His April Letting Go

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You have probably read that worry is a rocking chair, it moves but goes nowhere. That’s true enough I suppose. A long time ago, I wrote my mother a poem based on a story I read, I may have mentioned it before on my blog but it is in need of retelling even if I have.

There was an old lady who sat on her porch in a rocking chair, she kept marbles in her apron and in her hand. Every day she would rock the afternoon away, occasionally dropping a marble into a container beside her. She did this day after day.

When someone noticed, and decided to ask her why, she answered that she was learning to let go the things she loved. She was very old, and she was expecting to die. Each marble was someone or something in her life. I never knew if there was moral of the story, or just accepting old age.

But this my take on it, she was expecting death, Jesus came to give us life. even if you are older or ill, His promises are still there for you. Things happen to people of all ages. I have always chosen to expect the best, especially from Jesus, people will let you down.

I have a Christian dream list. You would think that dreaming of rocking would be wavering or something but it is a restful dream, leaning on the everlasting arms, rocking with the rock of ages. Rocking dreams can be very good, even like a baby in a cradle. Every dream may not mean that but some do.

So, if I had a rocker, I wouldn’t be dropping marbles but the worries and cares, the fears, and problems. If you need to mention them out loud do so, name them, the problems, the people causing them, the pain, the illness or anything you need to speak to the rock about, the rock being Christ.

You know Moses was once told to strike the rock, and he did, the second time he was told to speak to it. He disobeyed, he didn’t enter the promised land. Jesus has already been stricken, all we have to do is love Him and talk to Him.

We are in a great time of year to sit on the porch and rock away our worries and cares. We don’t have to let go of the things we love, just the things that weigh us down, the baggage that is overloading our hearts, the tightness that wants to sit on our chests, let it go.

God is good at handling baggage, He loses it in a sea of forgetfulness and replaces it with His peace, peace that is given as gift by Jesus, now that’s a package, I don’t mind carrying.

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His April Nest

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Aren’t they sweet? Those little mouths open wide waiting for mama. it reminds me of the verse in Psalm 81:10,  ” Open your  mouth wide and I will fill it with good things. ” His word, song, praying in the Spirit, to name a few, even your miracle is in your mouth in your profession of faith.

The reason for the nest is simple, it’s a little home for eggs to grow. Mama sits on them and they hatch. It is protection from the weather, it is warm enough and even cool enough. Most bird eggs will hatch in about three weeks. I can hardly wait! I am going to be an aunt.

I have already seen some come and go and a new family move into an old nest from last year but it is up high and hard to see at times. But just this week I talked to a little female cardinal who kept hopping through the roses, I was concerned about the thorns, but then I found it, a small nest with three little blue eggs. Yes, I am an aunt.

I will check on them every evening and make sure they are safe. I already prayed for them as the wind picked up and we have had a storm, but they are protected, nestled in the overgrown roses that should have been cut back in February, that is what I had gone out to do, trim what was dangling on the porch. Instead of being angry for not getting to them, I decided as I sat there watching the little mama. that the beautiful red roses that hide on side of the porch is kind of like a little English rose garden, and it even turned out to be a secret garden.

There are little lives in their shelter, their fragrance surrounds them, and their beauty, and there are thorns, tiny prickly ones and some a half inch and thick, I thought of Jesus’ crown of thorns and how it brought us peace. Mama cardinal has peace. It is a sweet sign of spring, a quiet place to rest and enjoy the beauty of creation, and I am so in love with Jesus that I can find Him among the roses, and the chatter of a tiny cardinal that looks to small to be a mother. She must be young. The father must be around somewhere, birds usually mate for life. Both feed the young, though mama sits there I have seen both in the nests.

I enjoyed feeding birds. I used to have a menagerie back in Atlanta, lots of bluebirds and cardinals and I loved the mourning doves with the gentleness and soft tan feathers and sometimes a ring on their neck. They would coo. I even had a woodpecker, often saw his redhead in the distance, occasionally he would stop working long enough to eat. and of course many sparrows, that He said we worth more and yet He cares for them, and He is taking care of my little cardinals.

There were also lots of snails and even a walking stick or two, there was a lot going on in the backyard, everything from birthday parties to bug hunts, a lot of picture taking and laughter, lemonade and lunch. And there were always birds and music.

