One Woman's Pilgrimage
by Linda Bush Cannon
This morning in my devotional reading from Our Daily Bread was a portion of the passage from John 13 from the Last Supper, the night before Jesus’ crucifixion. It got me thinking about Jesus’ last “free” night on earth. He knew exactly what was to come. He faced the horror of the upcoming betrayal, pain and Cross.
Have you ever had a time in your life when it was the eve of something tragic and beyond agonizing for you? The night before a funeral of a beloved one? The night before a divorce? The night before surgery? The night before some ( Click for more )
Have you ever walked past someone and caught the slightest trace of their perfume? The aromatic bouquet seems to slowly rise in the air like the smoke from incense until it quietly swirls around your head and tickles your olfactory senses? Often I find myself turning around to see who is wearing it, and may even go up and ask what the person is wearing. I want to know! I love my fragrances and have my own “signature” scent which I always apply before I leave the house. It’s one of the primary and mandatory accessories of my wardrobe; it matches everything and ( Click for more )
Psalm 1:1-3: Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Luke 7:37-38:37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has ( Click for more )
Leviticus 20:7-8: Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy.
What does it mean to consecrate myself? It’s so much more than to follow some legalistic rules put on me by some church or organization. Oh, it’s easy enough to put on the front, the mask of being consecrated/holy. I can wear the face and clothes of the tight-spirited holy-roller church lady and carry a Bible and spout verses and quotes and speak "Christianese." But when I come home at night and look ( Click for more )
Isaiah 58:11 NASB ""And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." Anger and pain are often associated with feelings and adjectives associated with heat. When a personal or business relationship fails, you may feel as if you’ve been “burned”. Your face may flush red with heat when you are angry, probably the origin of the term “hot head” for someone who is mad. If someone ( Click for more )
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
October? Already? Wow, time has flown, hasn’t it? Looking back over September, have you reached any goals that you set at the beginning of the month? Did you even think about goals? Well, if you haven’t/didn’t/never even had a minute to think about it, don’t ( Click for more )
1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Many of us here on the east coast are dealing with the double-header aftermath of last week’s earthquake and hurricane combo. Talk about a one-two punch! Some of us have come through with scratches, while others have had evacuations, flooding, and loss of property. Thankfully, it wasn’t quite as bad as was originally expected, but for someone standing in three feet of water in their basement, bailing all night because the electricity ( Click for more )
Isaiah href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2045&version=AMP">Isaiah 45:3 And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name.
Clinical depression is a place of great darkness and secrecy. It is a place that you wrap around you like a warm, safe (albeit it dysfunctional) blanket…until you discover you have become engulfed in what has become a prison, a suffocating cocoon from which you think you will never escape. It paralyzes as it ( Click for more )
Colossians 3:15-16 -- And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Wuest’s Translation “ “let it be acting as an umpire in your heart”
In Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New ( Click for more )
Psalm 3:3 “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.”
I was talking with a friend about how we deal with the rough patches in our lives, and how pain, grief and anguish literally come down so hard that it physically takes its toll on our bodies. We even find ourselves walking with our heads down, looking at the ground. Our shoulders are rounded, breathing is shallow, and we physically encompass the phrase, “They’re carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.”
We’ve all been there, done ( Click for more )
Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
I have a thing about writing instruments, always have. I have always loved the new box of crayons with their brilliant little bright heads peeking up out of the box, fragrant with the promise of creativity and art dreams. Of course, ink markers are wonderful as well, and any kind of colored pencils. But pens, ah, here is where the heart beats faster – when you open a journal page and have the perfect pen, it’s a little bit of heaven. The pen cradles into your hand like ( Click for more )
Isaiah 42:6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee.
Transliterated word for hold – “chazaq” (verb) – to strengthen, to prevail, to make strong, restore/give strength, to support, to repair, to encourage.
Today I read the devotional “Hold onto the Hand” from “Joy and Strength” by Mary Wilder Tileston (see below). To be honest, I’ve don’t remember ever reading this verse in Isaiah before, but then again, sometimes when we need it God causes a particular verse ( Click for more )
Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honored by all…” I work with a guy whom I will call Joe. Joe is in his late 20’s, is someone you're always happy to bump into, and has been married for a little over a year or so. He and his bride were high school sweethearts, and have been together about ten years now – a feat in and of itself! We were talking about marriage and career, and where Joe was headed next in life. What he said next almost brought tears to my eyes. He said that right now he and his wife were just focusing on their marriage. He shared ( Click for more )
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Lately I’ve become more aware of the things that come out of my mouth. It’s embarrassing and painful to admit, but way too often I find that I have a very acerbic tongue, a cutting humor, a critical spirit, and easily shoot verbal bullets at people (my Mom calls it “verbal sniping” – because it’s so easy to hurt someone with words). The original Greek ( Click for more )
Proverbs 31:10 "An excellent wife who can find?"
Excellent: the Hebrew word is a masculine noun for strength, ability, translated as able, capable, full, strong, substantial, a warrior, valiant, and worthy. The dictionary definition of excellent is “possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good; extraordinary.
Wife – is the Hebrew feminine noun defined as woman (opposite of man), female, and in the NAS is translated and used often for a variety of women (from harlot to single to married to widow).
When I read the ( Click for more )
Psalm 68:4 Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him.
Some days my heart is like a barren woman hopeless for a child – empty, lonely, and sad. At times when I feel this way it’s as if I’m going to implode, that this aching hole will begin to suck me in until there is nothing left of me at all, only the gaping pain and blackness.
I hate feeling this way. Sometimes circumstances of my life bring me to this place – disappointment in a situation or person ( Click for more )
Colossians 4:8 (Amplified Bible) "I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are faring and that he may comfort and cheer and encourage your hearts.
With the new year comes new goals, and we think things like “what do I want to accomplish, what do I want to lose, what do I want to learn, I, I, I….” Well, I would like to encourage you to take those I’s off yourself and focus them outward onto other-centered goals. For example, how about seeking out ways to be an encouragement to the people in your life? In ( Click for more )
"You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.
Did you ever cling too much to someone, hold fast to them a little more than was healthy? I think of the movie “10 Ways to Lose a Guy”, and certainly one of those top ten ways was to be “clingy”! The character would show up at the guy’s apartment unannounced, when he was hanging with the guys, at his job, and would call incessantly. Just watching the antics of the character (who ( Click for more )
Philippians 3:13-14 I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: forgetting the past... I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to Heaven. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 In a race, everyone runs but only one person gets first prize. So run your race to win. To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears. Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, ( Click for more )
Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Even though the better part of my daily mail is bills, flyers, catalogs and rubbish, I have to admit that there is always a bit of anticipation when I read through my mail. As the Christmas cards begin to arrive, I often smile just reading the return address, reminded of a distant friend, and then I tear open the card with childlike enthusiasm ( Click for more )
Luke 2:1: In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. In those days… What do you remember when you think of Christmas past? What memories come to mind, emotions to heart? In those days, are they the “good old days”, days in which you visit and perhaps still live? We can get trapped by the past. Often we romanticize memories, make them softer, kinder, larger, sweeter than they were in reality. Do our hearts ache for a more simple, easier holiday? Perhaps you are the ( Click for more )
Psalm 30:11-12 “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. Oh Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.”
In last week’s column I talked about learning to sit with the pain - to trust the Lord, to cling for dear life while the “tsunami storm” beats over you repeatedly. It is a time of great distress and discomfort, where we offer it up as a sacrifice to God, look for His lessons, and wait. With His help, we survive – even when we’d rather ( Click for more )
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