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Posts Tagged ‘Front Porch Fellowship’

 

BLOGWORDS – Sunday 18 August 2019 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – YOUR LIGHT IN ME

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – YOUR LIGHT IN ME

 

The past months—summer months—have been a confoundng time for me. Weakness is part and parcel of the RA, but I began feeling a new level of malaise sometime in May. Doctor visits didn’t identify the culprit, not even my physical in July. Not until the telltale rash developed—I had Scabies! And lemme tell ya, that is a level of torment I’d not wish on anyone. (For the record, it is passed from an infected person; it is not from having or living in a filthy house, as was suggested to me.)

Once the correct diagnosis was made, and treatment administered, I began to feel better, and am now mostly back to how great I felt in April and early May. The upswing of this recovery is my writing, both the new book and the blog.

 

Today I give you a poem I wrote during one of my lowest points of depression—correction, a poem Holy Spirit wrote via the pen in my hand. Only the first line was from my desperate mind; the rest flowed through me like a refreshing spring of cool water on a hot day. A short time later, He also gave me the melody to go with it.

 

YOUR LIGHT in ME

Oh, my sweet Jesus, I long for your presence

My heart is not whole, except you are there

Wash me anew with Your great Holy Spirit

And grant me the power Your goodness to share.

Heavenly Father, I need You with me,

Your strength and Your mercy my soul to sustain.

Let nothing dwell in me ‘twould bind me from You

By Your grace, Lord, perfect me that I might bear Your name.

Pour Your anointing into my spirit

Kindle Your love in my soul every day

To set me in motion, to reach out around me,

To witness Your grace and Your Word to proclaim.

Put wings to my words, Lord, let me serve You in ways

That others might see You and ask of Your plan.

Use my feet as Your feet, Lord, my hands as Your own

And manifest things that only You can.

Send me out to the world, God, Your flock to help gather.

Grant me words of wisdom to help the lost see

Your perfect salvation, Your will for us all.

Oh show the world, Jesus, Your light in me.

 

                                © Robin E. Mason

                                April 1989

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Your Light in Me

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 16 June 2019 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – GOOD GOOD FATHER

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – GOOD GOOD FATHER

 

A lady I used to go to church with was vehement that single moms don’t deserve kudos on Father’s Day. Claimed it was tantamount to usurping the child’s father of his rights and privileges. While she had a valid point, it is not the only perspective. Case in point—my story.

 

My husband was involved precious little while we were married, even less after our divorce. To the point of oblivion. I usurped nothing from him, or his role as father. He abdicated, and I stepped into a role I neither wanted nor fit. One that took away from my heart-role as mother; juggling both roles was a challenge no person was meant to bear.

 

Today is to honor fathers. But not biological fathers only. Men—and women—who have stepped into that role in the life of a child. Who have filled a void in a child’s heart, lifted a child’s vision, self-esteem. Changed the life of a child, even if in some small way only.

 

Today I honor adoptive fathers, step-fathers, foster dads, granddads and uncles who stepped up to the plate, and honorary dads—those who, by whatever connection, never wore the title of father, but nurtured a child who needed a father’s attention. To the ones who take kids who are not their own to ball games and dance practice, to movies and skating rinks. Who teach manly skills like—and forgive the stereotyping—fishing and mowing the lawn and building tree houses. Who help with homework and mundane tasks, who teach manners and morals and courage. Who teach and encourage a child to honor and respect their mother, their teachers and scout leaders.

 

I bow to you, and I thank you for making our world a better place. One act of kindness, one piece of your heart, one child at a time.

 

Above all, I honor our God and Father of all. Who is there in times of distress and darkness, Who is with us even when we don’t acknowledge Him. Even when we turn and walk away from Him. Who is ever faithful, and waiting for us with open arms. Who holds us in the palm of His hand, and lavishes us with love so tender and Divine.

 

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. Psalm 68:5

 

Thank You, Father God, and all dads everywhere, for all you do.

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Good Good Father

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 26 May 2019 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – ALL CREATION WORSHIPS

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – ALL CREATION WORSHIPS

            * REPOST—AUTHOR DOWN

 

Several years ago I was walking around a small lake. It’s a favorite spot, and I take the walk whenever I visit there.

This particular time I had been listening to a certain praise and worship CD, and one of the songs was playing in my head.

As those words sang in my mind, my eyes looked up at the trees—and I wondered (as all good authors do) “How does a tree worship God.”

I had thought it an idle thought. Until He answered me.

