Monday, March 31, 2008

RESURRECTION SEASON ~ ~ ~DAY 8

Resurrection Season ~ Day 8
For the Year of Our LORD, 3.30.2008

O sing unto the LORD a new song;

for HE hath done marvellous things:

HIS right hand, and HIS holy arm,

hath gotten HIM the victory.

Psalm 98:1


On the eighth day, when the doors were shut, came JESUS unto His+ disciples through closed doors, saying, PEACE BE UNTO YOU.
Hallelujah!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

RESURRECTION SEASON Day 7 ~~~ Where's the Blood ? ...a blog for our JEWISH friends, those under the Old Covenant.




Resurrection Season ~ ~ ~ Day 7


This is a blog for our JEWISH friends,
those whose hope remains in the Old Covenant,
(which is ineffective without Blood)
instead of the New Covenant...
which is made effective by the HOLY LAMB of GOD,
our Passover LAMB.



Where's the Blood ?







Ah, my friend
… such a plight!
Where’s the BLOOD

this Passover Night?

Where’s the BLOOD

So red and cruel
To cover our sins
… the unchanged rule.




CircumSign marks
HIS people in skin.
HIS Covenant requires

BLOOD for sin.

Where is that BLOOD
When Death doth hover;
It’s written plain:
NO BLOOD--- NO COVER.

Without the BLOOD
Our doom is sealed.
HIS Word is sure;
HIS Judgment real.







Is our GOD on Judgment Day
Unfair ? … But that
Is not HIS way.

Does GOD, our Hope,
Command such pay…
Then let us grope
To find the way?

Has HaSHEM
In Whom we trust
Abandoned us…
In great disgust?

Did our Rock
In desert holes
Water our flesh…
To slay our souls?

GOD forbid!
Yet no-one stands
On Judgment Day
With defiled hands.





No BLOOD in “works”
As we’ve been taught.
This is NOT found
In Torah thought.

Sins are covered
by Moses’ Law?
No… its work
Reveals our flaws.

Meticulous laws,
detailed, GOD taught.
No BLOOD covers
fallen man’s thought.

Unsuffered to hew
Even one altar stone.
That act defiles it.
Man is left alone.




Wait! Is GOD nonchalant?
Has integrity declined?
Are HIS chosen forsaken?
Has GOD changed HIS Mind?

NO! HE provides.
HIS love, undiminished.
HIS Holiness wrought
The Work that HE finished.

Abraham and Isaac
Pointed the Way
HIS Provision would come:
Blood--- HOLY--- would pay.

The blood of bulls
and goats is done.
HaSHEM covered us
In HIS SON.





King David spoke clearly
of THIS ONE+
When he admonished:
Kiss the SON+ !

The
HOLY ONE of Israel
Did come down.
HE offered HIMSELF;
HE wore no crown.

But thorns did don
and flesh did wear.
A LAMB HE+ was…
Our sins did bear.

+


The BLOOD requirement
Now is met.
Unblemished Lamb,
HE+ paid our debt.

The Law is kept
By HIM, precise.
MESSIAH’S BLOOD,
HIS sacrifice.




Death could not hold
GOD’s HOLY ONE.
HE+ swallowed up Death.
In Victory, HE+ will come.

No longer a LAMB,
Moshiach now roars.
HIS+ glory the
Lion
of Judah
restores.

HE+ Who came
To the Ancient of Days,
The Son+ of Man,
Is Judge of man’s ways.


Mene, mene, Tekel …
From hardness depart.
Let not that be etched
On the wall of your heart.

Spirit of Truth
versus Spirit of Error:
Stubbornness yields
Inescapable Terror.

His+ mercy-filled love,
His+ Grace--- do not fear it.
Men hungry for Truth
HE+ will fill with His+ Spirit.








To those under the Old Covenant, may The LORD JESHUA reveal HIMSELF+ to you today that you may be filled with hope... the only hope available for mankind... in believing The Word and Provision of HaSHEM... the Blood sacrifice HaSHEM gave to cover your sins... the TRUE PASSOVER LAMB.
HE+ has Blood aplenty for all.



Poem by Sister Judith Hannah of the Order of The GOOD SHEPHERD, 1998. Hebrew text says: "Where's the Blood?" and "Here's the Blood!" All drawings and photos by The Order of the GOOD SHEPHERD also. The red blossoms are on a Hawthorne bush in the back yard of the hermitage. The Hawthorne bush is also known as the "Crown of Thorns" bush because of its very prominent stout thorns. Legend says HIS+ crown of thorns was taken from this shrub.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Resurrection Season ~ ~ ~Day 6


Resurrection Season ~ ~ ~ Day 6
For the Year of Our LORD, 3. 28 .2008


Let this mind be in you,

which was also in CHRIST JESUS:
Who+, being in the form of GOD,

thought it not a thing to be held onto

to be equal with GOD:


+ + +


But made HIMSELF+ of no reputation,

and took upon HIM+ the form of a servant,

and was made in the likeness of men:


+ + +


And being found in fashion as a man,

HE+ humbled HIMSELF+,

and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.

Wherefore GOD also hath highly exalted HIM+,

and given HIM+ a name

which is above every name:

That at the name of JESUS every knee should bow,

of heavenly beings*,

and earthly beings*,

and beings* under the earth;

And that every tongue should confess

that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD,

to the glory of GOD the FATHER.
*Gk adaptations, Phil. 2:5-11



Glory be to The FATHER, and to The SON+, and to the HOLY SPIRIT. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be;

world without end.

Amen.

+ + +












Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Resurrection season - Day 5



Resurrection Season ~ ~ ~ Day 5
For the Year of Our LORD, 3.27.2008


If ye then be risen with CHRIST,

Seek those things which are Above

Where CHRIST sitteth

at the Right Hand of GOD.

Set your affections on things Above,

Not on things on the Earth.

For you are dead

And your life is hidden

With CHRIST in GOD.

When CHRIST, Who+ is our life, shall appear

Then shall you also appear

With HIM+ in Glory.

Dear Heavenly FATHER, teach us by the Power of Your HOLY SPIRIT to Love as you Love, to Love You first, with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and then our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Amen.




Glory be to The FATHER, and to The SON+, and to the HOLY SPIRIT. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be; world without end. Amen.
+ + +







Tuesday, March 25, 2008

RESURRECTION SEASON ~ ~ ~ Day 4


Resurrection Season ~ ~ ~ Day 4
For the Year of Our LORD, 3.26.2008



CHRIST is risen from the dead

And become the first-fruits of them that slept.

For since by man came death

By
Man+ came also the Resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die,

Even so in CHRIST shall all be made alive,

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,

At the last trumpet.

For the trumpet shall sound,

And the dead shall be raised

Incorruptible,

And we shall be changed.



Glory be to The FATHER, and to The SON+, and to the HOLY SPIRIT. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be; world without end. Amen.


HE+ did it all for us.

RESURRECTION SEASON ~ ~ ~ DAY 3


Resurrection Season ~ ~ ~ Day 3
For the Year of Our LORD, 3.25.2008


CHRIST being raised from the dead

Dieth no more:

Death hath no more dominion over HIM+.

For in that HE+ died,

HE+ died unto sin once:

But in that HE+ liveth,

HE+ liveth unto GOD.

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves

To be dead indeed unto sin,

But alive unto GOD

Through JESUS CHRIST our
LORD






Glory be to The FATHER, and to The SON+, and to the HOLY SPIRIT. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be; world without end. Amen.



The Most Glorious Resurrection of Her Life !

This is the most glorious Resurrection Season that our dear friend and sister in CHRIST has ever experienced in her life. The joyful music, the spice of blossoms, the glow of springtime life are enhanced beyond anything she had ever experienced here on planet earth, locked into time.
+ + +
The radiance of our Beloved Savior’s face far outshines the sun, for she sees HIM+ face to face now… and face to face for all Eternity. Yes, our dear sister Nadine went Home the eve before Palm Sunday. Her pain is vanished. Her distress is ended. She has no trouble hearing and seeing. She can walk now.
+ + +
We pray her good works do follow for Nadine gave her widow’s mite… what she did for the least of us, His+ Brethren, she did unto HIM+… an offering of a sweet savor. Hallelujah!





As it is written,

Eye hath not seen,

nor ear heard,

neither have entered into the heart of man,

the things which GOD hath prepared

for them that love HIM+.

I Cor. 2:9

+ + +





Monday, March 24, 2008

The RESURRECTION ~ ~ ~Day 2

The Resurrection Season ~ ~ ~ Day 2



CHRIST our Passover is sacrificed for us.

Hallelujah!

Therefore, let us keep the feast...

Not with old leaven,

neither the leaven of malice and wickedness,

but with the unleavened bread of purity and Truth
.



+ + +

Almighty GOD our FATHER, Who for our deliverance gave Thine Only-Begotten SON+ to the death of the cross, and by His+ glorious Resurrection delivered us from the power of the adversary: Grant us so to die daily from sin, that we may evermore live with HIM+ in the joy of His+ Resurrection; through the same, Thy SON+ JESUS CHRIST our LORD, Who+ liveth and reigneth with THEE and Thy HOLY SPIRIT, One GOD, now and forever, to the ages of the ages. Amen.

Adapted from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer,
Collect of the Resurrection Season.

RESURRECTION ~ ~ ~ Day 1


Resurrection Day
~ ~ ~ Day 1~ ~ ~

CHRIST is risen!

HE+ is risen indeed!

Hallelujah!

CHRIST the SON of the LIVING GOD
has arisen from the dead!

Hallelujah!

CHRIST the SON of the LIVING GOD
ever liveth to make intercession for us.

Hallelujah!


CHRIST the SON of the LIVING GOD
is coming again in flaming fire,
to take vengeance on them who know not GOD
and obey not the Gospel of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Hallelujah!


CHRIST the SON of the LIVING GOD
is seated at the Right Hand of the FATHER.

Hallelujah!
+ + +





Saturday, March 22, 2008

HOLY WEEK ~ ~ ~ The GREAT NIGHT


Holy Week ~~~ Day of the Wielka Noc
+ + +
[The GREAT NIGHT ]


The Polish call it the "Vi-elk-ah Notes"... the Great Night which heralded in the Greatest Deed Done on Earth for Fallen Man... the Resurrection of Our LORD JESUS CHRIST... the unblemished LAMB+ of GOD.
+ + +
Some honor this time with a Great Night Vigil. Some read through the Gospel accounts of His+ Crucifixion. Some stay in prayer through the night and fast, awaiting the Dayspring from on High.
+ + +
Some do nothing... think nothing... feel nothing... about it.
Lord have mercy.
+ + +
HE+ has done His+ part.Whoever will may come and partake of His+ Life... if one comes His+ way, as HE+ said.
+ + +
The tremendous gift of Eternal Life was obtained at Great Sacrifice for us miserable human beings. Let us love HIM+ Who obtained Life for us with all of our hearts, our minds, and our souls.
+ + +
LORD JESUS CHRIST, we praise You for what You have done for us. To You be all honor and glory, Who, with Your HOLY FATHER, and His Most Blessed Holy Spirit, live and reign , ONE GOD, for ever and ever, to the endless Eternal Ages, Amen.

