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2014 Pieces

I found my first “Pieces Journal,” dated January 22, 2014.  It seems so long ago, but it also shows me the walk I’ve taken along Jesus; is just a moment a time, and my faith has continued to grow; year after year.  I’d like to share with you some of the earlier “scraps of paper, devotions and musings” from my journal.  May you find your own special “pieces.”

It’s in the act of faith that courage becomes reality and the Lord’s grace rushes in to supply divine power.

Dear God, I want to be gracious and lovely in Your sight.  Open to receiving.  Take me away from the things that waste my time and rob me of meditative time with You.

I am encouraged by the mighty works of God.  “Prayer” has become a powerful word in my vocabulary, and one that gives meaning to my life.  I pray for HOPE, what a beautiful gift; and, it is free!!!  He walks with me in the garden of my life.  We talk, I learn, I am blessed to know Him as my Father, and Friend.

Keep your defense strong, trust in God.  Pray when anxiety seeps in.

Take it to God.  When you are low or upset, even when it feels contrary to do so; tell Him, share your heart.

I see so many parallels in my past and current life; except now I am grateful for all of it – the hard, hurtful times along with the peaceful.  I believe it’s more than ‘equal parts,’ rather how Jesus wants to live in me; “Grateful for all of the pieces.”  In this way, everything is a subject for witnessing.

Image result for the pieces, the book, Dawn L. Huberty

Impossible situations are opportunities for the Lord to teach us valuable lessons that we’d never learn any other way.

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Forgiveness

Much is written and talked about regarding “forgiveness.”  It’s a difficult concept for the human being to comprehend, all situations that need forgiveness are difficult.  It’s AS hard to forgive, as it is to be forgiven.

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My Christian walk had been littered with plenty of unforgiveness, until through bible study and my own personal devotion, did I realize what I was saying to God.  “I’m expecting/asking/hoping you will forgive me for everything I do wrong on a daily basis, because Your Son gave His life for mine, but I’m unwilling to forgive “A, B and C” because they don’t deserve my forgiveness.  What they’ve done is WAY worse than you can imagine.”  OH THE GALL (of me)!

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Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
holidays

Eastertide

To be honest, I had never heard of “Eastertide” until today, and as a new-to-the-Episcopalian-faith, I wanted to make sure I was understanding it correctly.  It seems to be a beautiful time of celebration. It is based in Christianity & Judaism and although I attend a “certain” church, I do not believe that Christ put his “stamp of approval” on a particular religion.

Eastertide:  Another term for Easter season, the Great Fifty Days. As used in English-speaking churches, “tide” is an old word meaning a festival and its season. For the church, this is, in fact, still Easter. Easter is not meant to be just one sunny Sunday, marked by a hearty meal and pastel hues, but it is, rather, a full season of feasting. Each one of the “Great 50 Days of Easter” ought to be marked and celebrated as Easter. We are called during this season to find some way, every day, to celebrate and feast. We celebrate this great and joyful fact for a full 50 days, because learning what it means to live in the light of the resurrection takes practice.  It takes us 40 days of Lent to really learn that we cannot save ourselves or our world, and it takes 50 days of Easter for us to be gripped and transformed by the fact that God can.

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Easter Blessings

This time of year brings a myriad of thoughts to Christians across the globe.  The great anguish our Lord suffered at the hands of ignorant men, the burial and the restoration.

Click on this link to YouTube for Chris Tomlin’s moving rendition of the old gospel tune: “At The Cross.”

May you be deeply blessed during this time of grief, sorrow and celebration.  JESUS IS LORD!!! 

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Icicles

Out my window I see a very large icicle, dripping.  It will likely be gone in a couple of hours, for today – the temp is heading to 40.  But it is winter here in the heartland and tonight it will get cold enough to freeze drips, turning them back into icicles.

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Icicles remind me of faith.  Two steps forward (complete melting) and one step back (hello, icicles)!  We often find ourselves on a roll of faith, everything is fine, we are filled with faith, believing strongly in God and all He brings to our life ….. and then BAM, “something” happens and now we are standing on shaky ground.  Our faith?  Sure, yah, I’ve got faith.  Faith that nothing will ever change.

We are troubled human beings.  People have lacked faith since the days of Moses.

Mark 16:14
Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

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We are always just a moment away from circumstances changing, so we must always stand firm on our faith.  We are not icicles, we will not melt and come back again the next day, we are human beings made in the image of Jesus, a strong, solid foundation.  May your faith be strengthened today and every day.

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God’s still small voice

When listening for God; He is in the still, small voice of your heart.  The more we share with Him, the lighter our burdens become, He wants to hear from us, He wants the heartache and grief, the anger and frustration, the pain, whatever we are feeling, He wants us to share it with Him.  He is ultimately, our Heavenly Father, but to me, He is my best friend.  Who better to share my restlessness with?

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Jesus is always available, we don’t have to summon or pray for His presence, because there is not a day or a minute or a second in our life that He is not here.  He wants us to seek Him, in order to strengthen our faith, and turn to Him every time we are fearful or filled with emotion.

May you hear the voice of God this week.

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Agape Love

Webster defines “agape” as being in a state of wonder.  I often felt the meaning was to “love as Jesus loved,” it also involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 

A friend of mine, Unitarian minister, theologian and scholar and I, agree completely in this type of love.  It has little to do with “Christianity, the Christian church, a specific religion or belief,” and everything to do with loving as in caring for others without judgement.  WITHOUT JUDGMENT.  Can we do that?  What are the bylaws of our various religions?  Some say; well not the gay people, or not the terrorists, not the people that are different from us.  I say ALL PEOPLE.  We need to love and care for ALL PEOPLE.

Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds….
1 John 2:10
Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.
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