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Posts Tagged ‘Restoration’

 

Meander Scar 1

“A meander scar, occasionally meander scarp,[1] is a geological feature formed by the remnants of a meandering water channel. They are characterized by “a crescentic cut in a bluff or valley wall, produced by…a meandering stream…Meander scars are caused by the varying velocities of current within the river channel. Due to higher velocity current on the outer banks of the river through the bend, more erosion occurs causing the characteristic steep outer slopes.[1] In certain habitats, if the scar has sufficient water, or as an oxbow lake fills with sediment, these areas may become marshes or wetlands.”

Wikipedia

I love words. Of course I do, I’m a writer. But when I ran across the words “meander scar” in my son’s Texas text book, being a sand-in-my-shoes Florida girl, I was bumfuzzled. I’d never heard those two words linked together before.

Now, for the past thirty years I’ve become a Texas gal, and I’ve seen boo-coddles of meander scars, ‘cause we have multitudes of flash floods out here. Raging walls of water that carve new pathways through whatever is in their way.

Tornadoes and spring storms feed these flash floods and scar the landscape with their zig-zag slashes. A number of years back one of these rogue storms transformed the normally quiet Guadalupe River into a water butcher, sculpting, and slashing new paths through the Texas Hill Country.

Along the Guadaloupe River

Now a scar by definition is a blemish, deformity, defect, or disfigurement. And left in their raw state, scars are often unsightly. But did you ever consider how many times our hearts, minds, and bodies suffer turbulence from flash floods of grief, relational pain, or consequences of diseases that leave meandering scars carved inside and outside our bodies?

 

The Word of God says: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren…whom He called He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:28-30 NAS).

Meander Scar 4

 

Just like God transforms those ugly meander scars in the landscape, He promises to transform the scars inflicted in your mind, body, and heart, if you’ll let Him. And like Texas in the springtime heals and blossoms with the beauty of His handiwork, transforming those deep, ugly gashes in the land into multi-dimensional layers of spectacular photo opportunities, the Spirit of the Living God will heal, transform, and cover your scars with His mercy, His grace, and His love. He will turn you into a multi-dimensional vessel, assigned to pour love, mercy, and grace onto a lost dying neighborhood, town, nation—yes, even the world.

 

Spring 2016 BB 2

 

“And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is. Because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27 NAS).

 

This Spring I’m off on another road-trip to locate and photograph those bluebonnet-covered meander scars. But for the past sixteen years God has been softening and transforming my own scars from the death of my daughter and my parents through my participation in the Grief Share ministry. How does He accomplish this restoration? By pointing those new to this journey through the valley of the shadow of death to Jesus, then watching them blossom as He heals and transforms them too.

bb fence and blossoms 2a

Are you allowing God to transform and heal your scars? He will, you know, but first you must acknowledge your need, come to Him, thank Him for who He is, ask His forgiveness for your sin of unbelief. Ask for His healing and His peace. Then rest in Him to perform the miracle of new birth in you.

 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him” (John 3:16-17 NAS).

 

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A gentle breeze ruffled the massive oaks on the sprawling spring-green lawn of the Texas Capital in Austin this past week. Eight-thousand-plus people were gathered to pray.

Graham Decision America

The sights and sounds of people of like mind and faith—some kneeling, some with hands lifted, some standing—all with heads and hearts bowed, humbled before the Sovereign God of the Universe, confessing the sins of our fathers, the sins of our nation, and our own sins.

How sweet was the sound of those voices lifted to Heaven, recognizing the only hope for our nation comes from The Lord God Almighty and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  As we held hands and prayed with people of many races, nations, and ages, I felt the presence of the Lord and His peace and knew we were standing on holy ground.

Graham Boss picture

At the close of the hour of prayer, we sang God Bless America, and my eyes could no longer hold back the tears.

And this scene is being repeated in State after State, as Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, calls Americans to prayer. Praying not to a god of our imagination, or an idol of wood or stone, but to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—The God of all creation—El Shaddai, The Lord God Almighty.

Graham crowd flags

The only God. The God of our forefathers. And the God upon whose principles America was founded and has prospered–until we chose to turn our backs in ridicule of His holiness and righteousness and march to the tune of our own drum beat.

But our God is a God of mercy, forgiveness, grace, and a love so deep our tiny hearts and minds do not have the ability to comprehend, unless we choose to come to the cross, and allow His Spirit to teach us His way.

In II Chronicles 7:14 God gave His people the following instructions:

“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.”

Graham Boots

Almost 2,700 years ago a young Jewish teen was captured and carried to Babylon with thousands of other Jews. Jews who were given over to judgment by this same righteous, holy God for many of the same offenses Americans are participating in today. Their priests were corrupt. Their kings were evil. The people had forsaken the Lord God Almighty and perverted their worship and their ways.