+ + +


Friday, March 21, 2008

HOLY WEEK ~ ~ ~ Crucifixion Day ~ or, Good Friday

Holy Week ~ ~ ~ The Day HE+ Was Crucified ~ ~ ~

(Known to the Church as GOOD FRIDAY)

A Week of Two Sabbaths
Or, Why Can’t Christians Count to 3, Twice ?





The LORD JESUS said HE+ would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth. HE+ was speaking most accurately, as HE+ always did. HE+ meant exactly what HE+ said. A school child can count 3 days and likewise 3 nights. Why can’t we?

Christians need to count like the Hebrews counted and take The LORD’S words to heart. Everything connected with Our LORD JESUS CHRIST was not only accurately predicted but it was most precisely accomplished… down to the utmost detail… including the timing of His+ death and Resurrection. Would Our Heavenly FATHER, Who set in motion the earth, sun, moon, and stars so accurately that their movements correct the clocks of mankind, be imprecise about any details connected with His+ Precious SON’S death and Resurrection ?

Let us look at the crucifixion scene.

Passover days, High Holy days, and Sabbaths all entered into the Passion Week of Our LORD. Coinciding with the Temple Sacrifices in the morning (9 a.m.) and evening (3 p.m.) was the Crucifixion and Finished Work of the Cross. The animal sacrifices set up during the time of Moses were established by GOD to be at the exact time of the beginning and ending of His+ Crucifixion. It was established that precise way to point to CHRIST.

Alfred Ederscheim, the historian, noted that about a million people would gather in Jerusalem during Passover. Naturally-speaking, sacrificing one million lambs would take a lot of time and, naturally-speaking, couldn’t be done on one day. Thus, the Passover sacrifices began a few days earlier in the Passover week and those in the Covenant of the Jews were permitted to partake of the Passover Meal at that time.

Thus, in order for the True LAMB+ of GOD to be sacrificed exactly on the Day of the Passover, HE+ had to partake of the Meal the evening before the day of the actual Passover. Passover began in the evening, at 3 p.m., as did all Jewish Days. If we are going to count as the Jews did… and Our LORD JESUS did… we must start counting the day when it began...on the evening before, at 3 p.m, the time of the evening sacrifice.

We will be in error if we follow the Western Civilization’s method of counting days which goes from 12 a.m. (midnight) through 12 noon to 11:59 p.m. The Jewish way of counting days is: evening-night time-day time.

HE+ did partake of the Last Passover Meal; we know the story well. After that Meal, it was night. HE+ entered the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. The intensity of the ordeal was so great that Our Savior began sweating drops of blood.
O thank You, Precious Savior, for going through this agony for me, for us, for whosoever wants to be near You in Heaven and through all eternity.

This is NOT counted as the “first night” in the “heart of the earth.” Our LORD, we see plainly, was still ON the earth, like as we are, preparing to offer HIMSELF as the Sacrificial LAMB+ on our behalf.

After His+ time in the Garden of Gethsemane, Our LORD was taken. It was still night. After that hideous night-time trial and mistreatment, Our LORD JESUS, our innocent LAMB without spot or blemish before GOD and man, was crucified at the time of the morning sacrifice in the Temple. HE+ was crucified on the High Holy Day of Passover. This does NOT count as one of the “days” in the heart of the earth. He+ was ON the earth, going through the agony of the Cross, battered and beaten but still in earthly human form.
O HOLY FATHER, how we thank THEE for giving us Thy SON. O Precious JESUS, we thank THEE+ for being willing to be given for us, unworthy creatures all, including me.

Precision. At precisely the time of the evening sacrifice, 3 p.m., the Finished Work of the Cross was completed. HE+ cried, “IT IS FINISHED, FATHER. INTO THY HANDS I COMMIT MY+ SPIRIT.” Our dear Savior’s earthly body died on the cross.

Thank You, Precious LORD JESUS. Thank You. Thank You for Your willingness to die for me, for us, for the entire race of mankind… whosoever will come. We would be lost without Your Costly Sacrifice of Your Life, precisely given at the Time Appointed by The FATHER.

Thus, at 3 p.m. at the precise beginning of Passover our LORD+ cried out and yielded HIS+ Spirit to HIS+ FATHER. Our LORD’S dead body was then laid in Joseph of Arimathea’s newly-carved tomb… and HIS+ Victorious Self entered into the heart of the earth, unbarring the Gates o
f Hell (Sheol). This was the FIRST NIGHT HE+ spent in the heart of the earth.

The following day after the crucifixion no work was done because it was the day time of the Passover. It was a High Sabbath, a High Holy Day. Keep in mind that Passover started at 3 p.m. the evening before when HE+ Finished the Work on the Cross. That is why the priests did not want to go into Pontius Pilate’s Judgment Hall; they would be unclean and could not celebrate the coming Passover. Thus, Pilate came out to them. This was the FIRST DAY He+ spent in the heart of the earth.

At 3 p.m. of Passover day-time began the second night HE+ spent in the heart of the earth.
As the sun arose, this was a day of “preparation” for the regular weekly Sabbath. On this day of preparation, the women who followed Our LORD JESUS went to the market, bought spices, and prepared them for the dead body of Our LORD. This day of preparation activities became the second day HE+ spent in the heart of the earth.

At 3 p.m. on this second day, the Third Night HE+ spent in the heart of the earth began. The Jews began their weekly Sabbath then. The women who bought and prepared spices for His+ dead body, rested. They did no work after 3 p.m. that night, nor through the daylight hours of the ensuing day time, as it was commanded them to keep the Sabbath. The Third Day HE+ spent in the heart of the earth was the regular Jewish Sabbath.


