I’m Fascinated By His Love

"This Is My Body - The Passion Of The Christ"by C.M. Dudash

“This Is My Body – The Passion Of The Christ”by C.M. Dudash

 

Happy, Sunday Friends.  During this 31 Day Planning with Purpose Series we have been a bit more contemplative, deviating from the normal format in posts on Sundays. Today I want to share something I wrote a while back. May this Sunday refresh you, bring you the reminder of God’s Love and Faithfulness. May you find the balance between busy and blessed as you plan your upcoming week.

 

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. ~Ephesians 5:15-17

 

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Dear Jesus {Faith Barista Jam 8/23}

Painting by CM Dudash

Dear Jesus,

I’ve so much I long to say that my heart and mind feel overwhelmed. My mind swirls with questions and I long to hear you say, as you did to the Sea of Galilee “Peace, be still”. Lord, I know I need to listen better to you, because you are faithful to speak through your Word and a multitude of ways but this buzzing in my brain, the ever present hum of this distracting, crazy world is like static to my soul. I confess I sometimes have a hard time hearing you through the haze of the days. How I long for uninterrupted time with you. How I long to stay in your presence forever weeping and kissing your feet. I know in your divine presence I feel nothing but the bliss of fears expelled. Perfect peace, joy and holy acceptance. Oh, Lord I want to live in that every moment. Is that Heaven? Because I long for it from the inner core of my being. Lord, it’s my birthday tomorrow (I mean I know you know this and all) and I am approaching the half century mark. That sounds rather cryptic, but Lord I wonder if I will ever grow up? Grow old. I still feel like that same little girl. The one who felt your guarding presence but did not fully understand. The Little Girl who hid in the stairwell and cut Catechism class when the teacher shamed her one day. Week after week she walked to the class (or so her mother thought) and instead hid in a stairwell wondering the time. I knew you were there but I did not know what to say to you. How to talk to you. So I sat there in my shame, feeling the filth of my self. Waiting. Sensing your presence but my own lack. Spiritually mute. Lord, I am grateful that you didn’t wait for me to find words but you stayed with me. A friend to me before I was ever a friend to you. You have been that faithful friend even as I ran from anything that reminded me of the shame, the filth, the uncleanness that only you could clean. The thought of you extending a clean white cloth dipped in blood and water to me.  This is all too wonderful to me. The thought of me running from you dirty, when all you wanted was to cleanse me from my own self-righteousness and sin. To cure and heal me from that which was within and without. The thought of your love and faithfulness and my ignorance and rebellion. I rejected you because I did not understand your great love for me. Or my own unrighteousness. But you came to give sight to the blind, riches to the poor, and health to the sick; To give good things and a crown of eternal glory.
Your blessing traded for my cursing. Your grace exchanged for my selfishness. Your sacrifice while I was still a blasphemer. Lord, thank you for putting a new song in my heart and for your sacrificial love that extends always to the lame, blind, sick and poor. Because of your love, I walk, see, am healed and rich.
I am forgiven. I am grateful. I am free. Lord, I praise you that you made a way for sinners to enter into your presence. That you are always extending that white cloth dipped in blood and water to all of those who will call out your name. The name that saves. Jesus. The Name Above All Names. Thank you for words to speak, now that I know how to talk to you. You are teaching me. Willing and able. Help me to abide in your Truth and discern your voice clearly above the noise. Help me to listen well to you and others. Thank you for Wisdom, Truth and the Keys to your Kingdom. Oh, Lord. Thank you for loving me and making your love available to all.

I Remain Forever In Your Grace,
Dawn

 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
Since we have now been justified by his blood, 
how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 
For if, while we were God’s enemies, 
we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, 
how much more, having been reconciled,
 shall we be saved through his life!
 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
 through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:8-11
Beholding Glory

Leaving Behind The Myth {It Will Get "Easier"}


Yet man is born to trouble 
as surely as sparks fly upward.
Job 5:7
I was thinking while driving to the market. Do you find you get your deepest insights at the most inconvenient times for writing. I mean pondering while driving has caused me to miss more than one exit. And sometimes long, steamy showers absolutely produce epiphany moments. I will tell you also, if you promise not to tell anyone, I get great workout ideas in the shower. Weird, right? Dangerous practicing a kick in the shower, but…let’s get this train back on track. Halt.

I got to thinking about this belief that I have been coming up against lately.
Maybe you will disagree.
Maybe you might just agree or relate.
Either way, I just am sharing a few thoughts about what 
I believe is a myth.
Or a lie.
Or a fairy-tale.
Or all of the above.
Now, I am not a cynic.
Or a crybaby.
I’m just a girl trying to make sense of a crazy world.
But the fact is this world is never gonna make sense.
I know that.
So instead I am wrapping around,
how I can embrace today.
As it is.
This imperfect life that God has bled out and called sacred.

