Sea of Glass

“Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.” – Revelation 4:6

“…His voice was like the sound of rushing waters.” – Revelation 1:15b

“The seas have lifted up, O Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea – the Lord on high is mighty.” – Psalm 93:3-4

Thinking this morning about the utter power and strength and breadth of our God. As there is no holding back the power of the sea, there is no holding back the power of God.

And yet, with all that power is great, compassionate, forgiving, eternal love, shown to us by the great gift of His only Son, Jesus Christ.

“He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities under foot.
Yes, You will cast all their sins
Into the depths of the sea.” – Micah 7:19

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He drew me out of deep waters.” – Psalm 18:16

Praise God for His mercy. Praise Him for His compassion. Praise God for His love. It is what keeps me going and gives me hope each day.

He is so good. Blessings, Lisa

Hold the Line

These rocks beside the Atlantic Ocean are holding the line. The fury of the winds, rains, and storms push hard against these cliffs in Donegal. There might be erosion, but the cliffs at Horn Head stay.

Events in this world are also pushing hard, attempting to topple us, to cause us to compromise, to collapse us into the sea. The storm of spiritual warfare is actively raging. But our anchor holds. Jesus Christ will hold the line. And He holds us. Praise God. He is the Victor.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23

“They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.” – 1 Timothy 3:9

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, be men of courage; be strong.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13

“It is the Lord your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.” – Deuteronomy 13:4

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” – Hebrews 6:19a

Hold the line. Blessings, Lisa

Stand By Me

Stand By Me, written by Charles Albert Tindley in 1905, is an absolutely beautiful hymn. I discovered it like many others by hearing Elvis Presley’s cover of it recorded in 1966. But many other singers have recorded it over the years, probably the other most well-known being the Staple Singers in 1961. Here are the original lyrics as written by this Methodist preacher:

When the storms of life are raging, stand by me.
When the storms of life are raging, stand by me.
When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea,
thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me.

In the midst of tribulation, stand by me.
In the midst of tribulation, stand by me.
When the hosts of hell assail, and my strength begins to fail,
thou who never lost a battle, stand by me.

In the midst of faults and failures, stand by me.
In the midst of faults and failures, stand by me.
When I do the best I can, and my friends misunderstand,
thou who knowest all about me, stand by me.

In the midst of persecution, stand by me.
In the midst of persecution, stand by me.
When my foes in battle array, undertake to stop my way,
thou who saved Paul and Silas, stand by me.

When I’m growing old and feeble, stand by me.
When I’m growing old and feeble, stand by me.
When my life becomes a burden, and I’m nearing chilly Jordan,
O thou Lily of the Valley, stand by me

c1905 Charles Albert Tindley

I listened to this yesterday while I was alone. I turned it up, closed my eyes. Truth, raw honesty, beauty. I cried tears, but they were tears of soul washing, of dependence, of trust in our Mighty and Powerful God.

If you have a moment alone today, I encourage you to do the same.

If I can ever pray for you, please let me know.

Blessings, Lisa

The Line in the Sand

The little bird had grown up free. She ate the best food, learned to fly with good bird parents, sat by the waves’ edge and rested. She skimmed lightly over the water and dove down and caught fresh fish. She was happy.

One day, she flew farther along the shore and saw a line in the sand. On the other side of that line, the beach was very different. It caught her eye. At first glance, it looked like fun to the little bird. A party of birds gathered, loud noises, littered bags of used fries for the taking. She was nervous, though, and turned back to her home. As she flew, she felt her lungs breath freely in the clean air and the wide-open spaces.

But the lure of the exciting and different called her back the next day. She didn’t tell anyone; she just went. She gathered up her courage and landed among the loud birds. She tried to fit in and act like she was one of them. She boldly grabbed a fry, liked it, and then grabbed another. She stayed all day, bumping into other birds, even fighting over a choice morsel of trash.

By the end of the day, though, she felt strange and weighed down. She knew she had to go home, immediately, while she still could. She couldn’t describe it….it was just a feeling of impending danger.

She flew somewhat sluggishly, and finally made it back over the line in the sand. She slept badly all night and awoke feeling even worse. The little bird promised herself not to do that again.

It took time, but after some days, she felt better, more herself, freer. She flew as she did before and felt joy in chasing the waves. She was home, and it was good.

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This story came about due to a book I was reading the past two days. It was very well reviewed, excellently written. I was instantly catapulted into this imaginary world created by the author, and I loved it. Couldn’t put the book down. But suddenly last evening, it changed. New plot elements were introduced that I knew would displease God. It felt dirty, wrong, and all I knew was that I had to stop reading immediately. No matter how good the book was, no matter how much I wanted to know how it ended. It just made me feel bad inside, and extremely sad. The loss of purity in our culture hit me like a brick wall. The book has gone back to the library, and I feel better. Like the bird, that was my line in the sand.

Stay strong, friends. Pray that Christ holds us very tightly through these perilous days.

Blessings, Lisa

“…let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” – 2 Corinthians 7:1b

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

Questions

Do you believe in the account of Christ’s nativity?

Why would God send His beloved Son to this earth, to live as a man, and to suffer?

Do you believe that God loves you, even before you loved Him?

Do you feel uneasy and scared about what happens after death?

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Blessings, Lisa