A Stronghold in Trouble

 

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If clouds are the dust of your feet,
help me lift my arms in praise,
while the grace of tears pour out,
cleansing the dust around my heart.

If clouds are the dust of your feet,
help me climb the mountain with you…
hidden from the eyes of man,
 yet seen through the eyes of my Father.

When clouds are the dust of your feet,
help me remember,
no whirlwind or storm can ever
separate
 us from your love.

The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and the storm,
and clouds are the dust of His feet.
(Nahum 1: 3b)

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble,
and He knows those
who take refuge in Him. (
Nahum 1:7)

 

 

 




 

 

When Faith Turns to Trust

When faith turns to trust,
Hope springs anew and,
Love is reborn in our hearts.

When faith says believe,
kicks fear down the road,
Love is reborn in our hearts.

When faith surrenders,
Steps out and speaks up,
Love is reborn in our hearts.

The greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Peace Borne out of Conflict

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There’s a peace borne out of conflict
Not of sweet repose
The peace our Father sends upon the
One He knows
Breathe upon our hearts
Sweet Holy Peace of God
Release the fragrance of the Rose
Upon the path we trod
Pour forth Your Holy Spirit
The fruit of peace divine
The peace borne out of conflict
Upon this heart of Thine
In times of stormy conflict
Through restless nights and days
Blow gently upon this rose
The sacrifice of praise

Relections from Matthew 8: 23-27, Lamentations 3: 22-26

Bride-In-Waiting

Bride in Waiting - Amy Black

I’ve had dreams before but this one left me speechless and a little shaken. I hesitated to write about it because I felt unworthy and didn’t want to appear prideful. Yet time only convinced me the dream was about the Bride of Christ. I needed to share it. So with a little fear and trepidation I recorded the dream and posted it on my blog.

I dreamed I stood in a large room overlooking a beautiful well-manicured lawn. It seemedI had been focusing on the scene before me for a very long time. My gaze was suddenly interrupted as I became aware of a man whose
presence I had sensed before, but had never seen. I was speechless, but felt no fear and  instinctively knew He was the One I had been waiting for. Two young girls holding 
a wedding garment were at his side. After giving brief
instructions to the handmaidens, Jesus left the room with a promise to return at the right time. 

I gasped when I saw the beautiful white dress with yards of lace and brocade, and marveled at how light the garment felt as I slipped into it. It seemed it took just minutes to be fully adorned with the heavenly dress and veil.

And when the signal came that all was ready, the door opened and I walked into the large room filled with guests waiting for the bride to appear. 

There was a hush, then the words ‘She’s Beautiful’, echoed throughout the room, followed by the voice of the Bridegroom.’This is my bride-in-waiting. She is without spot or blemish.’  (End of Dream)

                                                             .  .  .  .  .  .

Biblical writers use the imagery of the bride, for a single purpose—to indicate the gracious love God has for His people. For these writers, no image could express better this love than the ideal love between a bridegroom and
bride. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

It occurred to me just recently the crowd attending the wedding in the dream may be the cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 12:1. 

‘Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses’. 

In the mind’s eye the author pictures these champions of faith as spectators from the heavens, cheering us on as we press on to overcome present discouragement as in an athletic competition. (Commentary from David Gusik)

Other biblical references:

It will no longer be said to you, forsaken, nor to your land will it any longer be said, desolate; But you will be called ‘My delight is in her’ and your land ‘Married’. For the LORD delights in you, and to Him your land will be married.
(Isaiah 62:4)

And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21: 2)

Whatever your circumstances today, remember the Hope of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He has prepared a place in heaven for His Church, the Bride of Christ. He wants us to trust Him during this time of waiting…knowing He is working all things together for good, shaping and molding us into the image of Christ. (Romans 8:28,29)

He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be Holy and without fault. (Ephesians 5:27)

Are you His Bride-in-Waiting? If not, you can be. Cry out to God and ask Him to forgive you for your sins. Then by faith, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16. 

The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ Let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost (Rev. 22:17). 

A Hope Remembered

When the call came we rushed to the phone,
eager to hear the report. Our joy of hearing
we had a baby brother quickly dissolved into
shock as Daddy shared that Davy was born
with a severely damaged heart.

The doctor said, “There is no hope. This baby will
not live to be six months old.”

I don’t remember much about the drive to the hospital. There were no words, just a sad quietness that hovered over my 5 siblings and me.

I do remember the words of hope Daddy spoke as we walked down the hospital
corridor.  “Doctors don’t know everything – Davy’s going to be all right.”

Davy was released from the hospital within a few days because nothing else could be done for him.

Davy was seldom in his crib for the first two and a half months of his life. When he cried  he turned blue, so we kids took turns rocking him during the daytime. Mother and Daddy were up most nights, taking turns holding Davy close to their hearts, praying for a miracle.

Two and a half months later, our family doctor told our parents our baby brother might be a candidate for open-heart surgery.

So on a beautiful spring morning in 1964, Mother and Daddy started their six-hour drive to the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. At one point, Davy almost stopped breathing.

Mother wanted to turn around and go home, but Daddy’s  tenacious resolve won out. He would not give up hope! Praying a highway patrolman would appear and escort them to the hospital, he put his foot hard to the pedal. The patrolman never showed up.

Davy was still alive when they arrived at the hospital. Within minutes, the team of heart surgeons took him back to critical care. Mother and Daddy, worn out from their trip, made their way to the cafeteria for a bite to eat. They had barely gotten there, when a caring nurse ran after them. “Please hurry. Your baby needs you.”

Rushing back to the critical care unit, Mother and Daddy found the team of heart surgeons huddled around Davy’s incubator, seemingly helpless as they watched the baby  gasping for breath.

A well meaning nurse saw our parents and yelled; “Get those parents out of here”.
“Let those parents come in any time they want.” the head surgeon retorted. “It’s their love that’s kept this baby alive.”

With that, Daddy walked over to the incubator, reached in and held Davy’s head up and began to sing. “Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier. Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who knows no fear.” 

A quickened heart beat—a fresh breath of life—a miracle!

Within a short time, the team of doctors performed open-heart exploratory surgery. Once they opened the chest cavity, the surgeons discovered a missing heart chamber. They later told us they would not have attempted surgery had they known this.

Many long hours later the team of amazed surgeons found my anxious parents in the waiting room. With beaming faces, they reported the surgery had been successful.
“This baby will live!”

In the years to come, Davy survived three more open-heart surgeries and lived forty-five bonus years; far beyond the hopeless diagnosis of six months.

Not surprisingly, Davy grew up with a love for gospel music. One of his favorites was “How Great Thou Art“.  Oh how our brother loved to sing.

“I would have despaired (lost hope) unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. (Psalm 27:13,14)