This myth is really one you might be clinging to, 
but I assure you it is not worthy of your loyalty.

Do you think that tomorrow will be easier?
Friend, easier than what?

Are the funds tight?
Are you struggling to make ends meet;
 to put food on the table,
to clothe your little ones?
Are the bills piled high
and the job prospects low?
Is your marriage a desert?
Is the phone ringing always, from strangers not friends?
Are you feeling alone, forgotten, rejected?

What if nothing changes?
What if it gets harder?
See, I don’t want you to have a false hope.
A hope that depends on some elusive easier day.
The days ARE evil, friend.
We are living in times where wicked happens at a breakneck speed.
People barely even notice.
We have become numb to our own blessings.
We expect ease.
But our ease comes from knowing Him.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace
In the world you will have tribulation. 
But take heart; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

I cannot find a passage that implies that we as Believers are to aim for a life of ease.
I can’t find where it says in Scripture to take the easiest path possible.

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; 
set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13

But I see in His Holy Word, real life accounts of men and women who
followed Him imperfectly but were embraced by His Mercy and Grace.
I see Moses, Jacob (I have come to realize this past year we have some common issues!),
Joseph, David, Samson, Solomon, Rahab, Job, Peter, Paul and so many more.
I see a Faithful God in each of their lives.
A God promises that He will never leave nor forsake us.
That if the fires are turned up higher, and higher still,
He will burn inside with us and we will be consumed by His love,
 for He will not let us be touched by anything
that has not passed before Him first.

Though he slay me, I will hope in him…
Job 13:15a

So my grand conclusion is that I don’t believe things in life will get easier.
I’m OK, if they don’t.
I realize if I can’t see the blessing, right here, right now,
feel the richness of the portion He has dished out today-
whatever the reason,
then easier won’t necessitate better.
I suppose the biggest clincher is our leader.
Jesus didn’t take the easy path.
Consider Him.
Leave the myth behind.

So, my dear Christian friends, companions in following this call to the heights, 
take a good hard look at Jesus. 
He’s the centerpiece of everything we believe,
 faithful in everything God gave him to do.
Hebrews 3:1

Consider what God has done:
Who can straighten
    what he has made crooked? 
 When times are good, be happy;
    but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
    as well as the other. 
Therefore, no one can discover
    anything about their future.
Ecclesiastes 7:13

Lord God, May we not be found naked, wretched and poor
but faithful, holy and clean.
By your grace through faith.
Thank you that you have made this possible
by your sacrifice, example and blood.
Amen.

photo credit: fabiogis50 via photo pin cc

Linking up at these wonderful places.
Making some new friends along the way!

New Life Steward

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A Blood Bought Sisterhood

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

~Martin Luther King

Dare to Love.

“Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable.”
Dr. Joyce Brothers
It all begins and ends with love doesn’t it? Anything that is worthwhile and lasting in this life will be that which has been done for, through and with love. Ponder that. What is your greatest labor, endeavor, or focus?
What causes you the most pain, pleasure and passion? Is it not that in which or whom you love? For what do you expend your energy, invest your time and pour out your concerns, but upon and for that which you care greatly. I myself am pondering all of these, as I consider the beautiful morning I shared with some lovely ladies for breakfast yesterday. We share a ministry of prayer with moms, for our children, their schools, and teachers. We share a passion for prayer and a burden for encouraging other women into deeper fellowship with the Lord. Yesterday, it all seemed bittersweet, as we met together and the Lord’s hand was evident in  our changing  lives. We serve on the State Team for RI and our little state, seems once more in flux with regard to this ministry. One of our team members was missing as she has started working at the school where her children attend. One will be moving to Texas and starting fresh with her husband’s new job (answered prayer here!) and I myself anticipate my own possibility for life change with full time work. We rejoiced in answered prayer and rejoiced in the reality that God is moving in our lives but we also realized that we would be scattered in different directions and that this might be the last time we sit together in this particular season. The reality of our fearless leader, new to her current position, without a team to lead, but still a heart to serve, also seemed like another reminder of God’s call to trust and walk by faith NOT by sight. How perfect the verses she had chosen  for our prayer time: 
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 
~2 Corinthians 2:14

 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 
~2 Corinthians 4:18


We sat together and enjoyed sharing our hopes, fears and God’s plans for our futures. We prayed for His will to be done in our lives, and our willingness to follow wherever he leads with joy, trust and an open heart. We wondered with glad anticipation of the new things He is doing and will do for and through us.
We praised the God who by his sacrifice bought us new life and sisterhood by His birth and His blood. 

