Georgetownrose

from glory to glory…

Archive for the tag “thinking out loud”

Another Day to Glorify the Lord Jesus…

Just thinking out loud…

Paul Witnesses to Roman LeadersI have been studying the Book of Acts with my friends at Community Bible Study, and this week’s lesson material is covering Acts 25-26. While examining the record of Paul’s defense before Agrippa in Acts 26 I read Paul’s opening statement:

“I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews…” (vs 2).

One of the study questions asked: “Why do you think Paul considered himself ‘fortunate’ to be addressing Agrippa in his defense against the accusations of the Jews?”

This is not the first time in my studies of Paul’s life and witness that I have seen his total surrender to the love of the Lord Jesus Christ in all things. Paul’s life and ministry was both a physical and spiritual battleground every day of his breathing existence this side of Heaven. And still, he wakes up each morning with the expectation that he has another day to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ–because he loves Him more than all…

…(wait while I weep over my ambivalent, insipid commitment to Jesus)…

spiritual battleAnyway, not so very long ago, in another moment of awakening, I told the Lord that I want that same expectancy in my own life when I wake up every morning–another day to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ–in my own breathing existence this side of Heaven. And not very long after that, Satan went “nuclear” on me, mustering every weapon in his hateful arsenal to quench that desire… To be sure, it has been a battle of “operation desert storm” proportions in my life, because Satan is not having any of it…

But I wonder if Paul ever had periods of waking up dreading what he might face in his day–whether it be the physical taxing on his body to travel while in pain, or whether it be the undercurrent of dread at facing another mob bent on drawing blood… so much so, that his flame of gladness of glorifying Jesus gutters and flickers in the battles of each day; and that instead of jubilation, his heart is like a ship anchored and held fast to its mooring in Christ while yet battered from within and from without…

god-strength2That’s something of how I feel in my dusty existence this side of Heaven…But I know that Messiah Jesus fights for me, because I am alive today “fortunate” to have another day to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in my own breathing existence this side of Heaven…

Thanking God that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world, as it is written by another faithful one who loved the Lord Jesus:

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

-1 John 4.4

Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?…To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light both to our people [the Jews] and to the Gentiles.”

–Acts 26.8,22-23

Glory to Thee, Lord Jesus!

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I’m always ready…

…for Christmas…

Everyone around me is bustling to “get ready for Christmas.” Being ready for Christmas in this culture is a matter of stocking up on the right decorations, the richest festive foods, and the perfect gifts for our friends and relatives. “Being ready for Christmas” is retail oriented…

“Are you ready for Christmas?” is a question I often hear at the check-out line in the grocery store. If that cashier only knew the passion for Messiah Jesus roaring behind the floodgates of my soul, she would think twice before asking me that question. Nevertheless, having the invitation to share my readiness for Christmas, I go gently but boldly… I am always ready for Christmas…

My question is, “How can anyone not be ready for Christmas?” We allow the culture to eclipse our consciousness of the sacrifice of the King of glory who set aside His joys in the Heavenlies to dwell in an earthen vessel for our sake… “Christmas” worship focuses exclusively upon that event in history—when the Son of God, who is eternal, everlasting, and outside of time and space, subjected His life to the confines of our mortality—our temporary-ness… And we must never forget this magnificent event; but the manger scene of Bethlehem’s Tower of the Flock was only the beginning of the Incarnation of the King of kings …

I love this season as much as every other warm-blooded disciple of Messiah Jesus. I am particularly “undone” this year, overwhelmed with the awesome weight of His glory—and I am finding it difficult to confine the passion of worship into the typical Christmas routine of the putting up of the tree and setting up the Nativity scene. It’s not that I feel jaded or cynical at all… Far from it… To be sure, we could not have the whole Incarnation of Christ without the great moment in Bethlehem; but I am changed in the way I view this season and the ways it is viewed by my contemporaries this side of Heaven… Aside from the fact that I will soon be 70 years old—I am told that aging changes one’s perspective—I believe that something else has finally had its way in my heart—something that only the King of glory could do…

For the greater part of the year prior to this season, my heart, soul, mind and strength have been immersed in the Word of God in a systematic study of the years of Jesus’ Incarnation which followed His infant birth in Bethlehem…

