Tag Archives: Christian

Captured by Pain ~ Captivated by God’s Love

Ominous

Ominous ~ a recent storm approaching

Captured by pain
Yet captivated by grace sublime
Devastated in every way
Yet drenched in love Divine

God sometimes allows circumstances to capture us, in order to captivate us with His immeasurable love. 

He will even use pain to stop the busyness and speak into our lives.  To hold us in His arms and drench us with His love.

My recovery from neck surgery has been rife with ups and downs.  With periods of strengths and setbacks. 

Although I prefer the days without pain, it is during those weakened interludes that God grabs my full attention.  He is then able to remind me of His all-consuming love.

You may have noticed my infrequent blogging.  It is because of continued difficulties with computer usage.  Since I love writing and working with photos, my inability to do so has brought much discouragement.

The enemy wants us to focus on the ominous possibilities of our circumstances and dwell in devastated defeat.  To convince us that the life we once enjoyed has ended.  To permanently capture us with pain.

At its worst, though, discouragement cannot overtake God’s love.  Physical pain cannot extinguish it.  Hardship cannot prevent it.

No matter the difficulty, God’s love abounds higher, wider and deeper still.  Trials don’t have to destroy us; they can instead strip out the trivial and bring us closer to God.  We can discover afresh and anew that His word is true:

Nothing can separate us from God’s love.

I wish that things in life made sense.  The good news is that they don’t have to for me to know and experience a contentment found only in God. 

When trials capture us, we can rest in God’s embrace, knowing that He is in control. 

God wants us to focus on the magnificent certainty of His promises and dwell in contented rest.  To believe that the purposes He intends are yet realized.  To forever captivate us with His love.

God will use anything to drench us with an awareness of His everlasting love and His grace, so sublime.

“I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever!
Psalm 89:1
NLT

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.
Genesis 50:20a
NLT

 

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Written in Sand ~ God Erases Our Sins

I left this message at the beach ~ figured someone might need it

I left this message at the beach ~ figured someone might need it

Written in sand
Our sins, such disgrace
Forgiven, our mistakes
God’s love does erase.

I have fond childhood memories of trips to the beach.  I don’t get to go very often anymore, but periodically just yearn to see the ocean.

I get to missing the taste of salty brine and the feel of sand between my toes.
Of relaxing to the gentle lapping of the waves, skirting back and forth on the shore.
Or building castles fortresses and writing heartfelt messages in the sand.

My memories of the beach linger.  Not long after formed, however, my seaside fortresses and writings in the sand all washed away.

Words written in sand, meant to last forevermore,
Erased quickly by the seashore.

The amazing thing about artistry in sand is that once eroded or washed away, the erasure is permanent.  There is no ability to precisely replicate what was before, whether castles or words.  Sand tablets have the ability to completely clean the slate.

Written in the Sand ~ Jesus

When He knelt before the woman caught in adultery, we don’t know what Jesus wrote in the sand that day.  Many speculate that while the religious leaders took turns hurling accusations of her guilt, Christ listed each of their faults in the sand.  Since there is no record in Scripture, nobody knows with certainty what He wrote. 

Jesus could have written about the sins of her accusers.
He could have documented the wrongdoing of the accused.

One thing is for sure, though, when the ordeal was over and the adulterous woman went on her way, she did so forgiven and cleansed to sin no more.  Had Christ listed her transgressions in sand during her trial, no trace of her wrongdoing remained when it concluded.  That is because when God forgives a repentant heart, He wipes the accusatory slate clean.

Covered completely by the blood of Christ, our sins lie forever forgotten at the bottom of the sea.  The tide of His merciful love erases the penalty of death written over our lives.  Our iniquities, washed away like messages in the sand.  No trace of former evidence remains.

“He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
Micah 7:19

God’s Love Invading

Color invading the surroundings

Invading ~ the surroundings

God’s Love Invading

I look around
And see God’s love
Invading
Every aspect of my life
And that’s a good thing

It’s flame
Igniting every fiber of my soul

I look behind
And see God’s mercy
Covering
Every sin-stained part of me
And that’s a saving thing

It’s benefits
Blessing every step of my eternity

I look ahead
And see God’s faithfulness
Fulfilling
Every one of His promises
And that’s a wondrous thing

It’s encouragement
Conquering every doubt in my being

I look above
And see God’s handiwork
Amazing
Every crevice of my heart
And that’s a glorious thing

It’s majesty
  Rising up as praise in my spirit

****

“Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.”
Psalm 40:16

I took the photo above, while on a trip with my husband to the Gulf earlier this year.  This was just one of the stunningly beautiful sunsets we saw.  It was as if the hues of orange and red invaded our surroundings, rendering permanent change to the landscape. 

