Take My Hand

from new book “My Soul Cries… Glory, Glory, Glory” (2019). Copyright © Wanda J. Murry.  All rights reserved.

Matthew 18:19-20
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Although it is a story of rebellion, the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) gives an example of what can be accomplished when people stand together to work toward a common goal. Likewise, in the book of Nehemiah we find the story of the citizens of Jerusalem banding together to rebuild the wall around the city (Nehemiah 4) while warding off the naysayers and enemies that taunted them.

These stories give credence to Jesus’ statement wherein he says, “He that is not with me is against me…” (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23). This truth flows into every part of life, and is most likely at the heart of everything that is broken. When people are not joined together, touching and agreeing, there is division.  A small breach left unattended in a structure, with enough pressure, becomes a gaping hole in that structure that eventually crumbles into a heap of nothingness.

We see this in companies. Staffs flourish in a company where management exhibits and demonstrates care for their well-being, praises them, and shows appreciation for their contributions.  You find the opposite in a company where management has tyrants who micromanage, criticize, and show little respect for the employee or their work. These companies will usually have a high turnover rate.

affection board broken broken hearted
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We see this in marriages. When a husband thrives at demonstrating and living the biblical command to love his wife as Christ loved the church, he lives with her according to knowledge.  A wife under such authority willfully submits to his leadership authority, and you often find a couple who genuinely adore and respect each other … they have become “one.”  But let the husband be an insensitive bully or the wife an odious (hateful) woman, and you may find a drifting apart that creates a gulf impassable, fostering outside alternatives that choke out the hope of reconciliation.

white concrete structure
Photo by Arantxa Treva on Pexels.com

We see this in churches. Where there is a stronger presence of believers who are solely focused on giving their all to the vision and work of the ministries of their church body, there will be little posturing for position or title.  This church body is grounded and fortified for the service of God with servants able to withstand the attacks of the enemies. The flip side of this is a cluttered mess of individualized, spiritual separatists vying for dominance and recognition while the work of the ministry falls into stagnation and apostasy.

What is your point,” you may ask?  It’s simple … don’t aspire to join the Tower of Babel!  Look to your left, look to your right, look in front of you and look behind you, then look within/without the body of Christ…

Take A Hand–Walk beside each other so we can hold each other up in the times when the battle and weight of our trials are too much to bear…even for the strong.
Take A Hand–She’s young and without knowledge of her virtuous treasures which have been soiled by the world; help her exchange the ashes of her life for beauty…and love.
Take A Hand–He wants to be a man but all he knows about manhood has been derived from his dysfunctional environment absent of leadership; he’s silently afraid of the dying around him, but you can introduce him to a New Life.
Take A Hand–Whether old or young, they have been striped of human dignity at a  price of civil rights, abusive nights, or rejected by sight; rebuke them not, but in gentleness and respect teach them the ways of God’s holiness and sanctification.

Let us now agree as touching on that which is most needful for the expansion of the Kingdom of God — the gathering together in His name, the sharing of the gospel message, and the edifying of each soul through the power of the Word of God.

Take My Hand.

Are You Ready?

Not all exams allow a retest …

Copyright © Wanda Murry, August 28, 2018

Lately, I find myself thinking more and more about the day when I will come face to face with Christ.  I’m fairly sure I won’t be able to say anything!  And, although crying is a release mechanism for me, I will have a glorified body, so I’m pretty sure that’s not an option.

It’s not just standing before him though – I’m sure of my salvation and it’s not in question.  What I wonder about is if he’ll be pleased with what I’ve done with His gift over these 40 plus years, and if I have represented Him well.

man wearing gray sweater in selective focus photography
Photo by Segopotso Makhutja on Pexels.com

Every time I think about it I remember a scene from the Bruce Willis movie “The Sixth Sense.”  Toward the end, the little boy is finally explaining to his mom that he sees and talks to the dead. He tells his mom that his grandmother said her answer was “Yes” to a question the mother had.  Asking his mom what the question was, the mother responds, “I asked if I make her proud?

I only get one day at a time to make God proud.  I know He doesn’t expect me to be perfect, but at the end of each day, my hope is that God is proud of something I did to magnify His glory.  Daily, the thought of meeting my Savior face-to-face is a welcome desire.  Yet, there are other moments when I ask myself if I am truly ready to stand in His presence?

Definitely a reflective moment worth more than just a cursory thought!

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18  (KJV)

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

From the Outside (A Poem)

Leave judgment where it belongs – in God’s hands

Copyright © Wanda Murry, August 7, 2018

It’s been a while since I shared a poem from my latest book, Emotionally Charged (Amazon, 2016)This poem came to mind as I listened to the words from King & Country’s “God Only Knows” official music video (below).  It made me think of the countless young women and young men who are wandering through life — hopeless, wounded, afraid, and ready to give up on life.

I can so relate to those feelings.  As I’ve mentioned before, I personally dealt with suicidal thoughts as a teen and young adult.  I know what it’s like to feel so alone and/or hurt that you don’t think life is worth living. God brought me back from the brink many, many times!  God wants to impart His love to the lost and the hurting; He just needs them to reach out and take hold of His hand.