The written record of His Incarnate life and ministry for our sake…

To declare the glory of the Incarnate Christ to our children in our church family…

Beloved, I cannot articulate everything I have seen and understood with new understanding of the weight of glory revealed in the whole written record of His Incarnation…

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

–John 1.14

…for our sake…

I am undone by His revealed glory in all His incarnate life and ministry…

Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written… but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God…

–John 21.25; 20.31

It’s easy to adore the little baby in the manger of Bethlehem, because an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes poses no apparent threat, no immediate challenge to our secret thoughts and our autonomous posture toward a Holy God—unless we step back and view the panoramic evidence which awakens us from our Christmas lullabies to the true identity of this sweet little Baby Boy…

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your Salvation that You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.” And His father and His mother marveled at what was said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

–Luke 2.25-35

In the phrase of a popular Christmas carol: “Do you see what I see?”

ChristTheKing4

Do you see what Simeon saw? He saw it before the Holy, Incarnate Bundle in his arms walked out every stroke of the Father’s revealing work in the dust of Galilee, Judea and Samaria… Simeon saw it long before the record of the Incarnate glory of Jesus was written down for us in the Word of God… And if you glimpse even a fraction of it, would you still adore Him Who challenges all your secret thoughts and your autonomous posture before a Holy God?

“In Him was Life; and the Life was the light of men.”

–John 1.4

Would you always be ready for Christmas?

An “Indivisible” American Heart…

Just thinking out loud…something I do not quite understand about the current media and political upheaval over talking to foreign diplomats/businessmen/guests during an election campaign season…

Observation #1: Former President Obama and the Democratic Party are generally in favor of global trade, free access between countries to trade and traffic… “the global economy” idea…

Observation #2: In this country, we value freedom of speech; there are countless champions for that right given in our Constitution…

Observation #3: In this country, a political candidate has the right to raise funds and support from willing parties… in recent years, those who are resident aliens, enjoying the blessings of the Democratic welcome of living and working here, in the interest of free trade, etc., exercise their freedom of speech to dine with and be invited guests of a political candidate whose ideas and business philosophy interest them… especially since he might become the next “leader of the free world…”

Observation #4: But Democratic advocates for free speech and global trade and traffic and unified global economy and good relations suddenly object to another political candidate even speaking with peers/businessmen/government emissaries of the foreign country — whose relationship has not been defined as outwardly hostile at any particular level (or maybe it is a personal dislike of the former “leader of the free world.”) Democratic advocates for free speech dismiss these resident aliens and deport them for talking to and liking the platform of the other candidate…

As I read what is being presented in the media, the only thing that is apparent is that Mr. Flynn lied to the FBI about exercising his right to entertain and talk with people from another country…potential supporters of the potential new leader of the free world… the lie was wrong.

But here is another thing which puzzles me: It is now the outraged champions of free speech–the Democratic party–which have instigated an FBI investigation into this other country’s “meddling” in the 2016 election. What constitutes meddling? Having been dissatisfied with previous avenues of accusation and investigation into “meddling,” the FBI is now directed by the Democratic champions of free speech to turn its inquisitive eye upon the team members of the current President’s office, announcing the “criminality” of his conversations with people from the country the previous President evicted in response to his own unproven suspicions of “meddling.”

Believe me when I say this: witch hunting is an abominable thing for a people to be doing–regardless of who is in the “people’s house,” (aka The White House).

I have nothing else to say on this matter, except to go to the Sovereign Lord in fervent prayer…

LORD! There is so much going on which so many of us do not see. If it is Your Will, by Your grace, protect us from ourselves!

He Opened the Scriptures…

…and Heaven, too…

Thinking on the quiet conversation between three travelers on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24.13-35…

Jesus on the Road to Emmaus2

…the discouragement, the disappointment of two of the travelers about the evaporation of all their hopes and dreams of deliverance from Roman supremacy–because the One they thought would be their Deliverer was executed on a Roman cross three days before…

…the deep grief at the disappearance of the body of their beloved Rabbi… 

…the astonishment and incomprehension of the tales of visions of angels and declarations that He is alive…

…the patient listening ear of the third Traveler, hearing every sorrow and every puzzlement of the two who walked near Him…

…and then He spoke: “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. –Luke 24.25-27

