Recently I delved into "The Bible Project" by Timothy Mackie and Jonathon Collins
To me, this is nothing short of amazing!
As Timothy Mackie say, "...grab a cuppa tea, take a long walk and think on this... "
Even though I have been a reader and studier of the Bible for years, these are definitely "Ah-Ha" moments for me.
And, specifically, Mr. Mackie's extensive sessions on the Gospel According to John.
You see it came together, even more so than I have ever understood before. The Word of God has the complexity of being intertwined like a web of a spider or spokes of a wheel with many, many more avenues and connections, synapses. Yet, remarkably and unexplainably clear. Pondering one thread of thought which leads to another and then two more and maybe seven. After that, to the exponential yet seamless Holy creation.
The Holy Bible: A beautifully designed and woven tapestry beyond description!
Word upon word, theme upon theme. Connection after connection from the first page to the last. Yet! Not covering or layering, hiding or hindering what is already revealed, but moving awareness and understanding in a direction, down a path, upon a plateau of clarification and then - pure awe.
The Holy Scriptures. God's Word - Jesus! Alive and Living.
The scriptures have so much stored within them. And they were written for us! The scriptures are a letter from Jesus to us!
Is With Us.
Is For Us.
Is In Us.
Dig into the scriptures!
Turn the page!!
Dig a little deeper!!!
ta ta for now
One afternoon, many years ago, Granny gathered items for a special project. It was quite a gathering: a needle, scissors, section of an old blanket and thread. Busying herself, she cut various colored pieces of cotton fabric, resembling patches. Granny patiently assembled the patches into a patterned design. After a bit of concentration, arranging and rearranging, stitch by stitch and piece by piece, the patches of fabric began to take shape. The project was not a large one, But indeed a work of love from an accomplished seamstress.
As we set to the many tasks of our days, whether they may be large, small, simple or complex, they may not seem important. Some may not even be noticed. But our daily projects, task by task, completed with love and compassion, these are the things we should focus on and contemplate. Also kindness. Joy. Peace. Patience. Endurance. Gentleness.
We are not perfect, but we are important and we are miraculous.
Let’s take a look, and listen as well, in how God speaks to us through David in Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Then David goes on to say in verse 14, “we are fearfully and wonderfully made…”
Just as my Granny intertwined the patches of fabric, one by one, to carefully and lovingly stitch together a simple small quilt for my doll crib when I was a young lass, God carefully and lovingly “knit us together in our mothers’ wombs” creating us.
Image via Vi Gene
In Psalm 8:1-5 David majestically gives us a glimpse of God’s glory with a humbling question at the end of verse 4:
“Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.”
Dust of your reflection! Let Him create the tapestry of your life, patch by patch and stitch by stitch.
God is calling.
God is knocking.
God is waiting.
Let me introduce you to my friend!
He is my savior. He is my shepherd.
He is my shield. He is my strength.
Read His Words. Hear His Voice.
“I am the way and the truth and the life.” John 14:6
His name is Jesus!
ta ta for now
Recently, I met my newly-born, great-niece. She is small, fragile and much loved. Her parents, grandparents and many family members exploded with excitement upon wee one’s arrival. What an extra special gift. And, especially since she arrived near Christmas, what a gift indeed! A joyous season is beginning in the lives of my nephew and niece!
Memories abound and jump to the surface recalling the youngest days of my own precious little ones when they arrived many years ago. The newness. The expectancy. The holding. The cuddling and never wanting to let go! Seasons of life how they come and go, like the seasons of our earthly home.
In Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 we read of many seasons that affect lives: 1 To every thing there is a season...
As we begin a new season in our lives, by entering the year of 2021, for some it is a welcome season. possibly it’s like that of my nephew and niece, of new life, new family and new love. Others not so much. Possibly new trials, new tribulations, new challenges, or new adversaries.
Through it all, there is a continued, consistent hope on which we can depend.
Hope, you ask? Hope definitions include, "expect with confidence" and "to cherish a desire with anticipation."
The hope, expectancy in, and of Christ! We are to hope in Christ alone--optimistically, expectantly, positively; with confidence and a desire of anticipation! This makes the seasons of life livable, endurable, enjoyable and delightful!
A blog post in the Billy Graham Library referred to the following verses for eternal hope:
1st John 5:13-14
¹³I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. ¹⁴This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
1st Peter 1:3-6
³Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, ⁴and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, ⁵who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
⁸For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— ⁹not by works, so that no one can boast. ¹⁰For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
2nd Corinthians 4:16-18
¹⁶Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. ¹⁷For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. ¹⁸So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
¹³Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, ¹⁴but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
If you are in one of those seasons, which attempts to consume the best of us, by wreaking havoc with your emotions, ambitions, choices and day-to-day challenges, then I beseech you to seek, grasp and take hold of the hope of Christ and claim it as your own.
ta ta for now
Mary of Magdala. Fishermen of the Sea of Galilee. Pharisees of the synagogue. Village of Capernaum. The Word of God. Jesus. Do these people and places sound familiar? Do they bring memories to you? Thoughts of stories from The Bible?
The message in The Chosen, brings these stories to life! They penetrate, causing one to think deeper, differently, more open. Bringing God's holy scriptures out of the box, where we tend to keep them allows us to see the possibilities.
The simple story of Jesus calling James and John: the sons of thunder immediately left their father Zebedee, "holding the nets" so to speak. Jesus called them to follow Him and they left. This has always been a bit disconcerting to me. Why would Jesus ask such a thing? Why would Jesus ask two sons to leave their family, possibly putting their parent's livelihood and welfare in danger. Even He had worked as a carpenter with His own earthly father. Surely Jesus knew what a burden this may cause to Zebedee!
Image via Vi Gene
You see? My mind was closed, limited to thinking selfishly on behalf of the elder fisherman. I imagined that when Zebedee's sons followed Jesus, he was left to fend for himself.
I'm usually a, but, what if? thinker, however, regarding this event, other possibilities never occurred to me. I just accepted it, as it was written, without question. Putting my mind at ease by believing whatever He commanded worked because I definitely do not know God’s plan.
After watching Episode 4, I realized there could have been more. Because God's people had been... “waiting for so long,” for the Messiah. James and John were more than anxious to follow Jesus. Zebedee was delighted, and even encouraged his sons to follow Jesus, to wherever He may have taken them to be part of changing the world!
The Chosen is about the life of Jesus, uniquely yet authentically, presented. Jenkins and his team also produced a Chosen-related, Christmas Special. Please take the time to watch this beautiful gift from them. It may open boxes, windows or doors for you. In this talent-packed music and spoken-word presentation, His Word, the holy scriptures, are moving and vibrant! Dust off your Bible, open the pages and breathe in His life-giving words!
Open our eyes, Lord, and help us glean and see what you intend for our lives. Whether we are to follow to the extent that James and John followed or whether you would have us stay where we are, putting our talents and gifts to work on the home front. Open our eyes, hearts and spirits to Your calling so we may follow.
Thank you Dallas Jenkins, The Chosen TV Series crew and VidAngel for all your hard work and using your God-given talents and vision for this earth and soul-shaking presentation of the Word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. John 1:1-2
ta ta for now