"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

Archive for March, 2012

Aside

Clare Kaegi-Watts – Natural Illustrator and Poet

Once again, I want to showcase my friend Clare Kaegi-Watts and her beautiful poetry and art work.  I have known Clare for several years, and such is her humility, that I just found out the scope and quality of her work.   I quote from what I found on line at wallcoo.net:

“Clare Kaegi is an Artist/Illustrator, who has worked for some years, drawing character-filled outback dwellings and fulfilling her dream of ‘capturing’ nature on paper. Deeply impressed with the amazing work of other natural illustrators, Clare was determined to open up the possibilities for her own pen and ink work. Coming into contact with a technical pen in the late 1970’s a new world of possibilities opened that were once unachievable.

Armed now with a Rotring Isograph .13 Technical Pen and beautiful, rich, clear, colour inks, in quiet solitude Clare set to work to develop a style of pen and ink work that would breathe the beauty of rich, velvety colours, incredibly fine & complex detail but most of all, ‘life’. Every colour is mixed by the artist herself in order to obtain the desirable effect. The depth requires patience and an understanding of the quirky nature of these inks. A total disregard of the time-factor is also needed with each piece taking from a short one week, to a several months for some major pieces.”

She also has written some beautiful poetry which I am privileged to share with you here.  She loves the Lord Jesus with all her heart and pours her life out to others.

MY CROSS –

A Song of Love

Precious Jesus, Savior mine, whose blood was shed for me,
Whose beaten body, love’s sacrifice, was nailed to the Tree,
You told me clear, as clear could be
That I should follow Thee! –
“Take up YOUR cross this day, each day,
And walk this path with Me.”

“Take My yoke upon you, learn of Me,” You said.
“My yoke is easy, the burden’s light, for I’ve gone on ahead.
Trust in Me, take My hand,
Do not turn back instead,
But follow Me, give Me your faith
And I will bless your stand.”

I thought back through the years of darkness,
Guilt! Loneliness! The pain…
Then looking to the light ahead, my strength began to gain!
This cross You said that I should bear
And in Your sorrow share,
I gladly take this burden sweet –
And will follow anywhere!

O Jesus, blessed Savior, do not take from me
This cross that we both share,
But help my back grow straight and strong –
A greater weight to bear!

May I look upon this cross as glory for my LORD,
Each new day at dawn a promise made
To trust You and obey,
And to know Your blessing rests on me,
Your peace, Your joy, today.

O LORD, take not this cross from me;
Come walk with me, much closer, higher!
Jesus, give me stronger hands, Your strength
To hold this burden tighter.
And as I walk each mile with You
May my legs, my feet grow stronger.
For I can feel YOUR strength in me,
As my precious load grows lighter!

My Jesus, blessed Savior sweet, how rocky is that track!
Your immortal feet have walked upon –
For me no turning back.
You promised, if I’m faithful, there’s a place prepared for me.
If I take my cross and follow You,
This place of rest and joy I’ll see.

I know You gave this cross to me,
That YOUR life in me be wrought.
And I should learn to live for others, as here on earth You taught.
This cross I bear, to follow You, is little price to pay!–
For when I look upon the cross YOU bore,
It was there my soul was bought!

O Father, Abba Father, LORD! Our loving God and King,
Give me the strength to carry on,
And through my journey sing
PRAISES! To my Savior, great I AM
My worship, adoration, and Hosannas bring.
To You, my Alpha and Omega,
Friend,
My LORD –
My cross,
My trophies,
Love,
Praise,
Thanksgiving
ALL! –
Laid in humble worship
At Your Blessed Feet! –
My Lord, my God, my King.

Amen.

In His Presence . . .

As I pulled up to the entrance to the park, I rolled down my window and inhaled the fresh air.  The water rushed over the old dam with beauty reminiscent of Niagara and an awesome sound.  Further on, the lake glistened in the sunshine and I could feel the stress falling away. Water has always had a soothing effect on me. When I am stressed, I even go there in my head and listen to the sound of the babbling brook as it flows over the rocks. It has a great ability to heal and refresh my soul.

Today, I am needing to pull into my spirit and get back in touch with my Heavenly Father. But then I need to do that every day, it’s just that some days it is more urgent than others. I am so glad that He is always available.