…there is no room here to declare it all… Jesus is everywhere in the Scriptures…

For such a time as this, remember: every human king on this planet, in every age of history has won his crown by the shedding of other people’s blood. But this Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom I now adore as my King, He took His rightful place in glory as King over all creation by laying aside His rightful glory and pouring out His own blood–and thereby accomplishing the greatest victory of all, proven by His resurrection from the grave on the third day–the Day of the Firstborn/Firstfruits…

thorns and gold2

…there’s more on my heart, but just now, it is unutterable…

Mea Culpa…

…or how to avoid misusing the blog…

Some of my followers know that I publish annual, seasonal content during the autumn holydays and other celebrations of faith in Messiah Jesus. This year, I found a way to re-set my publishing dates on the content of the Feast of Trumpets and the Days of Awe. I needed to edit the content and re-format it to some degree in each day’s post. Then, I found the little setting in the “Status” box to re-schedule the post for the appropriate date coinciding with the content presented…

Most of my  re-scheduled posts appeared in the Reader, but at least two did not. When I made inquiry to the “Help” staff of WordPress, I was ultimately directed to a paragraph in the “Misuse” category which characterized such re-schedulings of posts  as attempting to force my posts to the top of the reading heap…  

Little did I know that I had misused the blog by simply re-scheduling the post to coincide with this year’s dates of observance. I did not intend to try to “push” my post to the top of the tag results to compete for “top of the heap” viewing.  I simply wished to move it from its previous year’s publish date to a current publish date to coincide with this year’s observances.  I did not see this as a “misuse” of the blog; to me, it is very appropriate to be able to move seasonal/annual content from year to year in the publishing/reader queue for the benefit of both old and new followers…

i-beg-your-pardon-824194_960_720

IF, however, WordPress is sensitive to this kind of operation, then I will find an alternative–if not as accommodating–way to direct the readership to the annual content in such a way that does not violate WPs sensitivities…

My apologies to all my fellow bloggers for this unintended discourtesy… 

Positively “Electrifying”!…

…or “What Hath God Wrought?”

Been watching AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire…”

Let me say first that I am not a fan of voyeuristic viewing, and I could comment on the fixations of the writers and producers, but I do not wish to dwell on those things here. If you can get past all the gratuitous physical play-acting, there were striking messages in this series which I cannot ignore…

Such as?” you ask…

Rather than my publishing “cliff notes” for the series here, I recommend that you say a prayer and engage your little grey cells and watch how the process began and unfolded–the subject process being that of wrestling information into a communicable medium for a world community to share…

My “Aha!” moment occurred the other day, when I was searching the web for definitions and Bible verses, listening to messages I missed at church, writing e-mails, and sending e-cards, listening to worship music on YouTube, etc…

Those digitally minded brains who see everything in the world–all information in bits and bytes… mathematically defined… they stayed up nights theorizing and seeking mathematical solutions for packaging information into a form which can be communicated, collected, stored, and found all over the world. I think of it as “electrifying” information. (That may not be an accurate description, and to all who are knowledgeable in such things, I apologize;  but that is the only way I can think of it–being that I don’t see the world in numbers and algorithms and mathematical equations. To me it is positively “electrifying!”)…

keyboard head2

I would guess that the series writers and producers were pretty accurate when they developed their cast of cerebral story characters whose efforts became highly competitive (that’s a euphemism) to develop the software and the hardware for this project. In truth, many of them  scratched and clawed to make it to the top of the heap in the “www”…

They thought they were building an empire for themselves…

…But God used the gifting they enjoyed by His grace to build it for us who know and understand the God of all math–even if we don’t understand the math; we understand the God of all math. To be sure, everybody enjoys the mercy of using it for now; but if you view it through the lens of eternal reality, we who believe in Jesus are co-owners with Him of the whole blooming network…

In Bosley’s words: “Well, ain’t that a hoot!”  