Our lovely, leader shared the story of Mary and Elizabeth in Luke and we sat in awe and wonder, again as we considered all God allowed the two to share in their unique bond; how each had a part to play in God’s plan for the redemption of humanity. How they were at different seasons of life, yet drawn together in sisterhood, brought together for the edification, encouragement, of one another through this holy purpose and ultimately the glory of God. The younger and the older ministering to one another portrays a beautiful and divine standard for us all. The thought that Mary was “pregnant with God’s promises” as she came together with Elizabeth at this time was poignantly discussed and thoughtfully considered. It was also pointed out by our dear Sister, how we each are pregnant with the promises of God when we minister and share with other sisters and give birth to these promises through prayer, praise, thanksgiving and confession in the safe manger of sisterhood, fellowship and friendship-all provided by our Great Savior through faith. Our sisterhood was purchased at great cost, dear ones. Let us rejoice in the beauty of this blood bought sisterhood and bring Him the glory He deserves by!

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
~Luke 1:56

Was it hard for Mary and Elizabeth to say goodbye? I wonder if it was bitter sweet as they embraced, on that day that Mary departed. Even as I consider all God is doing in the lives of my dear sisters, I will miss our special season where God allowed us to fellowship, pray and serve one another, and others through His divine plan for such a time as this. 


Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
~Ephesians 5:21






If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
…And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

~1 Corinthians 13: 3 & 33






A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35




Lord, thank you for your great Love for us, and the example you left, reflected clearly in your word. Thank you that you allow us to be vessels of love and precious promises. May we boldly proclaim your name, as we follow you from the manger to the cross and rejoice in the very precious promises
that continue to bring light, love, truth and meaning to all of humanity. In Jesus name, Amen.


Peace Through Blood

Since we have now been justified by his blood,
how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
Romans 5:9
We don’t like messiness, do we?  We want everything to fit into our nicely fabricated compartments.
Pristine. Shiny. Perfect. We don’t like suffering, do we? We want happily ever afters, promises kept, rainbows and peace.
For those who know Christ and accept His message, on His terms, these realities hold true. They have been gained through tears, pain, suffering and blood. Peace comes at a price after all. Peace costs. There is peace that the world promises and then there is a peace that goes beyond the here and now. It is a peace that costs and has been secured by The Blood of Christ.
Today I wanted to share my thanksgiving for the peace that passes all understanding. But as I considered the peace that I have gained through my relationship with Christ, is all I could think about was the blood. The blood  He shed for me.  I was hoping to write one of those sweet Sunday posts. I was feeling blessed. I am blessed. I have peace. It took blood. Costly, messy and bloody. A sacrifice that causes me to rejoice and stand in awe.
A wisdom beyond my understanding, yet,
understanding has been given to me.
Peace.
Blood.
Intertwined.
Eternity gained for those who believe. A truth that will NOT compromise. I enter in, humbly, cautiously and gratefully.
I am a partaker and recipient of this great mystery.
Because of the blood of the One
plus nothing.
No blood, no peace.
Peace comes through His blood. Don’t be deceived. Any other peace is shaky, at best. Incomprehensible, at worst. This is not a peace that the world has promised but a peace that is unshakably, held by the  One who is unchanging.

Peace I leave with youmy peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives…
John 14:27
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:1-11
I think it is interesting to note that blood is the central theme of the most popular books and movies at this time. Intertwining sensuality with blood, blood sucking vampire stories and books claim the theatres and bookshelves.
Old and young are held captive by these supernatural tales. The power of blood for immortality and souls in peril tweak the interest of the masses. Does the enemy of the Christian’s soul recognize the cleverness of the assault? Usurp the power of the blood. Cloak it in darkness, make it macabre. Soil the meaning beyond recognition. What blood is it that gives eternal life, hope and peace? Not so subtle; yet oh, so clever. 
The more we immerse ourselves in the false concepts that mimic truth, the less value and significance the truth actually holds us. 
It gets kind of messy when more time is spent in the imaginary realm than reality.
In lies than truth.
Being entertained, rather than trained.
Indulged instead of disciplined.
We have to be so careful to choose well, that we don’t lose sight of the the goal.
What would you trade for the peace that has been been gained for your soul? 
Where are you investing your focus?
Today I am thankful for the power of the Blood of Christ. 
It is by this blood, that life eternal is possible.
Without His shed blood, we are captive to sin, hostage to hell, and slaves to self. 
We are puppets of the prince of the power of the air. (Ephesians 2:2)
BUT, by the power of the blood we are born into an Eternal Kingdom where The Prince Of Peace himself, reigns forever. True children of the One True Living God. 
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
Ephesians 2:14-16

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:10-11



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