All this got me to thinking. Does Father need us to get in touch with Him? The Apostle Paul tells us that He doesn’t ‘need anything’ – so why did He send Jesus to redeem us. He is Self-existent, Omnipotent, and the Creator of the whole world. What does He need with me? Or you?

Then I remembered that He wants us to be His family and to call Him, Abba, ( Daddy.) He loves me and He loves you. He is not angry with us but He wants you and me – ALL of you and ALL of me.

This really boggles the mind. The great God of the universe – who is above the earth so far that to the human eye earth looks like a tiny dot of light – nothing more. If we were positioned in the same way He is in our natural state, we are not even visible. It is a mere speck of dust. And if earth is a speck of dust, then we are even smaller than a dust mite and on top of that, we are very temporary on this planet.

The Psalmist asked, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” And then goes on to say, “You (Father) made us a little lower than God (Himself) and crowned us with glory and majesty. You made us to rule over the works of Your hands and put everything under our feet.”

Really? Why do we live so far below our privilege. How come we can we just reach out when we are in trouble? Why is it that we don’t take the time to sit with Him every day and rejoice in His love and Presence? How can we not know that He wants us to be His family. He wants us to call Him Dad!

What are we doing? Papa, forgive us. Are we so’ dumbed down’ by the cares of the world and our busy-ness that we have no conception of Who He is and who we are.

I challenge you and I challenge me to wake up! Get to know Dad. He longs to spend time with you and me. He is an individual God and loves us each individually. We cannot be ‘grandfathered’ in. Will you take time to find your way into His Presence today? I will.

Related Scriptures:

Acts 17:25
. . .nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;

Psalm 8:3-6
(NASB)
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
4 What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,

Galatians 4:4-7
But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.

Matt 11: 25-30

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. 27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Ezekiel 43:2
. . .and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.

Revelation 1:15
His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.

Love Story

Once upon a time far away and long ago – this is how many stories start, but this story is right here, now, and today! The setting may seem to be somewhere else, but all of the things that have roots in the Scripture are here and now! So – here we go!

We have heard that God is love and he wants us to love Him, but we have also heard really bad stuff about him. We call them ‘Acts of God’ which include tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other mega disasters. If there is a car accident and a child is hopelessly hurt or killed, we blame God. Why do we do that? Did we ever honestly attempt to figure out if God is responsible for all these bad things? Is it possible that we as well as other created beings could be responsible?

We have heard the Bible stories so much that they sound all together too familiar. We don’t even get what they are saying. Jesus came as a baby, grew up, did some stuff, got a bunch of people mad and they crucified him, but He showed them and rose from the dead and then went up into heaven. Who buys that? Why does it matter?

We can look at this story in a different way.

Father God wanted a family that would choose to love Him. So he did a really risky thing. He made a special race of people who were capable of living on a level equal with Him but he gave them free choice. They could choose to love Him or not. The ‘or not’ part is where the risk is.

His first son was Adam was a created being and then he created his daughter, Eve. They had it all! He met all their needs by providing a garden that He Himself planted. They could eat anything in the garden with the exception of only one tree. He came to them every day and they walked and talked together. They were learning about this amazing place. Except for the garden, the planet was in a mess, and He wanted Adam and Eve to occupy it and make it all beautiful. They were to make other children in the god-class. They would be like Him but they would not be Him. They would be able to do amazing things. Everything was there for them to enjoy with meaningful work in establishing dominion as co-rulers.

But, the reason the planet was in a mess was that one of God’s heavenly created beings – a beautiful archangel named Lucifer made a choice and led a rebellion in heaven – and God exiled him to earth. He raged around the planet because he had lost his most favored status. He turned earth into a chaotic place with havoc everywhere. The Scripture says, “the world was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light!” He created everything that was made.

There Adam and Eve were on the earth, in a beautiful garden, and they were enjoying themselves, but Lucifer was roaming freely intent on spoiling Father God’s plan. He took on the form of a beautiful serpent and began to dialog with them about the forbidden tree. He did what he is still doing today. He created doubt in the goodness and loving kindness of Father. He convinced Adam and Eve that Father was withholding something. Father had withheld nothing including the knowledge of good and evil. They just were not mature enough to understand it. They lacked ‘No-Thing!’ But doubt had its way and the deceiver won the day. They ate the forbidden fruit and started the cycle of sin that has created storms, accidents and disasters. Now, the longer we live on this earth, the more the sin cycle creates chaos.