God invaded the landscape of our world with love, when He sent us the Son. Through Jesus, the Father’s love drew near, and dwelt among us. However, God never intended that love simply to come near and just surround us. He longs for Christ’s sacrificial love to invade us, in a good way.

*If you let God, His love will invade your depravity, erase your past, and rearrange your destiny.  He will interrupt your plans and ignite your spirit with a song of praise.

Have you merely heard of God’s love?  Will you allow His love instead to invade your life, for good?

For more of my poetry, see Poetry Corner

God's Love Invading poetry corner


Grace, Grace ~ Oldie Hymn

I felt compelled that someone needed to hear this old hymn today.  Didn’t hurt myself ~ just a link to a video with lyrics copied and pasted below.  I love this video version; it reminds me of an old-time black and white movie. 

Nothing you have ever done is outside the power of God to forgive.  His grace is greater than all our sin!

Blessings as you listen and remember this timeless message:

Grace Greater Than All Our Sin

by Julia H. Johnston

VERSE 1
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt

REFRAIN
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin

VERSE 2
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide;
Whiter than snow you may be today.

VERSE 3
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe,
All who are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Blessings Like Rain ~ Farewell Until I Mend

A cluster of raindrops on one of my iris leaves ~ it almost forms the shape of a treble clef

A cluster of raindrops on one of my iris leaves ~ it almost forms the shape of a treble clef

Thanks very much for the outpouring of well wishes after yesterday’s announcement about my surgery.  My recovery will require that I stay off computers for about two months, but since I want this to work, I will fully comply with doctor’s orders!

This last post, before I temporarily retire from blogging, is for you.  Until we meet up again in Blog-Land, receive this simple blessing of farewell and the special photo above just for you.

Blessings Like Rain

May God’s blessings pour like rain
On everything you do
May God’s melodies sustain
In all life puts you through

****

“For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God”
Hebrews 6:7

****

*I will miss ‘you all’ very much.  Thanks for your friendship, encouragement and prayers.

Farewell until I mend!

Blessings, always

Sue

****

*I will continue to read your posts and respond to comments through the weekend only, but as I stated yesterday, will have much time while I am off to pray for any of your needs.

Poem and photo by Sue Nash/ © 2014

 

Solitary Snowdrop ~ God Understands Our Loneliness

Solitary Snowdrop

Solitary Snowdrop

Solitary snowdrop bloom
Loneliness portrayed
Priceless pearl misunderstood

****

Loneliness is insidious.  It is a quiet heartache; a solitary wound.

Lonely people are not necessarily alone.  It can happen to anyone, even those in a relationship or surrounded by friends.  It can surface through rejection, misunderstanding or conflict, and can be either real or imagined.  No matter what, though, the pain of loneliness is very real.

In reality, none of us ever need feel alone, for Christ fully cares and understands.  Alone, He prayed at Gethsemane and trudged up Golgotha’s hill.  Despised and rejected, he endured the cross on His own.

When loneliness strikes, Jesus offers a companionship like no other.  His is not superficial or fleeting.  Although misunderstood by others, He knows and accepts us, regardless of the things for which they may shun.

Our quirks, our faults, our unique characteristics.

O course, our sins He must cleanse.  However, nothing about who we are deters Jesus from wanting us as friends.

After trusting in Him, we may have times where we feel lonely, but we are never alone from then on.  He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, One who will never leave nor forsake.  We are His prized possession, His pearl of great price.

 “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee”
Hebrews 13:5

Do you feel lonely or rejected?  God really does care and understand.  You don’t have to be alone.  As simple as it may seem, just place your trust in Him.  Jesus wants to make YOU His friend. 

Words and photo by Sue Nash/© 2014

Chiseled in Stone ~ Look Closer, Don’t Dismiss the Elderly

Old stone cross in local, historic cemetery

Old stone cross in local, historic cemetery

The closer I get
The more a masterpiece you appear

Looking back at them
How replete with memories are your years

****

At a cursory glance, you seem chiseled in stone, of rock quarried from ancient ruins.  Your body weathered, as a once stately elm now tattered from the storms.

To get to know you seems pointless; the path to your heart long trodden, too hardened to trespass.  Your aged years seem to have finalized the need for further discourse.

All too quickly, then, I summarize and dismiss you.  My conclusions cause me to walk away, seeking friendship with a more vibrant sort.

It is only by drawing nearer that I see more.

Close up of the lovely etched flower

Close up of the lovely etched flower

There are subtle colors forged into your withered front.  There is a fluidity of joy beneath the frozen surface of your countenance.  There is a fire of enthusiasm smoldering silently within.

A lifetime of memories lie etched in every wrinkled line, wanting to break free from their dormant cocoon.  Waiting for someone to draw them out.  Longing for someone to listen and understand.

“Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Proverbs 20:5

Words and photos by Sue Nash © 2014