Georgetownrose

…from glory to glory

Archive for the tag “obedience to God”

Early Edition…

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Lately, my husband and I have taken to watching a series on television entitled “Early Edition.” The series began airing in 1996 and lasted through 2000.  We enjoyed it 20 years ago, and now that it is airing again on Heroes&Icons TV, we are enjoying it again…

The stories are about Gary Hobson, a Chicago man who was fired from his job as a stockbroker, and then divorced by his wife for being uninteresting.” After starting a new job as the owner of McGinty’s Pub, he begins awaking every morning to the cries of an orange tabby cat at his door. The cat is delivering an unusual newspaper—it’s always tomorrow’s newspaper: hence, “Early Edition.” And it launches Gary into a daily adventure of warning others of deadly danger that awaits them in some location or activity in the city. Invariably his job of declaring the warning becomes a life-and-death mission to save them…

What makes the shows provocative is not so much the ultimate labors Gary undertakes to rescue the people, as his efforts to persuade the smug and the unbelieving that danger awaits them in a specific place at a specific time. His warnings of imminent danger go unheeded and are often rejected as folly by the people whose lives he desires to save…

Here’s another story from another very “early edition.” You could say that it is truly “tomorrow’s newspaper” today…

Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying,

‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’

For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat: both the earth and works that are in it will be burned up…”

–2 Peter 3.1-7,10 NKJV

creation beauty

Why did God see fit to awaken me to “tomorrow’s news” today? Certainly to save me from the wrath to come; but not merely for me to absorb all the pleasantries of worldly life while I can, and not so that I can sit at my computer and write pleasant little “feel good” stories to share with those who love lullabies so they can go on sleeping…

Gary Hobson was always questioning why he was getting tomorrow’s newspaper; he was always searching for the source of the “Early Edition” delivered on his doorstep each morning by the orange tabby. The weight of accountability for Gary Hobson was nearly threatening to his own life until he met with the warning of his own death and nearly died saving the lives of two others. After that experience, he began embracing the gift and accountability which arrived at daybreak with the cat’s “meow…”

I know the Giver of the Early Edition on my desk as I write this; and I know His warning to me of the gift and the accountability I have in it…

If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.”

–Ezekiel 3.18 ESV

Many scoffers will continue to scoff; but perhaps God will use this warning to awaken some from their slumbers to discover that the very God who will bring the wrath to come is also the very God who will save from that same wrath all those who trust in His Son Jesus, the Messiah:

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…”

–1 Corinthians 15.3-4 NKJV

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AUTUMN’S DESIRE

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“Be still,” He said, whispering gently to the expectant wood,

The Mighty, Holy Author of all light,

“Cease your leafy labors bearing food.

Let the quiet chill of autumn’s night woo your brilliant beauty to a head.

Delight Me as I fashioned you of old,

Your golden, crimson plumage to behold.”

 

They heard His holy whispers lilting like a hymn, all the verdant leafy columns of the wood,

And yielded, as all nature will attest,

To the Voice of Him whom they understood,

The Master of their seasons of industry and rest,

And surrendered every one, each leaf and limb, to the lullaby of Him who planned of old

That autumn’s light be wreathed in radiant gold.

 

Rejoicing as their foliage flamed in glorious hue, and wond’ring at mankind’s ceaseless, frenzied pace,

They to their Master lifted up their cry,

“Would that men could see You face to face,

And would upon Your Sovereign Will rely,

As they were fashioned to delight all ways in You,  and hear Your call to rest as they behold

The splendor of Your handiwork in autumn’s radiant gold.”

 

“Some men will,” He answered as they cried, “behold My face and love My sov’reign plan as do you,

In your obedience to My voice and My design.

You’ve been created by and for My Son who foreknew

Each frantic, sin-sick soul who sees your golden shine,

And hears My Spirit’s witness that for each He died, upon a tree bearing countless sorrows and untold.

For these His crimson poured, in season, op’ning Heaven’s gold.”

 ©Patricia Stachew, November 2004

Confessions of an American Voter

It’s 8:30ish in the morning; I’ve been awakened, after a night of extraordinary dreams, with the realization of the kind of American voter I’ve been since I arrived at the age to vote. In my day, 21 was the legal age for voting; since then, that legal age has been lowered to 18. By way of confession, I questioned the wisdom of that when it was first raised, and I haven’t changed my doubts about the wisdom of that. But that’s a blog for another day. Suffice it to say, that as I observe the young student behavior in recent practice in our democratic republic, I believe my reservations for the younger voting age to remain justifiable…

I live in a town in Northern Virginia designed by a 1960s visionary to be a model town. As I sit here in my modest—by the standard of “the American Dream”—little 40-year-old condo in the lesser working class section of this model town, I am praising God for all that I need and more… I have exactly what I desired of God from my young adult years: I am loved and I am comfortable; it is that simple…p_00014b

My confession is this: that in my “career” as an American voter, I have voted to preserve that condition. I confess that from the day I came of voting age, my motives for voting have been about what I want to preserve about my personal comfort as if it were my inalienable right to sustain that level of comfort. My humanistic motives in the voting booth have been influenced by a popular, selfish idea of inalienable human rights instead of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands…

I am not saying that it was consciously selfish or that I am oblivious to the plight of those less comfortable than me and the hopes for the generation to come. But the inclination is so deeply embedded in myself that it need not be conscious, because it bullies every choice I make; not pure…

And I am also saying this: in this democratic republic where I live, I have found it nearly impossible to be a voter from a country that is one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. No human political representative at any level has ever fulfilled or totally held to the principles of that pledge. Of course, I knew that fact intuitively in all my experiences as an American voter. My expectations were never that any one person in our governing body, at any level, would be able to meet all those qualifications and expectations. But I had held on to my hope and expectation that the plurality of representatives would combine to bring about the work for which our American pledge of allegiance calls…

ChristTheKing4And yet, this is the first year of my voting experience where I actually, fully  realized 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 justice is His alone to dispense in full, in His perfect timing…

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.

Another Page in My LIFE…

themasterteacher

image: Broderbund PrintShop 10, by permission

This picture speaks to me… Nothing is better to me than the sheer delight of quietly sitting at the feet of the Lord Jesus and learning what it means to be His disciple–to follow hard after Him–seeing life through His eyes, glimpsing what He wants to do with me, knowing I am His forever…

I belong to a knitting and crocheting ministry in my church, and we meet one Friday each month to pray and fellowship while we knit and crochet for others. Our recent topic for conversation included the tedium and exhausting work of unloading years of accumulated possessions in our advanced years… I am no stranger to this constant management of things, things and more things… Our conversation provoked me to think about the things that really matter to me, things I have accumulated and are in danger of being cast away like so much detritus after I die… things of which I have not been a wise steward…

Years ago, I knew I could not keep silent about what I had been discovering in the Scriptures on the subject of what it means to become one who is awakened to know the God revealed in nature, and magnified in the Scriptures. Discipling the Messianic Believer is a journal of sorts… I published a written edition of it in 1994 and issued a new edition in 2003 in print form. It has been distributed to interested ministry leaders in various countries, translated into other languages… But I don’t want the few printed copies I have sitting in my file cabinet to sit there till after I die, only to be thrown into the recycle bin as one more of those inconvenient collections of an old lady… So, I’m following the suggestion of my former mentor under whose direction I compiled the material in this manual: I am making it available on the internet…

Don’t be intimidated by the title; if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you will enjoy the studies in this volume. I wrote it with an Hebraic perspective in order to help non-Jewish believers in Jesus understand some of the roots of the Gospel in the Older Covenant Scriptures. This will assist them in their dialogs with Jewish friends. I also wrote it with this Hebraic perspective in order to encourage new Jewish believers that they are not less Jewish; in fact, they are  “completed Jews.” I have provided a glossary with the meanings of all the Hebraic/Yiddish terms I have used in the study guides. It addresses what I know is essential to living and walking with Messiah in this wilderness… the process… and it is more than a primer…while it is friendly to those who are beginning, it is provocative to those who are continuing…

By God’s grace I have enjoyed the nourishment and encouragement from these things for 20 years and counting… accumulating more LIFE through what I find on the pages of Scripture in these studies…  I continue to be challenged and provoked as I re-visit these studies, proving that they are never old and always relevant to every season of my life…

In its original form, I published a full unit on the Biblical Feasts which made this volume a whopping 600+ pages. As time passed, God led me to re-publish this work without that unit. The result is 18 lessons for LIFE. I thought it was significant that the Hebrew number 18 – “chai” represents life… Just a thought…

Anyway, I have added a new page to my WordPress site, devoted solely to Discipling the Messianic Believer: An Invitation for LIFE. When you visit this page, you will find links to each portion of the study manual. You may print them out and use them for your personal study.  I am not greedy for myself… I might be greedy for readers who can be nourished and transformed by what God did to me when I started studying and writing this volume…  I am definitely greedy that God would receive more glory and honor out of what He is generously pouring into my life through Messiah Jesus…

The Kingdom of Heaven in My Dusty Existence…

July 5, 2015: A Multitude of Thoughts…

Just thinking about what it’s like to be sitting here in this little condo in a little burb that is a big-city-wanna-be…this moment on this day in this year in this land on this earth…who I am…where I’ve come from…what I am becoming…part of God’s great plan, bound for a new home in Glory, on the other side of this veil…yet I am living out this great plan in humiliation unto dust…the days not so great…cannot see the greatness of anything but God in this place of exile…I see mercies—great mercies…but the greatness of how anything in my dusty existence is part of any plan of God’s escapes my vision…I must walk by faith and not by sight on this matter…

On this particular day in the plan, I wait for healing…healing for what next, I do not know…I have plenty of ideas about how to use the mercy of relief from this upper respiratory virus in the coming days…but for now, I wait for restoration of strength…in the meantime, I think about my companions whose names I know, whose lives I once shared in times past, whose footsteps on this side of the veil in their own dusty existence part of God’s plan have taken them away from nearness to my life to work out God’s great and good pleasure elsewhere…One travels across the seas to Israel, while waiting on God’s answers to our prayers for her healing from cancer…she knows what it is to live in the humiliation to the dust, walking by faith and not by sight…Great things God does with lives walking humbly before Him, yet what He sees is hidden from us while He works it out…Another continues to wait another day upon many days, months, years for answer to God’s prayer for deliverance of her children from the dangers of life with an abusive, perverted father and grandparents…Her life in this dusty existence, a life of exile from the revealed joys of her promised Home in Glory, is heart break, sorrow, yearning for her children to be saved from corruption and perversion of this world…every day the hours pass with the same demands of keeping what God has granted in order…faithfully stewarding His mercies in exile…walking humbly before Him, yet the greatness of His plan which He sees is hidden from us while He works it out in our dusty existence…While I write this from the resting place of my recliner with the blessings of wireless keyboard synced to my computer across the room, there are mothers and children half a world away in Africa, looking for a safe place to hide from the dangers of wicked, hateful men who seek their lives…these mothers and their children are companions in Christ, too…they must walk by faith and not by sight, trusting that their lives in their dusty existence in this exile are part of God’s great plan…their moments of their days unfold in constant dependence upon the mercies of God, the eyes of the LORD, being awake and aware of their needs in the humiliation to dust that characterizes their life…

If it were not for the sure and certain Presence of the Lord in all these things, and the Joy that always resides and abides in this life in exile, I would be depressed and despaired…but no…the recognition of this great paradox does not depress or discourage…it merely helps me understand and rest more at peace in the care and wisdom and sovereignty of the God who has ordained by His pleasure to make my dusty experience part of His great plan…He sees it all; that I see any of His greatness while I walk in this exile is great joy which triumphs over all humiliations; at last that is enough for me…

July 24, 2015: Meditating on Acts 18.23-21.14…

I am better now; the healing for which I have waited has come and is continuing. I dreamed this morning. What a wondrous dream I dreamed this morning as I lay still meditating on the journeys of my brother in Christ, the Apostle Paul. In all His journeys, humbly in the dust and grime and sorrows and dangers and brutalities of this fallen world, in his earthen vessel, he carried the Treasures of the Kingdom of God—treasures both new and old. Like me, he wrestled with his own reflexes to see anything particularly great about being weak, threatened by dangers, and being called to preach the Lord Jesus Christ. With all the sensory attacks waging war on his mind, he stood as a conqueror in his dusty, sea-soaked, battered existence by focusing on the greatness of the God Who showed Him the grace and mercy and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just like me, Paul fought the fight against vanity, pride, delusion and despair this side of the veil by walking by faith and not by sight. And in all that is recorded of Paul’s tireless labors, he kept telling the Truth of what is real treasure, real greatness, real glory. In his own dusty existence, Paul boldly declared the only Kingdom that is real to many who languished in poverty, sickness and oppression at the hands of rulers who were blinded by self-worship and greed and acts of violence. In his experiences in chains and dangers, as well as in comforts and hospitalities, Paul persevered to explain the Treasures of the Kingdom of God to many who thought treasure could be found in what they could taste, touch, see and feel—in base and unholy passions and pleasures taken to extremes in foul measures in their dusty existences. Paul declared and explained and argued and contended and lived and died because he knew Whom he believed. He knew the great wonder of being chosen by God to behold the Lord Jesus Christ. In all his dusty existence and educated experience, Paul was born once again as the Holy Spirit quickened his understanding to see Jesus in all the Word of God—treasures both new and old. And because Paul was faithful, I see Him, too. And I know Whom I have believed. I know Him in my dusty existence and understand anew how to use the mercy of the healing I enjoy: to declare repentance toward God and the forgiveness of sins through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—to perpetuate His Spirit instead of my flesh—to increase His Name and His Kingdom in my dusty existence: because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand…

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