So, from the Gospel accounts, we see Our LORD spent two Sabbaths: a High Holy Day (Passover) and the regular weekly Sabbath in the heart of the earth. HE+ also spent the day of preparation which fell between the two Sabbaths in the heart of the earth.

For the sake of clarity, let us put these times on our westernized calendar. HE+ ate the Last Passover Meal on Tuesday evening. That night, HE+ was taken from the Garden of Gethsemane and brought before Pontius Pilate. On Wednesday, HE+ was crucified at 9 a.m., the time of the morning sacrifice in the Temple.

He died on the cross at 3 p.m., the time of the evening sacrifice. Wednesday night was FIRST NIGHT.

Thursday day would have been Passover day time, a High Holy Sabbath. That was the FIRST DAY.

Thursday night would have then been the SECOND NIGHT.

Friday day (the day of the preparation) was the SECOND DAY.

Friday night, at 3 p.m., was the beginning of the Jews’ regular weekly Sabbath. Friday night was the THIRD NIGHT.

Saturday, the Jews’ weekly Sabbath day time, was His+ THIRD DAY in the heart of the earth.

When did HE+ arise? Scripture doesn’t pinpoint that precise moment. Scripture says that HE+ was seen early on the first day of the week… which would have been quite early Sunday morning.

Being consistent with the precise timing found in Scripture, it was likely HE+ came out of the heart of the earth when HE+ said HE+ did: precisely after 3 nights and 3 days in the heart of the earth. That would place His+ removal from the heart of the earth at precisely 3 p.m. on Saturday evening... at the end of the Jewish Sabbath... which is what the Gospel accounts record.


So… why don’t we be accurate and keep “Good Tuesday” instead of “Good Friday”?
We at the Order of the GOOD SHEPHERD personally mark the time, but we join with the church systems and put black on our cross on Friday and do the Good Friday services. We do this only to avoid causing confusion to the non-Christian (and Christian, more's the pity) world. May the LORD help us all to be unified and loving in our witness.

The important thing is to remember What HE+ did… and why.

In the name of the FATHER, the SON+, and the HOLY SPIRIT.
Amen
+ + +


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Holy Week-One With The Cross


Holy Week-One With The Cross~Difference Between Duty & Oneness

Holy Week ~ ~ ~ One with the Cross
For the Year of Our LORD, 3.20.2008

~or~


The Difference Between Duty and Oneness


Peace comes when you perform your duty thoroughly. The requirement is duty. You will be held accountable if that duty is NOT performed. Duty can become heavy and tedious, if the inner heart is not yielded. Duty is accomplished because you are afraid of the consequences if you don’t do it right. This is the case in paying taxes, paying bills, going to some jobs, and alas, in being in some marriages.



Joy comes when you WANT to perform that duty out of Oneness, out of a union that agreement engenders.. If you approve what the government does, then paying taxes feels good. If you agree whole-heartedly that nothing should be free, then paying bills seems sensible. If you enjoy your job and get great satisfaction from it, then you would rather be on your job than anywhere else. It gives you identity and helps define who you are, to others and to yourself. It gives you meaning for life. Then, that brings you joy.


Alas, though, if a marriage is performed out of duty instead of a loving Oneness, you may reap a quiet existence … if your partner is willing to accept duty as a replacement for Oneness. Joy may eventually develop… if your partner is willing to accept the terms of that kind of agreement.

But if your partner is NOT willing to replace Oneness with duty, then sadness will be your bed-partner. A heart hurt down at the deepest level is hard to be healed. To the partner accustomed to Oneness, duty is a bitter replacement. He/she won’t want it. Then, all past love becomes screened through the eyes of duty, and even that joy becomes tainted with sorrow. A lack of trust develops.

If the duty-partner refuses to deal with the necessity of returning to his first heart-felt Oneness, the union may limp along… after all, who can find fault with one who fulfills one’s duty? … but there will be a raw, unhealed sore festering in the marriage. The Oneness has been broken in the deepest recesses of the heart although not perhaps at the surface level. That unhealed place will funnel constant sorrow into the union.

It is like that with The LORD, too. HE+ calls us to Oneness with HIM+… a Oneness issuing from a heart of love which WORKS BOTH WAYS. As much as HE+ loves us… do we love HIM+ back that much? Are we performing duties but our hearts are fixated on ourselves instead of HIM+ ?

Are we fixated on what HE+ can give us instead of the closeness that HE+ wants? What do we want out of a marriage? Do we want gifts or closeness? Do we want areas of “no trespassing” signs in our marriage or do we want an openness of heart… in order to become One ?

Becoming one is what brings the joy in our first love; we realize we are not alone in heart. In order to have that oneness, we must agree to be honest and open in our hearts with one another. If a rough area is seen, then we agree to lovingly lay it bare. With each other, we work together on that part, through prayer, until it becomes clean in the eyes of The LORD. Then we have oneness with our partner and Oneness with The LORD.

If there is a “no trespassing” sign up in some area of our heart, that will hurt the other partner and break the fellowship, the unity, the oneness. It is imperative that the closed off areas be brought to the Light of CHRIST by the one who has the “no trespassing” sign up in his heart. No-one can do it for him. No-one can make him willing to touch that sign and remove the wall, the barriers… if he is not willing to have it removed. It is required, however, or the marriage roadbed will be full of potholes lurking around every bend and hidden in the shadows.

When we are at One with CHRIST JESUS, it works the same way. The “no trespassing” signs must be removed from our hearts towards CHRIST. HE+ will lovingly help us to bring these areas to HIM+ and commit them unto HIM+. If we yield the “no trespassing” areas unto His+ loving hands, HE+ will clean them out and make us whole again… more whole than we were before! We will go to new heights being One with CHRIST and our whole life will take on more meaning than ever before.

