It’s Suppertime

 

 

 

I expect you have heard the following saying:

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths that we take; but, by the moments that take our breaths away.” (Anonymous)

Well, in the early hours of Sunday morning, around 2:00 a.m., I truly had one of these unique breathtaking moments.  Earlier, I had woken up, prayed for several people, and rolled over to go back to sleep. A picture of a door appeared before me, it was closed, and very slowly it began to open a few inches, as if in slow motion. I began to ask what are You showing me.

The Holy Spirit said,  “The Father is beginning to open the door to walk out on the porch of Heaven and call to Jesus,  “My Son, it’s time, Go Bring My Children Home.” 

I laid there still before the Lord, not breathing, absorbing this picture, and hearing His Words repeated over and over in my spirit. Before I could ask what was I to do with this, He instructed me to get up and write it down.  He said remember Jesus’ words to us from John 14:2b-3,  “I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also ”.  

Then, He carried me to a place in my childhood memories and told me to write………

Close to the sun setting at the end of the day, Momma and my sister, Peggy would go into the house and start preparing supper. Our baby sister, Sandy was usually with them.  Jerry and Harold, my older brothers, would milk the cows and feed the pigs.  Another sister, Sharon and I would feed the chickens and gather any eggs laid through the day.  If it was still any daylight left, we were allowed to play outside until we were called to come in. Usually, our youngest brother Gene would join all of us in the fun playing all kinds of games.  Then, we would see Mama come out on the front porch and say “Come on in, it’s Suppertime!!!”   This family of hungry children could not wait to come in and sit down at the supper table and enjoy all that Mama had prepared for us.  

Very soon, our Father will call us :   

Matthew 25:34 – Then shall the Lord say unto us,  “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

In other words, “Come Home Child, it’s Suppertime!!!” Then, you and I will go in rejoicing for we are truly Home forever with the One who made us “His,” forever by the blood of His Son, Jesus.                        

A child headed Home,

Tricia Cook

Mocking and Humiliation -Double Edged Sword

Mocking -Your fun at someone else’s expense

Who among us has not experienced something like this?  If we were not the instigator, we certainly laughed and encouraged the behavior.  Many of us have been the object of someone else’s “fun” and the entertainment for those observing.  Just this picture makes us laugh.  On the other hand, this picture makes us want the earth to open and swallow us up.

 

Jesus found Himself in this vicious realm.  In Matthew’s gospel, the writer paints a vivid picture of the depth of our Savior’s humiliation.  In Matthew 26:67 and Luke 22:64-64 we see the initial taunting of Jesus as He is blindfolded by soldiers for a “guessing game,” insulted, and then is not the ultimate degradation to have someone spit in your face?  Slap your face?  Pummel your face with fists so that your nose bleeds, your eyes swell shut, and you are tasting your own blood and cannot see or breath?  

Jesus tormentors were not satisfied with these insults.  They went a few steps further and while He is handcuffed, they strip off all His clothing and leave Him standing naked while they plot their next move of draping the “king” in a “royal cape” of purple, weave Him a “crown” of thorns that look like swords not stickers, find a reed for a “scepter” and force it into His holy hands, as they bow before Him.  I want to throw up this hurts my heart so much.  NO ONE came to His defense.  He stood “defenseless and silent before the shearers.”  (Isaiah 53:7)

 

 

Unfortunately, the mocking of Jesus and His humiliation were not complete.  Once He trudged up Calvary’s hill, He was once again, stripped naked for His clothing to be divided but the worst was gambling for His most prized possession: the cloak His precious Mother made for him right after they pierced His flesh with nails and hung His naked body on a cross for display.

“The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. 40 “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

41 The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. 42 “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! 43 He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.”  (Matthew 27:39-44)

I WISH He had come down off that cross and proved He could just to shut them up!  (I know that would have defeated the purpose but still……………)

In the course of a few hours, Jesus was humiliated, mocked, scorned, and ridiculed more than any other person ever has been.  So, yes, He has felt this most devastating verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse.  Yet, not a word of retaliation.  

Each time we have participated in the mocking/humiliation of another, we are guilty of a sin Jesus died for.  Yet again, something buried deep so I do not have to face it, has once again been unearthed for confession.  Again, I recognize I have hurt the image of God within another human being.  This is what the enemy loves to attack, the image and the character of God placed within each of us.

