For Us

For Us

 “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5-6

In this day of advanced technology and the interpersonal relationships of the internet, I have some very precious friends who I have never met face to face (one I have met once quite some time ago when I visited California). These women are every bit as important to me as friends I’ve known all my life; I love them like sisters. Once in a while, I get an email from one of them that is lengthy and covers a few subjects. Since I want to address every subject, I answer within their letter and highlight my comments in a different color. I’d like to do that today with this verse.

Contemplating the events of Holy Week, the most important week in Christian history, I often pray that God will reveal something new and different to me. This morning, I read Isaiah 53:5-6, one of the prophetic messages of Jesus’ sacrificial death. “He [Jesus] was pierced for our transgressions (the violation of a law, principle, or duty), He was crushed for our iniquities (Gross immorality or injustice; wickedness) the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed (to restore to health or soundness; cure; to ease or relieve emotional distress; to set right; repair). We all, like (dumb) sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:5-6 As always, God did not disappoint!

Gotta tell you, I was surprised by the vast difference between transgressions and iniquities; in this case, I had always just thought, “oh yeah… sin is sin.” Yet, the definition of sin that I used through college is “a deliberate choice to disobey a known law of God” fits perfectly with the definition of transgressions the definition for iniquities (the word gross made me shudder) is quite shocking. The definition of healing is just beautiful, isn’t it? Thanks Lord that you so completely heal us, either physically or spiritually by calling us home! (btw – if you don’t already know, “google” sheep ~ being compared to them is not too flattering 🙂.

Stripes and scars mean the world to me;

symbols of love and a victory.

Jesus, my Lord, paid the price and set me free;

stripes and scars mean the world to me.

By His stripes ~ I am healed.

By His wounds ~ I’m made whole.

Through His cross ~ I am free;

His stripes and scars mean the world to me!

(lyrics from Ken Blount Ministries)

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

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By Name

By Name

“The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before My Father and His angels.” Revelation 3:5

Do you realize that, according to the United States Postal Service, your name doesn’t matter? I sent a priority mail on Thursday and paid extra for overnight service. I got a phone call today that the envelope – even though showing as delivered on the USPS website – was never received. On my fifth or sixth phone call; I found out that the envelope had been delivered to 1401 instead of 3401. Admittedly, I may have put an incorrect digit on the envelope but the name of the company and the address and the city and state were correct. However, when I asked why they didn’t question the incorrect company name, the answer was … “that really doesn’t matter. We look at the street number only.” Now I am responsible for chasing it down… AARRGGHH!

It is amazing to me – and AWE inspiring – to realize that the United States Postal System, with all of its up-to-date computer technology and a human being delivering each letter, can’t get its stuff straight. Yet, the God of the Universe knows the name of every person EVER born and He doesn’t even need a computer! Thanks, Lord … I am so glad I can count on you to ALWAYS know my name (and my heart)!

I have a Maker; He formed my heart,

Before even time began my life was in His hands.

He knows my name, He knows my every thought

He sees each tear that falls and He hears me when I call.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

To Do

To Do

“And at that time I told you everything you were to do.” Deuteronomy 1:18

I woke up this morning, Praise the Lord for that, doubting everything I know God has called me to. Has that ever happened to you? It’s an odd feeling but one that isn’t unique to me, I’m sure. Although the lack of self-esteem and “approval addiction” are huge demons in my life; they are also the dragons* the Lord helps me slay the most often. We slay them together as I rejoice in His call but, today, I need to repeat His call over and over again… please, forgive me in advance if I am repeating myself to you.

I was over 50 and just recovering from an extremely frightening few years when I first heard the voice of the Lord. His call was to begin on-line studies at Nazarene Bible College to complete my bachelor’s degree. In response to my “Why and why now,” He said, “Trust Me.” OK, I applied, was accepted and attending within days. As I studied, little by little He revealed a plan: women’s studies, counseling, transparency, sing, praise, be available, write, dance, journey, women of mine, encourage, princess, on and onI’ve listened and I’ve made every effort to follow His lead. I’ve promised the Lord and myself, even if my call is to benefit only one woman and her walk with Him, it’s ok. But, days like today, it’s tough! Physically, I woke up dizzy and can’t kick it. Financially, we are struggling and I battle with my inability to work outside of my home. Emotionally, “issues” as simple as a baseball coach questioning Mats’ commitment because he can’t drop everything else in his life to make spur of the moment practices bring me to tears. Spiritually, I know the answers but they seem to be just outside of where my fingertips can touch!

I love you Lord! I know Your voice and I trust Your call! Yet, I struggle… what is wrong with me? I know YOUR truth and praise You for it, yet…

In His time, in His time, He makes all things beautiful in His time.

Lord please show me every day, as you’re teaching me your way.

That you do just what you say in your time 

In Your time, in Your time, You make all things beautiful in your time.