Now sometimes, in a marriage, duty masquerades as love. There will certainly be an argument if that mask is discovered! The duty-partner feels terribly offended that his duty is not seen as love. But in essence, duty is often used to hide the “no trespassing” sign.

We do that with The LORD, too. More’s the pity. Discipline and duty and even church participation are good works to do for HIM+, but they are not to be used to mask our “no trespassing” signs. They are not a substitute for ardent, passionate love of Our SAVIOR.

HE+ knows the difference.

We do too.

Worse, HE+ knows that we know the difference. What hurts is this: we are okay with the separation between HIM+ and us. HE+ is not.

So, His+ great heart grieves until we deal with those “no trespassing” areas which keep HIM+ out of parts of our hearts. And we, well, we have much less Life than HE+ intended.

Yes, it will feel like the cross. But, it will bring Oneness with HIM+. That Oneness will bring the Abundant Life that is promised in Scriptures. There is no other way to get abundant Life.

Let us go on with CHRIST. Let us take down the “no trespassing… this is mine!” signs. Let us become One with CHRIST. Then… and only then… will HE+ show us how to become One with each other.

In the Name of The FATHER, The SON+, and The HOLY SPIRIT.
Amen.
+ + +

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

HOLY WEEK ~ Day Three Following Palm Lauds of Our Savior



Holy Week ~~~ HE+ Set His+ Face


For Day Three Following the Palm Lauds of Our LORD


For the Year of Our LORD, 3.19.2008






And it came to pass,


when the time was come that HE+ should be received up,


HE+ stedfastly set His+ Face to go to Jerusalem.


Luke 9:51










Hallelujah, my FATHER, for giving us Your SON+,




For sending HIM+ into the world to be given up by man.




Knowing we would bruise HIM+ and smite HIM+ from the earth...




Hallelujah, my FATHER, His+ death is my birth;




Hallelujah, my FATHER, His+ Life is my life.

Amen and Amen.

+ + +





(This is an old Charismatic prayer group song from the 70's... possibly from the Word of GOD Christian Community in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Feel free to send me more accurate information... it's been 30 plus years ago that I heard this plaintive song.)






HOLY WEEK ~ Day Two Following Palm Lauds of Our Savior


Holy Week ~ ~ ~ The FATHER’S Voice

Day Two, following the Palm Lauds
For the Year of Our LORD, 3.18.2008


And Jesus answered them, saying,
The hour is come,
that the SON+ of Man
should be glorified.

Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except a corn of wheat
fall into the ground and die,
it abideth alone:

but if it die,
it bringeth forth much fruit.

He that loveth his life
shall lose it;

and he that hateth his life
in this world
shall keep it unto life eternal.

If any man serve ME+,
let him follow ME+;
and where I am,
there shall also My+ servant be:

if any man serve ME+,
him will My+ FATHER honor.

Now is My+ soul troubled; and what shall I say?
FATHER, save ME+ from this hour:
but for this cause came I unto this hour.

FATHER, glorify Thy name.




Then came there a Voice from heaven, saying,
I have both glorified it,
and will glorify it again.

The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it,
said that it thundered: others said,
An angel spake to HIM+.

John 12: 23-29


O Blessed LORD , help us to hear Our FATHER’S Voice at all times... and to know the difference between HIS Voice and the thunder of this world. Amen

HOLY WEEK ~ First Day Following Palm Lauds of The SAVIOR


Holy Week ~ ~ ~ First Day after Palm Lauds
For the Year of Our LORD, 3.17.2008

She Hath Done What She Could

After two days was the feast of the Passover,
and of unleavened bread:
and the chief priests and the scribes sought
how they might take him by craft,
and put him to death.

But they said, Not on the feast day,
lest there be an uproar of the people.
And being in Bethany
in the house of Simon the leper,
as he sat at meat,
there came a woman
having an alabaster box
of ointment of spikenard very precious;
and she brake the box,
and poured it on his head.

And there were some
that had indignation within themselves,
and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
For it might have been sold
for more than three hundred pence,
and have been given to the poor.
And they murmured against her.

And Jesus said,
Let her alone; why trouble ye her?
she hath wrought a good work on me.

For ye have the poor with you always,
and whensoever ye will
ye may do them good:
but me ye have not always.

She hath done what she could:
she is come aforehand
to anoint my body to the burying.

Verily I say unto you,
Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached
throughout the whole world,
this also that she hath done shall be
spoken of for a memorial of her.
Mark 14:1-9





“She hath wrought a good work on ME+,” Our LORD said. The LORD received it. Seeking The LORD, let us go and do likewise, working a GOOD work upon Our LORD. What sacrifice would please HIM+ ? A further support of missions? A dedicated time of quietude every day? A visiting of a widow? Opening our home to an orphan? Having a feast or holiday and inviting those who cannot repay us?

She did what she could. She did it to show her love for HIM+. She gave HIM+ what could have been sold for great gain for herself. She was disdained by those around her as she did this. She anointed HIM+ for burial ahead of time. In so doing, she joined HIM+… in her small way by her sacrifice… in death.

Seeking The LORD, let us go and work a work on HIM+ that HE+ will find pleasing… regardless whether it is hidden from or visible to the eyes of man. It is certain that the eyes of the invisible will see it.


Let us join with our Anglican Brethren and lift this prayer to Our LORD:

Almighty GOD, Whose most dear SON went not up to joy but first HE+ suffered pain, and entered not into glory before HE+ was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of Life and Peace; through the same Thy SON JESUS CHRIST our LORD, Who liveth and reigneth with THEE and Thy HOLY SPIRIT, one GOD, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Book of Common Prayer, 1979, Traditional Collects, p. 168)




Sunday, March 16, 2008

PALM SUNDAY ~ ~ ~ The Donkeys



HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST !


BLESSED IS HE THAT COMETH


IN THE NAME OF THE LORD !




Palm Sunday and the Donkeys

Just before HE+ was born in a stable, Our LORD rode into Bethlehem snug in the womb of the Hebrew virgin, Mariam, riding on a donkey.
HE+ was riding to His+ Birth, His+ entrance into humanity.
In her womb, HE+ rode the common beast of burden, the common man's means of transportation. HE+ was about to enter into this world of woe. HE+ was about to enter into this present darkness.
It only got darker as HE+ grew into manhood.
Then the True LIGHT+ of the world was proclaimed and some came to that LIGHT... which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. As many as received HIM+, to them gave HE+ power to become the sons of GOD, even to them that believe on His+ name.
On the day the church designates as Palm Sunday, Our LORD rode a donkey the second time. This time HE+ entered Jerusalem. The crowds worshipped and sang HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST! BLESSED IS HE+ WHO COMETH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD !
HE+ knew HE+ was riding to His+ Death.
It is required of us to mount those donkeys too. We must join HIM+ in death so that we too can enter this world of woe, bearing His+ Light. May The LORD help all of us to do so.
In the name of The FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT. Amen. + + +



Saturday, March 15, 2008

LENTEN MEDITATION 39 ~ ~ ~ The LIGHT

Lenten Meditation 39 ~ ~ ~ The LIGHT
The Light of the world is JESUS.
All else is darkness.
Move toward the Light+.




In the Name of the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT. Amen

Friday, March 14, 2008

LENTEN MEDITATION 38 ~ ~ ~ REAL GRIEF

LENTEN MEDITATION 38 ~ ~ ~ Do We Cause The LORD Grief?


And grieve not the Holy Spirit of GOD,
whereby ye are sealed
unto the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30
As a rule, we Christians who are serious followers of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, do not practice those grievous sins listed both before and after this verse.

However, there are other ways we can grieve HIM+ and His+ HOLY SPIRIT. Do we lag behind when HE+ shows us what to do? Do we put off dealing with certain habits which are not necessarily sinful... yet those habits still are not really sowing to the Holy Spirit? Do we turn a deaf ear when HE+ gently calls us to prayer, to slow down, to get still before HIM+ ?

Do we who-ought-to-know-Our-LORD-better ignore His+ calling to do certain things, hoarding our time, our energy, and our effort for more temporal duties? Don't we know yet that HE+ will provide our every need for time... for energy... and for strength for whatsoever HE+ calls us to do?

What are we hoarding our time from... Is it a daily quiet time? Is it a hidden time of intercessory prayer for people who do not know us and wouldn't care for us if they did? Is it a preferance to be active, to produce something visible, that makes us expend our energies in those arenas, instead of sitting still before The LORD for a time?

Do we hoard our time and limited energy to spend it on socializing ... instead of meditation time on and with The LORD? Do we hoard our time and energy, keeping it away from the LORD, so we can get our housework done... our children fed.... our public jobs taken care of ? Yes, all these things are GOOD DUTIES to perform, but are they ever too much with us?

David Bercot, of Scroll Publishing and the Society of the GOOD SHEPHERD, once printed a story about a poor family who had a pig, a sow. During prayer, the man of the home promised The LORD to give HIM+ one of the litter of piglets, should the sow produce a litter. In due season, the sow produced a fine litter of piglets, 7 in all. But soon afterwards, one of the little piglets died. The man became distraught. His wife asked him what was wrong. He said, " A terrible thing has happened. The LORD'S pig died!"

Yes, when we must cut out something, or cut back somewhere, we will likely cut out time, money, effort , or energy from The LORD'S program or kingdom. We will get our sleep. We will get our food and gasoline. We will be certain to get to our job on time... but we seldom serve The LORD with such rigor.

More's the pity, this condition called being human. Why can't we serve The LORD with as much vigor, as much endurance, as much singleness of eye as we serve our employer? The LORD is certainly more to be trusted... more to be honored... and more worthy of faithfulness.

Yes, let us STOP PUTTING EVERYTHING ELSE BEFORE The LORD. Our jobs will get done, our houses cleaned, our children fed if we make the sacrifice to put HIM+ before all these necessary responsibilities.

If we so will to do this, HE+ will provide the time, energy, effort and money... and then, ---bless His+ dear, dear heart--- HE+ will credit it to our account!


Gracious Heavenly FATHER,

I come to THEE saddened by all the times I have grieved Thy Spirit. I am sorry for causing THEE sorrow. I am sorry for the times I have disappointed THEE and that THOU hast been made to labor with my stubbornness.

I do love THE, O LORD. Help me to point my face toward THEE and move into Thy will, knowing THOU wilt provide the wherewithal needed to accomplish it. I’m sorry for the times I have hidden myself from THEE and wouldn’t make the effort to do what I knew was Thy will… in prayer, in intercession, in quietude. I pray these things in the name of Thy Beloved SON JESUS CHRIST, Who+ delighted to do Thy will, O FATHER.

In the name of The FATHER, The SON, and the Blessed HOLY SPIRIT of GOD.

Amen

+ + +

Thursday, March 13, 2008

LENTEN MEDITATION 37 ~~~ KEEP CUTTING !