Father, forgive me!  I know the sting of hurtful taunts and yet, I too have been guilty of doing the same thing to another either directly or by standing idly by and not coming to their defense.  May I forevermore see YOU within the soul of everyone I come in contact with from this point forward.  Lord, I thank you for Your sacrifice and for enduring what should have been my own punishment.  This I ask in Jesus name and for His glory.  Amen

Treading in grace,

Yvonne Jones

 

Danny Gokey  Hope In Front of Me

Staying in Continual Communication

Staying In Continual Communication by Susan Browder

Talking to a friend, moment by moment.

 

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning’s that cannot be expressed in words.” Romans 8:26

Thank you all for meeting me hear each Tuesday to see the abundant blessings that are woven into our difficulties each day.  Today I am looking back to January of 2015, which is four months after his injury.

 

 

Jacob has enjoyed deer season and duck season.  This is what he always has looked forward to but especially now it is something he is so thankful for.  Still having double vision, Jacob wears an eye patch so that he only sees one deer or one duck. 

 


 

waiting……

Worth the wait


Every day I stay in continual communication with God.  I thank God daily for healing and continually ask him to restore Jacob the way that he made him.  I can visually see God jumping up and down and waving his hands at me and shouting, “I hear you…”  Staying in continually communication gave me so much peace.  I had never talked to God so much in my life. 

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Every day as I began to seek God, he spoke to me through scripture. I would go back to what Romans 8:26 says daily and continued to cry out.  Our family can testify that this works today, not just biblical times.  We began to see a glorious unfolding of healing.  I remember getting so excited about Jacob walking better, talking better, using his right side, and many other things.  Then I would hear another person say, “My child got their license today!” “My son is going on a date.”  “My child is visiting colleges.”  For a moment, I felt anger and frustration, then my peace would return and I reminded myself, that one day, not today, but a day is coming when all of this will come full circle and a plan for Jacob will be revealed.   

But for right now, life is hard, tiring, and heavy at school.  Jacob is ready to graduate and be done with high school at this time and is just in the 10th grade.  Things are not the same for Jacob and people don’t know how to handle that so they just removed themselves.  This is the most difficult time.  I am just going to leave that there.  I just continued to trust God that there must be a reason. 

Danny Gokey – Rise

https://youtu.be/8eUGUC4Ko30

 

Counting My Blessings,

Susan Browder

Trauma/Pain/Suffering

 

Heart beat

Breathing

 

Matthew 26:67,  27:26, 29, 31

 

The Word of God left nothing to the imagination when it came to the crucifixion of the Son of God.  The movie The Passion of the Christ brought it to life for twenty first century viewers in all its gory detail.  Dr. C. Truman Davis wrote an article, A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Christ  detailing the enormous consequences on the human body from this kind of torture.

We read the words, flogging or scourging and seldom wince.  We see a reenactment of the passion and hear the nails driven and watch fake blood ooze..  We glimpse a cross being carried on Good Friday.  But rarely, do we give attention to the pain of a beard being plucked out of a face, eyes being punched with fists of steel,  comprehend the tenderness of bruised places where the rods struck Jesus back and legs, or fully comprehend  the blood loss, shock, and total mutilation of a human body that just HOURS before had been a robust, healthy, thirty something man.

 

Mark Kubala in outreachmagazine.com, on 4/13/17 wrote an article titled What Jesus Really Endured on the Cross a Medical Perspective.  It closely correlates with Dr. Davis’ assessment.  Because I am a nurse, I read these with awe and a sickening understanding.  Jesus should not have survived His initial time with the Roman soldiers!  The flogging was meant to “preserve” His life in Pilate’s mind.  Most people who understood scourging would rather have fallen on a sword.  The Jews limited flogging to thirty lashes.  The Romans did not.  He was barely alive.

 

As I gave much thought to this “trial” of our Savior and wondered at His fortitude I was struck speechless by something I never fully grasped before today.  Let me see if I can explain this.

