Monthly Archives: February 2013

Follow the Leader

Mark 9:35 “…If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (NIV)*

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Straight to the back

Of the line He went,

Letting everyone–

Everyone in the world,

In front of Him.

Taking their heavy loads

As He passed them by,

Carrying their burdens

To a bloody cross,

Dying for bundles of sin

He didn’t commit.

By stooping to be very last

He nailed down first place.

He asks nothing of us

That he wouldn’t, didn’t do.

We’re to follow the leader

Servant to all.

………………..

photo and poem by Patty Perkins

*The One Year Bible, New International Version, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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A good place to be

Mark 9:23-24 “‘If you can’? said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes. ‘Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'” (NIV)*

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Daffodil (Photo credit: JKehoe_Photos)

His son needed the help of Jesus. The requirement? Belief. No if you cans allowed. This father believed, as much as he could, that Jesus could drive the evil spirit from his son. He also knew he was holding onto disbelief. This father was honest. He knew his limits; he needed help.

He also knew who Jesus was. Jesus could help him overcome the disbelief. The father’s immediate gut level reply was heart-felt. He pleaded with Jesus to help him be what he could not be on his own.

Sometimes I wonder if my unbelief stands in the way. Does He hold back due to lack of faith? Yet, how can I muster up more on my own? The belief I do have, I have because of His grace. If I’m going to get over the disbelief, I’ll need His help, and some more grace!

It’s a good place to be, when we realize we can’t, but Jesus can. To be honest. To have a realistic picture of who we are and who He is. We desperately need His help to overcome ourselves.

All becomes possible

Disbelief overcome

Depend on Jesus

Desperate for Him, run.

………………..

poem by Patty Perkins

*The One Year Bible, New International Version, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.


Solo? Never

Psalm 42:8 “By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me–a prayer to the God of my life.” (NIV)*

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He directs love

Throughout the day

Prepares and strengthens

Come what may.

………………..

At night His song

A melody dear

Though dark surrounds

God is near.

………………..

A prayer to the God

Of my life forever

By day or by night

Solo? Never.

………………..

photo and poem by Patty Perkins

………………..

*The One Year Bible, New International Version, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.


The Big Rock

Psalm 40:2 “…He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (NIV)*

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My siblings and I would swim for hours in the winding creek that bordered our land. The rippling cold water and muddy banks made an ideal playground for seven rambunctious farm kids.

Those brave enough to venture into deep waters knew if they made it to a certain spot they could climb onto a rock waiting there. Firm. Solid. It was the big rock.

All those childhood years, the big rock sat planted underwater in that same spot. I’ve never fully seen it, oh…maybe a shadowy form when the water was low, but my bare feet had its rough textured shape memorized. No sight needed.

The big rock held shaky legs secure and gave a firm place to stand. It provided a platform to jump from, when the time was right.

Life gets shaky and waters, deep. A bad decision or unexpected flood could have led there. Maybe someone threw you in over your head or the boat capsized. However you arrived in scary deep water, the rock’s the same. It’s solid. It’s firm. It holds secure. It’s a place to catch your breath, refocus, and prepare for the next jump.

When life finds you flailing in waters deep, about to drown–

Let Jesus be that rock, firm place for setting feet down.

………………..

poem and photo by Patty Perkins

*The One Year Bible, New International Version, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

Note: Psalm 40:2 came from the February 23 reading of The One Year Bible…it stood out to me more than today’s passages.


Come with Me

Mark 6:31 “…Come with me, by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (NIV)*

dogwood blooms

dogwood blooms (Photo credit: circulating)

Time with Jesus

Restores the soul

Repairs the body

Returns to whole.

Life gets busy

Even with good

Come with Me

Rest, if you would.

………………..

poem by Patty Perkins

………………..

May your weekend be…restful.

*The One Year Bible, New International Version, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.


Redefined

Mark 6:3 “‘Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him.” (NIV)*

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Their hearts couldn’t get around His growing up years. He was Mary and Joseph’s son, one of several children.

He seemed to be always with his father, learning the family business. Jesus would grow up to be a carpenter, just like His dad. His handiwork was in their homes. Sanding wood grain smooth, perfecting lines, and carving intricacies were his skills. How could a craftsman teach with such wisdom and who does he think he is, God?

It was a leap of faith to believe their neighbor’s son could perform miracles. They couldn’t let him rise out of the box, from the way he’d always been. Common sense told them it couldn’t be. And they took offense. How dare He act as if He’s someone special.

It takes perseverance to move forward and fulfill God’s purposes, despite lack of  support. It takes dogged determination to not be defined by the past. To be redefined.

In God’s kingdom, the process of redefining is ongoing. We’ll never arrive as long as we walk this side of heaven.

Not everyone will understand faith that motivates. Not everyone will be supportive of a calling that captivates. Maybe what they saw yesterday keeps them from believing today. Even Jesus wasn’t understood by everyone. Sometimes, that’s just the way it is.

Mark 6:6 “And He was amazed at their lack of faith…” (NIV)*

*The One Year Bible, New International Version, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishing, Wheaton, Illinois.

photo by Patty Perkins


Out of Hiding

Mark 5:28 “…If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.” (NIV)*

Mark 5:30 “At once Jesus realized that power had  gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?'” (NIV)*

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pansy (Photo credit: paparutzi)

No one would notice. She could slip quietly into the crowd surrounding Jesus and touch His clothes. Twelve years of bleeding and all her money spent on doctors left one hope. Jesus. He had healed others; He could heal her.

And no one knew, or cared, except Jesus. The moment she touched Him, He felt power leave and He turned to look for her. She was healed, but hidden. All-knowing, it would make sense that He knew exactly who touched Him and where she was standing in the crowd.

Yet, He wanted her to come forward. Did He want the world to know what happened? Was He drawing her out of her shell?

She came out of hiding and fell trembling at His feet, exposed. She told him the whole embarrassing truth. He seemed oblivious to her need for secrecy. It was time to share her story. Tell of His healing power and…oh so publicly.

Have you a story to tell? Did Jesus heal your soul, change your life? Maybe you spent years trying everything else. Then, Jesus passed by. You found the faith to touch His clothing and power flowed. Did you go back into hiding, the safe place you spent years carving out for yourself, letting the story stop there? Have you not shared?

Step forward, even fall at His feet trembling, and share. Tell the whole truth. Your story will encourage others and glorify Him.

………………..

Mark 5:32-34 “But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at His feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.'” (NIV)*

*The One Year Bible, New International Version, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.