Testimony, Triumphant! (A to Z Challenge, Letter T)


This faith-walk, momentous

Journey filled with joy of the

Miraculous, mountains-climbed

Highs; and too, by valleys…arid

Soul-parching deserts, fraught.

Life’s seasons ever varied

Changing…heart soars, descends

Mind trips, spirit stumbles sideways.

God’s Word makes plain, we’ll face

Trials, temptations, troubles, torrents

Of tears, tribulations…fires of testing

Needed for character refinement

Purified soul.  Such statements

Stagger young believers; many turn

From fearsome, arduous Way…

Following the Master.

I make no boast of keeping narrow

Path, steps straight, unswerving…but

Once God calls, heart is ever pulled

Back to Him again, again.  That’s

What I hold as testimony…not what I’ve

Done/not done; my failings, small

Success… But rather God’s hand, so

Firm on my life, always protecting

Redirecting, never concerned I might

Lose His destiny for me. 

For, all those trials, troubles, tears

Temptation; testing, I’ve learned to

Appreciate…leads to grand triumphant

Finale: the day He’ll embrace me, say

“Well done, beloved daughter”…and

Wipe every tear, disappointment away.

We can’t avoid life’s grinding crashes

Steamroller events; hell’s baubles

Glittered invitations…we make choices

Regarding how we respond to them.

When we choose badly, it’s another

Opportunity.  Repent: change mind’s

Direction, keep goal to grow in wisdom

Maturity.  With childlike faith, willingly

Trust God…you’ll know security and

Reassurance that He’ll use even worst

Times for ultimate good in your life…

Bring glory to His Name.

©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4, Berean Study Bible

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28, New American Standard Bible

“…We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4, Berean Study Bible

“…Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22, English Standard Version

“I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.” Psalm 31:7, New Living Translation

“The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.” Psalm 34:19, New Living Translation

“You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver.” Psalm 66:10, New Living Translation

“You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.” Psalm 71:20, NASB

“Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.” Psalm 138:7, NLT

Bible Verses: biblehub.com

Resurrection (A to Z Challenge, Letter R)

Christ, Redeemer, is my Righteousness.

Of my own, I have none…imperfect efforts

But IN HIM, I’m made Righteous before

God’s throne…I can stand without fear or

Shame, because I don’t stand alone.

Radiant Risen Lord and King, yet because

Of Relationship, I can Run into arms of

JESUS for anything and everything.

Resurrection is central truth of Gospel.

It demands Response…to believe

In our hearts, profess before men the

Reality that Jesus died on the cross

Was buried, and Resurrected…not

Resuscitated…HE LIVES, He’s Real.

He’s the Reason for my faith, my hope

For eternal life.  Reconciled with God, I

Have access to same power that Raised

Jesus from the dead…power to be His

Overcomer; victorious in soul’s battles

Triumphant in face of trials.  Where the

Spirit of the Lord is, there’s freedom

Peace, joy, love to share.

It’s a grand and righteous life…

Choose it if you dare!

©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.

ABC’s of Faith-Walk

http://www.napowrimo.net/day-nineteen-4/

Optional Prompt:  “write an abecedarian poem – a poem in which the word choice follows the words/order of the alphabet.”

Another eleventh hour entry, color me Amazed!

Able, Blessed to be Called by Christ

Divine invitation, heart’s Desire

Everything isn’t Easy about this Faith-walk

But it’s Greater than anything life without

It has offered…and Heaven’s at my

Rainbow’s end.  I’m sealed IN Christ Jesus

With Kiss of Holy Spirit…it’s LOVE‘S Marvelous

Magnificent journey, Nothing else will measure

Up NowOnly Jesus satisfies, gives Peace

In circumstances where no peace exists (mind

Filled with Questions Raging, Soul in Torment).

Undeserving of grace, I Understand He Views

Me through His Blood, Valuable—which is 

Wealth the World can’t afford (says I’m not 

Worthy)—but God’s thoughts, Ways are far

Above what people can conceive.

God’s communion with me is more than

Xenial; I’m not mere friend or guest, but

Beloved daughter…

He’s polished all my Yesterdays with

His goodness…so, I’ve got my Zeal on

Must talk-talk-talk about Him🙂

©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.

Image: Pixabay.com

Questions Allowed (A to Z Challenge, Letter Q)

My unbreakable faith

Allows questions

Faith-walk hasn’t been

Without days of doubt

Journey of the soul, a

Quest to know God I

Believe in fully, more

He responds, we have

Dialog, communication

It’s permissible to ask

“Why?” and “When?”

Whatever’s on our hearts…

We want answers when

Things go wrong, when 

We’re hurting…during dry

Spells and trials…when we

Want what we want right

NOW, and we don’t care 

About how… Then, and 

Always, God is bigger than 

Our minds can conceive:

“My thoughts are not your

Thoughts, My ways are

Not your ways”*…but it’s 

Okay to believe and still ask

To trust, yet wonder a bit…

Faith is not a magic wand

Faith is imperfect, like us

To question is not a sin…

Pray with patience, wait for

God’s answer to come…

Unfinished answers aren’t

Necessarily “No”.

Even Jesus, on the cross

Asked, “My God, why have  

You forsaken me?”**

©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.

Bible Verses: biblehub.com

*“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9, Berean Study Bible

**“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matt 27:46, KJB

No Other Name, No Turning Back (A to Z Challenge, Letter N)

This being Passion Week, or Holy Week (in the Christian Faith), I’ve been enjoying a series on the History Channel called, “Jesus: His Life”.  It is by far the best docu-drama I’ve seen, in great part because of the panel of theologians and historians who offer insightful commentary throughout.  The acting is superior, lending vivid credibility to the prominent characters—people who were closest to Jesus—as they narrate their thoughts at pivotal points in each episode of the saga.

Watching, I experienced empathy for Mary, Jesus’ mother.  She’d received prophecy prior to her Son’s conception by the Holy Spirit, so she had some inkling of what the future held—yet, she was a mom.  She felt the impact of early slights, the prickly atmosphere of doubt, and the danger which surrounded Jesus and all of her family as He moved into His destiny.

Simon Peter’s delivery of his experience had me choked up with emotion.  Imagine being chosen to fulfill a mission of historical magnitude—Jesus gave Peter his new name and said, “upon this rock I will build my church”—and feeling imbued with confidence…only to betray the man he loved, who loved him.  His ache of failure was palpable, he felt there was nothing left but to return to fishing.  Then, after Jesus was crucified and it seemed there’d be no second chance for Peter to seek forgiveness, the Lord comes to him and restores him to his ordained position of leadership, during their conversation about love and “feeding, tending Jesus’ sheep”.

Mary Magdalene exemplifies Jesus’ power to heal and deliver.  She is among the women Jesus elevated to the same position as his male disciples, who provided support to His ministry.  The Church devalued women throughout its history—but Jesus never did.

There is no other name which carries power over death, power to heal and restore, to save eternally, to give us a holy identity—than that of JESUS.  Nothing but His shed blood on the cross would satisfy the requirement for reconciliation with God.  We are invited to freely accept and receive the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and acknowledge that He is who He says He is—the Son of God, Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords, the Risen Savior.

As many of the people in this docu-drama portray, my experience and testimony is also that, once you’ve been touched by Jesusyou can never go back to whatever, wherever, whoever you were before.  When I had the life-changing personal encounter with Him in March 2011, the impact of His love left me breathless; it sealed me forever—as though searing me with branding iron of ownership.  No matter what trials I encounter, the challenges of this faith-walk…its ebb-and-flow, mountains and valleys…regardless how dark it gets some days…I cannot imagine turning from HIS LOVE which is like no human’s.

I’m not an evangelist, nor teacher or preacher…I doubt I have sufficient influence to convince anyone that what I believe is Truth.  My only hope is that I might encourage people…by telling my story, the good/bad/ugly, with genuine authenticity, blunt honesty.  I don’t know everything, I’ve much yet to learn in whatever time remains to me.  If you choose not to believe—it won’t change my conviction.  I may have my craziness…but my relationship with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit is not a figment of wild imagination or mental illness. 

HE IS REAL, He is my anchor, my refuge; He lifts me up and holds me together.  If He is all I ever have…He’s all I need, desire.  He chose me when I was a lost child…He set me apart for Himself in ways that often felt like a curse of alienation…and even when I was unaware, He has walked with me everyday of nearly 70 years, calling me “beloved daughter”.  I have the lesser status of many marginalized citizens—low-income, I’ve nothing which reflects society’s definition of success.  But I am wealthy within, because I know to Whom I belong…and no one can steal that from me.

If I don’t share about this fire burning in my heart, the Bible says the rocks and stones will cry out…and I’m not about to let them have the mic 🙂

©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39, Berean Study Bible

“Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” Deut 4:39, KJB

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6, NLT

“Speak up and present your case—yes, let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago? Who announced it from ancient times? Was it not I, the LORD? There is no other God but Me, a righteous God and Savior; there is none but Me.” Isaiah 45:21, Berean Study Bible

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.” I Peter 1:18-19, Berean Study Bible

“…Justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as an atoning sacrifice through faith in His blood, in order to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had passed over the sins committed beforehand. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and to justify the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26, Berean Study Bible

“Then Peter began to speak: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism, but welcomes those from every nation who fear Him and do what is right. He has sent this message to the people of Israel, proclaiming the gospel of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” Acts 10:34-36, Berean Study Bible

Bible Verses: biblehub.com

Everlasting, Eternal (A to Z, Letter E)

Everything of this earthly life

Is temporary, fleeting, gone in

Blink of eye or with the wind.

Even memories are fragile

Some like gossamer veil

Tissue easily torn…

But my God is Everlasting

Forever Eternal…His great love

Too, ever-Present, binding me

With mercy, grace for Everyday.

Eyes! Look not so much on what is

Transient, but all that is unseen…

Grand gleaming glory, Everlasting.

Heart! Endeavor now, sow to Holy

Spirit…soon reap best Life Eternal’s

Rest, gift of Jesus’ sacrifice promised

To believers who receive Him… for

God desires that no one perish.

When curious faith-walk here does

End, He’ll call me to blessed mansion

Waiting…forever home, in Father’s house.

©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.

Bible Verses: biblehub.com

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17, King James Bible

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27-28, Berean Study Bible

“For You granted Him authority over all humanity, so that He may give eternal life to all those You have given Him. Now this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only TRUE God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” John 17:2-3, Berean Study Bible

English Standard Version
“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2nd Corinthians 5:1, ESV

“As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2nd Corinth 4:18, ESV

And this is that testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.…” I John 5:11-12, Berean Study Bible

“And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”  1 John 2:25, King James Bible

“…He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:8, King James Bible

Friendship of God

“Some of His (God’s) choicest deliveries come through the back doors of our lives.”

~ Charles Swindoll, 3 Steps Forward, 2 Steps Back

“The important thing is that we give ourselves time and space to enjoy the friendship of God.”

~ M. Basil Pennington, OCSO

My faith-walk with God has been long, labyrinthine, and ultimately the most intimate and rewarding relationship of my life.  When I was very young I viewed Him as a distant, fearsome personage…which served to keep my behavior in strict line.  Later, I would understand what it meant for Him to be Lord of my life, and my Heavenly Father.  It was many years before “we” developed a friendship…adding another layer and aspect to our multi-faceted communion.

“Friend” sounds rather casual to some…but throughout the Bible are examples of people who were considered “friends of God”; those with whom God shared the secrets of His heart, and His plans.  To me, being friends with God means we enjoy each other’s company, a companionship nonpareil.  I consciously acknowledge the Presence of God as I go about daily activities; He’s included in what I’m doing, regardless how mundane. 

I suppose it helps that I live alone…I can truthfully say that at least part of the time, I’m not talking to myself—I’m conversing with God🙂

There is no disrespect intended, nor disregard for His holiness—if anyone may suggest I’m “bringing God down to my level”.  It is undisputed that He occupies His Sovereign Throne in Heaven as King of kings; and yet He walks among His children on Earth because it’s His heart’s desire to have real relationships with human beings…He’s not the King of robots

He longs for conversation, as we do…not staid prayers in King James’ English, but ordinary talk.  Not merely a ‘to-do’ list from Him, exchanged with my itemized ‘wants and needs’; instead, the kind of comfortable (and comforting) chats had with best friends or siblings…which happens naturally as we make time to get to know Him.

As far as Mr Swindoll’s quote about God’s choicest deliveries, it’s been decades since I read his book and I don’t recall the context—but I saved the quote in my box, so it made an impact.  Looking back to when I was growing up, we lived in a small town neighborhood where people’s relationship status was measured by which door they knocked on when they visited.  The front door was the more “formal” entrance, it led into the living room which was generally kept tidy for company we needed to impress. 

The back door was off the kitchen…if you were a friend or neighbor, that’s where you came in, sat down for coffee or a cool drink, and chatted amid the messy busyness of family life.

I like to think God would make His deliveries at my back door…if I had one (my apartment has single entrance).  I prefer to discard legalistic ritual and unnecessary formality, when appropriate, in favor of being completely at ease with Him…whether or not there are dishes in my sink, and dust for eye to see.

My hope is that everyone would know God as I do—the Almighty, Powerfully Able to do the seemingly impossible in our lives; Merciful and Just; Healer, Restorer; Provider and Provision; Protector; the Father who loves everlastingly, unconditionally…and boon companion, Friend

May He bless you in “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over” (Luke 6:38).

©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.

Image: Pixabay.com