LENTEN MEDITATION 37 ~~~ Keep Cutting !
For the Year of Our LORD, 3.13.2008



Let us hear the Word of The LORD JESUS CHRIST once more:


And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off:
it is better for thee to enter halt into life,

than having two feet to be cast into hell [Gehenna, Gk.]
the fire that never shall be quenched:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out:

it is better for thee
to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye,
than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

For every one shall be salted with fire,
and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

Salt is good:
but if the salt have lost his saltness,
wherewith will ye season it?
Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Mark 9:45-50





Have you ever wondered why The LORD gave the explicit instruction to the Israelites concerning who could NOT serve in the Tabernacle/Temple worship? In Leviticus 21:16-24, The LORD instructed Moses that no-one with any bodily infirmity or handicap could officiate in the Tabernacle or Temple worship. That man could not offer the sacrifices, nor the bread, nor enter into the Veil, nor come nigh the altar. He could, however, eat of the bread.


Now we know the GOD of all compassion and mercy would never discriminate against persons who were handicapped or limited in body or mind. Indeed, HE+ is of tender compassion with those who are encased in such prisons within their bodies. HE+ promises His+ children wholeness of mind and body, upon Resurrection, if they enter into His+ Covenant through The LORD JESUS CHRIST.

But why would HE disallow those handicapped persons (Israelites who were already in His Covenant) to officiate in worship ceremonies, to perform them before all the people? Did HE think the worship service would be too marred by someone who stuttered or who moved with a limp or whose crippled arm couldn’t handle the sacrifices rightly? NO.


Let us remember here what GOD, the GOD of hope, told Moses: See that you do everything exactly As I have told you. It was to be done with strict exactness because it was a pattern of things in the Heavenlies. [See Hebrews 8:5 and Exodus 25:40].


In the Heavenly Kingdom, there are no handicaps, no lameness, no bodily limitations of form nor mind. The pattern was established to bring forth hope of the coming promise, the coming kingdom, in which there will be NO HANDICAPS !

Thus, when the handicapped person saw the worship service done by persons who were “whole,” they could take heart that some day… yes, GOD is faithful… some day they too would be whole. That day was a day of hope for them. The pattern of things to come was intentionally set before them.

This is why Our LORD said, “ It is better to enter into life halt or maimed or having only one eye,” than to practice sin and miss Eternal Life in the Kingdom of GOD. Once we enter into Life in the Kingdom of GOD, the Resurrection, there will be no handicaps. Our severed hand or foot and our missing eye will be restored in His+ Kingdom.

However, if we continue to practice sin, we will enter into Gehenna, even having all our body intact; our whole bodies, souls, and minds… with which we practiced sin… will do us no good in Gehenna, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.


Dear Gracious and Life-Giving Heavenly FATHER,
I come to THEE this day with the burning desire to cease from all sin, all Self-centeredness, all thoughts unworthy of Thy SON JESUS CHRIST. Help me to move from Self-indulgence to a life centered upon pleasing THEE. I Thank THEE for the hope of Eternal Life through Thy Beloved SON, the worthy Lamb of GOD, Who taketh away the sins of all the repentant, both handicapped and whole alike. LORD, let me never, ever out-live my love for THEE.

This I pray, in the name of The FATHER, of The SON, and of The HOLY SPIRIT, both now and forever.

Amen
+ + +.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

LENTEN MEDITATION 36 ~ ~ ~ Cut it Off

Lenten Meditation 36 ~ ~ ~Cut It Off
For the Year of Our LORD, 3.12.2008



For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name,
because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you,
he shall not lose his reward.


And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in
me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck,
and he were cast into the sea.


And if thy hand offend thee,
cut it off:
it is better for thee to enter into life maimed,
than having two hands to go into hell,
into the fire that never shall be quenched:


Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Words of The LORD JESUS to His+ Church, recorded in Mark 9: 41-44



Has anyone EVER heard a sermon preached on this passage? Growing up Methodist, I never did. Furthermore, in subsequent years, attending Presbyterian, Assembly of GOD, Episcopal, Evangelical, Anglican, Charismatic prayer groups, and even popping into a Roman Catholic service once in awhile… I never heard these 4 verses touched upon… even in Sunday School.

In 26 years of serious church attending before I was regenerated, I never heard these words of JESUS read nor addressed from the pulpit. Growing up, we were not excused from the sermons of the minister to go to children’s church. Rather, we were taught to sit quietly and listen.


And, more’s the pity, after I was regenerated, I never heard these words of JESUS read nor addressed from the pulpit for approximately 33 years.
[1]


And if thy hand offend thee,
cut it off:
it is better for thee to enter into life maimed,
than having two hands to go into hell [Gehenna, Gk.]
into the fire that never shall be quenched:


Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.




We know The LORD JESUS never spoke a frivolous word. We know HE+ spoke those things necessary for our salvation. We know and have the confidence that HE+ offered to rescue everyone from eternity in hell: HE+ wanted no-one… not even the worst of sinners… to be placed in hell. It was originally designated for fallen angels, not for man.


If our hands do things to make us stumble, sin, or fall away from The LORD, HE+ tells us to do the worst thing possible to that hand: CUT IT OFF. That is how serious sin is, in His+ eyes. The consequences are unthinkably dreadful. Eventually, the sinner will end up in the Lake of Burning Fire… Gehenna… as found in Revelation 20:14, the second death. That is where the devil, the beast, and the false prophet are thrown, Rev. 20:10.



How should we then live?



We had better live in a state of repentance. We had better take His+ words seriously. We had better monitor our thoughts, words, and activities through the eyes of Him+ with Whom+ we have to do.


