A RIGHT TO BE ANGRY?

 

vineyard-2

Jonah 4:9 (NIV)
9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the vine?”
“It is,” he said. “I am angry enough to die”.

We have often been met with a consequence where something just feels unfair. We look at others who seem to be so sinful that we cannot imagine God wanting to spare them from sin.

Jonah was such a prophet. He walked down the streets of the bloodthirsty Ninevites exclaiming, “Nineveh will be overthrown”. He believed they deserved to be destroyed because of their desire to conquer Israel.

God had a different plan. Yet, Jonah who was caught up in the belly of a fish still was sure God didn’t mean this. God was trying to show the need for Jonah’s obedience. Jonah knew what God said, but …. Oh, Oh, Jonah used the “but” word. When we say to God, “ but I know a better way”, that cannot be good.

God intended Ninevah to become an ally instead of an enemy for Israel. His plan was for them to believe in Him and worship the one true God. Jonah could not see this he did not pray for the true purpose and took his eyes off of God.

To further teach Jonah a lesson, God had a protecting vine grow around Jonah. The vine was gloriously filled with fruit and leaves. This vine, kept Jonah quite comfortable. The next morning when Jonah awoke the vine had shriveled, and once again Jonah was angry.

So then here is what God said to Jonah and us. Verse (10). “But the Lord said, “you have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. (11) But Nenevah has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”

What does this say to us? Remember this scripture?

John 15:5 Jesus says; “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”

John 15:8 Jesus says; “If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

Jonah was not remaining in God. Jesus is saying “you need to remain in Me as the branch” to bear His fruit of purpose.

I visited a renowned vineyard in Napa, Ca some years ago. The Casa I stayed in was so Italian flavored. There was a picturesque window allowing the view of this vineyard. Now, it was late February when I was visiting. During those times the vineyard is in a resting mode. However, much to my delight I saw the furrows around the vines were blooming. There was a golden layer of blooming mustard plants thriving on the hills.

As I looked further down the hill, I noticed two people with pliers in their gloved hands pruning the vines. I wondered why they were doing this now. There was hardly anything showing on the vines but wood.

Later I met one of the gardeners and asked, “Why all the mustard and why are you pruning now?” He answered, “The mustard will be tilled in the furrows soon and provide the nutrient food for the vines to grow. This is the perfect time to prune the branches back so they will soak up the food and present a completed harvest.”

I realized later, that God was showing me His process of bearing fruit for Him. There was a time I will admit, that I became Jonah, I did not remain with Jesus. I like Jonah thought my way was better than His. Even though God did not allow a huge fish to swallow me, He still taught me how to be obedient to Him.

There is no right to be angry with God. I really do not want to use the word “but” any longer.

I will remain in Him.

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THE EMBER NIGHTS

 

glory-day

I Corinthians 12:9 “to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit.” (Spiritual Gifts)

Ember is a nurse that covered many of my night times at the hospital. This time through my brain disease journey, I had two weeks of Rehabilitation. Unlike the other four surgeries I have had from this disease, I needed a little more care.

Anyone who has spent a night in the hospital knows the regime of nursing. The hours of awakening and sleeping are unlike the home you live in. This is extremely so if you have a roommate. Voila, this was my status.

Ember nights were few but so appreciated on occurrence. Her name alone should tell us that she is like a light in the night shining. The times for my medications and IV checks became so minute. Many times I never awakened at all. Refreshed in plenty of sleep, I easily started healing.

I had several roommates in two weeks. God brought them in one by one. There were ones who encouraged, the ones who were crying in pain and sorrow, and others who prayed with me in full belief of a complete healing. Ember oozed healing covering us under her wings. We became known on that tenth level as “the Fun Room”!

The nurses told us that anytime our button was pushed for help, they argued who was going to the “Fun Room”. Two ladies I am in close contact with are still surprised at the times we shared together! One attended church with us yesterday. Jesus walks with her.

We would laugh and smile, pray and sing, and drink coffee. We had treats to share, flowers around us, and we seemed to giggle like children. The other nurses would come in and start dancing around while taking our vitals. Yes, Jesus was in this room where many stopped along their way peeking in. I loved it when they would smile into our doorway saying, “You are not allowed to laugh.” They meant it in complete joy.

There was Ember floating around the several rooms while still making more time for us all. Yes, we will always be thankful for those nights with Ember. She shared so much with us. She knew God’s presence with her and is journaling about her “Glory Moments”. Now she will write them too in a journal.

Smiling is a prescription to healing.

