Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Jesus

Compassion.

Jesus was full of it. Every where he went he showed compassion to those who flocked toward him. He was especially compassionate toward children. And, children responded with joy. I can see them giggling and smiling, all wanting Jesus to pick them up or let them sit on his lap. I’m sure Jesus smiled at each child who unabashedly ran to him.

The Disciples rebuked the parents who brought their children to Jesus. But, Jesus rebuked them. He said,

“Let the little children come to me, and stop keeping them away, because the kingdom from heaven belongs to people like these.” Matthew 19:14

In this video you will meet little Judah. His mother shares his story, and how the illness he was born with, inspired her to sponsor a child through Compassion International.

That is why I am writing today.

Those of you who have followed me, and continue to read my blog in spite of the fact I have allowed way too much time to pass from the last time I posted, will begin to see blog posts about Compassion International. I have recently become a Compassion Blogger, and encourage each of you to do a couple of things after watching the video and reading this blog.

Jesus said if we give just a cup of cold water to a child in need, in his name, we certainly would not lose our reward (Mark 9:41). There are so many children who grow up in profound poverty and do not have access to decent healthcare. Many of them suffer with the same ailment as little Judah does. But, you can help.

1. Go to Compassion International and,

2. Sponsor a child today.

Compassion.

Jesus was full of it..

Are you?

0010
“Me”?

I point my finger at my chest, and question, almost in utter disbelief. “Surely, you don’t mean me?”

“Yes,” He said. “I do mean you.”

I tried to wrap my head around that thought. Me. A Jew asking me, a Samaritan for a drink?

I continue to draw water into the earthen pot. I didn’t expect to see anyone here. Usually, I make a point to come to the well long after the other women have gone. I don’t like the looks they give me… or the contempt – I have enough of that for myself. I really don’t need them to tell me what a failure I am. All I have to do is go back home to a man I am not even married to, or think about the amount of suffering I have endured from the hands of men since my childhood. Men using me for their own gratification. These women only care to see the outside, and they will assume what they want to assume. They don’t care to look beneath the surface. But, this man speaks to me of secret things he could not possibly know about me. His words strike my heart. My soul is set ablaze by the words he speaks. I want to hear more.

As I ponder his words, I offer him a drink. How does this man know these things about me? He doesn’t look familiar. I don’t believe I have seen him here before. Certainly, as a Jew, he is breaking all the rules of the traditions the Jews hold in high esteem. Ha. Ha. Can you imagine what the other women would think about this?

“If you knew who it is speaking to you, you would instead ask me for Living Water. This is the water, that, if you drink of it, you will never thirst again.”

“Are you serious”? The words came out so fast, I couldn’t stop them. I slapped my hand over my mouth. It was the strangest concept I have ever heard! “Sir, are you telling me I could drink this water and, magically never thirst again? That is the funniest thing I have ever heard. You have nothing with which to draw water from the well. How am I to taste of this water, sir? Are you greater than Jacob, our Father, who gave us this well? Please, sir, give me a taste!”

His eyes were gentle. His face kind. “First,” He said, “go and get your husband.” His eyes penetrated my soul with such love and warmth, I felt as though my insides were melting.

“My husband?” I stammered. “Sir, I do not have a husband.”

“You have spoken the truth. You have had 5 husbands, and the man you are with now is not your own.”

I dropped my pot to the ground as his words penetrated my heart, yet again. His words burning my whole being. He bent to steady the vessel for me. “You must be a prophet, sir. You know, our ancestors worshiped here on this mountain, but you Jews claim the only place to worship is in Jerusalem.”

Believe me, woman, a time is coming when those who worship God won’t worship him on this mountain, or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship, yet you do not really know who it is you worship. We worship God whom we know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet, I tell you the time has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth. These are the true worshipers the Father seeks. Do you understand that God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth?”

“I know, sir, the Messiah will come, and when he does, he will explain it all to us.” My heart skipped a beat. For the first time I could see a smile spread across his face. A twinkle lit his eyes.

“I, the one speaking to you now – I am he.”

Such profound words falling upon my ears. I didn’t notice the Disciples walk up. The realization of who I was talking to was still sinking into my heart and soul. Somehow, I already knew. In the way his words cut right through me; straight to the heart.

The Disciples didn’t seem pleased Jesus was talking to a Samaritan, and a woman at that! But they didn’t say a word. They just looked on with eyes wide open. But, I didn’t care. The Messiah was standing right in front of me! The One who was coming to free us all. He was here, speaking to me, a woman of great sin.

I have to go. I must run back to my village and let them know who is here and how he has come to set us free! The Messiah is here! And he has chosen me, a woman of lowly stature, and ill repute, to go and preach the Kingdom of the Gospel of Christ.

Do you see what he has done? He has come, even for the likes of me. An outcast of society, he has come to save. He has come.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you recognize this story, it is from John chapter 4, “The Woman at the Well.” An idea of the conversation that may have taken place on that day.

Award winning, poet and author, Cheryl A. Thompson, has been a single mother to Trey, Charlie and Brett since October of 1989. Through the trials of her childhood, and the struggles of single-parenthood, Cheryl has learned the importance of a heart attitude toward life and God, and how that attitude impacts a person’s soul and their relationship with God. She is a 1983 graduate of Christ For the Nations, Institute, in Dallas, Texas, and a 2012 graduate of Mid-Continent University in Mayfield, Kentucky. Cheryl has been published in the FaithWriters quarterly book, FaithWriters online magazine, and a contributing writer for the Christ For the Nations—60 Years of Service coffee table book released in October of 2009. She has published articles in Heart Magazine 2012 and WHOA Women Magazine 2013. Her first book, Whispers From My Heart – Emotional and Spiritual Healing from Childhood Sexual Assault, was published in November 2009.

Twitter
Facebook

33
Mary wrapped her little child
In cloth she swaddled Him;
She breathed the sweetness of His breath
And kissed His cheek again.

Oh Baby Jesus on the hay
How sweet the lullaby;
That Mary sang to Him the night
When God came down to die.

Angels sang, announced His birth
Sent to the Shepherd men;
Come see the Christ Child that has come
To take away your sin.

The fullness of the Deity
Became the Holy Child;
Fulfilling God’s own prophecy
To those that sin defiled.

For God so loved, He sent His Son
To earth that Christmas Day;
His purpose was to take our place
And for our sin to pay.

Rejoice O man, for God has come
Lift up your weary soul;
The Babe that sleeps so peacefully
Redemption’s plan unfolds.

And as the words were prophesied
Of pain and suffering;
The cross foreshadowed Bethlehem
Upon the new born King.

Oh Baby Jesus on the hay
How sweet the lullaby;
That Mary sang to Him the night
When God came down to die.
© 2009

Amazingly, when Mary held her Child, she held God in human form. Limitless Power in flesh and bone. Creator became the creation. It is incomprehensible to imagine, the God of the universe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in human arms, being kissed by the woman he would call mother.

This is the story being told to you. The God of the universe loved you enough to leave the expanse of heaven, be born of human, sinful flesh, to become the very avenue that would bring you back into right relationship with with God.

Greater Love has no man than to lay down his life for a friend.” John 15:13

Religion is man-made rules and regulations which tells mankind what work he should do in order to be accepted by God. Jesus said, “Come to Me and I will give you rest.” There is no work to be done. Simply accept what he did and you’re there.

As you celebrate this Christmas season, remember a time when God inserted himself into the affairs of man.

The wisdom of God devised a way for the love of God to deliver sinners from the wrath of God while not compromising the righteousness of God.~John Piper

This is why we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Because God so loved… He came to die to make the Way.

Merry Christmas!

Some quotes from others that have moved me in my soul.

“… A scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.” ― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.”
― Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

“Some people see scars, and it is wounding they remember. To me they are proof of the fact that there is healing.” ― Linda Hogan

“Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to to find other people or to even know they’re alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of. ” ― Rachel Naomi Remen

“The pain of an injury is over in seconds. Everything that comes after is the pain of getting well.” He gave her a heartfelt look, full of apology. “I’d forgotten that you see. Coming back to life … It hurts.” ― Tessa Dare, Twice Tempted by a Rogue

“Listen to God with a broken heart. He is not only the doctor who mends it, but also the father who wipes away the tears.” ― Criss Jami

“The wound you refuse to dress is one that will never heal. You gush lifeblood and never even know why. It will make you weak at a critical moment when you need to be strong.” ― Karen Marie Moning, Iced

“Remember that grief is a necessary pain. It’s your only way to heal. To starve it will destroy you.”~The Grimoire” ― S.M. Boyce, Lichgates: Book One of the Grimoire Saga

“Our task shouldn’t be punishing the villains in our lives, but enlarging the God who heals us from all wounds.” ― Mary DeMuth, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus

Image

We’re all in the same boat.

