Thursday, April 14, 2011

If we had been there...

As the sun reflects off raindrops upon leaves, may the heartsprings of my life, resting in faith reflect nothing less than the love of Jesus!

I've been playing through hymnals quite a bit lately on the piano as I(and a few little voices at times)sing along. Right now I am playing through beauties from Hymns For the Family of God. In the midst of "His life and Ministry" section, #286 there is a reading that goes along with an American folk hymn "Were You There?" It's thought provoking. Beautiful, prodding words fill it's paragraphs and it's title "If We Had Been There" rightly begs the questions:
We're we there? No, but if we would have seen Jesus' life and ministry firsthand would we live each day differently today?  If we had touched his hands, walked in His footsteps and had known the sound of His voice... would our faith be greater? Would we live a life more abandoned for God in this year 2011; a life different than the world's flow, than the tug of society and yes, even our fellow believers?

"If we had been Jews, would we have spoken out for Him
when the Sanhedrin accused Him of blasphemy?
If we had been Gentiles, would we have defended Him
when the Romans condemned Him to death?
If we had been disciples, would we have stayed with Him
when the crowd became a crucifying mob?
Or would we have been like Peter-
who followed Him and loved Him
and denied Him three times before dawn?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

And the Christ who was crucified there, once said:
"As you have done it to the least of these, My brothers,
you have done it unto Me."
As nations rise in war
As governments oppress the poor
As passive people turn and look aside
In silence
We crucify
We crucify.

As indifference forms the pattern of our lives,
As hungry children cry for food,
As widows mourn alone in empty rooms,
In apathy-
We crucify.
We crucify.

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

I think of the nails that crucified my Lord.
They were made of iron; but more-
They were made of hatred, prejudice and greed.
And I wonder-
What part of myself creates mails in other forms
that wound my brother or sister-and my Lord?

You know how many times I have betrayed you, Lord.
You know the times I have chosen evil over good.
Guilt lies upon me like an iron cloak.
My soul is heavy-my burden hard.

Were you there when He rose up from the grave?
O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

In the act of death He absorbs our sins.
In love, He forgives our failures.
In the act of resurrection He gives the promise of acceptance,
the assurance of forgiveness, the affirmation of eternal life.
"Your sins are forgiven you", He said, "Go and sin no more."

Through You love, I am made whole,
Through Your death, I have found new life.
You are my shield, my redeemer and my hope.
My sins are forgiven-Hallelujah!"

-Marilee Zdenek

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vibrant Color

Life is full of color. Vibrant color. Bright lively color can be found everywhere, all around!

In handstands and smiles

A souvenier purse from China Town, New York City

A goose egg's bold yellow yolk.

God's blue blue sky!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mirthful magazines in the mailbox!

Finding something that was once lost.

I am thankful for ALL of the "color" that brighten's life today!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Treasuring the moment

Seasons come and seasons go, blessed be the name of the Lord!

During this crazy busy season we are in at the moment, strangely I've found rest, peace and overwhelming contentment in Jesus and focusing my attention on the physically present people and "real" moments in my life. Trust me, and not of my own will, either! I have been without a computer at home for a couple of weeks now and while it has been hard to refocus and shake the habit of relying on the Internet, facebook and blogging to get my "fix" it has been amazing the blessing that has been washing over me in return for more "quiet" days. Those beautiful souls God has placed before me on this path of life to walk beside for awhile for a greater purpose; I'm not so distracted as to dismiss them now... I've found that there has been less of me and more of Him as a result of this thrust back to the 90's. Hahaha...
We all get in needy mode at times, or our deflating pride or battered self-image needs boosting. Regardless of whether you are willing to admit it we ALL have look at me fests as a result of being discouraged. How easy it is to pick up the computer and have instant gratification from the attention received, burying myself in mindless activities and earthly information, reaching out to others for much needed love and affirmation. Now while that isn't all bad in and of itself, have I turned to God first? Where is my heart when I am doing that? Is God not able? Is He not enough? Have I looked to a smaller god in my life, the easier and quicker way of "dealing" with and filling my needs? Those things do work sometimes in boosting morale, but not usually for long. My senses need to be re-stimulated time and time again, more and more,"I just need to be KNOWN and keep it that way!" Have you ever felt like that?
I've found that in setting myself apart for Christ, reaching out daily to those around me, being sensitive to the Spirit's leading in everyday activities and in prayer, I am saying no to my fleshly desires and it is GOD who instead fills ALL of those needs! I don't need to go out and ask for it, look for it or wave attention down to feel noticed or loved, but how often in the fast paced world, full of information at our fingertips and instant gratification are we brain-washed in thinking that is how God works.

Psalm 4:2-4

How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the LORD hears when I call to him.
Tremble and do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.

He's still.
A firm foundation.
Always present.
All that I need.

Friends, He finds no joy in us filling our days with US.
Father, this day, I live for you! For You only. Not to fill an earthly need, be lazy, make myself or my "life" known by all or satisfy my longings. You know my needs before I even have thought of them. You are my Maker, and I give this day to you, to live for YOUR glory.

I'm sure I will get my "beloved" computer back soon(smile), so I can post all of the wonderful photos and stories that I have to share, but until then I'm going to keep my eyes and heart focused on living by the motto, "Not my will but YOURS be done in my life and family, Lord".

Now onto one of my other daily fixes... coffee...