Picture of Love, Peace (A to Z Challenge, Letter P)

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/rdp-sunday-picture/


“THE HEART OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH: GOD SEES A PRINCESS IN EVERY SCRUBGIRL, A FREEMAN IN EVERY SLAVE, A SON IN EVERY STRANGER.”

~ Grady Nutt, 1934-1982

The letter “P” inspired these words for my post: PEACE, PICTURE, PRAISE, PRAYER, PRINCESS, PRISONER, PROMISES.  One of my favorite quotations is the one above by Grady Nutt, which I’ve also included in the text of the Tagxedo heart below.  Growing up, I was pretty much the “scrubgirl” dreaming of one day becoming the princess in fairytales.  Imagine my delight when I stumbled on Mr Nutt’s inspired notion…that indeed, God looks on me and sees His princess.

Among my treasured Bible verses* is one from Zechariah, in which he speaks of the “prisoners of hope”.  We who’ve reached sufficient maturity are aware that there are various kinds of prison, not just those which house people convicted of crimes.  Many people are imprisoned by illness which wracks the body with paralysis and/or pain.  Some of us are prisoners of our own minds…thoughts, memories, beliefs which torment us, leaving us desperate to be set free.

The Bible—God’s Word, filled with His promises—tells us there is true freedom in Christ Jesus, that He is the fortress and refuge we can run into.  If we choose His path, we then become “prisoners of hope” …and “prison” has new meaning, we are bound in the hope of Christ.  Zechariah announced a promise of Godas prisoners of hope return to the fortress of God, HE will restore double what we’ve lost.

Through prayer and praise to God, we find our peace…our fortress and freedom.  And as the prophet Isaiah says, if we’ll trust in God and keep our mind steadfastly focused on Him, God will keep our minds in His perfect peace, the peace which surpasses human understanding of it.

Finally, “P” is for “picture”.  As those in the Christian Church observe Passion Week/Holy Week, we see the picture of God’s love for mankind.  It is a raw and powerful portrait, the agony of Jesus Christ’s willing sacrifice on the Cross. 

I can recall, as many do, the “excruciating” feelings of first love…love which consumes our every moment and thought, love we’re certain no one has experienced before.  Recently I learned the word “excruciating” has its roots in “crucifixion”…believed by experts to be the harshest form of death man ever designed.  Personally, I can’t imagine a passion so great that I would volunteer for such a death…particularly on behalf of people who don’t love me back.  But that’s what Jesus did. 

Adam and Eve’s disobedience broke the covenant relationship they had with God, and ever afterward humans were tainted by that sin.  God so loved everyone He created that His mercy ran riot, if I may say.  Jesus would be “the Lamb of God”, the perfect blood sacrifice to replace the Jewish tradition of an annual animal sacrifice.

On Good Friday, Christ bled and suffered a torturous physical death…and mental, emotional torment in His brief sense of separation from God the Father.  He knew what He was in for, yet He died for the cause of rescuing, restoring and reconciling all of us to God…and for the unsurpassable, infinite glory of resurrection to Life Eternal. 

As Christians who’ve accepted the Risen King and received His salvation, we celebrate His resurrection on Sunday.  We are grateful, joy-filled…and confident that we now have the High Priest seated at God’s right hand—Jesus, Who always intercedes for us with the greatest love’s grace and mercy, when we’ve sinned and seek forgiveness.  We have the blessed certainty that one day we’ll join Him in Heaven…the blood, sweat and tears of earthly life over, just as His last words on the cross proclaimed, “IT IS FINISHED” (John 19:30).

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17, Berean Study Bible

*“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.” 2nd Corinth 1:20, NLT 

*‘May the LORD bless you and keep you; may the LORD cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the LORD lift up His countenance toward you and give you peace.’ Numbers 6:24-26, Berean Study Bible

*“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.” Philippians 4:6-8

More scripture verses below!

*“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” Zechariah 9:12

*“LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.” Isaiah 26:12, KJB

*“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3, KJB

*“I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.” Isaiah 57:19, KJB

©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.

Bible Verses: biblehub.com

Miracles, Everyone Qualifies (A to Z Challenge, Letter M)

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

― Albert Einstein

The letter “M” immediately brought to mind ‘Miracles’.  In the Bible, Jesus performed miraculous healings for believers and non-believers alike; He wowed the crowd by multiplying provisions more than once to feed thousands.  That’s the vast, infinite love of God, whose mercy doesn’t differentiate, but is purposeful:  He longs to draw all people to Himself, into His grace for salvation.  His heart for us is frankly unfathomable. 

It’s clear to me, God is still in the miracle-working business today.  Some are headline-making ones that grab people’s attention—the faithful, and doubting critics alike; some are quiet, subtle, known only to those who receive and perceive them.

My life is a miracle…not the kind that warrants media mention, but BIG to me.  I’m an Overcomer, by faith and strength which come from partnering with God—not the result solely of intellect or creativity, by self-effort diligently applied.  I’ve learned to tune-in and appreciate “everyday miracles” which some people miss or call coincidence, positive energy, karma, etc.  No, the favor God shines on my life—evident through His protection, provision, and presence in the center of my circumstances—is Miraculous. 

Often we forget to consider as miracles, all the devastating things God prevents from happening.  Example:  when we’re impatient due to slow traffic…we may not realize He’s kept us from a fatal accident ahead.

Believe what you like.  Each day that I don’t throw myself under a bus is a miracle…and I give all honor, praise, glory to GOD

©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.

Significance, & Bearing Fruit

“Aim not to live a life of prominence, but a life of significance.”

~ Pastor Ethan Fisher, Gateway Church, Southlake TX

In his message, Pastor Fisher noted that prominence is temporary but significance is lasting.

Dr Jon Chasteen, President of The King’s University in Southlake, TX, shared Psalm 1:3-5, from The Passion Translation.  He reminded us that believers are “bearing fruit in every season of life”, no matter what our circumstances.  We should not be discouraged during seasons when it seems “nothing is happening”, or it feels like a wilderness…wilderness times are not God’s punishment, but rather a period of training and pruning, to prepare us for our ordained destiny.

Surely many of us are “bearing fruit” through April’s writing challenges, sharing positive words and encouraging one another.  Let’s keep it going!  Blessings to you as we begin Week TwoEnnle

Psalm 1:3-5 The Passion Translation (TPT)

He will be standing firm like a flourishing tree
planted by God’s design,[a]
deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss,
bearing fruit in every season of his life.
He is never dry, never fainting,
ever blessed, ever prosperous.[b]

https://gatewaypeople.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+1%3A3-5&version=TPT

Image: Pixabay.com

God, Simply There

“Over all is the hand of the Shepherd.  Always for me, at every moment, He was there—there when I felt His presence, and equally there when it seemed I was all alone.  His presence did not depend upon my ‘feeling’ it, or even upon the extent of my belief.  God was simply there.”

~ Paula D’Arcy, Song for Sarah

Gifts

“Life is thus a moment only, only a dissolving of ourselves as a hearty gift.”

~ Boris Pasternak

“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another.”

~ I Peter 4:10

“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.”

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Just Sayin…

“There was a time when the seas seemed endless and the skies vast enough to swallow any of the mistakes and errors of men.  The world used to be big and men could afford to be small.  Now the world is small and men must be big.”

~ Elliot Richardson

Image: Pixabay.com