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Never alone

“Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken” – Isaiah 62:4.

“Forsaken” is a dreary word. It sounds like a knell. It is the record of I sharpest sorrows and the prophecy of direst ills. An abyss of misery yawns in that word forsaken. Forsaken by one who pledges his honor! Forsaken by a friend so long tried and trusted! Forsaken by a dear relative! Forsaken by father and mother! Forsaken by all! This is woe indeed, and yet it may be patiently born if the LORD will take us up.

But what must it be to feel forsaken of God? Think of that bitterest of cries, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Have we ever in any degree tasted the wormwood and the gall of “forsaken” in that sense? If so, let us beseech our LORD to save us from any repetition of so unspeakable a sorrow. Oh, that such darkness may never return! Men in malice said of a saint, “God hath forsaken him; persecute and take him.” But it was always false. The LORD’s loving favor shall compel our cruel foes to eat their own words or, at least, to hold their tongues.

The reverse of all this is that superlative word Hephzibah “the LORD delighteth in thee.” This turns weeping into dancing. Let those who dreamed that they were forsaken hear the LORD say, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”

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Church sister

I sat across her tapping my feet, and drumming my fingers on the table, unbeknownst (who still says that?!) to me. I know! – It meant I was starting to be impatient – and after I’d told myself to not be, especially as it was today!

I was trying hard to behave, and be the person my mother would be proud of, but this Church sister wasn’t making the job an easy one – what with her going and getting on that high and mighty horse, and talking down at me like she had a point to prove!

She had no reason to do that! – Like, we sing in the same choir, and go to Church the same place! Whatever happened to being a person’s keeper, especially when said person is your very own sister from Church!

“Well”, I asked Church sister, “are you going to help me or not?”

“Not”.

“Excuse me?”

“There are places, sweetheart, that no one else can go with us, no matter how much they want to”.

“It’s just food money”, I said, trying but failing to hide the irritation in my voice. What does she have to go and preach at me like that for?

OK, so that’s when it started to get more difficult and very not easy to behave, and be the person my mother would be proud of, and that’s when my feet started to tap, and my fingers started to drum!
I tried everything! I even gave the help-me-or-I-die speech, but she was having none of it today!

What happened to her?! When did the world get this cold?!

So I visited her at work without calling first, and asked for money for food for the third time this week – big deal!

What do they teach in Church these days, and what would be the Christian thing to do?

I wouldn’t know because Church sister showed me the door, and told me to never come back until I was ready to be responsible with the gift of life I’ve been blessed with! What does that even mean – like really! *sigh*

So sad!


(This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons or events is purely coincidental.)

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She held on to hope

She had her back against the wall, and she was all prayed out.

Her circumstances said she was alone; there was trouble on every side.

Those were desperate times, and she was already churched out.

Then she remembered.

She remembered the definition of a miracle.

She remembered the meaning of faith.

It wouldn’t be a miracle if it had an explanation – or even if it made sense to the human mind!

And what is faith without hope?

We cannot hope for what we already see.

She remembered, and she recognized the lies her circumstances spoke.

She was not alone.

She still had her back against the wall. She was still prayed out. And churched out.

But she was not alone.

She held on to the hope set before us – and then she saw that crack that let the light in.

She would be ok.

There is a hope set before us; an anchor of the soul – both sure and steadfast.

We would be ok.

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Did you take a detour?

You took a detour, so what?

Maybe it wasn’t intentional.

Maybe it was.

The detour despite, God is still in control.

He knows where you’re going, and He would take you there.

It’s true, what they say:

Delay doesn’t mean denial.

Let God lead you; you cannot get so lost that your journey becomes a waste of life.

Make the most of the season you’re in, and don’t ever give up.

So what if you took a detour? –

Home is still not that impossibly far away, child of God.

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About the commanding of fire, lightening and thunderbolts

“Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from Heaven and consume them…?” Luke 9:52

Why they would ever seek permission to do something like that is not that easy to understand.

James and John, the sons of thunder (Called so by Jesus, Himself) remind me sometimes of Church these days – especially during council and leadership meetings.

I believe I have to make a disclaimer before explaining my point.

THE DISCLAIMER:
The connection between James and John, fire, lightning, thunderbolts, and Church meetings was not originally made by me. As such, any decision made to direct the flinging of thunder and lightning my way should please be reconsidered because, like I already said, I did not think this thought by myself – and, more’s the pity, I cannot point you in the direction of the original source.

Now that that’s out of the way –

Think about it, what if we had the authority to call down fire from Heaven and fling lightning and thunderbolts at each other at our own discretion?

See the problem with this picture yet?

No?

This is where the connection between James and John, thunder and lightning, fire from Heaven and Church meetings might be very helpful.

(It is important to remember that disclaimer again at this point – just saying!)

But really, think about it:

The meeting begins two hours behind schedule (again). Not too many are thrilled about the fact. They would spoil for war, but it’s not the Christian thing to do, so they’re trying really hard to maintain their witness for the Lord, but this particular brother (the same one every time) won’t make this thing easy to do – he must be part of what it means to carry your cross daily.

And he’s at it again today.

Finally, snap (as in, the sound of the camel’s back breaking after the last straw)!

Next think you know, mega voltages and measures of fire, lightning and thunderbolts are flying all over the place!

“Sit down brother, or I would make you!”

Wheese, whoosh (the sound of lightning and fire narrowly missing said brother)

“Oh no, you did not”, replies said brother, “You have faith, I have faith too. I’d show you”.

Boom, crack-crack (Sound of thunderbolt).

No one would be left out of this display of faith – lest the story becomes that you have lost your faith. Or worse, that you never really had faith – because “Did you ever see him send fire, lightning or thunderbolt?”

So everyone starts flinging fire, lightning or thunderbolt everywhere.

The meeting ends. No decision is made, but there are stories, plenty to tell, and prayer requests to be made – because “There was not that much power in the thunderbolts she was flinging. And it has been the same in the last two meetings. Could she be loosing faith? Let us pray”.

Yes, let us pray – but not about the power (Or lack therein) of her thunderbolts.

Let us pray for the Church.

How can we not see that love is a better way? – Stronger even, than fire, lightning and thunderbolts.

Because –

Have you even been to women’s fellowship meetings yet?

Don’t let me get started with that!

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We will arise and build

It was a declaration of faith – the mission statement for the season they were in.

Nehemiah had begun the journey to rebuild Jerusalem. It was a journey of faith. He would first have to convince the leaders of the of the city of the need to rebuild it.

Then there were the naysayers who laughed at them and despised them after they began building.

Nehemiah’s response to them was this declaration of faith, and the mission statement for the season they were in at that time in Jerusalem:

…the God of Heaven, He will prosper us. Therefore we His servants will arise and build…. Nehemiah 2:20

“He will” suggests that they very likely were yet to know physically, the prosperity being spoken of.

But they knew that the God of Heaven would prosper them. Therefore, they made the decision to arise and build; they would not stop being obedient to the call of God on them because of naysayers – or even because they were yet to know physically, the manifestation of God’s blessing on them.

Faith had caught the sound of abundance, and it was enough – it is enough.

So this is the call again:

Arise and build.

Arise and go.

Arise and do.

Provision for the vision always follows our obedience.

But we must know, without a doubt that God would provide; this is faith, the shield with which we are able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one –

Darts of discouragement.

Darts of fear.

Darts of doubts.

Our faith in God is enough for us. We must lift up this shield, arise and build – because as sure as the God of Heaven is faithful, He would surely prosper us.