I’ll try to get a picture, the one I made is a little difficult to make out mama, she is the tan like the nest, except for the beak, and the babies are just eggs. Soon they be chirping like the two and saying, ” I’m hungry, mama. ”

I hope we are hungry for our Papa, though I don’t call God that like some do. But He is a good God and the perfect Father, no one compares to Him. I’m glad I found it out, even if it was a little later, let’s open our mouth from His April nest, and give Him thanks. And maybe a song.

Hummingbirds will be back in May, be careful about the dye in the food, God bless your nest and mine.

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UPDATE: The babies are here, mother and father cardinal are both feeding them, I can only see two but I hope there are three. It looks like they were born on the day I posted this.

As of May 5th, one of the babies, the firstborn, has his eyes open at one week. All three eat and are doing well.

May 8th, they have flown away. I caught sight of the babies and sparrow babies too. Imagine a little ball of down with huge feet, able to fly and ne out there with the parents.

His April Love Languages

A few years ago I read about love languages. I think I got it but I knew a lot of people who did not, and no it isn’t the Mars and Venus sort of thing. God doesn’t care if you are Greek of Jew, man or woman, as long as you love Him and serve Him with your heart.

Understanding someone’s love language is a good idea. But will they get yours? You will have to pay attention, I think it is easier for women to relate to. We are good at picking up on likes and dislikes. We remember names and how you take your tea or coffee. The colors in your house or bathroom, should we buy you a gift, and we would notice if you have, cut or silk flowers, your perfume, if you like Godiva or Lindor chocolates.

We would know if you like earrings or bracelets, shoes or funny T-shirts. We would know whether to mail you a card to just send you an e-card. We would know when to call, drop by and even stay away. That is a good friend, Sunday dinner every Sunday, it doesn’t have to happen.

The love languages include, words and flowers, touch and acts of service. I think men get that one. Not that the laundry is folded and they have socks or the dry cleaning is there, but if you mowed the lawn of washed the car. You might get a kind word or it could be the, ” I was going to do that. ” Men and children suffer from selective hearing loss. I read that one man swore his wife only spoke to him when her head was in the dryer. Maybe, if he helped her with the laundry, they could watch a movie, or actually, what people did before television and the internet, read or to each other or talk. Personally, I like for someone to read to me. Not the computer or an audio book, a person with a real book.

But let’s look at what the Bible has to say about love. We know that we can speak many languages in prayer, but how about just a little facetime. To keep it simple, let’s use the Contemporary version.

Why love? / We love because God loved us first. 1 John 4:19

Commanded love. / But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. John 13:34

Show His Love. / Show love in everything you do. 1 Corinthians 16:14

Wear love. / Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together. Colossians 3:14

Walk in love. / Let love be your guide. Christ loved us and offered His life for us as a sacrifice that pleases God. Ephesians 5:2

The Father’s love. / Think how much the Father loves us. He loves us so much that He lets us be called His children, as we truly are. But since the people of this world did not know who Christ is, they don’t know who we are. 1 John 3:1

God is love. / God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known Him. 1 John 4:8

Love forgives. / Most important of all, you must sincerely love each other, because love wipes away many sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Speak love. / Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head. Ephesians 4:15

Act in love. / Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it. Ephesians 4:15

Love is, is not: / Love is patient and kind, never jealous, boastful, proud. Read the whole chapter. 1 Corinthians 13:4

Where love comes from. / My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know Him. 1 John 4:7

So here are a few verses to read, reread and reconsider. And I hope that love will be our first language. And for those who are interested, here is a link to the book I mentioned. And a quiz. Valerie Elash/ pexels

 

https://www.goodnet.org/articles/5-love-languages-which-one-are-you

 

 

 

His April Majesty


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With Easter or Resurrection Day this past week, I was reminded by His great sacrifice what a high and holy name He has, why we should have more respect, He deserves it. He is the only one worth it. No else could have or probably would have done it. No, no one was pure enough, only Jesus. Worthy is the Lamb.

That’s why I am a lot more than annoyed when I see people, even believers, so careless with thoughts and words, even actions. Are they not even aware that He hears and sees everything and knows the motives and intents of the heart.

