Freedom in Christ–With Wings Like Eagles

 

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.  (Isaiah 40:31)

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Trees were falling, broken and wounded. The machine, crushing through a densely wooded area, dropping pines and poplars in its path, shifted forward—but, then, suddenly stopped, idling in neutral, before one dead and worthless tree, leaving it standing, as the engine roared and the machine moved ahead, felling more trees.

In the early evening, when the machine rested, an eagle came and perched at the top of this one tree that stood out against the small buffer line remaining of the once dense woods. Perhaps, there had been a nest in a nearby tree that was taken for harvesting. No nest was visible now, no eaglets ready to be born. The eagle, majestic atop the barren tree, seemed to stare intently at the surrounding land, surmising the loss. It remained in this lofty position for what seemed a lengthy time before it, finally, let go of its hold and flew away, not looking back.

Watching this scene from the drive by my home, it felt like I was viewing a symbolic enactment: The bald eagle, our national emblem, surveying the devastation; trees felled by a machine; a nest of baby eaglets possibly destroyed; nature harvested for money; beauty salvaged without conscience; a young man with goggles, vision somewhat blurred, maneuvering a machine capable of destroying the present and the future; man, the driving force behind it all. It seemed like a warning, one that we have disregarded with careless neglect and indifference to the negative effects we can impose on our present and our future worlds.

As I watched this scene play out, I recalled another warning that was unheeded:

34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Luke 13:34-35)

A disregarded warning, affecting both the present and the future–Jerusalem was destroyed.

And what of America? Will we continue to care more about money and greed than our young and our unborn? Will we not tend and nurture this world which God gave to us as its caretakers? Will we allow technology to blur our moral conscience? Will we continue to disregard the offer of Jesus to come onto Him, to follow Him, to obey Him, to allow Him to take us under His arms of protection?  Do we, in this country, have this same rebuke: “You were not willing.” Will we, in this country, have this same end: “Look, your house is left to you desolate.”

“The eagle represents freedom. Living as he does on the tops of lofty mountains, amid the solitary grandeur of Nature, he has unlimited freedom, whether with strong pinions he sweeps into the valleys below, or upward into the boundless spaces beyond.”   (baldeagleinfo.com)

We, too, can have freedom in Jesus who set us free from a dead tree, the cross. On this Fourth of July, a day designated to remember and celebrate our independence, let us pray that we will not merely perch and sit and sit in a worried state of mind over the fate of this nation, but let us instead, like the eagle who did not dwell in that dead tree, take action, move forward, and “mount up with wings like eagles…run and not be weary…walk and not faint.” We are the ones who can make positive changes in our world, through our daily walk with the Lord, who did not stay on the tree but arose and yet lives that we might be free.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/30/19 blog)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

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Love Notes to God, Our Father

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

(I Corinthians 13:13) 

LOVE NOTES

Father’s Day. My son and grandkids were visiting. I purchased cards for my grandchildren, ages four and six, to give to their Daddy. “Sign them while Daddy’s getting ready for church.” Then, I left to get ready. When I returned, I saw that, besides spelling out their names, they had drawn hearts and pictures of them with their Daddy all over the cards. Then, they had taken my post-it notes and were writing and drawing more notes and images for him. They stapled the notes together into a little story to tell him.

The look on their faces as they handed Daddy the cards and “read” their notes and stories was simply pure joy. I had asked each for the minimum—to sign the card. Both gave the maximum– from the heart.

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Do we give heartfelt messages to our Heavenly Father with such pure love?

 Just to give. Just to show how much He means to us.

LOVE “Notes” through the words in our prayers.

LOVE “Notes” written with the thoughts in our mind.

LOVE “Notes” in our communication with Him in His Word.

There is, I believe, a child within each of us who exists on some level within our hearts, minds, and memories. Some of us are “orphaned” in the sense that our physical parents are no longer with us—through death, abandonment, or lack of involvement. Yet, the “child” within still seeks the relationship of the parent.

We each have the Father God to turn to for this relationship. He watches over us, gives advice and guidance, nourishes our souls, provides for our needs, comforts us in times of distress, rejoices with us in the happy moments and events of our lives, sacrifices for us to the utmost level in the death of His only begotten Son.

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You can imagine the look on Daddy’s face as his two children gave him those cards and their notes, telling him the stories in the pictures.