THE THOUGHTS OF HOPE

At Christmas there are so many who face unexpected and sorrowful blows to their hearts.   Even for those of us as children of God, we have a high static of emotion.  Not only do those who do not experience that static, they are in the darkness of no hope at all.

As I visited the hospital this week for my Pre-Op tests to prepare for my brain surgery next week, God had a plan.  He gave me a poem to write just for those who He knew I would meet.  I was to share this poem with those who needed hope along with my book, “Fluttering Poems of Hope”.  They were all awaiting surgery during this Holiday Season.

There they were.  Have you ever seen such fear and darkness that permeated the air?  It was there right in front of me and all around that waiting room.  One by one, Jesus showed me His light to shine above the darkness in them.  Each one I prayed for, and each one I gave the gifts sharing Him to them.  I want to share this poem for those who need it this Christmas Season.

A PRAYER FOR FACING SURGERY

By Joan Allen Pfeiffer

Dear Jesus,

They tell me I need surgery.

Sometimes there is that fear.

Your hand grips me tighter,

And reminds me you are here.

Walk with me down the corridor,

Let me see your light.

There are others all around me,

Who did not sleep last night.

Take my selfishness away,

Open my eyes through yours.

Guide the illumination I seek,

So only the Love of you pours.

The goal of my salvation,

Is forever in my heart.

So many of the others,

Need to know Your part.

As you hold my hand dear Lord,

The Love of you enfolds.

Let me share the same,

Of what Your Promise holds.

James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from “Above” and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

THE SPIRITUAL BREATH OF GOD At Christmas

presentationofbabyjesusatthetemple

Luke 2:25-32 New International Version (NIV)
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss[a] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

The Holy Spirit is with us throughout the Bible. He starts from the beginning in Genesis through all eternity. “Even though you have not seen Him, you love Him…..” This verse I have memorized as I Peter 1:8-9. We recognize the supernatural part of God in us.

Job 33:4 New International Version (NIV)
4 The Spirit of God has made me;
the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Prayer….oh, prayer…have you ever thought of prayer as a swirl of deep desires? These desires to spend a personal time with Jesus, are a clapboard that bridges our Love for each other.

In my prayers for a Christmas message, He brought a song to me. Then I prayed for how to accompany Holy Spirit with His Word. Now, here is a start of that result:

Luke 1:34-35 New International Version (NIV)

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God.

So here we are looking at the supernatural relevance of God releasing the Holy Spirit bringing Jesus our Savior to the world. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.   This is the Trinity all working together for Their Perfect Gift to the World. How can this be? God gave us an explanation simply said.

Isaiah 55:8 New International Version (NIV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

The next time you are in a “pickle” and you are frightened, remember the song that Mary sings about her own. She calls on Holy Spirit, the breath of life from Heaven to help her. Jesus left us messages :

John 15:26New International Version (NIV)

The Work of the Holy Spirit

26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.

 

Can any better explanation be said than the Word of Jesus? No, there are no better words than His.

John 20:22 New International Version (NIV)

22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.

 

This Christmas ask Jesus Christ our Savior to breath Holy Spirit into your life. As Masterful as our God is for all He has created in this universe, He made it very easy for us to have eternal life with Him. He paid it all through the blood of Jesus, to cover our sin that separates us from Him. You have that free choice now to ask Him to take over your life.

Romans 10:9

New International Version (NIV)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

 

What happens next? Jesus Christ becomes your Savior forever, He will never leave you for all eternity. He has saved you from all your sins through His forgiveness by grace.

Then the angels will rejoice!

 

 

ABOVE THE SERVICE OF SELF

 

1 Kings 3:16-28 New International Version (NIV)

16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”
22 The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”
But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.
23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”
24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”
27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman.
Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

Isn’t it funny how some people think that they can gain something in lies? My most recent study is with a group of women about this. The book is called, “Lies Women Believe”.

In this story I wondered why they were prostitutes. Why indeed. If these women had been in a higher position with husbands, there would be no equality amongst the two of them. In this case they were already guilty of the same shame. The difference is in their heart.

Where is the wisdom when the acclaim for selfishness is masterful? Would the child cut in two be a solution? No, then both of the baby boys would have died. The mother in grief of her loss would not care about the other son. She just wanted the other mother to suffer like she did.

This could also be said about fathers and their children. It is not necessary to be blood related to call someone your mother or father. Many people develop a strong relationship without the same genetics. I have many I call family because we share a spiritual bond.

What would you do if someone said they were going to put your loved one in jail? If you knew the crime was not any part of theirs, but a lie from someone else, what would you do? You would find out who the real law-breaker was.