And then I remember, ” Father, forgive them. ” Yes, people are not even aware of what they are doing. Which is why we need His Spirit, but we have to yield to Him. And those who just don’t believe, refuse His love, He will have to deal with. He is Lord.

He is worthy of all honor and and praise, majesty, worship His majesty, Jesus who died, now glorified, King of all Kings. You are about to have another song stuck in your head. And guess what, another name of God, Eliud, the God of majesty.

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens. Psalm 8:1

As for the saints ( those who truly believe ) who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight. Psalm 16:3

The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic. Psalm 29:4

The LORD reigns, He is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure. Psalm 93:1

Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in His place. 1 Chronicles 16:27

Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty. Psalm 104:1

We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 8:1

The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure. 2 Peter 1:17

……to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:25

Worship His Majesty This png image - Gold Crown Transparent PNG Clip Art Image, is available for free downloadESV and NIV

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His April Essence

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Your word is the essence of truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure. Psalm 119:160

How about a word study in April? Essence, presence and substance. They can all be interchanged , have a similar meaning. Hebrews 11:1, says faith is substance of what we hope for, the essence of it, and since we are believing in Christ and He is hope, the presence of it.

The essence of life is unseen…..John 6:48, Jesus is the source of life, our very bread, our daily bread, manna from heaven. God spoke light into existence, Martin Luther called it divine essence. For Jesus is light. He is life and love.

When John sees an angel and falls to his knees in Revelation 19:10, he is told not to worship the angel, “Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus. ” NLT

Deity differs from divinity, in the Greek as essence differs from quality or attribute. Hebrew is much more positive.  ” Tachless or essence ” means speaking to the point. It has even become Israeli slang for, “I completely agree with you.”  (tak-les)

 Yesh is being, substance, existence, is — which is still substance, presence and essence anyway you look at it. The Hebrew language is full of imagery and word pictures, even numerical value.

Even the Golden Rule is the essence of Christ. “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. The Narrow Gate. NLT Matthew 7:12 God is amazing and deep, ” Can you discover the essence of God? Can you find out the perfection of the Almighty? ” Job 11:7, from the NET Bible and I was happy to run across a verse also in 37:23, Job says, ” The Almighty is beyond our reach; He is exalted in power! In His justice and great righteousness, He does not oppress. ”

Even in his trials, Job realized who the oppressor was, and that God was not oppressing him. And then have Jesus anointed with the Spirit and power, doing good and healing those oppressed of the devil. Jesus was the essence of God, He was one with the Father. John 10:30.

So God breathed Himself and His love into Scripture, into our very names, our being, but it is still up to the individual to accept Christ as Lord, and knowing how much He loves us and gave for us, April is a good time to believe in Him.

This painting is by Hamilton Hamilton,  ( 1847 – 1928 ), people used to name their children maiden names, who knows what they were thinking…..but it is beautiful, it is the essence of spring. The title, Stroll Through The Garden, so let’s stroll with Jesus.

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His April Music

His April Music, the music of spring, do you hear it? It is in the morning and late in the evening, a chorus of birds with the waking up or settling in at night with a song, perhaps a lullaby over their eggs or chicks. It is in the air, in the fragrance of a rose, the sweetness that is Christ. Our three babies have already flown from the nest.

It is that aroma that is in the fragrance of His sacrifice for us. It is in the heartbeat of the rhythm of the sunlight dancing upon the water, and the beat of butterfly wings, the grasshoppers hopping and the crickets chirping and a choir of other creepers who chatter praises to the Lord.

It is in the moon and the dusk, the stars unfurl like a blanket over the night and settle in before the moon, as if to listen to its heavenly recital and the peaceful declarations upon the slow moving clouds that drift through blue gray and black skies, they carry angels and chariots and the music of the Spirit, and the stars clap their hands and stand in ovation, we see the twinkling in their eyes.

Worthy is the lamb, holy, holy, holy. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. 1 Chronicles 16:25. Give thanks to the Lord for h is good, His mercy endures forever. Psalm 118:1 Taste and see that He is good. Psalm 34:8 Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 107:1. What do you the music is? What would the stars and singers say in praise? There are so many praise phrases.

Praise Him in the heights sun and moon and all you shining stars. Let’s look at the psalm, they are all about music. Psalm 148: 1-6, the link contains the other eight verses. https://biblehub.com/esv/psalms/148.htm

Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all his angels;
praise Him, all his hosts!

Praise Him, sun and moon,
praise Him, all you shining stars!
Praise Him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the LORD!
For He commanded and they were created.
And He established them forever and ever;
He gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

You can be sure of His April Music, the flowers and trees blossom and bloom, angel gather their harps and halos, and head into a nightly concert praising the Lord. If there were no people to praise Him even the rocks would cry out. Whatever the season the Lord has His music, in the changing colors of autumn, the winter winds, the summer’s splashes of joy.

And yet spring is a season unlike any other with remembrance of His resurrection, we want to praise, and we want to bow in humble worship, we should be on our knees before our Maker and in awe of His April Music. Rebecca Jones

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His April Fragrance

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I love the smell of roses. Sweet and fragrant. The Lord’s sacrifice was like that to God. I hate that it took something so horrific, to bring about the beauty in our lives. For Jesus is the true source of beauty. Outward appearances are deceiving.

I’ve worn make-up since I was seventeen. Preachers used to and still do joke about old barns in need of a coat of paint, when they weren’t being legalistic about Jezebel. She was a queen and went out in a blaze of glory, she knew her fate. Although she was wicked and prideful, in fact, evil describes her well, she was determined to die with dignity, even if it was false.

We wear all sorts of trappings, and for many reasons. While my make up hides my dark circles and makes me look wide awake, and I just like purple eyeshadows., there are those who hide behind it and in other ways as well.

God looks on the heart. And  I’m glad He does. He sees the beauty of Christ in us, and smells the fragrance of Him, even on our “Can’t get up,”  days, our even our” Did I brush my teeth? ” days, the raggy bathrobe days.

He’s there on the  crying days and the laughing days, the heartbreaking days and the joyful ones. He turns the sorrow to joy. And He desires us to remain in His love and His rest, to have the peace He left us.

So many verse are about offering and detail I don’t care to mention, but Jesus was crucified as all of them, He was all offerings, from drink to oil, event burnt. Isaiah 53 gives us a detailed account of being crushed and pierced. All for our peace.

So remember, He stops and smells His roses, and we should as well, no matter how we feel, He can make it better, and sometimes we can even take a lesson from and evil queen, wash our face, brush our teeth, and use a little makeup and perfume, and perfume ourselves with the fragrance that is Christ, for we are believers, not going to be tossed out a window, but for heaven to open the windows of blessings on us.

He wants you to rest, refresh and renew yourself in spring, a resurrection of spirit, soul and body, mind will and emotions. Bathe yourself in the beauty of His love. He is what love looks like, no matter how you look. Be His April Fragrance everyday.

All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad. 45:8 NIV

The fragrance of your perfume is pleasing; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens adore you. Song of Solomon 1:3 Berean

His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet-smelling myrrh. Song of Songs 5:13

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.  Ephesians 5:2 NLT

Paul about gifts…..the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. Phillipians 4:18

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14 NASB

Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:15 NLT

 

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His April Storms?

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Yes, they are His storms. He stands up and speaks to them. ” Peace, be still. ” And the wind and waves obey Him and the disciples are amazed. Truthfully, Jesus was sleep in bow. I think He was hoping the disciples had learned authority by now.

He surely wants us to be alert and to use the spiritual authority He died to restore, and He encouraged them to stay awake even in Gethsemane. When we find ourselves adrift in the storms, we need to say the same thing, ” Peace, be still. ”

We should be speaking peace to all areas of our lives because it includes so many benefits of salvation. It is spring now and here in Georgia, it has already been hot a few days, a little too hot for April, it fires up the afternoon storms.

They drizzle, they pour, the pound with hail. Thankfully, the sunroom is no longer leaking. There have been storm warnings, tornado warnings, and some that have already done damage in the south.

Whatever storm we go through God is not asleep, nor Jesus, as the High Priest. I was up at 3 and 4 a.m. to see the weatherman say they were losing power, and guess what? I have even been able to sleep through some, and I intend to more, for there will be more, and I want to pray the peace prayer over my life. It really does no good to worry.

This is about literal storms, but spiritual ones are just the same. They come and go and keep us up. They  drizzle, pour and pound, our boats are rocking and we wonder where He is? Please don’t ask Him if he cares. Really, He died for us, He cares. I know they asked before the crucifixion but they were right there as he performed miracles, it was offensive, but Jesus was not offended. He rebuke the waves.

We can calm ourselves and our storms with His peace, and we can sleep through them, but if we need Him, He’s in the boat, and He will stand up and say, peace be still. Our storm are His because He bore our sorrows, He can rid us of storms and gives us peace, April or anytime.

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His April Days

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Now that the stone has rolled away and He is risen, we can walk freely and worthy of Him. He gave us so much with His resurrection. A risen Lord watches from heaven as the weary come to rest.

But we should embrace the fact that just as the stone rolled away that morning He can and will do the same for us . Whatever the problem is, wherever the pain is or whomever may be causing it, He is there for us.

And that Spirit that raised Jesus is there for us, ready to roll away the stones in our lives, ready to move the mountains and out us back in green pastures as we are filled with living water.

I have to admit just studying His great sacrifice was overwhelming at times and I know the story, we all do. But have we even realized the depths of that love? As we finish out the month of April, I want us to embrace His grace even more fully.

And I want us to rest in Him, it is finished. So let’s rest from the problems we have struggled with, the lies we have believed, the accusations that are false. We are His children and He has spared not even His only Son.

I have come to rely on Him more and more and I hope you can the same. Please take some time this week to rest and reflect, to be still and know God, who wants to lavish us with grace and blessings.

Let’s listen for the wind of the Spirit to call us by name, as we walk in while before Him, risen with Him, and be expectant with hope that we are the joy that was set before Him and He is ours.

May His grace and peace guide our steps this week, and may we remain safe in hollow of His scarred hand, as we rest in Him and pursue the peace of God, which is truly pursuing us.

The rose of Sharon is risen, and the garden gate is open, so let’s walk with Him these April days.

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His April Resurrection

The Jewish year and months are different but Easter or the Resurrection Day falls in our months of March or April. This beautiful Carl Bloch painting is perfect to symbolize the resurrection of Christ. While there are many and they are beautiful and dramatic, this one has a purity.

The angels kneeling in adoration as He steps from a darkened tomb arms raised in glory to God and the victory over death, even the white garments are aglow with the spirit that is Christ. His pure love and the purity of a spotless lamb, the only one worthy as a man to take our place on the cross of shame, Jesus, the very Son of God.

With spring upon and warmth again in our midst, the budding and blooming of flowers and the sun shining on us to put us in remembrance or the prayer in Numbers 26, that God’s face is shining on us, let us grasp the power and presence of His great sacrifice, and the purity that is Christ.

His only motivation was to save souls, and what He endured for that joy to be before Him is unspeakable and cruel, and we do not want to be the same in the sense that we are not speaking His name enough in prayer and worship and witness, or cruel that we reject that His sacrifice overshadows all the evils that are out to overtake us

Indeed, greater is He that is in us. I John 4:4. Our only motivation should be love like Him as well, we cannot drive or force someone to accept His salvation, many have already made their decisions this resurrection seasons and many have sown the wind and are in such turmoil they have nowhere to turn.

Let us lift them in prayer, that they come to know His love. Let us be slow to speak, and quick to forgive. Let us honor the King of Kings, our risen Lord, with the purity of heart that is His alone and should reside in us. To do that we must step aside for His will to be done, not hinder the Holy Spirit.

May His holy angels carry His message, His gospel of love and peace around the world and may be be blessed by His presence daily as we walk with Him and talk to Him, Jesus our Lord. may He multiply His Kingdom before His return, so many still need Him, if you are that person, do not reject that love another day, He is risen, love personified and heaven can be your home.

May we all share in His love and grace this Easter or Resurrection Day, this is our love and His love, alive and living, in heaven interceding for us, and here by His Spirit. His April resurrection, not only Himself but the many things He raises this spring, hearts, hopes, and lives. Rebecca Jones

 

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