Lord My life to You I bring, may each song I have to sing,

Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

From Under His Wings

From Under His Wings

“I [David] have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:

There is no fear of God before their eyes. In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin. The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; they fail to act wisely or do good.  Even on their beds they plot evil; they commit themselves to a sinful course and do not reject what is wrong. (…)

How priceless is Your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 36:1-4, 7 

Yesterday I spent half a day in outpatient having tests. I dread medical tests; the results aren’t the issue, I am just a big baby when it comes to needles and procedures. I also had to have a mammogram since I am really late (about three years late) – I have been putting it off since my Mom died of breast cancer in 2010. I am quite aware of the stupidity of this neglect… New subject, as I sat in the waiting area I noticed a Gideon Bible on the table. I opened it and began reading Psalm 37, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him.” I said a silent prayer of thanks for God’s reassurance that, even in the waiting room, He was with me.

But then my eyes wandered back to Psalm 36 and I read David’s “message from God.” Often, in this twisted world where wrong seems so easily accepted, I wonder… how can people so easily sin? I realize the world has changed; young people don’t attend church or hear the Word of God like people my age are “used to.” Yet, people still have consciences, don’t they? According to David, I’m not so sure they do… We need to pray for the world; more than we could ever imagine…

Say a prayer for the world…

Only love can save us now…

Say a prayer for the world

Believe that it’s gonna be all right somehow.

Every day it’s a new day,

Every day we start again,

Say a prayer for the world

and send all God’s love to all creation!

(lyrics by Maxi Priest)

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Gonna Try It

Gonna Try It 

“I will praise the Lord, Who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” Psalm 16:7 

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

“On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night.”  Psalm 63:6 

“You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,” Psalm 91:5 

“It is good to praise the Lord and make music to Your name, O Most High, proclaiming Your love in the morning and Your faithfulness at night,” Psalm 92:1, 2 

How many of us have often had sleepless nights? I’d bet that at least once a day I read on Facebook that one of my friends or family members have spent hours, during the night, wide awake. Since I contracted Lyme Disease, 12 years ago, I have had a terrible time sleeping and take a sleep aid often but – even before – I have (what I refer to) a busy mind. I just don’t seem to be able to turn off my thoughts so I can sleep. I’ve tried white music. I’ve tried meditation. I’ve tried counting sheep; you name it, I’ve tried it! But, even when I go right to sleep because I am exhausted – I am awake within hours and always awake with thoughts running – even frolicking – through my mind. I don’t k now whether a “busy mind” can be inherited by my Dad is the same way. Even now, at age 86, he cat naps and will begin talking about the same thing he was talking about “pre-nap.”

However, yesterday I was listening to a radio pastor; who shall go un-named, that I personally respect as a good “to the scriptures” theologian and an easily understood (yet challenging) man. His subject was trust but he spoke, just for a few moments, about insomnia and Christians. He didn’t bad mouth those of us who have problems sleeping as not having enough faith but he did give a suggestion. He said to keep paper, near your bed, with the five verses above on it and read them until your heart absorbs them … He said they will remind you that even when the sun is down; God is awake! I’m gonna try it; maybe it would benefit you too! 

At dawn; I see the sunrise and rejoice in Your creation…

At midday; I look around and I’m surrounded by Your love…

In the evening, the suns sets, revealing Your power

as the stars come into view…

BUT at night, when life is at its darkest,

I will LEARN to meditate on YOUR Word;

Teach Me to Trust!

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Me too

Me, too

“When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.” Exodus 33:22

Have you all had a lot of unpleasant “stuff” in your life; I sure have! Some of it has shattered me for a while, some of it still haunts me, and some doesn’t hurt near as much as it used to but I pray that I’ve learned the lesson so I can allow God to shield me from it in the future. “Shame on me”, I’ve walked right in to hurt by rebuilding dysfunctional relationships or ignoring the Lord’s warning signals. However, as life has gone by with hours of prayer, meditation, and Bible study, I’ve been carried by God through all of the “stuff.” Don’t get me wrong, “stuff” still comes along but God helps me to deal with it better. Yet, I love the above words God said to Moses, I keep them close to my heart.

Some of my favorite travel memories are “mountain” related. I’ve ridden through the Cascades on a moon lit night… breathtaking! I’ve been from bottom to top on Pike’s Peak… incredible! I’ve spent many days in the Pocono Mountains which are beautiful but mere rolling hills to the awesome Rockies. I’ve noticed, especially riding up Pike’s Peak on a log tram, that mountains are not smooth, they are filled with cracks, crevices, and – yes – clefts. Just thinking about the fact that God promises, in times of trouble or turmoil, he will out His beloved children in the cleft of the Rock (HE is our Rock) and cover us there. His cover will not only keep us FROM the trouble or turmoil but His Hand will cover us from the wind, rain, snow or anything that accompanies the trouble or turmoil! WOW! Is that cool or what? Thanks so much Lord for Your promise of complete protection!

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the Rock

that shadows a dried thirsty land

He hideth my life in the depths of His love

and covers me there with His hand,

And covers me there with His hand.