I am not a detective nor do I think I would be very good at the job. It seems to me if I wanted to find the accuser, I would pretend that I believed my family member was guilty. To do that you would need to turn your back on them. This must be done in secrecy to protect them during the search. Sadly, it would mean that your family member would think you lied to them and resented them.

“Well worth it,” you would say no matter how many tears were shed, because they would be free. They could hate you for the rest of your life, but they would be free. Free because of their Love. Let your life be the proof of your self-sacrifice in Love.

We all have the capability of giving “above the service of self’ as Jesus did. How many other stories are in the Bible about this one purpose? Good reading ahead of you, I think.

REMIND US OH LORD

 

reminder-candles

‘We are reminded that spiritual warfare is sometimes expressed on the battlefields of this world. That warfare is likely to become increasingly intense as we progress into the end times.’

It is nothing wonderful to be reminded about our own weaknesses. The wonder of it all is Jesus holding onto us in comfort. We all fall down He always raises us back up.

Many questions are not fully understood. There are others I look at differently than before. Some time ago, while praying about the Temple, I realized something that is written.

Hanukkah: Prophetic Fulfillment

Hanukkah – light, courage, and faith.

Hanukkah – the true worship of God in Yerushalayim

Believers endanger their belief in an idolatry fashion of the Temple, when in fact that is what they are.

Or don’t you know that your body is a Temple for the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don’t belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. You are the Temple. I Corinthians 6:19-20

I have read something unknown to me before.

God revealed Himself to Moshe (Moses) in the four letters

Yud-Heh-Vah-Heh. No one was to speak His name except a high priest. Adonai is instead the Name whenever the Torah is read.

Adonai can include Yeshua and or the Holy Spirit.

Seems something like, God the Father/Adonai, God the Son, Messiah, and God the Holy Spirit.

God = Adonai The Trinity

I fail to understand something in my heart.
Christian Anti-Semitism.
Where did these translators think the New Testament left the Jews out of the plan of God?

Jesus is a Jew. He is our Resurrected God who was human on earth as a Jew. He was always in the Scripture as the Messiah of the Jews. The chosen Jews were then supposed to teach the world of truths Jesus gave them and taught them to show the world His Power of grace and Love.

Who do we remember the disciples as?
The purpose for the Jew is the whole plan of God to present our Lord and Savior Jesus to the World.

Israel is the servant of God in the whole beginning of His Commandments and sin itself. The first sin was from Adam and Eve, Jews. Then requiring the sacrifice of His one and only Son, the Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus to give us eternal life.

Just as many have forgotten 9/11 in a very short time, so the Jews forgot the Miracles God has given them time and time again. Jesus’ Power is forgotten by all! (Please humble us Lord so we are not blinded.)

Jesus was born of Mary, a Jew from the family of King David as promised and fulfilled.

How can we as believers in Jesus be against one another?

I often wonder if all of us, from the Baptist, to the Lutheran, to the Catholic, to the Church of Christ, to the non-denominational churches, and so on, yes including the Jews and the Messianics; were in one room and Jesus walked in….what would He say?

Would all of us bow down to His Holy Presence or think ourselves higher in our opinions of His Word? We translate what we deem is right, He gave us Holy Spirit did He not? Discernment is applied through Him in us. Where do we go wrong? Like the Pharisees in the Temple? Jesus threw the tables over in perfect distaste of their process.

What would Jesus say to us in the hackling of our salvations? The price He paid for us, that we will never understand the cost of.

Can you hear Him say again?

“Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”

Have you ever had to pray what Jesus said? I have, and have had to forgive them, to stay close to my Lord Jesus who forgives me.

How long are we here?

Heretheretheretheretheretheretheretherethere..eternityeternityeternityeternity

What would we do to show our Jesus what our hearts truly believe?

A wisp and we go on to Heaven for eternity.

What
Is
Spiritual
Purpose?

Jesus, is our spiritual purpose with all men. To share the Gospel of Salvation if we ask with our mouth and speak with our tongue the need for Jesus to wash away our guilt and sin and become our Savior.

Share Him….Purpose
Share Him with your children, share Him with your family, share Him with the hungry, share Him with the rich, share Him with our Leaders, share HIM!

HIS LOVE IN THE STORM

 

the-storm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5bLvVjJ4MA

2 Chronicles 20:21 “Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him….

“Give thanks to the Lord, for His Love endures forever.”

As the armies were out there against Judah and Jerusalem, here is Jehoshaphat believing His voice to all who would hear.

2 Chronicles 20:15 “He said, Listen King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem, this is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

The battle is not ours, it is God’s. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.

Have we forgotten the battles of Gideon, of David, of Jericho? Whose were they? Certainly no one could have won those battles the way the Lord our God did.

I notice in all of these times, God wants our praise, our songs, our prayers, and our adoration of the one true God! This is what we can do, because He has made us with the availability to love Him.

I have been through many storms. I thought I could fix them on my own. I thought it was me who had the answer. Since when did I create the world, or make the man of God? Who makes the sunshine, the moon glow, or the stars sparkle? God forgive me when I forget who You are!

When Peter was falling and slipping into the waves, He took his eyes off of Jesus, and became afraid. Jesus held His hand out and raised Peter. We will not sink if we keep our eyes on the One who saves. He is our all in all.

Our pastor just gave us a service that involved the story of “Cinderella”. Aptly there were great comparisons that would meet our understandings of God. The one that stood out the most for me was when the Prince was searching for his love. The beautiful princess he had met at the ball.

The stepmother of Cinderella locked her up in the tower. She knew it was Cinderella that the Prince was searching for. Cinderella refused to assist the stepmother of all her plots if she let her go. The stepmother was angry and left Cinderella.
Then the men met the two stepdaughters and knew they were not the one they were searching for. The Prince asked the stepmother, “Are these all of your daughters?” The Stepmother lied saying, “yes”.

The Chief was moving his men to leave when he heard the most beautiful song he had ever heard. He asked, “Who is that singing?” The stepmother lied that it was some worker. The leader of the men, said, “No, I think we need to examine this more”.

In the end, the Prince found Cinderella, in her clothing of rags. He loved her still, and asked her to marry him. She of course said yes. As they were leaving her stepmother, Cinderella said, “I forgive you”.

This story reminds me of one specific scripture written.

I Samuel 16:1 “The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul since I have rejected his as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, I have chosen one of his sons to be king.’

Here it is as the time that the Prince rejects the stepdaughters, and says there is another.

I Samuel 16:10-13 “Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” So, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.” Samuel then went back to Ramah.”

Are these all of your children? We cannot be hidden from God. We cannot hide from Him either. Even in the storms of the highest waves, the strongest winds, the quaking of the land, the Lord knows where His sheep are.

We will always see His Love in the storm. We belong to Him and He belongs to us. God is all we need.

SHARING A BROKEN COMFORT

jesus-carrying-the-cross

 

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

My three daughters and I were baking cookies. The dough becomes messy on the counter, and half of it goes into their mouths before we can bake it. It did not take much time before we removed those delicate savoring chocolate chip delights. After they had cooled, I handed each of the girls a scrumptious cookie.

One of them cried out, “Mom, their cookies are bigger than mine”. Inside I was moaning and thought this was going to be quite a row. What happened next, became a glory moment of God’s intervention. My oldest daughter broke a piece of her cookie off and handed it to her sister. Then the youngest one did the same. Now, in fact the daughter, who had less, now had more.

These acts of kindness worked in my heart. It was the brokenness that was required to give and share. The adorned cookies were broken.

What was the comfort coming now? They ate and enjoyed their self-made desires. Instead of a fight, they enjoyed moments of glee. They looked with yearning into my eyes asking me to give them more.

What a great way to look at our Lord Jesus. The one who broke Himself on the cross to give us all He had. He gave His all to give us life eternal with Him. Jesus suffered Himself on the cross to share His Love with us.

In His sharing we are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. Joy in such a rapture we want to share Him. In order to do so, we need to break off a piece of ourselves. The break requires a broken suffering that results in scars and lessons in pain. Jesus has taught us that the outcome is of great light and loves in the giving.

In Psalm 19:7-14 the Lord gives us His designed recipe to prepare for this. When we read His Word, He says think about such things. The contents of the recipe are His law, His statutes, His precepts, His commands, His pure fear, and His ordinances. Verse 11 says, “By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”

The spiritual lesson I learned from my daughters is that brokenness can supply comfort.
Can I share this devotion without giving? No, it both breaks my heart and comforts my heart reliving my children in their suffering. This is the suffering that turned into gladness.

Our Father loves us so much, He watches over as we suffer and holds us tight. He knows His Promise will be right there for us to bring His comfort. He will make His Joy in the morning live in us.

How can we ever forget Jesus’ suffering to bring us comfort? We are to be like Jesus.

Our Father loves us so much, He watches over as we suffer and holds us tight. He knows His Promise will be right there for us to bring His comfort. He will make His Joy in the morning live in us.

 

How can we ever forget Jesus’ suffering to bring us comfort? We are to be like Jesus.

THE UNFORBIDDEN CATHEDRAL

unforbidden-cathedral

(If we google the word unforbidden it is listed as an adjective and the opposite of forbidden.)

Worship our Lord. I was thinking about how many times God spoke to men in the Tabernacle as they would worship. I should go and look at all of the Scriptures to do this, but I really do not have the time right now. My mind is reminding me, there were more times to worship God away from a building, and more in His Creation. Where do we read that Jesus and His disciples spent their times in worship?

This is His unforbidden Cathedral. We can worship Him anywhere. God’s majesty of art is displayed in the hills, the pastures, the bushes, the dove, the lambs, the figs, and so much more. The Garden of Eden was the forbidden, Adam and Eve caused the end of it due to sin. Yet, we are still surrounded by beauty that is His gift to us, His unforbidden territory.

This just goes to prove, God is not in a cathedral; He is not in a building. He is everywhere in His Creation. Next time you take a walk, remind yourself He is with you always in an unforbidden Love.

Here is something to share.

Colossians 1:5 “the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in Heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel
(6 )that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.”

The hope that is stored up for you in Heaven…can be spread all over the world…!!

This is what I am praying for…the hope….of the world.  Never forget…our King of the World!

 

RISKY BUSINESS

girl-ice-skating

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=To-BnDwld8M

 

Romans 8:38-39 New International Version (NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It was a cool December morning and the ice was perfect on the local pond. Rachel grabbed her ice skates. She had finished her chores as fast as she could. Now, the walk in the feather of snow with the sun glistening was luring her.

The local forestry workman had started a fire in the round rocks on shore. The flickering flames gravitated her to warm her hands there. Some of her neighbors were there already. Most of them were about the same age between 8 and 12 years old. They were already wet from melting snow on their legs.

Soon it would be Christmas, and they were all so excited about the plans that were made. Some were going to visit relatives out-of-town. Linda, her best friend was staying and decorating with lights. They had already planned a Christmas Caroling Party.

This tight friendship began at their church. They were part of the younger choir group. At school, they both were persecuted for their beliefs in Jesus. They would not go to the wild parties these kids would attend with teenagers using drugs. They would not date or sleep with boys as other girls did. So they were mocked.

Rachel and Linda started singing and skating in circle eights and left and right turns, enjoying the easy gliding. Rachel had taught Linda how to do some figure skating. What a contest they started amongst the group.

A loud cracking noise was heard throughout the whole pond. The ice had broken, and Linda had fallen into the icy water. Rachel rushed over to where Linda had last been seeing being very careful herself. Where was Linda? She had floated under the ice. Rachel could see her, but could not reach her.

There was no time. Rachel made a quick decision. She jumped into the freezing water and held onto the unbroken ice. She grabbed for Linda. Someone threw a rope to Rachel and she went under the ice. Rachel grabbed Linda. She brought her above water and tied her to the rope so she could be pulled out.

Linda was safe. Rachel however started sinking into the icy water. Her woolen clothing had soaked up so much water, and her hands were so frozen she could not hold onto the edged ice. She disappeared.

Many people were asking “Why, why Rachel?” Why did God let her die? Why did Rachel risk so much? Her Pastor was engulfed at the service with these questions.

Rachel risked her life for another whom she loved. Linda was her best friend. She read books with her, laughed and cried with her, and had planned a Christmas Caroling Party with her. Now, she was gone.

It is not really the why we should ask God, but for what purpose. He has a purpose in everything. Rachel knew Jesus as her personal savior. She knew Jesus had “risked” His life for her.

She knew He would always be with her. Jesus had taught her the real value of risk. Risk for life. His death on the cross was for eternal life. Her risk had enabled Linda her life.

The Christmas Caroling Party was still celebrated. The group met at Rachel’s parents home. There was a table full of yummy cookies, Rachel’s favorites. Each of the 20 children lit candles and sang, “Joy to the World” in her memory. They said a prayer together and as they walked down the sidewalk to town, the snow began to softly fall. They sang, “Silent Night”.

There is a poem I love written about this time of our lives. If you have not heard of it, please read it here: “The Dash Poem”
http://www.linda-ellis.com/the-dash-the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis-.html

I ask myself everyday, “How much am I willing to risk for Jesus?”
I will admit some days I fall into a mess of me. Most days though, He grabs me with Joy in the morning! I stay there until I go to bed and thank Him for a beautiful day.

Are we willing to believe His Words in Romans 8:28-29? Many of us have memorized this and say it often. In reality do we really understand what it means? To risk our lives with Jesus includes so much. He tells us this in His Words.

Matthew 5:11-12 New International Version (NIV)
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Are you ready to take that risk?

soldier-at-the-cross

PRAYING FOR OUR VETERANS