Happy Mothers’ Day, May the Love of the Lord be Revealed to Your Soul.
Love is so, so beautiful.
It truly is a wondrous gift.
I love these three women with all my heart, no matter what they could ever do to me. They are treasures to me despite the pain they could have caused in my life.
How much more beautiful is the love of the Father towards all mankind?
A Mother is a symbol in His creation that reveals a facet of His love.
Thank you, friend.
I woke up early
I met a new friend for coffee
I babysat for old friends
I stayed true to Arizona and wore flip flops to more fully experience the weather
I snuggled with little ones
I finished a project
I wore a french braid
I jammed to the country station
I shared my biggest and most hidden shame.
Undeserved grace was showered on me.
It was a wonderful, wonderful day.
Ebenezers and Grace
“What is an Ebenezer anyway?” is a question everyone’s afraid to ask.
What? You know what it is? You’ve never had to ask? Well, cool for you.
As for me, I’ve always sang “Here I raise mine ebenezer” a little more quietly because of the guilty guilt feeling I feel when I wonder if I’m lying because I don’t exactly know what it is I’m proclaiming I’m raising.
Well today, my dilemma was resolved by Reverend Dr. Rob Norris. The sermon was titled “New Every Morning” and was over John 12:20-36 and particularly 1 Samuel 7:2-17.
So the story goes like this:
The house of Israel has a long history throughout the Old Testament of forgetting God’s grace and worshipping some idol then they get in trouble and God rescues them and they worship Him and then they forget His goodness in their time of peacefulness and persue another idol all over again. When a trial presents itself everybody freaks out having forgotten that God is all powerful and fully able to save them.
This time, they’re terrified for they are ‘in the hand of the Philistines’. Samuel tells them to put aside their idols and return to the Lord with all of their heart. Israel gathered together and fasted and made offerings to the Lord. The Philistines heard of this and came up upon them. Again Israel cried out to Samuel to come before the Lord that He might save them from their impending doom. Samuel took a little lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord and as he was doing this the Philistines came up to attack but God delivered Israel defeating the Philistines.
Samuel responds to God’s grace in verse 12 by setting up a stone memorial calling it Ebenezer (which literally means ‘stone of help’) saying, “Till now the Lord has helped us”.
The Lord has brought us here.
Israel was setting out in hopes to love and serve God with their whole hearts but the Ebenezer wasn’t about that. The stone signified their past. Their ugly, whoreish, scattered history. The Ebenezer stone looked back through the memory of Israel and said, ‘God has shown grace to you by not only having you here now, but his active bringing you here. He was with you then in the darkness and it is on His active graces that you are now in the light.
Repentence is not the cause of our forgiveness, but rather the condition in which God’s grace is known to us
-Reverend Dr. Rob Norris
For so long now I have been wandering in confusion and darkness regarding my spiritual state. I have been at a loss as to where I am standing in salvation. Still, I do not know. But today’s sermon gave me a glimmer of hope that even if I am still in the wilderness, grace is being shown to me. Even if I am yet in Christ, if He is the God of the Bible: I am not alone. I am being brought to the table of the Lord to share in the Bread of Life. My past and my history are a mess that I have been engulfed in accepting that there is no hope of escape. A story that I’d do anything to run from and forget ever happened. But the Ebenezer was put up to show Israel that it is good for them to remember, for they were not forsaken even when they forsook Him. Not just at the moment of repentance, but in all of the days beforehand. The moment they cried out and were saved was simply the moment when His grace that had never left them was made known to their hearts. If I am still in wait for that moment, it doesn’t mean I am without grace wherever I am now.
No matter where I go or where I’ve been, God is good. God is love. God is at hand. Who I am has no effect on that truth. Whether I believe it or not.
The lyrics that I once sang softly and ignorantly now carry so much worth to me:
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Bring me home. Please.
#TBT September Twenty Ninth, Two Thousand Twelve
There stood a forrest strong and tall, and dense was the undergrowth.
Until a winter came to call- more fierce than any come before.
The winds broke and shook this wood, and draped with white where green had stood;
Even the ground below the roots cracked and ached beneath the ice.
Where branches, bush and bark belonged, the hardest winter left them gone.
And by the summer’s sun’s first stare - upon ground the melted snow lay bare -
A feeble shoot, a thumbs-lengths tall, up from split ground did slowly crawl.
And tiny sprout bent from it’s tip on which a tiny leaf did sit.
Within this wasteland of melted snow
Life had almost lost to foe
But here this shoot did still remain
staking a last chance’s claim.
In the night a cold breeze swept
and upon the tiny leaflet stepped
crushing the remaining shoot
from where a forrest tall once stood
That wind will never understand
What it has stolen from this land
It was a ton of labor, but it was so beautiful.
All in the details.