Thanking God for the network, even if I have to share it with those who will not acknowledge that their gift has come from God and give Him the glory due to Him… some day… For now, let us who were created for declaring the Kingdom of God in Christ Jesus, use the www in a way which glorifies Him and increases His Kingdom in all the earth…

Trusting the God of all math to grant the increase and to multiply to His glory my bits and bytes about His glory on the www pages of my thoughts…

Fallen Co-Regents…

Early in this morning, 5:30, I awaken to a power outage in our neighborhood…In a ground floor garden condo, facing north, it gets dark without the help of interior lighting after sundown. But this was really DARK:  without the benefit of the glow of exterior security lights on the neighboring buildings… 

I felt my way to the room where I keep  my stash of tea light candles and kitchen matches to get some light for my nocturnal shuffling. Then I rummaged for flashlights and batteries. When I finally returned to bed, I was too stimulated to go back to sleep; so I prayed and reflected on Scriptures featured in  recent posts on my blog… all on the theme of the parables of the Kingdom of God–specifically, that Jesus is the King of the Kingdom of God, and His parables are word pictures of what the Kingdom of God is like… And Jesus is explaining the Kingdom of God to His listeners because  we were created to be co-regents and ministers with God over all His creation… and we messed up “royally…”

As I prayed, I remembered an encounter with one of my Sunday School children this past week–an encounter which, in that moment, forced me out of my comfort zone. I confess that over the months of working with the children in my class, I had begun to grow, and especially to grow more comfortable with them. We all grew, the children and I; but without fully realizing it, I had become settled into my little “organized kingdom…”

 With the advent of the new school year, the demographic changed, and God gave me a new little man to nurture in the Word and Kingdom of God. The little man was not having any of it; he is quite comfortable in his own little world where he is king…   

In the early morning moments of this day, remembering this encounter drew me into prayer for the child… And then for me… The answers from the Lord came flooding into my soul… 

Big question: How can a fallen co-regent even hope to approach answering Christ’s holy commission while in this tainted condition? More specifically, how can a fallen but sanctified Sunday School teacher–so much in need of grace–co-reign with Christ in the business of declaring the Kingdom of God to 15 wee fallen ones, each one in need of extra grace?

This is where I was awakened (in the early hours of a morning power outage) to the weight of the glory of God…

I could not access my computer, and I could not see to write the flood of things I was learning in my moments alone with the Lord. I never did get back to sleep, and I had a new Bible Study group to attend after breakfast.  As I lean heavily into the Holy Spirit to bring to memory what we exchanged in prayer in those glorious moments, here, I am pouring it all out as best I can…

‘Not by might, nor by power; but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.

–Zechariah 4.6 NKJV

I am called during this season of my life to nurture another generation in the knowledge of the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ… I am a member of the human race, a descendant of the ones created in the image and likeness of God for the purpose of  being co-regents and ministers with God in His Kingdom–all of creation… And I am a fallen regent…

But the commission has not changed; and in Christ, the commission is to declare the Kingdom of God revealed in the Bible and the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ: the “now” and the “not yet.” And I am still “becoming…”  I am “not yet” lifted to a  place where my responses in fallen encounters are either immediately or completely characteristic of a “made perfect” co-regent and minister with Christ…

…He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary and was made man…For our sake… 

–The Nicene Creed

Wrapping my mind around the truth of the Nicene Creed: Jesus became incarnate; not like any other man in His Perfect Being, He dwelled in the vessel of a man born like any other man, for our sake

Yes, Jesus laid down His life for our sake; but His sacrifice for our sake began long before He was “led as a lamb to the slaughter…” before “He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.”  (Isaiah 53.5-7, NKJV)

The angels attended His incarnation, announcing the glory of the Lord. No less gloriously, He laid aside His resplendent majesty and became incarnate; and He lived as a man on our fallen planet, among His fallen co-regents…  for our sake and He told us what we had forgotten about the Kingdom of God… (Matthew 13.1-52, NKJV)  

By His incarnate life we can see how the God-Man, the Unfallen Regent, the One who is  “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2.9, NKJV) walked in this dusty existence as the Christus Rex, among and over all fallen creation–in full submission and communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit… at every turn… without fail… perfectly reigning with the Father and the Holy Spirit… for our sake even to death on a cross… to reconcile His fallen co-regents to submission and communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit as He is…

…where I am meant to be… where I am in my sanctification “now,” but in this dusty existence “not yet.” My reflexes are not yet always, completely, and perfectly tuned to seek God’s regency in my life, let alone to seek or comprehend His counsels at the lightning speed of life in times like these…

…when my Sunday School children need to see the presence of the Kingdom of God while I declare the Kingdom of God to them from the Word of God… even while yet a fallen co-regent with Christ… for such a time as this…