Dear LORD,

I Thank THEE+ for giving me Thy HOLY SPIRIT; O LORD, take it not from me when I don’t listen! Have mercy upon me. Help me to receive Your blessed conviction for sin. Send it forth to me before worse happens. Help me by Thy Grace to take seriously Your words and Your work and forgive my light-heartedness about them. Help me to deal with my body in such a way that my flesh knows my spirit will not indulge its whims and whines. Help me to live out my salvation daily for the glory of GOD… and escape the fires of the second death.

O HOLY FATHER, I ask these things in the name of Thy Beloved SON JESUS CHRIST, in Whom+ THOU was well-pleased, and in the power of Thy Blessed HOLY SPIRIT. Amen
.











[1] Now in my 60’s, I have heard a Bishop at All Saints Church in Rome, Ga. gallantly address these warning words of CHRIST JESUS… and he addressed them not only to his congregation but also over the airwaves in his radio broadcast.

LENTEN MEDITATION 35 ~ ~ ~ My Tongue

Lenten Meditation 35 ~ ~ ~ My Tongue
for the Year of Our LORD, 3.11.2008



Come, ye children, hearken unto me:
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.


What man is he that desireth life,
and loveth many days, that he may see good?


Keep thy tongue from evil,
and thy lips from speaking guile.


Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it.

The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous,
and his ears are open unto their cry.


The face of the LORD is against them that do evil,
to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
Psalm 34:11-16




The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth,
and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;
and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous:
but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Psalm 34:17:18




Dear Heavenly FATHER,
I come to you, ashamed of the works of my tongue. Help me to lay to heart the words of Thy Beloved SON JESUS CHRIST. HE+ has told me that from out of my heart come the words on my tongue. Help me to think on things rightly, so as to give glory to THEE+ … and not to mine own opinions nor hurts, imagined or perceived. Cleanse my heart of uncleanness. Then I can proclaim truthfully with the Psalmist: O LORD, open THOU+ my lips and my mouth shall proclaim Thy+ Praise, not mine.

Unto You, Holy FATHER, through Your Beloved SON, our LORD, in the strength of Your Blessed HOLY SPIRIT, our Advocate, now and forever, unto the Ages of Ages. Amen.

LENTEN MEDITATION 34 ~~~ Our Thinking

Lenten Meditation 34 Our Thinking…
for The Year of Our LORD, 3.10.2008

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are righteous,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise,

think on these things.

Philippians 4:8



O LORD, change my thinking.
Amen.

LENTEN MEDITATION 33 ~ The Lighthouse

LENTEN MEDITATION 33 -- The Lighthouse
for the Year of Our LORD, 3.9.2008


If we say that we have fellowship with him,
and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we say that we have not sinned,
we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.

I JOHN 1: 6-10



This brings to mind the familiar old Lighthouse Story. This story is about a haughty and arrogant commander of a Navy battleship. On a foggy night, he accosted what he thinks is another ship. A terse argument broke out between them via the communication apparatus: each wanted the other to change its course so they wouldn’t collide. Finally, there was not much time left before a certain collision. But the arrogant commander, flinging out his degree of rank and great accomplishments, totally refused to change the course of his battleship, saying , “You change course!”

Then came the awsome answer:
“I AM THE LIGHTHOUSE.
YOU CHANGE.”


We had better change course. The LORD is not moving… and neither is His+ standard of holiness found in His+ Word.
In the Name of the FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. AMEN.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

LENTEN MEDITATION 32 To Train for the Fight

Lenten Meditation 32 ~ ~ ~ Train for the Fight

Through circumstances I could not control, I got involved in watching a ROCKY movie... the prize-fighter. Of great interest was Rocky's massive training program. It was intense. He pushed his muscles and endurance literally to the limit. I winced.
I could hardly take the boxing ring scenes. I watched in horror as Rocky received a brutal beating, blow after blow. He got up from each knock-down and lunged full force into the fight. Why?
Rocky endured both the rigorous, unrelenting stringencies of his training so that he could WIN THE FIGHT. Getting beat up during the fight was simply a by-product, a minor hindrance (as Rocky saw it), to the process of WINNING.
Now why would I, a slight bit of a person, need to see that movie? I thought. I'm certainly NOT interested in training for the arena... or any fight.
So... that is when The LORD started speaking to my heart about it... about training for the fight.
HE+ pointed up the intensity of Rocky's training. Massive, enduring, all-consuming training. Rocky did nothing and ate nothing except what was conducive to building up his boxing skills... his boxing strength... his endurance in the arena. All fluff was removed from his life while he CONCENTRATED 100 % on his training. He focused on one thing and one thing only: THE BIG FIGHT. Rocky was single of eye.
"Now," The LORD said, "that's what I want you to do."
I became instantly sobered and ... gulped. I am not a fighter. This kind of fight entails putting to death the Self, big-time. No more petting myself. No more allowing myself treats. If Rocky could do this for his prize, why cannot I do this for mine?
The Apostle Paul did it. We have the same HOLY SPIRIT. We have the same LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. We have the same amount of victory allotted for us as the Apostles and other martyrs and confessors had.
There simply is no excuse. We do not want to fight the biggest battle, the biggest hurdle in walking with CHRIST JESUS... ourselves.
Let us fight the GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH. Let us join our hearts with the Apostle Paul and learn to live this out:
But what things were gain to me,
those I counted loss for CHRIST.
Yea, doubtless, and I count all things loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of CHRIST JESUS my LORD:
for Whom+ I have suffered the loss of all things,
and do count them dung,
that I may win CHRIST,
and be found in HIM+,....
That I may know HIM+,
and the power of His+ resurrection,
and the fellowship of His+ sufferings,
being made conformable unto His+ death;
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Philippians 3: 7-11, excerpts