We all have a part in this journey we call life. Some find the journey easy, light, carefree, while others find the journey hard, difficult and full of drudgery.

I don’t know if the view of the journey is based on our attitude — I know bad attitudes don’t help — or whether some are just destined to live a life of ease and others a life of hardship.

Even when Jesus walked the earth there were those yoked to the cost of daily living; those who were lost in the every day happenings that it took to live, and there were those who dined in palaces with royalty.

I’m not making a distinction between the rich and the poor, because that line will always be hanging around. What I am pointing to is the choice of the journey itself. Life. No matter where your journey began, and how it is playing out on the grand screen called earth, each of us have a choice to make. Do we choose to walk out our journey of our own accord, or do we grab onto the hand of Jesus Christ and allow him to lead us to our eternal journey?

Many years ago — when I was young — I made a choice to grab onto Jesus. Back then, I chose to walk this particular path because I was afraid of ending up in hell. But, because life continued to happen (IE: Bad things happening to good people), the choice to continue to walk on this same path — holding the hand of Jesus — took on a whole other meaning.

Pain has a way of inserting itself into your life in unexpected ways. Buried things get dug up. Scars are ripped open. Memories emerge. Suffering begins… and continues. Abuse. Job loss. Marital disharmony…. Real life. Sometimes, hardships are so intense, so difficult, that we are tempted to throw in the towel. Give up.

It is during these times of immense suffering we must ask ourselves a few questions. Does pain and hardship quantify the goodness of God? Or, are the circumstances surrounding our lives indicators of God’s pleasure/displeasure?

No matter how the questions are answered, one has a choice to make. Do I continue this journey with Jesus, even though the path has become difficult? Even though the walk has become a climb, or a crawl?

I faced extreme difficulties in my journey.

My 3 & 1/2 year marriage was over. I had 2 little boys, and one on the way, when I left my abusive marriage. I faced financial devastation, not once, but twice in my life. I have lived in extreme poverty, and barely made a living. I’ve worked for the same company for 15 years, then found myself unemployed. I’ve struggled with body issues, image issues, weight issues, peer issues; I’ve been a loner and a single mom for 25 years.

It was easy to follow Jesus when things were going good. But with each hardship; as the journey became difficult, my journey with Jesus became more of a statement of faith than it did a way to escape hell.

Through each and every hardship & difficulty I was able to overcome, I noticed something. I became stronger. My faith deepened. My journey with Jesus became a deep relationship. Good came out of bad. Order came out of chaos. Peace was found in the midst of the storm.

The following poem is my statement of faith:

I’ve chosen to walk down this path

This journey that’s called Faith

No matter what the circumstance

No matter what the fate.

I’ve made my choice, I make my stand

My heart is fully set;

I choose to follow Jesus Christ

And there is no regret.

Although the road gets steep and long

And jagged is the path;

When walking becomes difficult

I’m tempted to go back.

Or when the road, at times, descends

Into a valley low;

Through muck and mire I trudge along

Each labored step is slow.

But onward is the task at hand

Regardless of the cost;

In spite of rising obstacles

This path I have not lost.

I’m led by Hands I cannot feel

And Hands I cannot see;

And when I stumble or fall down

These Hands will carry me.

For God has never promised us

A journey free from pain;

But promised if we did walk on

With Christ we then would reign.

So when this journey finally ends

By Faith, in Him, I rest;

No matter where my path has led

This journey’s for my best.

Merry Christmas

Christmas is so commercialized. We see decorated trees, gift wrapped packages, parties, cookies, goodies and plenty of greed. But, Christmas is about so much more than that.

As we ponder the true meaning of this Christmas Season, it is my prayer that everyone understand why we should celebrate this date. Sure, Jesus wasn’t really born in December — historians put in somewhere around October, but December 25th is the day set aside for us to remember.

I wrote a poem back in 2004 that captures that reason.

I hope you enjoy.

WHEN GOD CAME DOWN

Mary wrapped her little child; in cloth she swaddled him, and breathed the sweetness of his breath, and kissed his cheek again.

Oh baby Jesus on the hay, how sweet the lullaby that Mary sang to him the night; when God came down to die.

Angels sang, announced His birth. Sent to the Shepherd men; Come see the Christ Child that has come, to take away your sin.

O, Baby Jesus, on the hay, how sweet the lullaby that Mary sang to him the night, when God came down to die.

The fullness of the Deity became the Holy Child; Fulfilling God’s Own prophecy to those that sin defiled.

For God so loved, He sent His Son to earth that Christmas Day; His purpose was to take our place and for our sin to pay.

O, Baby Jesus, on the hay, how sweet the lullaby that Mary sang to him the night, when God came down to die.

Rejoice, O man, for God has come. Lift up your weary soul. The Babe that sleeps so peacefully; Redemption’s plan unfolds.

And as the words were prophesied of pain and suffering; The cross foreshadowed Bethlehem upon the new born King.

Oh Baby Jesus on the hay, how sweet the lullaby that Mary sang to Him the night, when God came down to die.

© 2004

Junk In, Junk Out.

There is no greater feeling than pushing your body to the limits on a long distance bike ride. So far, fifty-six miles has been the farthest I have ridden. Eight hours on a bicycle seat. There were twenty cyclists signed up for the 62 mile ride, and a few hard core cyclists who signed up for the 100-mile bike ride. Most of the cyclist had signed up for the easier 15-mile ride. Once the whistle blew, we set our pace and our hearts toward finishing our trek during the time frame allowed. During our rides, we stopped long enough to gobble down peanut butter and grape sandwiches, and banana’s, and grab a bottle of water to wash it down. Then we would stuff a handful of Gatorade packs in our pouches before we were off again. Miles of hills and highway lay behind us, and many more miles stretching out before.

Exhilarating.

As a cyclist, conquering miles and hills on the seat of a bicycle takes grit and determination. More importantly, to keep your leg muscles pumping, it takes proper nutrition.

Before I became interested in long distant cycling, a former teacher and mentor would relate stories of his long distant grueling rides at the beginning of class. His stories intrigued me enough to purchase my own bicycle and begin to ride. My first few days I completed ten miles. The first day I spent a lot of time walking my bike up the hills, but the second day, I was able to ride more than I walked.  By the end of my first week, as I extended my mileage, I noticed my stamina was bottoming out.

I felt depleted.

After emailing my mentor, he gave me tips for nutrition prior to and after the ride, proper rest, and then encouraged me with the following words:

“Junk in, junk out. What you put into your body you will get out. So, if you are filling your body with junk that is what you can expect to get out of it.”

I have never forgotten his words, even though I haven’t followed them all the time. But, when my energy level bottoms out I know I need to provide nutrition: hydration, protein and carbs. That nutrition will revive me and give me what I need to go on.

In order for our body to be its best and work at its peak performance, we must maintain proper nutrition and hydration. Junk in, junk out is easy to remember while maintaining our physical life, but, what about maintaining our spiritual life?

In order for our hearts to be in tune with Jesus, we must nourish our spirit with proper nutrition.  Time in the word and in prayer and time with other believers is the balance we need to maintain a healthy spirit life. The world lures us with television, song lyrics, internet images or social networks. Don’t get me wrong, these things are not necessarily sinful—though some are, but they provide mindless junk. They do not nourish our soul.

In John 6:35, Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life…” (NIV). Bread was a diet staple during this time; it filled the void hunger left. Jesus claimed to be the bread that satisfies the void the world left.  We must nourish our spirit with this bread. This bread will revive us and give us the strength to go on.

Jesus also declared, in John 7:38, “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” (NLT) Everyone understands that physical thirst, even though it has been quenched, will return. Within us is a spiritual void that must be filled with something. The things of the world do not satisfy. Other religions do not satisfy. Only the living water that flows from the throne of God will create the rivers flowing from our heart. We need this kind of water to revive our soul and to give us strength.

Without Jesus as our Bread and Water, the lure of the world has a stronger pull. A tighter grip. We easily lose our foothold on the slope.

We cannot expect our physical body to maintain an athlete’s pace if we do not nourish our body properly. Likewise, we cannot expect to maintain a healthy relationship with our LORD if we neglect our spirit man. If we put junk in, we can only expect to get junk out of it.