Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Respite for You Part 3


Read Part 1 here and read part 2 here.

Time seemed to be able to wait no longer. Joseph sought to make things as comfortable as possible for his laboring wife. The desire of all ages was about to become a reality rapped in the garb of tiny infancy.

As Mary looked into the perfect face of her little boy she felt a thrill of wonder surge through her whole being! Holding the baby close her mind could not fully grasp the wonder of the moment.  In her arms lay the Redeemer of the World.

All Heaven is filled with indescribable Joy. The Earth Lost by the fall will now be redeemed, The Savior Has been born! Earnestly the Angels search for any in Israel who are longing for the Promised Redeemer! Their hearts are bursting with great joy, yet where are they in Israel with whom they may share The Greatest News of all times? Tearfully they almost turn away for they have found non who are looking for the Savior.  How can such joy be suppressed? Is there truly non who can share the joy of Heaven? But wait, Oh wait! From yonder distant meadow they hear a most welcome strain. Bending low their ears they catch the voices of a few eager countrymen.   Yes, O Joy, they were talking of the coming Savior. It was the Prophecies they had on their lips! Huddled close around their dimly burning fire their faces were aglow with expectation.  Far into the darkness of night they had been keeping faithful watch over their venerable sheep.

Suddenly a bright and glorious light shone over the plains of Bethlehem, illuminating the sheep and Shepherds with radiant light. In fear the shepherds looked to one another trembling.  What could this be?  They had not long to wonder for a sweet and melodious voice wafted over the meadow, “Fear not,” said the angel, “for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

Heaven could contain their joy no longer!  Bursting out with raptured joy an innumerable company of Angels filled the valleys with rich and beautiful music, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!

Born to be a blessing Christ lived His whole life to bless others.  Day by day thousands sought His presence to receive healing, life and compassion. He turned none away but bestowed upon them all their greatest need. Multitudes hung on the Words of life that He freely spoke to the weary souls all around Him. For three and a half years he ministered selflessly to the needs of humanity.  Each hour the consummation of His life drew steadily closer.  

When the hour had finally come the Son of God and commander of Heaven bent His weary steps toward a lonely mountain garden. The weight of the sins of all time seemed to crush out the very life of the life giver. Soon He would face all the torture of body that could be inflicted upon humanity, but would this guiltless man make it to His execution? The terrible penalty of transgression was about to prematurely end the life of its innocent victim. “Father, If it be possible let this cup pass from me!” The cry rent the still night air in chilling tones. Angels veiled their faces unable to bear the scene any longer. Nature seemed to weep over its Author. All the terrors of Hell were blasting upon the head the world’s Redeemer. “Yet not my will, but Thine be done.” Came the final submission. The Son of God would pay the debt with His own precious blood.

O sacred head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown:
O sacred head, what glory,
What bliss till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to all thee mine

What thou, my Lord, has suffered
Was all for sinners' gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve thy place;
Look on me with thy favor,
Vouchsafe to me thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
To thank thee, dearest friend,
For this thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever;
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my love for thee.


This represents a very small glimpse into the touching story of Redemption. The Lord of Glory has not only given up His life as a ransom but has risen again from the dead and desires to spend eternity with those who chose His matchless love. It is Christ’s desire that we would be dwellers in that land where all is joy and peace and bliss. Where there is no pain, no sorrow, no stress, and no fear. Where love is as common as the flowers and the air is filled with joyous song. There sunshine will be eternal and joy and peace will be everlasting treasures. God cannot imagine eternity without you! To reject is to pierce the heart of infinite love yet again and make Him long for you all the more. To accept is to fill Heaven with indescribable joy and interest for your success in this journey. God has made it impossible for you to be lost if you choose His plan of Salvation day by day and firmly resist the Devil and all his snares through the strength that God offers. Just as Christ endured trials and temptations and fought the devil at every turn so we must also endure the wrath of this cruelest of beings. But we will not meet this foe alone. Angels of God will be sent to give us aid.

Will you choose the love and ways of God? Will you choose to accept His plan of Salvation? Will you resist the Devil through God’s strength?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Respite for You Part 2



...With grief, indescribable grief, God must now cast out this object of his love to be forever banished from His presence... Read Part 1 here.

Awe, there it was, a planet that they would call Earth. Now it was dark and empty, but soon it would be full of glory beyond compare. There, God the Father and God the Son would soon make man, an altogether new kind of creation. Within six days the workmanship was complete and stood forth in exceeding beauty, a treasure all of its own.  

A tree had been placed on Earth in order to allow mankind to choose whom they would serve - either their Creator and benefactor or the adversary now called Satan.  Adam and Eve had been amply instruction in regard to the tree and the deceiver, but oh how subtle this villain worked until at last he had caused the man and his beautiful wife to partake of the forbidden fruit.

Satan triumphed, but as the news of man's fall spread through heaven. Every harp was hushed. The angels cast their crowns from their heads in sorrow. It was a painful realization to think that man was lost, and the world that God created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness, and death, and there was no way of escape for the offender.

An expression of sympathy and sorrow came upon the countenance of the Creator. Was the world so recently created now lost to His tender care? The angels waited in intense anxiety as a council was held to determine the destiny of the guilty pair. When the Creator came forth he made known to all the expectant host of heaven that a way of escape had been made for lost man.

At first, the angels could not rejoice, for their commander concealed nothing from them, but opened to them the plan of salvation in all its hues. He told them how He would stand between the wrath of his Father and guilty man, how he would bear the iniquity and scorn, and how but few would receive him. Nearly all would hate and reject him but for the joy of those few who would chose His love and ways, the sacrifice would be worth all the agony.

Then joy, inexpressible joy, filled heaven. Touching their harps the angels sung a note higher than they had ever yet sung and raised their voices in praise and adoration for the great mercy and condescension of God in yielding up his dearly Beloved to die for a race of rebels.

Adam and Eve stood as criminals before the righteous Judge, awaiting the sentence which transgression had incurred. The Creator would not leave the desperate couple in their sad estate. Commissioning Angels to carry the glad tidings to Earth, He instructed them to inspire hope to the disparaging man and his wife. “Go,” He told them, “tell them of my love, tell them of the plan that I have laid for their restoration, carry them through time and let them see my goodness.”  

With ruptured wonder, the angels laid clearly before Adam and Eve the exceeding love of God in yielding up the life of His precious son to die for their wretched state. They told of the future agony and torture that the Son of God would bear in laying down His life an offering for many. They sought to reveal the scenes of His life, being born as a baby, living as a man, His final trial, and ultimate death. They portray how He would be despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and accounted with grief.  

In deep remorse and anguish Adam and Eve pleaded that the penalty might not fall upon Him whose love had been the source of all their joy; rather let it descend upon them and their children. The plan of Salvation had already been laid and now it was only for them to accept it and keep it continually in their view. To Adam was given the task of slaying an innocent lamb and offering its life as a sacrifice. This was a most painful ceremony for Earth’s first man. He had never before witnessed death and as his hand was raised to slay the innocent victim, he trembled at the thought that his sin must shed the blood of the innocent Lamb of God.

With the first pains of childbearing, Eve clung to the hope that this, her baby, would be the promised Redeemer. The time that had passed between their expulsion from Eden and this moment had felt like a small eternity. Grief at every turn had marked the path that they had trod and how they longed to see the face of their Creator and dear friend once more. Little did Eve comprehend that 4 thousand long years were to pass before the Savior was to be born. These years would be marked by thousands of dear mothers who wished that their baby would be the one who would Ransom the nations. It would be impossible for me to describe to you the longing that was present through this time for that promised one. In every Sacrifice, they witnessed His death and clung to the hope that He would soon appear and forever eradicate sorrow and death.

Just in sync with the prophetic schedule, an angel was sent to give glad tidings to a virgin from the small town of Nazareth. The sweet news that the angel brought to Mary that day is a message that thrilled the heart of those who were still expectantly longing for the Promised One. “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest.”

When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His son; not into the families of the rich and highly honored, but to meet the temptations of the poor and despised. It was of this class that Jesus family was made up. Rude and foreboding would be his earthly surroundings and in abject poverty and misunderstanding would he live out His days. In harmony with this was the long and weary trek to Bethlehem. Especially for the mother of Jesus was this a tedious endeavor and mile after mile the very pregnant woman rode on the back of a crude animal. Though their outward surroundings were unfavorable angels did not leave their side, but traveled the many miles with Joseph and Mary.

At last the city was in sight. Just a few more steps now. Soon their tired feet would be able to recover. Oh, how good it would be to finally rest. Upon reaching Bethlehem they commenced the task of seeking shelter for the night. Up and down the streets they trod but all the inns were apparently full with travelers who had made their way before. Non realized that this common young lady in the dress of the poorer classes was soon to deliver the Redeemer of the world.  It seemed as if there was no place to lay their weary heads for the night.

