? I grew up in an era when the simplicity of these blessings was still accessible, and have watched as the times and progress have taken away this vital part of life, while yet opening an entirely new avenue for the “global village” to lay hold of it if they will… Although, in our times and culture, friends and family have to synchronize their “dayrunners” with another dear one for any hope of a luxury like this, it can be done; but often we use our e-mails or chat boxes to even accomplish this… Many even text on their phones instead of dialing and waiting for their contact to answer and carry on a voice conversation for a moment or two… Do I sound like I’m complaining here? Not really; I’m just observing the avenues we enjoy for connecting at the heart and how we use them, for better or for less… And I’m also sharing for the sake of this generation who never knew the simplicity the generations before them enjoyed–when it was enough… They cannot imagine a world without the convenience of electronic messaging. (Hope it never comes to that, but that’s not for this blog.)

Read on, if you dare. After, all, this is a blog. And don’t tell me you haven’t thought about–maybe even written about–this on your own blog or other social medium…

My “little grey cells” are spinning and observing that with the age of technology and communication, keeping close with people we know and love, and deepening friendships with those we really want to know, would be easy–in fact, IRRESISTIBLE.  But it’s a bigger challenge than at any time in the history of mankind. When everyone on social media has over 100 friends and decades of pages they follow, how can they process it all? A day is still only 24 hours, right? When you factor in bathing, meals, laundry, errands, paperwork/school/job, physical maintenance, family and sleep, how much time remains to “connect at the heart level” with all the people to whom your heart has become closely linked? I wish this had all been around when my mother was still alive; I think she would have blazed a new trail in her life and learned to use this medium to connect with her children who are scattered all over the USA. I’m thinking, maybe it was better in the days when dear ones anticipated a post by pony express; their hearts were not expecting instant gratification and they knew the communication did not come often, easily or cheaply.

Perhaps I’m taking it all far too seriously; but since I am not able to keep up with the pace of activities my friends and family enjoy, I depend on this medium to keep a lifeline of sorts between us. It’s intoxicating in a sense, because I find the expectation of the “cyber express” everyday–a new connection at the heart with someone whom God has blessed and enriched my life, a cyber hug, a word of instruction or exhortation, a conversation about a shared post and how it relates to our lives in Christ in this world… And this includes e-mails. Many of my family and friends have shied away from social media and communicate with me via e-mail, which, for most people nowadays has become more personal than it was when first birthed nearly 20 years ago to the home user. Add video chats to that mix, and “voila!” another marvelous option for staying in touch! How blessed we are, people! We really do not need to feel lonely or abandoned when a friend moves 3,000 miles away; God has provided a lifeline. “God, protect my appetite for this from becoming a glutton for recognition and self fulfillment; let me not make it a god…But let me use it for the love of others and for Your glory…”

Some might be saying, “O, get a life, already!” I can only answer that I’ve got a LIFE and I want to share it before I die. That’s at the top of my bucket list…

I thank God for the blessing of e-mail, social media, blog pages, and video chats. And, thank you, Word Press, for giving me a place to tell the story God has written in my life… May I be found faithful.

When there are just too many thoughts…

Today I had sincere intentions to share and express something that adds my voice to other voices of encouragement out there in the big wide world. I simply have too many thoughts to be of any good; but, I guess that’s okay, because God knows every one of them and exactly how they will emerge out of the fractal web that is my current mental condition… I praise Him for all the wondrous things floating around in this big old clay pot that I am, and trust Him for a timely expression.

My little Word Press prompt at the top of my posting window says, “Draft saved. Keep on goin’!” Well, I can’t keep on goin’. My grey cells need a break… So, may God grant the increase to this little bit of what can trickle out of my stream of consciousness… Stay tuned for updates…

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If anyone else out there is experiencing this phenomenon of having more to say than can be articulated, my prayers are with you today… I’m going to go rest my little grey cells for a bit, and listen for the voice of the Lord… “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” –Isaiah 30.15

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