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

What a Concept

What a Concept

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. (…) Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. (…) “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, Who is on you, will not depart from you, and My words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord. Isaiah 59:1, 2, 14, 15, 21

For many years the lay leader at our church was a wise, wise man who left school to go to work in a sand pit after 6th grade, very similarly to my own father who – at 14 years old and in the seventh grade – began working in the hot end of a glass manufacturing company. But Henry, just as my Dad, was amazingly wise. The only main difference is the Henry also knew the Bible; Dad is a “late in life” Christian. Henry said two things that I will never forget but only one that is applicable to this blog. He said, “Always tell the truth because, if you do, you will never have to remember what you said.” Although it would be great to be able to say that I’ve always lived by that idiom, I’d guess that he lived by it until the day he met Jesus face to face.

I wonder… what has happened to the truth? It seems that the majority of people today, even Christians (and I will include myself for many, many years) either skirt the truth or lie when speaking with others about ANY uncomfortable issue. Truth doesn’t seem to be a concrete concept anymore, as a pastor friend said, today’s culture reflects “my truth” which follows to “my beliefs” and “my view.” Simple example; I woke up this morning quite annoyed with my pastor over (I am certain) a miniscule issue to him which was a major issue to me; whether or not the members of our children’s choir should pass out bags of jelly beans on Easter Sunday OR stand at the door at the conclusion of the service. It doesn’t matter which “side” I was on but I was given instructions about this yesterday from someone who prefaced her remarks with, “Pastor wants…” In my conversation with Pastor I discovered that she was the one who had precipitated the issue. AARRGGHH; truth; what a concept!

While I know I am human, I strive to live to the words from this old, old song:

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;

I would be pure, for there are those who care;

I would be humble, for I know my weakness;

I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod.

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

And He Was…

And He Was… 

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked,”Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” Luke 17:15-17 

My grandson’s school is in the middle of a “use” variance struggle with our local zoning board. For four years the administrator of his charter school and her husband has scoured our small city (large in area) for a permanent home. They found it but it was built as an industrial building so securing it for our use is not without opposition. Why would any small business “fight” a successful, growing school as a “neighbor”?

In this passage of scripture, Jesus asks a man a question he can’t really answer. I have to wonder what Jesus’ goal was in asking the question; no human can know for sure what is in the mind or the heart of another human. Jesus, of course, knew that. I don’t have an answer but I have a guess. Could this have been an opportunity for Jesus to show those around Him that a “foreigner” was showing gratitude and the others (possibly Jews) were not?

I don’t believe Jesus used “labels” in a derogatory way… God’s love is color blind. Our love is to be also; blind to color, ethnicity, religion, social status, education, and hundreds of other ways humans hold prejudice. Yet, I believe Jesus was also showing those around Him that anyone – in any circumstance – can approach God; I thank Him today that His love reaches even me!!

“Whosoever surely meaneth me; surely meaneth me; oh, surely meaneth me!

Whosoever surely meaneth me; whosever meaneth me!”

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

IF

IF

 “If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (…) Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:9-16

Rarely, almost never, do I take part in “click like and share” postings on Facebook or through email even if I “Amen” or make positive comment. However, I make an exception today because it started with “Read Psalm 91” and I hadn’t started my devotions yet. The underlined portion of the scripture, although the entire Psalm is an awesome read, stabbed me in what was a confused, scared heart! If you woke up with a heart that needed reaffirming today; ingest the words of God by inserting your name:

Because Eleanor loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue her; I will protect her, for she acknowledges My name. She will call on Me, and I will answer her; I will be with her in trouble, I will deliver her and honor her. 

“And when my love for life is running dry; You come and pour yourself on me!”

(Lyrics from “If” by David Gates)

THANK YOU, LORD!

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

The Snakes Stay

The Snakes Stay

“’We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.’ So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.” Numbers 21:7-9

Our pastor preached on the above passage from Numbers on Sunday morning. Numbers is often one of the “skipped over because it is considered boring” books of the Bible. However, during college I learned that there are “gems” within even the more “boring for us but vital to Jewish history” passages. Pastor John used the passage to emphasize a good topic but my mind was racing on another “thought.” My brain tends to multitask often when it comes to the Word of God!

God’s chosen people could be a rough crowd as they traversed the desert but God needed to teach them many lessons before they were prepared to enter the land He promised to them. Their travels were often accompanied by groans and moans, complaints and whining; they moaned about manna, whined about water, complained about conditions in the desert and groaned about God’s time alone with Moses! And God forgave them, time and time again! However, even God has a limit and they reached it right before God sent snakes to live among them.

The normal pattern was – they griped, God sent a test, they repented, and God removed whatever was upsetting them. NOT THIS TIME! God did not remove the snakes; they needed to learn to live among them but He gave them a way to live with snakes and still be safe. This divine healing, however, required action on their part. Hmmm… does living among snakes sound familiar? We live in a world filled with snakes… each of us has the worldly serpents who make us look up, don’t we?? Think about it…

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone