Into the wintry night a knock cometh at the door

The gals knocked on our front door unexpectedly tonight from the cold of night.  Do you know where the Murphys live, they asked?  We did not but sure noticed the cheerful nature of these young ladies.  Could they share a special Valentine’s Day message with us just the same?  Of course, answered my husband.  What followed was a friendly banter of the differences between the Mormon faith and a Biblical belief in Jesus Christ alone as Lord and Savior of the world.  It was too cold for the chat to go on long and our home is a safe zone for fragrances-n-chemicals so we could not invite them inside.  They understood.  Gratefully, I was able to locate our neighbor’s correct address before they parted which they accepted after my hubby engaged them in a sweet chat of everyone’s hometown.

Later Steve and I prayed for these two.  Certainly their friendliness and encouraging messages were a breath of fresh air on a chilly wintry night in the Midwest.  They were far from home on their 18-month mission trip rite of passage, so to speak, of their Mormon culture.  We hope that they will look beyond their culture and traditions, however, to a saving faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ who brings eternal redemption and joy through the foundational truth found in the Bible.  We find evidence of our faith in verses such as:

Romans 3:23New King James Version (NKJV)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

1 Timothy 1:15New King James Version (NKJV)

15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,

Romans 5:8New King James Version (NKJV)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 6:23New King James Version (NKJV)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 3:16New King James Version (NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

In these truths we believe in Him alone as the perfector of our faith, His work on the Cross, and then build the foundation of our faith.  I am proud of Steve for engaging these gals with his personable style and sharing of some key points that we hope they will reflect upon further.  We hope they will find hope in Jesus Christ and not their religion.  In sharing with them, Steve moved beyond standing in frigid temperatures in an open doorway and got into the most serious of conversations with two total strangers rather quickly.  What topic could be more important for a Sunday night chat?

On this Valentine’s Day, I submit to you that the greatest love offering of all was given by our Lord, Jesus Christ when he demonstrated that love through His death and resurrection on the cross at Calvary.  Salvation and eternal life come through Him alone.  May He be glorified for the good that may come for being willing to stand and speak when a knock at the door cometh . . .

Gentle Reader, if you are wondering who God is and how to have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ alone, please write to me here or comment at the Hope Beyond page on Facebook.  Or just pray this simple prayer and let me know if you do, k?  With love, :JJ

Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and have fallen short in my life.  I am sorry.  I recognize that you are God and came to earth to save me from the ultimate consequences of my sin through Your death and resurrection.  Please forgive me.  Be my Lord and Savior this moment for always.  In Jesus Christ, amen.

cross of jesus

From the side of the bed

8th Anniversary 11.24.15
Celebrating our anniversary November 24, 2015

 

2015-11-28 23.11.54
Sick in bed November 27, 2015

He has seen it all

My beloved, the one with soft blue eyes;

In the medical facility or on the road as we pass across the miles

He looks to me with a precious love that makes me swoon all the time.

It doesn’t matter my status that day:

The screams of terror, the gentleness of a warm embrace,

He just looks at me as if we were lying under a canopy, shielded from the hot sun

By the lush branches of a mighty oak one summer’s morn along the way.

But that is not what has gone before me once again these past 3 days and more

His vacation was spent caring for me in ways neither one of us would choose.

He steps forth to do what must be done just the same

And says of our time:  “we had a nice week now didn’t we?”  I guess so, maybe in some ways we did my love.

I sigh in awe, something short of disbelief.  How did love like this find its way to this place between us?  This bed is marked more by sickness than passion night after day after night?

Surely it goes beyond that which either one of us can see!

This walk was borne from the One who made us thus and so

The One who set this path for goodness, for purpose yet unknown.

While wasted days is all that I can see very, very late this night

(With tensions mounting, wills weakening under the weight of it all)

I see that my Heavenly Husband carries our hearts with His special sip of tenderness

Bringing sweetness to our lips when we need it most as he has so many times before.

From the side of the bed

I look up and know more than my Love,

Surely I humbly receive care from more than the one I can see.

Thank you Jesus for my Steve.  Thank you Jesus me loving so!

So if ever you are graced by a love like this, dear Reader, and I hope someday that you do:

Hold tight, hold fast with praise, with alms beyond your brokenness to discover what the Lord alone can bring.

For you are witnessing more than a miracle in the midst of hurricane:

You are finding grace that will see you through anything, truly, truly with love I say this to you.

JJ

God is bigger than that

He isn’t Santa Claus with an inside list to our good deeds or wishes.

For God is bigger than that.

He isn’t a papa or father time who knows, who endures, and who roots with us for the team on Saturday night.

No, Father God is bigger than that.

He never forgets a heart’s desire, fallen sparrow, unfair turn of events, hurt from a friend, or love who walked away.

Yup.  The Lover of our soul is bigger than that.

He always wins, cheers from the ringside seat in the game of our lives, takes the high road to lead us there, and reaches out to lend a hand.

Of course.  An infinite God is bigger and even closer than all that.

He heals the broken hearted, feeds the weary wanderer, takes care of the suffering we cannot see in due time:

For our God-Man Jesus’ love is bigger than these too.

His provision exceeds that which we deserve or can even ask

When our yardstick extends to eternity which is bigger than our minds were meant to fathom on earth.

So why do we fret when the trials come as they always do?

Because we have forgotten and need gentle reminders along the way that our

God is bigger than that.  Oh yes He is.  Alpha and Omega.  The beginning and the end.  Always was and always will be.

In this we can forever rest.  I am so very glad.  JJ

animals looking to the stars

 

 

He holds me close

kid having seizure27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”  (John 10)

So glad to have the love and care of the Lord this night.

So comforted to have the love and care of my beloved husband each day, each night.

So grateful to have the love and care of some dear friends and a few family members.

So humbled to have help here and there to carry me and my husband on this difficult path of recovery from a serious illness.  We have health insurance, a warm home, nutritious food, and reliable transportation.  We are blessed indeed.

So hopeful for some new treatment directions and a special medical appointment tomorrow; maybe my suffering will diminish soon, perhaps resolve one day?

So weak, sore, broken, pained, sad at times too.  It’s all in the mix.

One thing is for sure as spoken by Jesus:  he has me firmly in his grasp, regardless of how I feel, what I fear, my past experience, and so on.  He is holding me close.  And when I’m next to tears that is a great comfort indeed.

Ever need a hug like that?  It’s there for you too Gentle Reader.  In the great mystery of His infinite love, the Lord holds near to His heart all those that believe in Him.  In these crazy times I can think of no better place to be.  Think about it, won’t you?

John 10 sheep