So simple and yet so profound.

And as all good writers also do, my mind took it another step.

Of course I knew the answer, even then.

And with an algebraic turn, or perhaps putting the pieces in a puzzle, that meant that I worship Father by writing.

So … as I was sitting outside, basking in a miracle moment today, and praising Father for this long awaited thing, I glanced at the trees.

And I was reminded of what He told me those years ago—to worship Him, I be what He created me to be.

*note the use of “be” vs “do.”

So, and pardon the license with grammar, but I be writing. I be working—and I be worshiping Him—as I write.

And that brings me even greater joy.

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, All Creation Worships

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 19 May 2019 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – DO THE NEXT THING

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – DO THE NEXT THING

 

When I started writing my new story, I knew the main characters names were Elizabeth and Meredith. I did not know their last name was Elliott. Nor did I realize what I had done—I gave one sister the same name as Elisabeth Elliot, wife of missionary Jim Elliot.

 

Rather than change the name, I decided—felt led—to keep the name and work the elder Mrs. Elliot into the story.

 

All that to say that my Elizabeth Elliott, Bethy, is fascinated with the missionary wife, and has as a reminder one of Mrs. Elliot’s sayings taped to the mirror in her bedroom.

 

Do the next thing.

 

I say all that to say that besides my own story, that phrase, Do the next thing, has come up several times recently. And when that happens, I believe Father God is using it to get my attention.

 

ATTENTION GOT.

 

After the death of her first husband, Mrs. Elliot returned to the missionary post they had shared in the jungles of Ecuador. Besides being a mom of a toddler and a widow, responsibilities swirled around her, most of which had been her husband’s duties. Unsure how to even begin, she recalled—or, Father brought to her remembrance—an old Saxon legend, Do the next thing.

 

From that (as I understand the article I’ve read) she penned her poem, Do the Next Thing.

 

When life overwhelms us, do we not tend to scramble to get ALL the things done? Do we even, as Christians, feel we are called upon TO do all the things? I know I did, for many years.

 

I blogged about that last year.

 

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/blogwords-sunday-19-march-2017-front-porch-fellowship-all-the-things/

 

Short-n-sweet post, but to the point.

 

In considering what the next thing is, it occurs to me that we as humans tend to, perhaps feel the need to, see the whole plan, to know every step along the way. And in some instances, it is necessary. Building a house is one example.

 

But that is not His way—that is not faith. Not in the day to day, moment to moment. Because relationship doesn’t work that way.

 

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/2018/04/01/blogwords-sunday-1-april-2018-front-porch-fellowship-easter-sunday-to-become-like-him/

 

A couple of quotes come to mind:

 

 

We don’t always see—or hear—or know God’s plan. And perhaps we don’t know the next step. But praise is always timely. He is always worthy. And betimes, praise is what carries us through to the next “instruction.”

 

When we abide in Him, and are in relationship with Him, we know He is with us. Just as we know our earthly family and friends are with us, even when we don’t talk to them every day, or for days or weeks at a time.

 

Sometimes the next thing is monumental. An earth shattering leap of faith. Stepping out of the boat.

 

But sometimes, dare I say most times, the next thing is a simple task. Dusting or sweeping, holding your child’s hand while you walk to the school bus or into the store. Ironing a dress or shirt. Sometimes, the next thing is to sit in His presence.

 

I know, I know. That’s not really doing anything.

 

Ah! But it is. Sitting in Father’s presence is what we were created for. There is no higher “thing” to do.

 

And it is in those moments of doing “nothing,” sitting—not idly, not at all—basking in Him, fellowshipping with Him, that His still small voice clears through the rubble of the world, and whispers The Next Thing.

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Do the Next Thing, Elisabeth Eliot

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 12 May 2019 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – THE BLESSING OF MOTHERHOOD

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – THE BLESSING OF MOTHERHOOD

CONFESSION: The past week has been total upheaval. Well, okay, maybe not total upheaval. But the loss of a major appliance, especially the refrigerator, turned my world topsy-turvy for eight days.

 

And drained me. Thus, no devotion post last week.

 

The new fridge, Tallulah (yes, I named her) is in place, happily purring and keeping things wonderfully cold.

 

CONFESSION #2: I often write my Sunday posts on Saturday. YEEPS! And this week was no exception.

 

Well, it would have been no exception.

 

But then the topic leapt off the page—and surprised me with an early Mother’s Day dinner. A delightful surprise to be sure. But it ate up my day and zapped my energy.