If you have an experience or encouraging word you can share with those who will read this post, please do.  Someone may need to hear your testimony to starve off the hopelessness nipping at their heart.

Enjoy the Poem and the Song below.

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Blindsided by the Blind Spots in the Wall

Beware of the dust that gathers while standing still at the gate!

Copyright © Wanda Murry, Speak True Life, May 23, 2018

Encarta Dictionary: English (North America):  blind–side (transitive verb), blind–side (blind·sid·ed, blind·sid·ing, blind·sides)

  1.  Attack from blind side

to attack somebody suddenly and physically by hitting the person on a side where his or her peripheral vision is obstructed

  1.  Attack when vulnerable

to take somebody unawares suddenly, with detrimental results to that person

WebstersDictionary.com – blind spot  noun

2an area in which one fails to exercise judgment or discrimination

Your chest is on fire; your eyes burn with cloudiness; your breathing is labored.  Your head hurts as swirls of darkness envelop you like a soft glove.  You are rattled to the core and left feeling as if a sledgehammer has pummeled your chest. Surely you must be dying; surely the pain will be to your demise.

Tremors ripple throughout your body leaving you spineless.  Your body, in slow motion, crumbles into a heap upon the floor.  Using the last bit of strength you can muster, you wrap your arms around your body as you curl into a ball.  As tears fall, draining you of any coherent thought, even death becomes a welcome idea.

You have just been blindsided by the blind spots in your life.  While you were busy managing the multiplicity of life, you left yourself vulnerable to the attacks that are constant against those in Christ, and that which is common to the flesh.  Sometimes, the greatest blind spot is to believe one is exempt from the very temptations and troubles that accumulate into lusts of the flesh, the eyes, and pride, even though God’s Word speaks to the contrary.

In our failure to stay spiritually and mentally alert through God’s Word and an active prayer life, complacency creeps in like a tiny spider—unseen until its webs are anchored in the dark spaces our eyes did not see — and our lukewarm hearts did not feel.  Blind spots take many forms: stubbornness, carelessness, laziness, pride, trust issues, scriptural starvation, spouses, work, multiple endeavors (spiritual & physical), worldly lusts, fear, ministry(ies), bitterness, fatigue, children, weariness, etc., etc., etc.  Their development grows as one gets a little too comfortable in their state of fellowship and worship with the Holy God.

Old Testament stories highlight this common breach in the life of those on varying levels of relationship with God.  Nothing new under the sun, for there are many examples of strong beginnings of faithful servants who later falter and fall.  A tour of the internet provides an increasing number of moral failures in our churches for our learning in these modern days.  And, it is this faltering that creates the breach in our spiritual fortress.  The story found in Nehemiah is a welcome reminder.

worm view of concrete structure
Photo by Chris Carter on Pexels.com

In learning that The remnant left of the captivity in the province … (were) in great affliction and reproach: (1:3), Nehemiah’s response provides us with a picture of one whose heart is towards God and God’s people, much like an uncompromising shepherd in this Laodicean church age.  In short, verses 3b-11 is the hope of a heart for what God loves … his people.  Note:

… the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, … Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, … 11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: … and grant him mercy in the sight of this man…”

We are warned to remember the examples in the Old Testament by 1 Corinthians 10:1-12 – to not lust after evil things, be idolaters, commit fornication, tempt Christ, or murmur. Nonetheless, when there are blind spots in our vision, the walls of spiritual protection fall, delivering our moral compasses into the hands of worldly versions of right vs. wrong, causing spiritual weakness and compromise.052418-PrideWhen I read “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” (Proverbs 30:12) or the warning cry of Isaiah 5:21-Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” it is like the slap of wet hands upon the face saying, WAKE UP!  Ignorant I am not – I have fallen into several pits with scars to show.  I suspect there may be more.  So there is a great need to minimize more damage by banishing complacency, and opening my eyes and ears.  It is as good a place as any to start – at least for me.

 

The walls are failing, the breaches are widening, and God’s people cannot afford to abandon their posts#2.

Lord, wipe away the haze from our eyes; open our ears to hear the crumbling of the walls that we may turn our hearts to you again. Though our fortresses are weakened by decay, help us arm ourselves with the building materials of your mighty sword (Hebrew 4:12) and vanquish the enemy of our flesh.  Keep us from getting lost in the fabric of a busy life, that we may fortify the kingdom of God and secure the breaches with armed watchmen upon thy walls.

Traveling on the Wings of Praise

[When You Need to Remind Yourself of God’s Faithfulness]

Copyright © Wanda Murry, April 9, 2018

040918-ThoughtsFirst Things First:  I want to apologize to all of you who actually follow my blog, and those who actually take the time to read the words that come from my heart! I appreciate each of you! I love knowing you can identify with me by a like, a comment, or sharing a post. I look forward to connecting with you more. I hope to hear your personal thoughts and testimonies as they relate to the posts and/or things God is doing in your own lives.

Secondly, it’s been well over a month since my last post, and that is just not acceptable at all.  As a writer and blogger, I know I must do better. Expecting readers to partake of an inspirational menu that isn’t regularly restocked with new words of encouragement makes little sense. There are no excuses because, if I consider myself a writer but don’t write – well, I’m sure many of you might agree that there is something wrong with that picture!