Father loves them and knew what they had done, but He came to the Garden anyway. When they heard Father in the Garden, they hid, then they blamed each other and God explained to them what forces they had set in motion. He killed innocent animals, shed their blood and covered their sin. God’s love always covers. The Scriptures say that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Then He put them out of the Garden and set up angelic guards to protect the Tree of Life.

Father God knew from the foundation of the world that we would need to be rescued and He, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit put a wonderful plan into effect. He would send his Son to earth to shed His precious, sinless blood and wipe out the sin that man put into effect by his disobedience and mankind would be restored to him. All they had to do was to choose him. Then God would teach them all the things he had planned for them from the foundation of the world. As they draw near to Him, he draws near to them. In His Presence is fullness of joy!

We can now eat from the Tree of Life and go back to the Garden-life and walk with Father because of the Son. He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us as our constant companion, guide and friend. We can occupy and bring heaven to earth by walking with Father every day in Jesus name.

So, you have a choice. I had a choice. I chose Him. I KNOW He loves me. I KNOW He loves you. Choose Him and prove His love.

It is easy to do. The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved. Read John 3:16, 17. Find out how much He loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him. Each of us come to the realization of who He is in a different way. For me, I was driving down the road, listening to the radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that He was real. I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus. I just didn’t know. I didn’t know.” So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing. Ask Him to make Himself real and I promise that He will.

Genesis 1, 2, 3

Matthew 26:28

Luke 22:20

John 15:26, 16:13

Acts 20:28

Ephesians 1:7, 2:13

Colossians 1:14, 20

Hebrews 9:12, 14, 10:19, 22

1 John 1:7, 5:8

Revelation 1:5, 5:9, 7:14, 12:11

The Body – A Song of Praise by Clare Kaegi-Watts

Presenting Clare-Kaegi Watts, my dear and talented friend. The pictures here are her original artwork done in great detail in pen and ink. 

She is also a poet whose words are a praise to our Heavenly Father.  In her work, THE BODY, you will see that she highlights various parts of her body that she uses to praise the Lord.  (i.e.  Eyes, Feet, Hands, etc.)

It is my hope that the art and the poetry bless you as they have me. 

 The Body

A Song of Praise

Before the light of morning spills across the land

I rise to greet the day and thank my God

For His grace, His love, my liberty.

Some distance walked while still half dark,

Through trees the soft mists shrouding.

The quiet of my LORD’s creation settles, peaceful, still,

Upon my spirit as I seek His sweet presence there.

 

A soft golden ray of light from this day’s sun

Alights upon the silver, polished limbs

Of a tall and stately Gum right in my path.

A movement caught my eye,

A note of song of sweet, pure clarity

As tiny birds of dazzling hue and great fragility

Woke joyful, carefree, singing praises

To their Maker for this new fair day!

 

I stopped, looked and held my breath;

The scene to me became a symphony

Of light, and sound – and wonder.

God’s blessings, beyond number, took perspective

Far too wonderful for words to say

As revelation led to revelation beyond number.

Welling up from deep within, this song of praise erupted ……

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my EYES that I may see

The beauty of this tall and stately tree,

That ALL Your wonderful creation I too may gaze upon

And praise Your handiwork with, “It is good!”

And precious Savior thank You for my inner eyes

That I may see the wonder of Your Truth.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my EARS that I with joy

May hear the sweet song of birds carefree,

The cricket’s chirp, cicada shrill, frog or busy bee;

Or stand and listen to Your wind blow gently through the trees.

And loving Savior, gentle Friend, thank You for my “inner ear”

That hears Your still, small voice of guidance, love and care.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my TONGUE that I

With thanks and praise may taste of Your rich bounty –

Of fruit, or herb or honey sweet,

Of bread, or fish or tender meat,

And blessed Jesus thank You for my LIPS that join

With tongue to sing Your praises,

Glorifying You for ALL Your graces.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my HANDS that I may touch

The wonders of Your work.

To feel the softness of a petal smooth,

The sweet touch of baby’s cheek.

But especially I thank You LORD for these strong hands

To do Your work and minister to souls in need.

And Abba, Father, thank You for these HOLY hands

Rising with my prayers as precious incense to Your Throne,

That reaching, touch Your great and loving heart –

To receive blessings beyond words known!

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my FEET that bear me

On journeys far, that I might marvel as I travel

At Your good gifts so great by far!