 

So the post I was mentally planning to write got changed up on me.

 

Because of the very blessing I planned to write about. (technically, one of my three blessings)

 

So as I bask in my full belly and my overflowing heart, I give you a poignant poem from Steven James.

In a mother’s purse, in a mother’s purse,
You’ll find so many things!
A cell phone that used to work
But now no longer rings.
A shopping list of all the stuff
You were supposed to get last week.
A bottle filled with formula
That seems to have sprung a leak….
Band-aids, diapers, Cheerios,
Kleenex for a runny nose,
I think someone’s been using those…
Go on and take a peek!

In a mother’s purse, in a mother’s purse,
It’s amazing what you see!
A checkbook that hasn’t been balanced
Since the year two thousand three!
A schedule of little league baseball games,
To stay one step ahead.
A Slim-fast bar you thought about
But chose a Milky Way instead.
Crayons, a bib, some coins and cash,
Some lotion for the baby’s rash,
A flashlight that has lost its flash,
And some aspirin for your head!

In a mother’s purse, in a mother’s purse,
You’ll find a mother’s heart.
Down beside the car keys,
To the van that doesn’t start.
Somewhere near the pacifier,
Below the old receipts…
There, you’ll find a mother’s heart.
By crumpled homework sheets–
The tears, the dreams, the whispered prayers,
The scars, the screams, the sudden scares,
That every single mother bears,
And love, lived out, completes.

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, The Blessing of Motherhood

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 28 April 2019 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – IDENTITY and AUTHORITY

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – IDENTITY and AUTHORITY

 

The scene brings Ebenezer Scrooge to mind. Lying in his bed, awakened from sleep by loud clattering noises. Shutters banging, the bed, even, hopping about as though it were a living creature.

Here the similarities in two stories ends. Poor Ebenezer trembles in fear, clinging to his bedclothes for dear life—as though a woven piece of cloth might hold off the specter standing before him.

Smith Wigglesworth, however, looked his guest—a very real manifestation of evil—in the eye and said, “Oh. It’s just you.” And laid his head back on his pillow. Without opening his eyes, he spoke again. “And put my bed back where it belongs.” He promptly went back to sleep, absolute in his authority over the baffled intruder.

Mr. Wigglesworth’s visitor was no fictional ghost, nor a minion or underling, even, of Satan. Mr. Wiggleworth’s visitor was the Prince of Darkness himself. Manifest in all his ugliness, vile and sulphurous, drawing on all his worthless power to scare this man of faith who had him trembling.

Because he knew. They both knew.

 

This story struck me to my core when I first read it years ago. Such faith. To look at Satan, manifest before his eyes, and not be shaken in the least.

 

Because Mr. Wigglesworth knew.

 

Satan. Could. Not. Touch. Him.

 

Not because of anything Smith did or was.

 

But because of who he was in Christ.

 

Smith Wigglesworth knew his identity. Just like Jesus knew, and knows His identity—and offers that to us as believers and followers.

 

Just as Jesus faced Pontius Pilate, just as He endured the horror of crucifixion. Just as He walked (strutted?) the streets of hell to take back what was stolen.

 

Just as Jesus knows who He is, so, too, can we know who we are.

 

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

 

In His image. From the very beginning, we were made to be like Him.

 

All the struggling and striving and suffering is because we separate ourselves from Him. Because we don’t know who we truly are. Who we’re meant to be. Who He created us to be.

 

To live in that identity, to face every situation and circumstance with the same authority Jesus did, and does. Because in Him, our identity is the same as His identity. We were created for Him. For relationship and fellowship with Him.

 

How many times do we face a trial wondering if things are going to be okay? Wondering if He heard our prayer—or if He cares. Wondering, even, Father’s will? (His Word tells us, very clearly, what His will is.) When we are in relationship with Him, just as when we are in relationship with each other, we can and will—and should—know Father’s will. His plan, His purpose.

 

Think of it this way—God’s strength and might is a turbine engine. The kind that power the tremendous KC-10 aircraft. And living our lives without being plugged in to Him is like operating on the power of a small lawnmower engine.

 

We putter about our lives with that small motor, lacking the strength to live fully as He created us to do. We roll from one day to another, idling through life.

 

But what if we engage those grand turbine engines? What if we embrace the terrible power? What if we soar on the wings those engines raise? Might we face the enemy with the unwavering confidence Mr. Wigglesworth did?