In a barn, Joseph and Mary were finally directed to rest for the night. As Joseph opened the door, an almost unbearable smell came blasting upon them.  It was easy to see that keeping up with the manure was an unmanageable chore and had gotten far behind. The many animals of the travelers crowded close to one another. To fit just one more beast may be more than this small enclosure could contain. An unpleasant place it was, especially for the birth of a baby. But angels stood close to encourage the weary spirits.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Respite for You


As I happened to travel through the crowded cities and rural areas of this world I found everywhere people who were discouraged, lonely and miserable.  Peace and joy seemed to be rarer than gold. The darkness of despair hung like thick black clouds over many homes and entire villages. Bleeding hearts, broken homes, crushed love, shattered dreams, wounded pride, and deep remorse seemed to be as thorns on the fair path of many a life.  Whether rich or desperately poor this terrible disease seemed to affect them all. Laughter was common but behind the laughing eyes there lay an abyss of emptiness in nearly all hearts. Almost wholly hidden by the dainty flowers of pleasure yawned a terrible precipice of grief full of jagged rocks not at once discernible but surely there and ready to do its deadly work. Some seemed to be blinded by these things and had so long lived with them that they thought it was the truest happiness. Thousands were rushing on towards an agonized death without an ounce of understanding to their fate. My heart broke to think of their pain.


“Oh,” began a cry to sound to the many frantic ones, “you can have eternal sunshine, joy and peace can be your lasting treasures. Only come and I will show you the way.” Some were unmindful of the voice for they thought it was only one of the many reachless echoes from the distant mountains. Others looked up with hope but soon the clouds would roll back across their sky, or seeing another dainty flower to pursue they all lost the sound of the sweet words. A few stopped to catch the lovely sounds of such good news and to you who wish for those sweet words to be true I write. I have penned this story in hopes of bringing you from these perplexing scenes to a respite of joy.  


Permit me to take you away in your imagination to a land where all is joy and peace and bliss. There is no pain, no sorrow, no stress, and no fear. Love is as common there as the flowers which grow in rich luster on every corner and pour their rich perfume continually into the air. It is a place where the clouds of discouragement and misapprehension never roll across the sky, in fact, darkness of every kind has been permanently banished from that happy land.  The air is not only permeated with the perfume of flowers but also lifts, upon its gentle wings, the sweet and melodious songs of exquisitely beautiful birds. The notes that are poured from their tiny breasts are such as mortals cannot describe but surpass in loveliness anything we have yet heard. The inhabitants of that land are happy, content and lovely in every way. They are so different from the people around us that to give an accurate contrast would take more words than this document could contain.  All these things are but a few of the matchless wonders of that place. To name them all would be impossible.


I wish to tell you the touching story of how that place became what it is. It has not always been the way that was just portrayed but has gone through much drama and strife. In each scene of this tale is witnessed deep love and tenderness above what we can fathom.  


The story all begins long ago in a place much like the one I have just described.  It was a place of perfect peace and love, a place of joy and of wonder. All the inhabitants lived in perfect harmony and unrivaled love.  But one discordant note began to mysteriously sound in the celestial harmony and that one note swelled until the harmony was marred and almost wholly destroyed.  
Lucifer, that one discordant note, was enamored by his own beauty and became jealous that none, besides himself, should receive loyalty or homage. As time went on He became bold in His desire for exaltation and began sowing the tragic seeds of dissatisfaction among his companions.  Just as ridiculous as it is for us to think of a house rebelling against the carpenter who built it, so it was for Lucifer to rebel against the one who had brought him into existence and given him life and happiness.But this being of exalted state did not fully understand with whom he had to do.  Every act of creation, even the creation of his own being was an expression of infinite love. True love springs forth spontaneously and it is impossible to force its existence. This the Author of love comprehended to its very depths.  


In yearning pity for Lucifer and his followers, the compassionate Creator sought to draw them back from the abyss of ruin into which they were about to plunge. With such efforts as infinite love and wisdom only could devise, He made a way by which these rebels could be brought back into favor with God.  But Lucifer would not be a partaker of these things. Instead, he turned from his only means of happiness and chose to war against peace and joy from that time forth.  