I am undone… God, help me… 

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

–2 Corinthians 12.9 NKJV

Parable of the Good Samaritan…

A short story which teaches a lesson; an earthly story with a heavenly meaning…what the Kingdom of God is like…

Jesus the Storyteller

(THE GOSPEL PROJECT FOR KIDS – SUMMER 2017)

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Mark 6.34

Bible Passage: Luke 10.25-37 NKJV   The Good Samaritan

  • Jesus told a parable about a man attacked by robbers…

 

  • A priest and a religious leader did not stop to help the man. But a certain Samaritan had kindness

 

  • Everyone who comes into the Kingdom of God enters by God’s kindness shown to them through the Lord Jesus Christ…

 

  • In the Kingdom of God kindness grows in the life of a believer in the Lord Jesus.

 

…He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary and was made man…For our sake… 

–from the Nicene Creed

 

Parable of the Lost Son…

Another “catch” from my voyage through the summer Bible lessons in children’s Sunday school… This also from the units on the Parables of the Kingdom of God… for such a time as this…

Jesus the Storyteller

(THE GOSPEL PROJECT FOR KIDS – SUMMER 2017)

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Mark 6.34

Bible Passage: Luke 15 NKJV   

  • Jesus told a parable about people finding lost things…

 

  • People celebrated when they find what was lost

 

  • Everyone who comes into the Kingdom of God is there because Jesus has gone out to find them and save them from being lost…

 

  • In the Kingdom of God every child of God is glad for another lost person to be saved and welcomed.

 

 

 

Whose Kingdom?

We’ve been called to have dominion over the earth to the glory of God, but we want dominion for the glory of man. That’s what was going on at Babel—a distortion, an evil twisting of the legitimate task that God had given mankind.”

–R.C. Sproul

Our Story by R. C. Sproul

Go ahead! Read the link above; and then, I have some thoughts of my own to share… 


Shared this a year ago on my Facebook page. At that time, America was approaching a huge decision in its democratic privilege to choose leaders in the Executive and Legislative Branches of our government–which, in turn, would affect the choice of leaders in our Judicial Branch of government…

…As I have been reviewing 1 Kings 11 and 12 in my studies of last week. All about how king Solomon’s sin tore the kingdom apart and the life which the people of Israel faced in the wake of Solomon’s death…

Two men in the wake of Solomon’s reign: Rehoboam his son; and Jeroboam his servant. Two men who would not hear wise counsel.

Rehoboam rejected the wisdom of his father’s elders, but intensified his father’s oppression. Jeroboam rejected God’s wisdom and made Israel to sin against God. He did not heed God’s counsel and promise to him in 1 Kings 11.37-38. Jeroboam listened to his own paranoia and ego instead (1 Kings 12.26-28)…

Neither one of them sought God’s wisdom; neither one of them had a heart for what God’s Kingdom is to be…

Ever wonder how the faithful among the people of Israel felt at that time? Which king does one who loves God honor and recognize? With one comes the hardship of usurious taxes and service; with the other comes the state sanction against living worship of God and against finding reconciliation with God before the place He appointed for His Name to dwell and the means of grace…

It occurred to me that the tribes of Israel did not have to go along with Jeroboam’s political platform; they were not deprived of a choice. They did not deliberate on the ramifications of such a move, nor place limits on Jeroboam’s response to Rehoboam’s rigidity. They chose to go along with Jeroboam in his disgruntlement against the government of the House of David and set themselves at odds with the means of grace at Jerusalem…

Questions arise in my mind. Whose sin was worse? Does this historical event which reveals the inclinations of men’s hearts have significance for those who react to the state of government in our country? What do those who believe in Christ hold more important in a leader?

Patricia’s Facebook Thoughts – History


 

…And as I reflect on the lessons in our church’s Sunday School curriculum this year– Yeshua/Jesus declaring the Kingdom of God–I also reflect on R. C. Sproul’s article from TABLETALK, commenting on Genesis and the kingdom of man… (See the link I shared above. Really! Go ahead and read it! It will do your little grey cells good!) 

My earnest prayer is, “LORD, Jesus, Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

In my own dusty existence in this earthen vessel… Let the increase of His government have no end…

 

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