 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18

 

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”

They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”

“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them. Daniel 3:24-27

 

 

All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions…  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days…  So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.”  Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed…  Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever!  My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”  Daniel 6:7, 10, 16-17, & 21-22

 

These men of God had no fear because they knew Who their God was. They knew no man could take them out of God’s hand. But more than that, they knew God would prevail, His power and His glory would be made known.

Like Smith Wigglesworth, they faced the enemy with courage because they knew who they were, Who they belonged to.

 

What if we step into the power and realm where Jesus did? Does that mean nothing bad will happen?

 

No.

 

What it means is that Christ shines through us when the evil of this world encroaches upon us. Upon our lives. Upon our loved ones, even.

 

Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods.  And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.  Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.  And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.  But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”

Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.  And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.  And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.  Act 16:22-34

 

In the midst of whatever difficulties, whether light or catastrophic, God’s power takes over when we invite Him through praise.

 

…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

Not for the difficulty, as I’ve heard questioned. But above the circumstance. Because we, in spirit, are above our circumstance. We are above this natural realm. We walk with Father in spirit.

 

Stray thoughts enter my mind sometimes. The natural reaction is worry and panic. And yes, I have fallen prey to it at times. But I have learned who I am. I have learned my spirit is my guide, NOT my emotions. And in that identity I speak the Word of God and vanquish those trespassing thoughts.

 

And I laugh at the one who would destroy my soul.

 

Because I can.

Because I know who I am.

His. I am His.

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Identity and Authority, Genesis 1:26-27, Daniel 3:16-18, Daniel 16:7, 10, 16-17, & 21-22, Acts 16:22-34, 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 21 April 2019 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – IDENTITY and RESURRECTION

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – IDENTITY and RESURRECTION

He knew.

 

Jesus knew it all. He knew everything that was coming, everything that was about to happen. He knew before Father told Gabriel to appear to Mary.

 

He knew. Jesus knew.

 

And He came anyway. He came knowing He would suffer. Knowing He would die.

 

Knowing the enemy would think he had won.

 

Who. Does. That.

Jesus does.

 

Because He also knew something else. Something that enemy just cannot grasp—Father God wins. He is sovereign. He is omnipotent and omnipresent and omniscient.

 

He knows the beginning from the end.

 

Why did Jesus remain silent? Why did He not respond to the hecklers and naysayers? Why did He not defend Himself before Pontius Pilate?

 

Because He knew His identity. He knew absolutely who He was and is. He knew His purpose, and His battle was not against Pontius Pilate. His battle was not against the throng of people who has just days earlier been devoted followers. Nor was His battle against the Pharisees, even.

 

No, Jesus’ battle was against the deceiver of our souls. His battle was not on this earth, not of this world. His battle was a spiritual one, manifest in the natural realm. What Father God gave to Adam was lost, and Jesus came to get it back.

 

Was He worried about it? Did He question who would win? Did Jesus ever doubt the outcome?

 

No. He did not. At all.

 

His night of anguish in Gethsemane was not begging Father to let Him win. He had no doubt about that; that was ever in question.

 

And the reason was simple—Jesus knew His identity. He knew absolutely who He was and is.

 

But here’s the kicker—we can know that same thing. We can know absolutely who we are in Him. That’s the reason He came. That’s the reason He left His realm in Glory to dwell in a body of flesh. The reason He endured the frailties and difficulties of this human life. The reason He embraced the cross, and the events leading up to it, with open arms.

 

For us. Because in Him, our identity is the same as His identity. The keys that were stolen, He got back. The keys that unlocked our access to heaven. The keys that restored who, as humanity, we were created to be. His.

 

We were created for Him. For relationship and fellowship with Him. When Father God created Adam, He said,

 

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

 

Guess what? God did not mean that He appears as we do, physically. Perhaps He does. But the image to which He referred is spiritual. From the very beginning, we were made to be like Him.

 

All the struggling and striving and suffering is because we separate ourselves from Him. Because we don’t know who we truly are. Who we’re meant to be. Who He created us to be.

 

Jesus knew. He knew who He was. And He knows who we are.

 

That’s how He looked the enemy in the eye and said,

 

“It. Is. Finished.”

 

That’s how, when His earthly body lay in the tomb, He looked at the enemy and said,

 

“You. Are. Defeated.”

 

And that’s how, on the third day, He walked out of that tomb in full resurrection glory and victory.

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Identity and Resurrection, Genesis 1:26-27, It is Finished, He is Risen, #EasterSunday, #ThirdDay

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