According to His Word, God had to judge them, just as He will have to judge us. Scripture tells us, “God is the same today, yesterday, and forever.”

This Jewish teen, Daniel, spent seventy years in Babylon, just as God had told them through the prophet Jeremiah, and Daniel realized because of the books—God’s Word recorded by the prophets from the beginning—the time of their desolation was almost completed. So Daniel “…set his face before the Lord God to make requests by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sack cloth and ashes” (Daniel 9:3 NKJV).  “Oh Lord, to us belongs shame of face to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You” (Daniel 9:8 NKJV).

Daniel’s prayer is recorded in the 9th Chapter of Daniel, and I plead with you—take time to study this prayer and use it as a model, a template, for your prayer time.

Graham children a

If you are concerned about the state of our nation, the condition of our homes and churches, and the peril facing our children, I ask you to set aside time every day to come apart from the chaos of your life and earnestly seek God—confessing your sins, seeking His forgiveness, asking His directions, and pleading for Him to create in you an insatiable appetite for His Word.

We are in trouble, folks. Trouble no political party or candidate can fix. Trouble no stable economy or being great again can mend. If we are to survive as a nation and a people, we must seek God. Now. If like Daniel, we look at the Book, we will know there’s little time left to seek God’s mercy and grace and forgiveness. Little time left for our generation to repent and return to the God of our Fathers.

Graham Capital

                        GOD, PLEASE RESTORE AND BLESS AMERICA

 

 

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“158.16 Disabled, incapacitated, crippled, disqualified, ham-strung, invalidated, disarmed, paralyzed. Hog-tied.” (Roget’s International Thesaurus, page 92).
If only you could feel the ache in my heart tonight over the state of our families, our nation, and the world. If only I could let you see what my eyes have seen and know there is help, hope, and healing, whatever your problem. If only I could convince parents you can’t teach your children what you don’t know. And your children will suffer the consequences of your ignorance of God’s Word.
There is no black church. No white church. No Spanish church. No Oriental church. No Indian church. No Jewish church. No Baptist DSCF3049church. No Methodist or Presbyterian church—we are ONE CHURCH—The Church. The Body. Made in the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer, bought and paid for by His blood that is red—just like yours and mine.
This is a volatile point in history and the only answer lies at Golgotha’s cross where the blood Jesus shed covers my sins and your sins. The place where like an onion He can peel away the stinky DSCF7673layers of hidden sin in our lives. Or the place where you choose to reject His mercy and grace and keep sloshing through the pig-pen of life—hog-tied by the enemy of your soul.
And make no mistake, from the White House to our house, we are hog-tied by a generational battle of anger and racial prejudice while the godly foundations of this nation are ripped, shredded and trampled underfoot. And people, black and white and all shades in between, are hog-tied, unable to discern and overcome the source of this chaotic ruckus.
Our judicial system of righteousness judgment is hog-tied. Our lawimage enforcement officials are hog-tied. Our educational and parental rights as Christians are hog-tied. And many congregations in this nation are hog-tied by preachers delivering false messages. Lies rather than truth.
The spirit of lawlessness is raging among us.
This past Sunday, in St. Louis, we watched that spirit at work when one of those sons of lawlessness stood on holy ground and stoked incendiary fires of damnation. He stood where God’s word should have been proclaimed and spewed lies. Lies spoken to incite God’s people to rebel against His instructions to His Body.
The sad part is those enticed believe every word these false prophets speak and knowingly or unknowingly choose to violate God’s command to love their brothers whose blood is red—just like theirs.

