His Truth

His Truth, Parenthetically Speaking

Trapped…

August 6, 2011

Sometimes I feel a bit like this beautiful insect! 

She got herself trapped on our side screened porch.  She was magnificent and my sweet hubby rescued her and set her free.  Silly girl, why did she wander into the trappings of a screened porch?  For What was she looking ? Why would she would leave the freedom of the great outdoors to explore our porch?  Was she just not paying attention and inadvertently found herself in a place she had no intention of being?!

 I wonder what she thought about as she buzzed around desperately looking for escape, rescue.   I wonder how she felt when she realized that when she rested, when she finally stilled herself, she was rescued.  It probably seemed scary to be scooped into a plastic bowl and transported by a human, but the ride was relatively short and then she was free again!

She has yet to return and I think she learned her lesson.  Sweet thing!

How about me?  How about you?  Ever find yourself trapped?  In a place (situation) you never intended to be in?

How did you get there?   Curiousity or just not paying attention?  What freedom did you leave to be entrapped? 

For some it is great bondage (entrapment).  Sexual sin, substance abuse, great debt…for others it might be, what seems, a less serious entrapment; procrastination, too much chocolate, saying the wrong thing…

 But all traps rob us of freedom. 

 Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

Just for today, make no plans to rescue yourself.  Just listen to Him, wait for Him!

 He will rescue, He is your refuge, and He will make a way for you.

And then when the plastic bowl arrives, jump in, enjoy the ride (even if the destination seems unknown and the ride is scary), and then you will be free again!!!

 P.S. I feel like this sweet creation, I have been in the Opryland hotel for over 60 hours at the MOPS international convention!  My plastic bowl takes off at 6:30 tonight!!!!  I can’t wait to share with you all the wonderful people I met and the cool stuff I found!!

His Truth, Parenthetically Speaking

The transfer of tears…

August 1, 2011

He took his life and left behind his family.

 As I entered the funeral home it was a familiar scene.  People speaking in hushed tones, children scurrying about not truly understanding how to act in moments like these, tears, hugs, a book to sign, photos, dark clothing, and swollen eyes of those who were the closest.

I embraced my friend and said the only thing I ever say “I’m so sorry”, she hugged me close and said “He was my whole heart.” and then she pressed her face to mine and her warm tears transferred to me.

It was such a unique moment. It was if the LORD spoke through the feel of those tears on my cheek; her tears on my face.  I could not bring myself to wipe them off.  I wanted them to dry, to stay, and to remind me of her pain.

I walked into the chapel to say goodbye to the man who left all of this behind and as I stood I concentrated on those tears.  I felt them slowly dry as I waited. 

So many times I have longed to take another’s pain.  As a pastor’s wife I have been exposed to some of the most tragic moments (fabulous moments as well, but those are easy).  It’s the unexplainable tragic moments that are so heart wrenching.  Oh how I have asked my sweet LORD to let me take some of the pain in order to relieve the hurting, but we can only share in it, not take it. 

But those tears on my face taught me something.  It taught me that my heart can break for what breaks His, if I allow it.  If Iwelcome the tears of another onto my cheek, (my heart) I can share in their world.

Yet I struggle with this thought today.  What if I don’t know someone is hurting?  How can I see what He sees, how can my heart break for what breaks His?

As the days pass, my friend will go back to work in a very public forum.  A place where hundreds of customers pass daily and most will never know what is going on in her world. 

I don’t want to walk through life with blinders on.  I want to catch the tears.  I want to extend mercy, mercy like I have received.  And yet I will never know all there is to know,  I will never know what is happening in all the lives of people I see,  but I can speak love and kindness to all I meet and then perhaps in doing so…I  may receive a transfer of tears.

His Truth, Parenthetically Speaking

Value…

May 27, 2011

Value?

We use this word a lot these days.  We value our employees, we value people’s feelings, and we value other’s time, property, and opinion.  We like value when it refers to a bargain..  We have values-morals and standards to which we adhere.

We value time, money, talents.  But the biggest question is this…

Where do you find your value?

This chair was at an upscale home interiors store in NYC with a tag that said ‘as is, $3995’.

Are you kidding me?  Four thousand for a chair that looks like it’s been attacked by a band of ferrel cats.  I wanted to tell all the customers in the store to fly to Arkansas and just pick up some chairs like this on trash day.

So why the big price tag?  The chair’s claim to fame was age and geography.  A French antique.  Antique dealers and the store in NYC assigned that chair value.  That chair has value because we were told it does.  It really has no inherent value on its own (it can’t even perform its only function-providing a comfortable place to sit)

So what does someone do with a ripped up $4,000 chair?  I don’t know, but what I do know is that my value is found in something more than age, (although there is something to value in age, she says as she approaches 50!) and certainly found in something more significant than geography.