 

My dear friend, mentor, and cardiac nursing instructor, Sylvia, told her students a “healthy heart makes a lub dub sound under the stethoscope and lungs have a swooshing sound as air is inhaled and exhaled.   I do not hear lub dub or swooshing.  Lean in close and really listen–listen with a spiritual ear:  From life’s first to final beat, the heart speaks for I AM:  “Love you, love you, love you,” and every breath whispers, “I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.”  Every heart beat and every breath a pure gift of grace.  Every minute of every day the quiet, constant, almost imperceptible reminder of His presence and care can be heard for God Himself breathed into man the “breath of life and he became a living soul.”  (Genesis 2:7)

Now, think of Jesus nailed to a stake in the ground barely able to open an eye, his tongue clinging to the roof of His holy mouth, pain searing through his body and sending bolts of fire to his brain, blood dripping, flowing, and spewing, leaving His heart and lungs screaming for fluid carrying oxygen, and His Father, the giver of every heartbeat and breath withdraws………………..turns away.  (Matthew 27:46)

This is the trauma to painful to bear and Jesus says in essence, if you are not here I can no longer live!  He ceases to breath because His Father is no longer saying, “I’m here.”  And His heart ceases to beat.  He will live on this fallen green-blue ball not another second.

The word crucifixion comes from a Latin word from which we get the English word “excruciating,” but the original word means “out of the cross.”  I believe Jesus greatest agony was the trauma of separation from His Father because of the sin being heaped upon Him.  Psalm 22 tells us His strength dried up, that He was poured out like water, His heart melted like wax, and He was reduced to the dust of death.  Here was the “evening sacrifice” appeasing the wrath of God for the sins of mankind.  (Ezra 9:5 and Psalm 141:2)

God’s Word teaches us to give thanks in all things. (I Thessalonians 5:18) The reason?  Because I AM loves you and He is always with you!  He only turned away at the very last moment!  Even a moment was too much for Jesus to bear.  How much more do we need His Presence.  

I taught this little object lesson years ago using a small piece of medical equipment called a doppler with some children.  Teaching them every heartbeat was God saying He loves them.  It wasn’t until today I realized when God turned away, Jesus could no longer hear “I’m here, love you.”  Is there a greater trauma than being abandoned in dying?  Jesus knows pain, suffering, trauma, dying a slow agonizing death.  He did so willingly, so we will never have to feel God turn away from us.

This brings tears to my eyes, gratitude to my heart, and relief to my soul.

Without lub dub and swoosh I would never have heard, “LOVE YOU” 60-100 times per minute and “I’M HERE” 12 to 20 times per minute.  He wants to be sure we hear and cannot forget.

After the officer and gentleman died, our MD son became very frustrated.  He struggled with the knowledge that many who seem undeserving survive trauma, sickness, and pain, while his Dad did not.  Life just seemed so unfair.  What he has come to appreciate if not fully comprehend is God’s grace toward all mankind.  To those who do not yet know the Lord,  another opportunity is given “to call on the name of the Lord and be saved.”  To those who do know the Lord, another opportunity is not needed and to allow continued life might increase their suffering.  Indeed, He does love you and He is here!  Not one of us is deserving of this priceless gift of grace.

Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend.  (John 15:13)

 

https://youtu.be/7Gvt__r9EU0   Mandisa What Scars Are For

Treading with the battered and bruised,

Dedicated to my precious friend and RN extraordinaire, Sylvia.  You are loved by many!  My profound thanks!

The Trumpet Sounding (Rosh Hashanah)

The Sounding of the Shofar preview for September 20-22,2017

(updated from September  2015 by Freda Reynolds)

This year RoshHashanah will begin on September 21,2017

Leviticus 23:23-25 “The Festival of Trumpets23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. On the first day of the appointed month in early autumn,[e] you are to observe a day of complete rest. It will be an official day for holy assembly, a day commemorated with loud blasts of a trumpet. 25 You must do no ordinary work on that day. Instead, you are to present special gifts to the Lord.”

The Shofar is to be blown by two witnesses who see the new crescent moon rising on the 1st of Tishri. The feast of trumpets begins on the first day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. (Numbers 29:1) “Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall do no laborious work.  It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets,

So why is this of any importance to us as Christians?   Because it is part of our heritage. We cannot forget that our Christian faith came to us from a Jewish lineage.  Judeo-Christian both are part of who we are. Once we have become a part of the kingdom of God, we are born into the faith that came through the Jews.  