Hot in the Kitchen 4
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 NAS).
“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also” (1 John 4:20-21 NAS).
The victim mentality lie has been perpetrated in our nation for at least fifty or more years. The mentality that says you can do anything you want because of the color of your skin or the way you were raised or what you have or don’t have.
This erroneous teaching taunts If it feels good, do it. Take what you want. Or do whatever your mind conjures-do it. There will be no consequences. And that lying voice inside answers, something in your background caused you to steal, bully, abuse, murder, sexual perversion—you’re not to blame. It’s someone else fault. Because the lie there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no accountability, and no consequences has been openly taught in our public schools and from some pulpits for over forty years.
On August 11, 2014, in Salt Lake City, Utah, a white, unarmed, twenty-year old, Dillon Taylor was shot and killed by a Salt Lake City black police officer. The officer’s name hasn’t been released. Nor have the false preachers gathered in Salt Lake City. Why? Because this event, plus countless others like Dillon, don’t fit the enemy’s false picture of victim mentality.
The civil war was fought over the issue of slavery, and if the enemy of God has his way, I’m afraid we will be deceived into another war or forced into a national or international police force. Because the erupting boil of racial prejudice continues to seep and spread poison, pushed by those in authority with a strange agenda, an agenda that gives Satan a stronghold in the hearts and minds of any who listen and agree, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds.
This disgusting boil is sin. Sin that weaves throughout generational lines of all people and needs to be confessed and washed in the blood of Jesus. Forgiven. Cleansed. Healed. Restored.
But why has the enemy used this one sin to attack America over and over again? Because we’ve clutched and held onto pride, anger, hatred, and lack of forgiveness, allowing this fierce-some-foursome to fester and grow in our hearts. All our hearts. Either by choosing to do what’s wrong or choosing to do nothing.
We still allow white hoods to organize and exist in America. Criminals who hide in sheets and perpetrate hate, violence, and murder in the dark night of their hearts. And many stashed their hoods and sat in churches on Sunday morning after their despicable evil on Saturday night. I’ve seen burning crosses, fires, and the riots of the ‘50’s. And God rest His precious soul, Martin Luther King led and won many battles by his faith in our Lord God Almighty and his commitment to peace. Our nation must not digress and repeat such a horrific history.
Yes, we have bad cops, like we have bad people—of every ethnic group. And these rotten apples cast dispersion and doubt over the multitude of good policemen and good people.
But could there be something more sinister involved here? Like an evil spiritual force many refuse to admit exists?
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm—Stand firm therefore…” (Ephesians 6:12-14a NAS).
Have you believed the enemy’s lie that your anger is justified? Is God placing His finger in that ugly black hole in your heart where you’ve harbored pride, anger, hatred, or even evil against a brother whose blood is red like yours?
Can you worship one day then shrug, laugh or participate in those actions you know cause God pain?
“This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20 NAS).
DSCF6601 013_edited-1So where do we go from here? Will you continue to allow yourself to be hog-tied by lies that pour from social media and the news? Will your tongue remain hog-tied when racists remarks leap out your mouth or the mouths of your friends and acquaintances? Will you speak out over injustices, regardless of race, in a peaceful, lawful manner? Or will you have the courage to rebuke them in Jesus name with the truth of God?

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Have you ever had your big toe poke a hole clear through your sock? A sore toe and maybe a blister is the reward for rubbing shoe leather all day, and it hurts.
DSCF5445
Auntie Marian sat on the front porch, in the cool of early evening, darning socks and rocking. And we were grateful for her diligence.

But whether you’re darning a sock, fixin’ and stitchin’ a hem, a family, or a life, it’s easier to restore when less stitches are required to patch the gap. These days we don’t stop to repair DSCF5450anything that breaks, just toss ‘em in the trash and shop for new stuff.

We’ve become the throw-away-generation.

Tired of a dress? Pitch it. Don’t like the sofa? Purchase a new one. Want a larger home? Get rid of the old one. And judging from the size of the malls, stores, and warehouses, we are indeed a nation of shoppers on steroids.

Newer, faster, sleaker everything—from cars to toothbrushes. Trouble is, our penchant for trashing objects has slithered into trashing people and relationships: Troubled kids, troublesome relatives, whoever and whatever flickers your feelings. Commitments? Disposable. Don’t even like the word. Gotta be free. Free to do my thing. My way. And in my time.

Like the three-year-old in the blog last week demanding a candy bar. Did I forget to mention the shopping cart was strewn with an empty cracker box, a half-eaten cookie, and a sucker wrapper? Bribes—given in place of loving enough to take the time and energy to properly discipline the child.

I’m so thankful God doesn’t toss me on the garbage heap when I wear out or offend Him. No, He takes the time to refresh me, to teach me to walk in accord with His Word. And I’m thankful His mercies are new every morning for those who love Him. God’s Word tells me He loves me so much He gave His only Son to die in my place. To die instead of me.

At the point we come to the end of our pride and arrogance and recognize we are hopeless without Him, He offers His amazing gift of grace and mercy to each person who repents, confesses, and truly believes in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to give them new life—now and forever.

What bribes have you allowed to creep in and litter the landscape of your home? What deceptive lies have caused you to refuse God’s repairing discipline?

And the rest of the world looks at God’s people. A world saturated in evil, poverty, and death. A world desperate for love, hope, and a Savior. Yet they look at Christians and wonder, “Those church folks act just like me. Why should I want to be like them?”

DSCF5451Could it be, church folks, we are full of rips and holes that need God’s darning needle? It sure is less painful to allow God to snip renegade threads from our hearts and take a few stitches in our character each day, rather than wait ‘til the distance between our hearts and His is an empty, dark cavern.

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives…All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:5-6 and 11 NAS).

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