For some value is in work.

For some value is in children.

For some value is in looks, physique, size…

For some value is in the checkbook.

For some value is in the doing-volunteering, ministry, serving, giving (all good, all biblical, but not the source of value).

For some value is in a name, reputation, status.

But there is only one true place to find value.  One True One that is the source of value, who is of worth, who bestows worth on the unworthy.

My value is in Christ and Christ alone.

He outlasts all else.

He out shines all else.

He is everything, everywhere.

He sees everything.  He knows everyone.

He knows the beginning, the middle and the end of my story, my journey.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8, 9

Anything that I say or do that is of worth is only so because of His grace, mercy and faithfulness.  And when I fail (which I do on quite a regular basis), there is no change in my value.

My value has nothing to do with what I do, or who I am.   It is grounded solely in whose I am.

What a great freedom.  The freedom of knowing that no matter how old I get, how tattered I get, or where I end up geographically I have value.  Value that has been assigned to me by the grace of being His.  Not that is of great worth.

His Truth, Parenthetically Speaking

It’s raining again…

April 23, 2011

It’s raining again, or should I say it is still raining.  It’s been raining all weekend.  And not just rain, but tornados and hailstorms, and thunder and lightning.

And the rain keeps coming.  It seems appropriate, after all this is a solemn week for a believer.  Holy Week begins with a triumphant entry, and as the week draws to an end there is a shift in thoughts, a shift in support, a shift in attitude and the very one they cheered for, they now chastise.  The one to whom they cried Hosanna in the highest at the beginning of the week, they now jeer crucify him at the end of the week.

And so it happened.  He was crucified and buried.  Not because the people wanted it, but because the people (all people) needed it.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God .(Romans 3:23)

We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us had turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

So the rain and the gloom seem appropriate.  It is a dark time for the believer.  This week is to be revered, a time for reflection.  And a rainy day is a good time to be still and think, to be still and remember.

So as I sit here in my bed (puppy at my side) listening to the rain, and the thunder, I am grateful.  Grateful for a God who is all just and all mercy.

A God who is alive.

A God who is all grace and all truth.

A God who needs me not, but knows how much I need Him.

A God who provided a sacrifice to atone for my sin.

A God who waits at the window for a disobedient child to return.

A God who cares for me and about me.  A God who offers to let me join Him in His plan, His will, and His ways.

A God that I cannot possibly understand, because the finite can never fully grasp the infinite.  And yet He reveals Himself to me in the most fascinating ways.

And as the rain grows stronger and the daylight approaches, I long to rise and praise Him as I remember how the stone rolled away, the grave was empty and He was alive.  Victorious over death, so that one day I could be with Him forever!

I long for a sunny Easter, but the weatherman says it is not gonna happen.

But the Son will shine, even though the sun won’t.

His Truth, Parenthetically Speaking

He was silent…

April 21, 2011

 

 

As we approach the end of Holy week, I can’t help but think about all the accusations.

Questioned about his teaching…

Accused of secretly misleading the people…

Chief priests looking for false evidence against Him…

Accused of threatening to destroy the temple and then rebuild it in 2 days…

He remains silent.

Questioned about being the son of God…

He replies yes…

Accused of blasphemy…

He remains silent.

Accused of lying…

Accused of being a heretic…

Accused of blasphemy…

Accusations flew…accusations in court and out of court and yet He answered simply or was silent.

No big defense, no rebuttal, no if ands or buts.

Security in the One who knew the truth, in the One who is the Truth.

Steadfastness in following the plan of the One who knows all, sees all, directs all, created all…

No need to defend when you truly know who you are.

Do you know who you are?  Where is your identity today?

Is it in your work, your marital status, your kids, your status, your money, fame, popularity, deeds?

Or is it purely in Christ? Do you remember everyday that you are a princess?  A daughter of the King!

Redeemed, ransomed, rescued!

New, justified, sanctified!

Loved, accepted, protected!

Provided for, guarded, and defended!

Watched over, sung over, and died for!

Delighted in, disciplined, guided!

Freed, released, liberated!

Created in His image!

Set apart, for a purpose, a plan, a reason!

Nothing else matters.  Oh other things will feel like they matter…there is pain, disappointment, successes, earthly rewards, emotional highs and lows…But do these temporary circumstances really matter to a Princess who only has eyes on the King?

Turn your eyes upon Jesus and the things on earth will grow slowly dim in the light of His glory and Grace!   Helen H. Lemmel

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