Can we imagine the Father’s countenance when we present Him with our “notes” of love?

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.

Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (I John 4:16)

 (Sharon G. Tate  blog 06/23/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

The Father’s Love

 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind

take refuge in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 36:7)

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Were you blessed with a Daddy who showed you glimpses of the Heavenly Father?

 DADDY

“Faster, Daddy! Faster!” Riding on the white horse named Bluebird at my grandparents’ ranch in Texas with my father. Flying across the field, dust billowing behind us, hair blowing wildly in the wind, laughing and not afraid. Daddy was there in control of the reins.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

DADDY

Riding in the back of the station wagon. No seat belt–1962. My brother and I playing, watching the cars pass, calling out our colors in a game called “Keep It.” No thought of fear or worry, falling asleep peacefully. Daddy was driving.

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

(Proverbs 3:24)

 DADDY

Name-calling, pushing, shoving. Bullies in school. Daddy said life was unfair, to hold our heads high, to not be like them. He would talk with the principal.

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:14)

 DAD

First date. Rules and expectations. A hug and kiss goodbye. Curfew reminder. Waving on the porch. Waiting with the lights on. Reading and looking at his watch, over and again. Hearing the car approach. Rising to open the front door. Sharing a quiet talk before a hug and kiss goodnight.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121)

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 Not everyone had a Daddy like this but those of us who did knew and understood something about God’s love and security from our father at an early age. For some, the Father’s Image was seen through another child’s Daddy instead of their own or even through an encounter with a stranger. But the perception of what the Heavenly Father is like was planted. The seed could grow into faith.

We need Godly examples for our children, men who reflect the Image of the Heavenly Father in their words, their actions, their lives. Children need a Daddy who shows them a love, a guidance, a sacrifice like the Father of us all. But sadly, too many examples are missing in children’s lives today. Seeds are not being planted to raise those who will follow the Lord.

Every child needs a Daddy. Every child deserves to see the Father in that Daddy.

Who will be the example?

 

footprints following dad

 

(Sharon  G. Tate blog 06/16/19) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

BROKENNESS Made Whole through Christ

 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

 and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

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BROKEN. Shattered pieces surrounding him. The boy looked down in despair. Where would he start? How could he make it whole again? Dropping to his knees to pick up the bigger pieces first, he began the attempt to form the outer shape. It was like a jigsaw puzzle but with uneven, jagged edges. He sloppily glued the pieces together the best he could until, gradually, piece by piece, a vase was somewhat identifiable. It was his great-grandmother’s vase, a family heirloom. How could he present it to his mother, who cherished the vase? The pieces did not fit as they should. The breaks were visible everywhere.

The boy waited in anxious anticipation, fear, and shame for his mother to come home. When he finally heard the key turn in the lock, he carefully lifted the makeshift object, sighed loudly, and brought it to his mother. Head drooped, he held it out to her. The mother looked intently at her son, reached for the poorly glued shape, carefully inspected it, and then walked over to the stand where the vase had always been, placing it on her mother’s beautiful handmade doily. The boy watched this scene with confusion and fear, still expecting some form of punishment from his careless act of playing too rough near the vase.

But the mother saw his contrite heart, held him close, and led him to the vase. She said the vase was more beautiful with the scars. “It is brokenness,” she said, “that unites us all, from great-grandma to grandma, to me, and now to you. The pieces of our lives may shatter around us, but we get on our knees before God who helps us glue the broken edges back together to allow us to continue on in this life through our mistakes. Although the scars still show, we can be whole through the One who had scars in His hands, feet, side, and body. His brokenness allows us all to be whole inside while carrying with us the scars of this life.” Gently touching his shoulder, she left him alone by the vase.

The boy knew his mother was speaking of Jesus. She had taken him to Bible class and worship every Sunday. He wondered if everyone at church was BROKEN with SCARS. He reached out to touch the sides of the vase. It was rough but holding together in a new form, fragile and in need of a better potter than he had been. He walked away, pondering these things in his heart.

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The jagged edges and visible breaks in our lives remind us that we can never be the Potter who makes the clay into the vessel of a perfect, seamless creation.

Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

BROKEN. Scarred. Humble in spirit before the Lord, our Creator and our Redeemer. This is our sacrifice to Him who was broken for us.

 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
You, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/09/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word