Roses among Thorns

“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. ‘The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared’ (Luther).”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

There are lessons to be found everywhere … memories of bitter before the sweet, questioning why there had to be a crown of thorns worn by Jesus, and how happy it is to love yet also the pain that comes with it.

The stem of a rose is covered with thorns; sharp and painful when you accidentally brush against it, yet the flower on top is beautiful and kissed by the sun so the delicate folding petals are allowed to bloom. The quote above made me think how I, as a believer, am supposed to be.  Bearing the cost, sharing the disgrace and shame born by my Lover, and yet the beauty of His love shining ever brightly all the time.  It gives me such pleasure and desire to be that Bride.

As Paul the Apostle said, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God’s power working unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith. Romans 1:16-17

Behold me, I am Your little handmaiden bearing the cost.

Till Jesus wills it,

Let Your Light Shine

hope candle
A rare brief note about something I read in the news is that some would prefer Christians to not talk about our faith. To be quiet and stay out of sight, I don’t agree.

To me, it’s not something you can just hide and keep still. It’s a fire burning, and every drop of oil that the Spirit pours into you the hotter and more passionate the fire becomes because of the Love we have for Jesus Christ.

In Jesus’ own words, “No one puts a light under a basket instead they put it on a stand so it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let YOUR light shine before men, so they will see your good works and praise Your Father in heaven. Matt 5:15-16

Love is the same way, you can’t hide it no matter how hard you try. It always shines through. No wonder our vessels are jars of clay because the treasure within will peak through the cracks shining brightly.

I will say with the apostles, “I can’t stop speaking what I’ve heard and seen Him do.”

Till Jesus wills it,

When Life gives You Lemons…Make Lemonade

For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck in a relentless monotony of being in the same place and not being able to stretch my wings. Sour disappointment and anger have been my sometime companions through these years, along with contentment and tolerance who both have buoyed me when I couldn’t barely take much more.

I’ve been learning the Alphabet of Love through this time period and I’m now on B; bearing the cost, but this time I’m going back to the beginning of A; acceptance with joy.

James says, “count it all joy my brothers when you face trials of ALL kinds, for the testing of your faith works out patience and with patience letting her do her perfect work so that you may become perfect and lack nothing.”

In another place it tells us to rejoice and give thanks. So…while I’m not entirely satisfied in my circumstances I can give thanks because when I do praise Him and am thankful for the blessings I do have, the Spirit opens the floodgates to pour out more then I could imagine. I see it begin to take shape a little, and opportunities surface which I hope will be a new season for me even if its temporary.

Lemonade is delicious when you add a little sugar to it…so is being thankful when you see how Jesus provides for your needs.

Behold me, I’m Your little handmaiden Acceptance with Joy!

Till Jesus wills it,

Without Money and Without Price

You know the saying, “Nothing is for free.” Even if someone is giving out ‘free’ stuff, someone had to pay for it to be free.

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Isaiah 55:1-2

Nothing here on earth is for free, but in His Kingdom? It is. Now I’m not saying free stuff like you see nowadays, especially with what’s going in the news and people taking what they want by force. No, His freedom goes beyond all that.

Verse two in Isaiah 55 sounds like the bread isn’t food, but it’s other things that the world wants you to buy that isn’t substantial. And like the saying “all that glitters isn’t gold.” It’s only pretend, not fort real. Why would anyone want something that’s fake in place of the real thing that’s far more precious?

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.” John 7:37

Jesus wasn’t the sort to make money off of hungry and thirsty people desperate for fresh food and drink only that He could give them if they believed. That was all that was required.

Till Jesus wills it,