Now, why should we study the truth in scripture about the Feast of Israel?  We study because there are truths God wants to reveal to us.  We study to show ourselves approved unto God as workmen who should not be ashamed of the gospel.  All the gospel.  The feasts are part of that history and reveal shadows and truths of God’s plan throughout the ages.  When you study the feasts you find the next event of God’s calendar is the feast of Trumpets.  There are seven feasts: Passover when Christ died at Calvary, Unleavened bread when he was placed in the tomb for three days, First Fruits when Jesus rose from the grave and Pentecost when Jesus returned to heaven to prepare a room for his bride.  He will return at the appointed time.  The last three feasts will be at his return for His bride.  The feast of Trumpets when He comes to receive His bride, The Day of Atonement when He comes with His bride at the 2nd coming and the feast of Tabernacle when we rule and reign with Him in His kingdom. 

 

The shofar or ram’s horn (trumpet) is an important part of the celebration and is the most mentioned musical instrument in the bible. During this celebration, it is sounded with 100 blasts.  The first blast is a long continuous blast which is to sound the alarm.  Wake Up! Judgement is coming, today is the day to repent . Then there are 3 short blast followed by 9 quick blasts.  That is done 11 times making 99 blasts of the shofar. The last long blast is symbolic to the Jews as the Last Trump when Messiah will come.  The shofar or ram’s horn is blown to remind the people that judgment is coming. Amos 3:6 “When the shofar is blown in the city, don’t the people tremble?”  Symbolically, it is to awaken the slumbering ones.  The sound of the trumpet calls us to return to the Lord and seek His face. The sound of the trumpet about which Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 says, that “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then, we, who are still alive will be caught up (raptured) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so, we will always be with the Lord.”

There is much to study in God’s word; much more than we could cover here. There are deep treasures to be revealed by the Holy Spirit that will encourage and give us hope for the day.  

The feast of trumpets is a study that unveils the hope that one day we will hear the trumpet sound and we will in a twinkling of an eye be taken up to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus.

I find great hope in that thought.  

This poem is a reminder that God speaks to us.  He brought this in the very early morning hours of September 15, 2015 which was to be the 1st day of Tishrei.  A reminder to me that there is an urgency today to call people to awaken from our slumber and tremble at the thought that friends and neighbors need to hear that there is coming a day when Christ will return.  

I’m listening for a trumpet; are you???

 

Rosh Hashanah – The Feast  of Trumpets – Sept. 15, 2015 poem by Freda Reynolds

I’m listening for a trumpet
To call me safely home
It’s the blowing of the shofar.
To call God’s children home

I’m waiting for the Savior
Who’s prepared a home for me
He’ll call me from His heaven
To be with Him for all eternity

With eager expectation
I sense the time is near
Oh what joy there to behold
I’ll walk on streets of gold

Surrounded by such beauty
More perfect than was Eden
The colors there more splendid
In brilliance as always was intended

I’ll walk in cool of evening
I’m told there’s a crystal river                                    
Where the river of life is streaming       
That flows from the Throne of God

I’ll sing a song that’s new with music never heard
Such perfect melodies and harmonies on us will be conferred
Stirring new sensations from colors, sights and sound
The wonders of the heavens around us will abound

Our bodies renewed with strength and vigor given
Twill be glorified and driven by grace in His provision
The healing of our memories washed clean by Calvary
All sorrows wiped away no longer hold their mastery

What joy we have that’s coming
My heart and spirit cries  
Don’t miss this celebration
The calls’ to every nation

 

Just listen for the trumpet
It’s the blowing of the shofar
When God calls His children home

 

 

 

Freda Reynolds

 

 

Betrayal

 

James Tissot [No restrictions or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Luke 22:3-6, 21-22, 47-48) Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.
5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.
6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.
But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.
22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!

47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

Matthew 26:48-49; Mark 14: 44-45

The betrayal of a friend is devastating. To have trusted someone and then discover your trust was misplaced is to have your heart ripped out of your chest. Jesus KNOWS THIS! The betrayal of one He chose and loved for three years was part of His greatest trial. It appears to have set in motion HIs death. He was sold out for thirty pieces of silver. (Shekels of Shame, March 8, 2017; Jeremiah 19:1-13)

