Saturday, March 28, 2009

Leprosy... by the Thoene's


Leprosy…
Flesh decaying daily, without feeling.

Leprosy…
Life decaying, with never-ending anguish of heart.

<(((><




Lepers in the time of Christ’s earthly advent were stoned, driven from families, homes, comforts, and all that their lives had been. They were not allowed to drink from the common wells. They were only allowed to live in graveyards, the living dead among the “dead” dead.


“Unclean! Unclean!” they had to constantly call, when others came near them… so the unafflicted would not even breathe the same air. They ran the terrible risk of being stoned to death when others heard their self-proclaimed label.

But in Bodie and Brock Thoene’s series of books, the A.D. Chronicles , some lepers lived in the Valley of Mak’ob in Israel, a refuge set aside for them by King David. The lepers had one hope: to find the Messiah.

Bless GOD! In the second book of the series, Second Touch, the leper named Cantor spoke these insightful words as he talked with Lily, a fellow leper.

“You’re right…. we’re all lepers. Growing numb, then breaking off bit by bit. But this disease isn’t just about what happens to the outside of a person…. A leper is the visible picture of what the human soul looks like when when sin takes over a life. When a person becomes numb to sin, he is eaten alive by it. That’s why the [people] Outside [the leper’s valley] fear us so. Our bodies are the external image of corrupt souls.

“And yet, I look at you and know it’s possible for a beautiful soul to live in spite of physical suffering.

Lily responds: “But I’m not suffering, Cantor. Except, you know, my heart. When I think about Sarai [ a prostitute] and the others. And all the ones around me who are so lonely. So desperate that they’ll do anything…. anything for a little happiness.”

Cantor says: “Their souls are like their bodies.”

Questioning, Lily says: “Can a soul be unclean? Can a heart have leprosy? Can the inner man be so numb he no longer feels and so increases his injury day by day? GOD’S mercy could heal such a heart. I believe it. Forgive and heal. Restore the feeling. Bring back what is eaten away in us.”
p. 32, Second Touch, by Bodie and Brock Thoene.

www.thoenebooks.com Used with permission.

And so the story goes, weaving a wonderful account of those who, realizing the Messiah is their only hope, live through their horrific, heart-wrenching days, looking towards the coming of The LORD.


HIS+ coming, for they heard that a mighty prophet was at work in the land, is the hope that keeps them alive.


<((()><

Is it ours?

<(((><

In the Name of The FATHER,
HIS BELOVED SON+ JESUS CHRIST, OUR LORD,
AND THE BLESSED HOLY SPIRIT.
AMEN.



Sunday, March 15, 2009

KEEP a CLEAR EYE...





Keep a clear eye

toward

life's end.

Do not forget your purpose

and destiny as God's Creature.

What you are in His+ sight

is what you are… and nothing more.

Remember that when you leave this earth,

you can take nothing you have received...


but only what you have given;

a full heart enriched by

honest service,
love,
sacrifice

and
courage."

-- St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A LENTEN PRAYER...


Forgive them all, O LORD:

Our sins of omission and our sins of commission;


The sins of our youth ...
and the sins of our riper years;

The sins of our souls and the sins of our bodies;


Our secret and our more open sins;

our sins of ignorance and surprise,

And our more deliberate and presumptuous sins;


The sins we have done to please ourselves

and the sins we have done to please others;


The sins we know and remember,

and the sins we have forgotten;


The sins we have striven to hide from others

and the sins by which we have made others offend;


Forgive them, O LORD,
forgive them all for His+ sake,

Who+ died for our sins
and rose for our deliverance,


And now stands at Thy Right Hand

To make intercession for us,

JESUS CHRIST our LORD.

Amen


Prayer found in Bayley Thompson's Hymn Book,

Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

attributed to Wesley, slightly adapted by OGS.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A GOD-CENTERED LIFE...


Becoming GOD-Centered ~ ~ ~ The Way of The Cross
Pascha Season Meditation 1
(Passover or Lenten Season)
Year of His+ Grace,
2009

These things spoke JESUS,
and lifted up His+ eyes into the Heaven,
and said,
FATHER, the hour is come;
glorify Thy SON+,
that Thy SON+ also may
glorify THEE:
John 17, verse 1,
Italics from the Greek text

The LORD dipped the morsel and gave it to Judas Iscariot in the account of the Last Supper we see recorded in John 13. When Judas had received the morsel and gone out into the night, The LORD said these mysterious words:

Then, when he [Judas] went, JESUS said,
Now was glorified the Son of Man+,
and GOD was glorified in Him+.
John13:31
[Literal Greek translation from J.P. Green’s Interlinear New Testament]

The LORD explained something important to His+ remaining Disciples who did not betray Him+.

HE+ pointed out that HE+ had made a deliberate decision from His+ Will to do what The FATHER asked Him+ to do.

When The LORD put that decision in motion, HE+ explained what HE+ was really doing: becoming glorified in The FATHER.

In the next verse, Our LORD explains more about what HE+ just did. HE+ refers to Himself+ as HE+ often did in the third person, [i.e., he instead of I,]. JESUS said, referring to Himself+:

If GOD was glorified in Him+,
GOD also will glorify Him+ in HIMSELF,
and immediately will glorify Him+.
[Greek translation from J.P. Green’s Interlinear New Testament]

Here The LORD tells His+ Beloved Disciples that The FATHER will do something for Him+ and to Him+. Why? It is because JESUS brought The FATHER glory by doing HIS will.


<(((><
Dear Heavenly FATHER,

We ask YOU to help us do Your Will so that we can bring glory to You. Strengthen us so that we do not shrink back and pull away from the path You have shown us to walk… be it in loneliness, in strict economy, or in any other straightened circumstance of body, mind, or soul. We thank You for sending Your SON+ as our Example so that we do not have to walk in darkness …nor in aloneness as we embrace the cross You have laid out for us as Your Will. Glory to YOU, LORD GOD of our fathers; You are worthy of praise. Glory to You.

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




Monday, March 2, 2009

Stations of the Cross ...


One Station of the Cross
at the Order of the GOOD SHEPHERD+ Hermitage...

Come unto ME+, all ye that labor and are heavy laden,

and I+ will give you rest.





Take My+ yoke upon you and learn of ME+...




For I+ am meek and lowly in heart;

And ye shall find rest unto your souls.


For My+ yoke is easy,
and My+ burden is light.

Matthew 11


Gracious SAVIOR, My burdens I reliquish unto THEE+. They are too heavy for me. I quit being "my own boss." I'd rather have Thy+ yoke and Thy+ burden. I know THOU+ cannot lie. Show me how to yoke up with THEE+ and grant me Thy+ yoke that is easy. Give me only Thy+ burden which is appointed for me.

Help me to put my hand to Thy+ Kingdom's plow and not look back to this world, this time. Here I stand, empty and waiting, if THOU+ still would want me. I love THEE+, LORD JESUS, my only hope and true Home. Amen.