With grief, indescribable grief, God must now cast out this object of his love to be forever banished from His presence.  He would allow Lucifer and his sympathizers to carry out their form of government and let them prove to all whose ways were best. He knew He ran a risk of losing more of His precious subjects but this risk Love was willing to make.  It was with pain that God banished Lucifer and his cohorts from bliss but from this pain, God turned to bestow love more abundantly.
Continued in "A Respite for You" part 2.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trusting His Plan


It was not exactly clear to see that the Friday sun was setting behind the western mountains but the hands on the clock definitely showed that it was that time.   The day had been a busy one.  But now that the Sabbath hours had come we could finally rest.   The special Sabbath Dinner had been made; all ready to enjoy with our Mom’s Father, who we rarely got to spend time with.  The house had been tidied, the floors mopped and all the many little things for Sabbath preparation completed. 
These Sabbath plans had been in the works ever since Christmas and now that it was here the whole family was naturally eager to finally spend the day with our Grandfather. 
 I myself was tuckered out from the demanding day and eagerly sat down to finally relax and enjoy the beautiful winter wonderland from the cozy inside of our clean warm house.
“I just got a phone call,” Mom announced, while walking down the stairs, phone in hand.   My mind raced back across the day somehow thinking that phrase sounded familiar. “Oh who called?” came the familiar question from somewhere.  “Well that was Grandpa” Mom paused as if she hated to continue and it was clear to see that something was wrong.  “And What?”  Someone pressed, eager to hear what was up.  “Well that was Grandpa,” Mom started again, “and he just found out that he is going to have to work tomorrow.”  The words seemed to punch me in the stomach and send my mind whirling. My thoughts desperately raced but my Mother was not yet finished. “He is not going to be able to come until five or so.”  In my minds’ eye I could see the two perfectly made Lasagnas in the refrigerator, the two loves of homemade French bread that were already buttered and ready, and the Pineapple upside down cake that was cooling on the counter.  It was all there just ready for Grandpa to come!
This news was bad enough but it was not the first that had hit at our Sabbath plans.  Earlier that day Mom had received a call from the speaker letting her know that the weather was just too bad and they would not be able to make it.  All day long we had been seeking to find an answer to this glitch that had come into our path, but without success.  Since our Mother was the speaker coordinator, the entire weight lay on our family to find an answer.  Mom was really good at the job, but it seems that no one likes to be asked on Friday if they will speak the next day. 
And now that the Sabbath hours had come another problem came falling into our laps.  It was simply this; what were we going to do for Sabbath lunch?  We could move our lunch plans down to supper, that was easy enough, but what about lunch?  We had made nothing for potluck! that may seem like no problem at all in a large church, but in our small church, we were the main one’s that brought food for everyone else to eat.  And besides, feeding a family of six, two of them being teenagers, takes a bit of food. Potluck was out of the picture.  But what else could we do?
My mind was racing and plummeting, in search for any answer.  I keep stressing and stewing- working myself up until I was nearly in tears.  I spent the whole evening like this, but could think of nothing.  Nothing to fill the speaking slot, and nothing to do for tomorrow’s lunch. 
Our family had a long conversation trying to find answers, but could not come up with anything.  It was finally decided that we needed to go to bed and get some sleep.  After Family worship we said a prayer in which my dad entrusted the whole situation to our kind Heavenly Father!  But I was not even thinking of giving the whole thing to the Lord. In my mind it was still an emergency that needed taken care of before I slept.
I kept my thoughts on high speed, as I got ready for bed. There was not much time left if I was going to solve this before I fell asleep, and I was determined to have some kind of answer. By now I felt mentally and physically drained.  The more I searched for answers the bigger the problem looked until it seemed like a mountain that I could not cross. 
As I changed into my night clothes, tears tricked down my cheeks from the sheer agony of the struggle.  “Victoria,” It was Christ calling to my heart and I was ready to listen.  “Do you think this came as a surprise to Me?  Do you think I cannot see the future?”  These words seemed to shock me and bring me back to reality.  “Well of course not! You can see the end from the beginning.”  It seemed as if my mind was beginning to clear from the fog of worry and stress that had covered it for the last few hours and was becoming prepared for the next question Christ longed to ask.  “Then why are you worrying  about it?” It was as if a light came on in my mind.  It was all so clear and foolish looking from the eyes of eternity to be stressing over a sermon and a mere meal.  Immediately the words of a familiar song came into my thoughts.  “Trust and Obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”  I had wanted to obey whatever the command was for me to perform but what I really needed to do was trust the Father.  At that moment, I surrendered all to Christ and oh what peace flooded my soul.
In my prayers that night I thank God for having a plan and answer for my problem.  And though I had no clue what tomorrow might hold in store for me I was ready for the adventure.   I fell asleep singing the song, “Life is an adventure following the king!”
I awoke in the morning with the same calm and trust in Christ.  I had placed it all in the Lord’s hands and now it was His problem.  My Father did the sermon for church.  It was on learning to lean on Christ.  It was one that he had already preached before, but it seemed to fit so well with the experience of last night.  For lunch my dad’s mom invited us over to enjoy haystacks, and all that was needed was some salad, which we had. My mom’s dad came over in time for supper and fellowship.  And we all enjoyed seeing him again.
It was all an amazing blessing from a “messed” up day.  If only I had trusted Christ sooner. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lessons from the little Things