What I have not noticed before is the significance of the kiss. Jesus was literally kissed by Satan himself. “A murderer from the beginning,” kissing the Creator of all life. (John 8:44; Genesis 1) A kiss is an expression of love. Not betrayal. The horror of this takes my breath away. Satan, who was at one time, before his fall, before the throne of Almighty Triune God with all its splendor and majesty leading the angelic hosts in worship; Now, he has invaded a soul already known to be a thief (John 12:6) to “orchestrate” the death of the Son of God in an attempt to further discredit the Father. Look at the progression of the plan: a) he went his way, b) he communed with the chief priests and captains, c) covenanted for the money, d) made a promise, e) sought an opportunity to betray Jesus, f) sat with Jesus like all was well, and g) pointed Jesus out with a kiss! This is how low the enemy will cause us to go when we doubt the Savior and follow our own selfish desires. Satan loves only himself. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6)

Paradidomi is the Greek word for betrayal and is defined as to deliver one to be taught, to handover. Satan entered into Judas as Jesus Spirit had entered into the other eleven apostles when Jesus breathed on them (John 20:22). How the enemy loves to counterfeit all that Jesus does. Satan led Judas’ every action until Christ was crucified and then left him with his guilt and without hope of forgiveness which caused Judas to take his own life. Satan controlled Judas was at the table of the Lord’s Last Supper! Imagine eating with the one you know is going to serve you up on a silver platter just for the pleasure of watching you suffer. Do you see the significance of all Jesus said based on this revelation? When we allow Satan to use us for his purpose we are in grave danger. Satan loves nothing better than “to use God’s holy objects for unholy purposes.” (Beth Moore, Daniel)

Jesus felt the sting of betrayal in ways we cannot fathom. The touch of Satan’s lips on His holy face must have made Him recoil; The sadness He felt–overwhelming. He knows how you feel when one you love, have invested time, money, energy, and have sacrificed for betrays you and your confidence in them. Even though Jesus knew Judas would be the one to betray Him from the beginning, it still hurt. Read His words to Judas again: “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” Sometimes even when we expect the worse, when it happens it is still a shock to our senses. Jesus just addressed Judas directly and looked deep into his’ eyes and when He did He saw His arch enemy looking back at Him. His intentional march to the cross had begun. All He had planned from the foundation of the world was now unfolding. (I Peter 1:20)

I think the only way we survive this kind of trial is knowing nothing comes into our lives without coming through the loving hands of God who will use all our experiences for our good and His glory. (James 1:1-13, Job)

Lord, Father in Heaven,
Help us to be careful not to betray others lest we discredit the Savior.
Thank you for the sacrifice paid by Your Son for our sins. To recognize this was the plan is beyond comprehension. Thank you for yet again proving He was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin. Amazing Grace!

The Kiss by Joe Niemand

https://youtu.be/k88Y8VGs7dY  Judas’ Betrayal of Jesus

The Love of a Brother

The Love of a Brother by Susan Browder
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Proverbs 17:17

Jacob’s brother, Nick, has always been his brother’s keeper. Nick was in college at the time of Jacob’s injury. In November of 2014, Nick stayed with us a lot during this time. I went back to teaching in December of 2014. When Nick wasn’t in school, he was with Jacob. They went to therapy, rehab, and appointments together. Nick was such a comfort to us all. He always sees the “sunshine” when it’s raining. You will always see Nick wearing a broad, contagious smile no matter what. There are so many things that I adore about Nick but if I had to pick one, it would be his encouraging soul.
When Jacob lost every friend, Nick was there. Nick was his steady friend. He was there for pep talks every day and that kept me going. Life was so hard. We were use to a “full” house and Jacob constantly coming and going with such a busy and fun life. We were all so weary but every day, God got us through it with the love of a brother. Nick instilled in Jacob daily one simple thought. “Jacob, you are good enough for anyone. If people can’t see that, it’s their loss.” This kind of love that Nick had for his brother, drove out many fears that Jacob had. These “love of a brother” moments are gifts from God.
Nick and Jacob have always been close, but never like they are now. When one hurts, the other feels it. Their protection for one another now is on another level.

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

 

 

Nick and Jacob have taught each other many things in life. In my opinion, the most valuable is to grip on to God and let him lead you. Don’t be fearful and to stick with each other no matter the circumstances.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:9-10
Counting My Blessings,
Susan Browder

 

Need to Breathe   ” Brother feat” Gavin DeGraw

https://youtu.be/61Wm_qlVD4Q  Brother feat Gavin DeGraw