I bless You, Jesus, for these feet made strong to carry me

Through my pilgrimage to heaven eternal –

And follow in YOUR footsteps straight and true.

Beloved LORD, I thank You for my MIND that through life’s journey

I can ponder on those things of God

That come from You each morning.

That in my memory retain the treasures of Your Wisdom

And Your guidance, meditating daily on Your Word

And think with joy and wonder of those things which are above!

 

But LORD Creator, Mighty, Gracious God, I thank You

Bless and praise You most for my strong HEART.

You took my old cold stony one, and cast it on the scrap-heap,

And in its place You put a heart of flesh, restored,

Washed in my Savior’s blood, cleansed and forgiven.

So now I see, O SO clear! – that ALL I am, and ALL I have,

And EVERYTHING about me

Is gifted from my loving God, that I may sing His praises.

And this body, made by Him,

For Him, a holy Temple.

To God, and Him alone – be glory!

AMEN.

 

 

Aside

Reboot!

REBOOT!

Did you ever have a day when everything you did made you feel more and more irritated?  It is like something was just slamming the door on all of the peace that you had in the Spirit?  Well, I have had just such a day. 

As you might guess, much of the frustration has been with the internet and computer based issues.  I interacted with two different companies  on-line. 

One I didn’t get after paying for it.   Another encounter charged me a great deal of money for something that I didn’t think I was getting and certainly didn’t want. On the second issue, when I called to correct it, they told me it was non-refundable.  (The other issue is being resolved and was based on their own computer issue internally.) 

Now, it was just seconds after I pushed the submit button on the second charge that I realized what I had done and called to stop the payment.  The word non-refundable hit me and I felt waves of anger rise up on the inside of me.  I was on the phone about 20 minutes with long hold times listening to elevator music.  When I finally got to the floor supervisor, he wanted to appease me with a partial refund and a benefit that sounded good on the surface, but in reality was just a another waste of time. Without boring you with all the details, I hung up and called the credit card company and have been assured that I will be receiving a full refund. 

Which leads me to the point of this story.  Sometimes we cause problems due to our own interior operating system.  We don’t mean to be hurtful, but there are issues that we haven’t yielded up to the Lord for Him to handle.  We are doing it in our own strength and our personal “computer,’ no matter how sophisticated, is not able to perform properly without our Lord, the Great Systems Administrator, putting things right.  There is no malice in what we did.  We just caused problems for someone else, because we were running with a ‘ virus.’

But there are times that our actions are truly like malware.  We are in it to win it and we ‘con’ everyone along the way.  What we do is for our benefit alone and as far as we are concerned, it is ‘non-refundable.’  We are proud of our ability to put it over on someone else.  When this happens, it is time to re-boot the system or move toward system failure.

Take a deep breath, get your Bible and head to the prayer closet.  Lay out on the floor and cry out, “Help!   I am in way over my  head here.  I am hurting other people and I am hurting myself.  Rescue me from this mess!”  Read a favorite Scripture, quiet your spirit and rest in Him.  He is not mad at you.  He knows that you are flawed, but He is able.  Give Him a chance to change it all. 

Only Jesus Christ can rescue us from this life of sin and death!  Do you belong to Him?  If you belong to Him, He knows that you may try to run things on your own.  And He will step back and let you run under your own power until you give up and turn to Him. 

Once you realize that He really, REALLY loves you, you don’t want to run your life without Him.  He has sent the Holy Spirit to lead you and be your Comforter, Helper and Teacher.  All you have to do is listen to that still small voice.  It is the thought that you didn’t think – the solutions you could not have come up with in your old life. 

  What a privilege to yield to Him and live free.

If you don’t know Him, it isn’t hard.  The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved. Read John 3:16, 17. Find out how much He loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him. Each of us come to the realization of who He is in a different way. For me, I was driving down the road, listening to the radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that He was real. I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus. I just didn’t know. I didn’t know.” So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing.   Ask Him to make Himself real and I promise that He will.

Are you frustrated with your actions and disappointed in your behavior?  Share your thoughts.

Confirming Scriptures:

John 3:16-17  16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

1 John 4:7-8    7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Psalm 116:4
Then I called upon the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!”

Acts 2:21
‘AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’

Romans 10:13
for “ WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

1 Corinthians 1:2
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:

1 John 3:23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

Romans 7:21-25 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

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