                Hats, boots, and coats flew on in hurried fashion in preparation for the below 20 degree weather outside.  “Hurry,” was the watch word on every lip, “Hurry or we will miss it!”  Boot string were hurriedly pulled and tied, hats were yanked over heads in raped succession, gloves were jerked on, and coats zipped.  Then out the door everyone raced. Flash lights flipped on and the hurried sound of scurrying feet in the crisp darkness of early morning was soon heard as we made our way down our driveway to see what a Lunar Eclipse looked like.
                It had been just the night before that we had heard about the Lunar Eclipse that was to happen that very morning at around six.  We had been afraid that we would not be able to see it, since the moon would be low in the Western sky at that time of morning, and we do not have a very good view of that portion of the sky, but we were willing to try. Dad had announced “Anyone who wants to see the eclipse be ready to go at six o'clock.” So off to bed we had quickly dashed so that we could get a good night’s rest. 
                Now we were out braving the coolness of the early morning with an enthusiastic anticipation for a new adventure.  Cresting the small rise in our driveway, we eagerly walked on, careful of where we placed our feet on the slippery ice, but yet not slowing our pace.
“Turn off your flashlights,” Dad directed, “let your eyes get used to the darkness.”  Immediately the night surrounded us and our eyes began to adjust.  It was then that we noticed the beauty of the clear heavens above us.  Stars twinkled like little diamonds across the dark sky, for their brightness was not covered by the immense glow of a full moon. 
“This will be good,” dad said turning around so that we could all see the Western sky.  Following his lead our eyes rested on the object for this early morning adventure in the cold, ‘The darkened moon.’  It was just coming out from under the shadow of the earth, but was still mostly covered by its shade.  As I stood there watching until it disappeared behind the tall trees, my mind could not help but be drown to my Maker.  And then it was that He gave me the spiritual lesson I so needed. 
“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”  (Psalm 8:3,4)
David, in his Kingly years, penned these amazing words; “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.” (Psalms 19:1,2)  As I paused there, gazing at the moon in those early morning hours, it seemed that God was really “showing knowledge” through the heavens.    
The moon is a very interesting part of our solar system.  Unlike stars it has no light of its own; it is completely reliant on the light from the sun.   I will let Mrs. White draw the connection between the Christian and the moon. “Christians are set as light bearers on the way to heaven. They are to reflect to the world the light shining upon them from Christ. Their life and character should be such that through them others will get a right conception of Christ and of His service.”  {Steps to Christ 115.2}  “Humanity has in itself no light. Apart from Christ, we are like an unkindled taper, like the moon when her face is turned away from the sun; we have not a single ray of brightness to shed into the darkness of the world. But when we turn toward the Sun of Righteousness, when we come in touch with Christ, the whole soul is aglow with the brightness of the divine presence.”  {Sons and Daughters of God 281.4}  "’Ye are the light of the world,’ said Christ to His disciples. As the sun goes forth in the heavens, dispelling the shades of night, and filling the world with brightness, so must the followers of Jesus let their light shine to dispel the moral darkness of a world lying in sin. But they have no light of themselves; it is the light of Heaven which they are to reflect to the world.”  {Reflecting Christ 379.2}
This was the spiritual lesson that Christ was giving to me.  Like the moon, which has no light of its own, but looks to the sun for its brightness, so I am to look to the Sun of Righteousness and reflect His rays.  But Christ did not stop there, He showed me one thing more.  “Child, if you let the world get between me and you, you will be like this darkened moon.”  Immediately I started looking to my own life, to see if there was anything that was hindering me from reflecting Christ in my life. 
Brothers and sisters is there anything in your life that is making it so you cannot see the Son!  I plead with you, “Look to Christ, take your eyes of the world, do not be allured by its supposed glory and glitter.”  The Bible gives us this promise in Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Our we, brothers and sisters, willing to look to Jesus, to endure the cross, to despise the shame, so that we might reflect Christ to a world that is dying?