WIN_20150310_203251 (2)So, what’s new? I confess there are potholes I sometimes fall into on my personal, wonderful journey called “Life.” Like street potholes, these personal potholes rattle me, causing me to veer off the writing path! This I must say — sometimes, focusing too much on surviving life can throw a monkey wrench into living the life God set us free to live. I like John 10:10 as a spiritual reminder that there are two sides to my story & to my life — two warring principles – my flesh and God’s Spirit.

10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that  they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

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Without doubt the enemy takes many shapes and forms to accomplish his thievery, murder, and destruction. Hard lessons are especially difficult when I realize I failed to stay alert & became complacent in areas of my life. I never feel good when I view my failures alongside Christ’s sacrifice. I’ve been robbed in the physical, and it’s just as unnerving when it happens in the spiritual.

In those moments of insecurity, when I’m unsure of my path, are the times when I feel more alone than I care to admit. And for one accustomed to encouraging others, I’m not a good recipient when the shoe is on the other foot, even when I need to be encouraged. Some say it’s pride, but I beg to differ. I’m private about my personal issues.

Why bother others,” reason in my heart, when I know where my help comes from. Let your requests be made known unto God, Philippians 4:6 says. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God…Casting all your care upon him;” 1 Peter 5:6-7 says. So that’s what I do; not out of pride, but because I’ve learned to turn to the rock of my salvation like David in 2 Samuel 22.040918-WordThe old saying, on a wing and a prayer, fits this post. When my wings are clipped, and I find myself unable to soar about my circumstances emotionally and spiritually, I turn to God’s Word to encourage myself. A good bible study, like the 52 Weeks of Pursuit provides incredible insight given by Mark Trotter. Sobering is the knowledge that today’s Christians aren’t so different from the errant Nation of Israel in their shortcomings.040918-MusicSymbolMusic is a balm of melodies for the issues of life. Through praise, overcoming obstacles seems less daunting as I am reminded of God’s love for me despite my failures. The fact that God already knew I’d fall short makes getting back up easier! I listen to a variety of Christian music but, Jonathan McReynolds and Tauren Wells are currently supplying my wings of praise.

When Tauren Wells speaks of being Known,” you recognize that he’s uncovered the basic heart of man – the desire to be fully known and loved by someone. His words resonant as he sings:

It’s so like You to keep pursuing; It’s so like me to go astray – But You guard my heart with Your truth; A kind of love that’s bullet proof – I’m fully known and loved by You – You won’t let go no matter what I do

Then, there is Jonathan McReynolds, who sings of the Pressures that come with all he does while also staying true to his faith. He sings, “Help me,” continuing to say:

Jesus take from me – All the pressure, pressure, pressure – To be someone that you did not create – Help me be me – And only see you – Let me decrease – And glorify you!

 

The road of life can get rocky, but with the right travel companion (Jesus Christ), You will be able to soar above the obstacles in the road on the wings of praise!  

I’m Trippin!

For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. [Mark 13:34]

Life can be Harsh and I’ve been assaulted by it!

Life can be Unfair and I’ve been victimized by it!

Life can be Uncertain and I’ve been confused by it!

Life can be Painful and I’ve been scarred by it!

Life can be Overwhelming and I’ve been hijacked by it!

Life can be Ravaging and I’ve been devoured by it!

Life can be Terrorizing, and I’ve been paralyzed by it!

Yet …

Life can be Sweet, and I have savored its offerings!

Life can be Carefree, and I have soared upon its wings!

Life can be Deep, and I have explored its flowing depths!

Life can be Beautiful, and I have painted upon its canvas!

Life can be an Adventure, and I have found its treasures!

Life can be a Symphony, and I have hummed its Arias!

Life can be a Test, and I am its student, striving to graduate with honors!

Copyright © Wanda J. Murry, August 2017

It Is Written: My Soul Cries “A Tribute”

I have some friends who are dealing with deaths in their family—some of them, multiple.  Death hit close to home this year. I lost an uncle who was the pillar of our “Pender” family based in Kansas City.  In the past, I greatly feared death. In 2006, the loss of a young man I knew in passing tore through my fears like a hurricane. I mourned the death of this child as if he were my very own.  Baffled by the depth of my tears and depression for weeks on end, I cried myself to sleep each night asking, “Lord, why—why him—why this son?”

The weight of my grief drove me into depression. I asked others to pray for me.  My breakthrough came as I lay silently crying one night:  Death is a Given—Accept it & Make Peace with it. God is the only one with power over it!  And, BOOM, there it was! Yet, to totally break the yoke of the fear these words followed:  God gave you children for a time and a purpose, just as He gave HIS SON for a time and a purpose?

My peace with death doesn’t mean I don’t sorrow for the lost. It means I take comfort in God’s arms and acknowledge this truth:  “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8); and it will play out to the very end.

Today, I am sharing an excerpt from my first book, My Soul Cries… Holy, Holy, Holy, that I hope will give a new perspective on dealing with death.

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