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Stepping into Your sanctuary, Lord, the place we desire and long to dwell;

humbly we enter Your presence, You’re seen in those we know so well.

We behold Your hands as greeters reach out, and through our Shepherd’s gentle touch.

Your guiding voice comes through Pastor’s message, challenging yet encouraging very much.

Beholding Your glory through worship-filled songs, watching Holy Spirit awaken seeking hearts.

Hearing Your praise rise to the heavens, our spirits are renewed right from the start.

We seek to dwell in Your house, O Lord; receiving amazing Grace and Mercy from You.

You light our way, You give us life; Your salvation’s sure and Your love is true.

We reverently adore, Christ our King; dwelling here content yet yearning more.

We behold Your beauty, Your loving gaze; humbly we bow, yet our spirits soar.

J.R. – 2016

 

Passing Through

passover

    As the blood in the Lamb was shed and surrounded the entrance to the dwelling place Passover evening – securing, saving, protecting, strengthening for the journey ahead – so does the blood of Christ cover the door of my heart, for He is the door – giving me safe passage to walk through, washed clean, refreshed, renewed covered in His blood,out into the world. Yet not being part of it, for I am just passing through. I am protected and strengthened by His grace, walking out from a  position of slavery to a position of freedom in Him – yet not to do as I please – but in freedom filled with love and gratitude to live for Him, for He purchased my freedom that I may be His hands, His feet, and His voice bringing hope of that same freedom to others in this world who are hurting, loss and dying in a darkness they cannot see. Hoping to bring others to this same door to pass under His blood to go from the darkness of slavery to the light of freedom and peace forever in and through the blood of the Lamb – Jesus Christ!

Isaiah 49:9 (NLT) I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’

 

 

HOPE RISING

HI Punkin, this one’s for you!

 

HOPE RISING

 

Hope rising, lifting the darkness

Overcoming love through Christ alone

Piercing the heart of injustice, freeing the captive

Everlasting love refining the change, the difference

 

Raising awareness to fight

Injustice being transformed

Seeking the lost and downhearted

Investing within heart, mind, and soul

Nurturing a life restored through God’s Word

Growing hope, shining light, shattering the darkness 

Pearls of Great Price

Have you ever seen or heard of pearls of great price?

Each uniquely round, pure white, and yet ever varied in size.

What a tremendous blessing it is to receive them…

what great value and great worth! Ever cherishing each one received.

Being strung together forming a necklace; many layers

its length is so long, wrapping several times around.

 

You may ask and I will tell…where did all these pearls come from?

Receiving so many throughout each day I truly have lost count!

Oh yes, you did not ask how many, you ask from whence they come?

 

A bit of science knowledge applied within the natural world…

deep inside the oyster’s heart beautiful pearls form

when an irritation enters in.. created to protect itself

a covering builds around the un-welcomed…giving it value instead

turning a pest into a guest…thus forming the pearl.

 

Yet the pearls of great price given me are formed deep within…a mystery

Yes, they are very precious and priceless, for truth are formed from a grateful heart.

Though you can’t see the pearls…i know they are truly there

Formed by giving thanks in everything and through His Amazing Grace.

 

The pearls materialize at various times throughout the day.

Coming first each morn… wrapped in a worship song that fills my heart.

Many are unveiled as upon my eyes taking in the majesty of my Lord’s creation,

Thankful for living, moving, and being His.

 

Several pearls are unwrapped in my outstretched arms

when encircling my family and friends;

especially when seeing their eyes, their smiles, their quirks…

and even their tears – unending love for each one.

 

Quite many are unfolded within the pages of God’s Word

planting seeds of life and hope that will never end.

Thankful for His faithfulness and unfailing love.

 

The pearls come from many sources: a quiet thought, a silent prayer,

rolling thunder, and a still small voice; an overflowing river,

and a purifying fire…each amazing when thanks and grace applied.

 

These pearls of great price, though many upon the strands

are not a burden…no, it is light for they encircle a grateful heart!

You say – Oh, now I understand, ’tis not a mystery

the pearls are formed within the heart of man…

the pearls of great price appear when

we choose to be thankful and live life gratefully!

 

Seasons of Forgiveness

A chilling autumn rain descends

weighing down each and every leaf.

Wearing the true colors of Harvest

they dance around, they resist the wind

yet inevitably they all fall.

Sitting warm inside observing this

I hear the Lord say, “Love your enemies”

What, Lord? No way! You know the hurt

I bear, the harsh words spoken

the pain I have held unto

How can I let it go?

you love My creation, look and see…

the bright buds and tender leaves

that adorn spring it is life anew;

though the summer’s heat,

winds and storms of life take it’s toll.”

Continuing the Lord gently speaks,

Pray for those who mistreat you,

those who despite-fully use you.”

How, Lord, how can I forgive?

How can I ask You to bless them?

Look to My autumn leaves,

they are arrayed in such beauty yet

they can only get to that place through

the heat and growth of the summer

and the cool rains and storms of the fall.

I give sunlight to the evil and the good

I send rain on the just and the unjust

I give My all.”

The leaves eventually turn –

dying to themselves, fall at My feet

though they were crimson;

I cover them making them whiter than snow.

In winter – though it may seem long

I quietly, slowly bring healing,

allowing you this season.

Reminding you of My birth

all that I went through,

the hurts and the pain as you have,

yet I chose to forgive and bring you to Myself…

That is why I came.

I freely gave Myself for you.

You now freely give yourself to Me.

I gave you life in the Spring

I gave you growth in the Summer

I gave you forgiveness in the Fall

I gave My life for you, for All of you.”

Lay aside your unforgiveness,

your hurt, your pain

it is too heavy a weight to bear.

Pray and bless your enemies, I did

and by My grace in you – you can too!”

Winter may seem long,

yet be patient, keep praying with Me.

Each season, each day, each moment

live – in these gifts I have given-

then choose to give them away.”

Just as a golden harvest leaf that falls

– fall to your knees

you are there

with all the others who have fallen too.

Your lives touch each other-

affect each other in more ways

than you will ever know.”

Choose to follow My life-

walk in My footsteps;

know forgiveness and freely give it.

As you pray for your enemies-

those who bring unwanted pain,

those who color your life

with sadness, regret,

frustration, disappointment-

Remember I bore all of it on a tree.”

This is where we began…looking at a tree-

life begins and ends

through the seasons I bring.

No matter what season you are in

– you must go through

I promise I AM… there at your side.

Choose My life in you

walk in the forgiveness

that I have lavished on you.

Seasons change – so can you.”

JR  10-6-2012 –Revised 10-12-13

Moral Standards are based on the Word of God

You can’t pick and chose what parts of the Word

that you deem right or wrong

our own personal interpretation isn’t an option

you cannot live by the Word you like

and forget the rest

It is a whole moral code by which to live by

based on the character of God

unchangeable – immutable -Lord Jehovah

the same yesterday today and forever

Jesus said “I and the Father are one”

and “I came to fulfill the law”

He did not detract from the Law

He raised its standard to perfection

we cannot take the “Golden Rule” and

make it measure down to our ungodly behavior

whatever you “think” your new modern normal is

it just isn’t so

God’s Word is truth – inerrant- infallible

a sweet fragrance and life to those who live it

an offense and death to those who reject it

Jesus never watered down His Word

He spoke it – He lived it

He didn’t need to be politically correct

He didn’t adjust His Word to fit the times

He is timeless – His Word carved in stone

A Rock – a firm foundation on which to stand

A Light – to direct along the straight path

Those who choose to live in the darkness

don’t realize how dark it is

until exposed to the Light

 

 

Walking in a Wilderness

Walking in a wilderness – a dry and barren land

It was empty  – no life inside

like a fish out of water – stuck in the miry clay

gasping for breath – finding none

looking for rescue – without any hope inside

my feelings whirl around me- like a sand storm

losing my focus – couldn’t see – confused and doubting

would i ever find my way?

being lost in a dense forest – frustrated, not finding the right path

i shout for help, strength, direction

yet the storm rages so loud within – i didn’t hear the Word when it came

i needed water – thirsty and parched

i needed oil – wounded and hurt

i needed light – lost and wandering

Quietly, gently, surprisingly – the rescue came slowly

for i was unaware

i stop – realizing my focus was inward – fretting alone – all on me

i stop – awakening to the turning of my soul towards

the One who had been there all along

My pathway started to come into focus

His gentle touch guiding my way

hearing softly – finally aware of His Word

cleansing and clearly my eyes- lighting the way

one step at a time

Healing oil restoring my heart

an over-flowing river replenishing my strength, my life

my direction – now coming into focus – is to lose my life again

but not in the wilderness of Me – nor to the storms of self-pity

neither to the land of all alone

i lose my self to the GREAT I AM

that is where i found myself  in HIM – my strength, my song

i’m not afraid – i’m not afaid

no longer in fear and doubt – yet reverent fear of HIM

wading deep in the river – He rescued my soul

cleansed and healing my wounds

i partake of the bread of life

restored, thankful, blessed, encouraged – finding my way

overwhelmed – i rest in His peace, His love, His strength

I give thanks to You, O Lord – grace, mercy and love

Inspired by Holy Spirit thru Judy Rutkoske