Will You Know Me?

I am Yours

freedigitalphotos.net  ©graur razvan ionut

freedigitalphotos.net ©graur razvan ionut

Will you know me when I reach you?

Did I feed and comfort those who

you’ve anointed ‘the least of these’

with my harvest? Will you be pleased?

Did I embrace your point of view?

 

I fear I turned my back, withdrew.

I do not want to misconstrue

or treat this banquet as my feast.

Will you know me?

 

I crave to take your yoke, pursue

the narrow path, seek and find you.

Hear my humble prayer to decrease.

Invite me on your gentle breeze.

My mind, heart, soul are your purview.

Will you know me?

Heavenly Host

Our Cup Overflows

You prepare a feast for me

In the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

Psalm 23:5

The psalmist turns here from the image of the Lord as Shepherd to the Lord as Host.

One of the biblical margin notes refers to the story in Luke 7:36-50.

Jesus is invited to dinner by a Pharisee named Simon. As they were reclining at the table, a woman arrives, unnamed but labeled a sinner, and breaks all protocol by entering the home uninvited. She is moved to boldness by the Lord’s presence. She lets down her hair, opens an expensive, alabaster flask of scented oil, and washes the feet of Jesus with her tears, anointing him with the perfumed oil.

The Pharisee, of course, was affronted by such uncustomary behavior from a woman. Jesus took him to task, reminding Simon that his behavior also had broken rules of proper custom for a host.

Simon, Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Luke 7:44-46

Jesus forgave the woman’s sins, gave her the gift of grace and love, and sent her on her way with his peace in her heart. Isn’t this exactly what he’s done for us?

jesus-washing-feet

A few nights later, at the Passover table the night before his death he was in the presence of the enemy who controlled his friend Judas. He performed the rites of host by washing the feet of his disciples. Indeed, he became the Ultimate Host.

He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Jesus’ cup overflowed that night with the love of communion, with the love of his friends, with the love of his Father. It ran over with the love he had for all of mankind and the gift of sacrifice and grace he was about to give.

As recipients, we each are anointed with gifts, with grace, with mercy, and with His everlasting love. While we benefit from this anointing, it is for His glory this anointing occurs. We love because He first loved us. We are now hosts because He first was Host.

Interestingly, the words “host” and “hospitality” come from the same root word, hostia, meaning “sacrifice.” Consider the following:

Romans 12:13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

1 Peter 4:9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing.

©Susan Irene Fox

©Susan Irene Fox

Sitting outside this morning at sunrise, I meditated on my own overflowing cup.

After five, long years, I finally have an apartment of my own again. The men’s group at my church came together and in one-and-a-half hours moved my boxes and furniture from my upstairs room at one end of town to my upstairs apartment at the other end of town.

Neighbors have already introduced themselves, rooms are coming together, and I am exhausted but content in my own space.

The Lord promised me a “desired haven,” and He fulfilled His promise. I am grateful beyond measure. As host, I now seek ways to extend His love and show hospitality to my new neighbors.

Thank You

Prayers and blessings appreciated

 

So much to express I haven’t the words

yet I’ve so many blessings my heart is stirred

promises given and kept I can’t count

my thanks must first be paramount.

 

My God, you are faithful, I’ve prayed for this day,

and I knew it was coming in your time and way

though all this time, I’ve been thankful, too

for relationships lifting me higher in You.

 

Alison, Donna, Patrick and Matthew;

Dena and Steve, and the whole moving crew

there’s Mary, Jodie, Connie and Grace,

Nancy, Monique and those who prayed for this space.

 

For my online community who know what this meant,

(and to those who didn’t, but thoughts and prayers sent)

bless you Belinda, and Beth 1 and 2,

Dale, Sherri, Diana – especially from all of you.

 

To Kitt, Paul and Mel, you touch me so,

you fill my heart daily; just want you to know.

Cat, Lorrie and Bunny, Michael, Patty and Glenn,

I’m ever grateful as you’ve become friends.

 

Denise and ii14, thanks also to you,

your thoughts and good wishes were taken as true.

as I stare at one more room of boxes to unpack

I’m counting my blessings – there’s nothing I lack.

 

This Sunday, Aug. 10, my cup overflows

my Lord has provided, my heart He knows

and even though words will not nearly make due

God, I thank you, I love you, I belong wholly to you.

This Love

You calm me and restore my soul.

You fill my heart with

brilliant, fuschia clouds and

glittering trees wet with dew

waving to me in the morning breeze.

The morning melody of mourning doves, wren and robins

provide cherished accompaniment to my sacred time with you.

 

You surround me with serenity in a world of overwhelming violence and despair.

If you were not with me, I would be crushed by the weight.

 

You lift me up on wings of an eagle.

You walk with me, and I don’t tire.

You carry me when life seems

too much to bear.

 

You formed me here

in this time

in this place

to be your vessel

for this work.

 

You love me with a depth and breadth I don’t understand.

I fall open to your love and grace.

Because of

this love

I see you

in tortured faces of the bereaved

in a soaring hawk

in elegantly arrayed blossoms

in the tear of a child wanting a hug.

 

Because of

this love

I can love and forgive

family, a friend, an enemy

not with my love, but your love

 

Because of

this love

I can love you

commit to you

believe in you.

 

This love, this belief is not explainable

by theories or theologies

nor is it disproved by reason or logic.

Such things are for those who

love the sound of their own voices.

 

This love I have for you

will not be denied. It is

sweet and reckless

aching and joyful.

It grows each day

with anchored roots deep in my soul.

 

Now, I see you in my own eyes reflected back at me.

This love you have for me.

Short Hiatus

Lovely Friends,

I apologize for being remiss in visiting your blogs these last two weeks. I have been packing for a long-awaited move into affordable senior housing.

The list has been long, but my name finally came up, and the Lord has graciously moved the process along quickly.

I am moving this weekend!

Unfortunately, I won’t have internet connection again until August 8th. Other than my pre-scheduled poem of praise, which will be posted tomorrow, I will be “unplugged” for the next several days.

Fortunately, it will give me quiet time to unpack, connect in quiet time with God, and thank Him for His provision and perfect timing.

I pray you have a blessed week of healing where needed, joy where desired, and comfort and love always in Him.

Until August 8th,

Love,

Susan

The Shadow of Death

Be Comforted in Him

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil for You are with me;

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

For you and me, death does not always mean physical death.

More commonly it means the internal death that comes with sin. That rotten, cruddy feeling that comes when you know you’ve stepped off the path; not just wandered, but step after step, gotten deeper into the shadows, left the right path long ago, and don’t know if He’ll ever stretch out His hand to you again.

george hodan allfreedownload.com

george hodan allfreedownload.com

But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:8-10

We are tempted often, because we’re human. Jesus is the only one who never succumbed to temptation. As soon as he was baptized, he was swooped up by the Holy Spirit into the desert to fast for 40 days. In this vulnerable state, the devil came upon him and tempted his faithfulness (Matthew 4:1-10).

The enemy waits for us to be our most vulnerable, too. Yet when we are faced with temptation, we always have a choice.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

The Scripture above is often misquoted as God never gives us anything we cannot handle. That is incorrect. He commonly allows circumstances we cannot handle so we must depend on Him for provision or comfort, healing or rescue, comfort or unexpected joy. This is how He shows Himself.

It is the temptation He suppresses with His rod, knowing through free will we can choose to step closer to Him or away from Him. The thing is, choosing is an option any time, because His arms are always open; His love, grace and mercy are always available. Today. Now. Always.

david wagner allfreedownload.com

david wagner allfreedownload.com


Then there is the death Jesus talks about.

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:35

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. Luke 17:33

This surrender, this unabashed giving away of ourselves to sanctification means we let go of control. It means we give up our right to be right. It means when we are unsure, we pray. It means we stop trying to attain perfection and allow the wisdom, love and grace of God to be perfected in us through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus willingly traveled into the valley of the shadow of death for us.

When he experienced a moment of fear, he prayed,

Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mark 14:36 NLT

When we give ourselves over to His staff of guidance, His will, grace and love become ours. We receive a new path, a new image, a new focus. Donald Miller, in his book Blue Like Jazz*, explains it this way:

That is the thing about giving yourself to God. Some people get really emotional about it, and some people don’t feel much of anything except the peace they have after making an important decision. I felt a lot of peace…

There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing. (They hang there, the stars, like notes on a page of music, free-form verse, silent mysteries swirling in the blue like jazz.)

I know a little of why there is blood in my body, pumping life into my limbs and thought into my brain. I am wanted by God… He is wanting to preserve me, to guide me through the darkness of the shadow of death, up into the highlands of His presence and afterlife. I understand that I am temporary, in the shell of a thing on this dirt of an earth…He understood…that mankind could not save itself; rather it must be rescued…and he was shouting, “Follow me and trust God!” I see it now.

Do you see it, too?

 

*©Donald Miller 2003, Blue Like Jazz, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN