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.

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!  

The Beauty of Balance

Life viewed from the right angle is its own beautiful landscape…

It has taken a few weeks, but I am getting settled in my new home. The feelings of fatigue, anger, frustration and fear are all but gone. I had been in a head space that opposed my mental and spiritual well-being. My life seemed a dysfunctional hot mess. Mostly, I lacked the balances and boundaries needed to feel peace within and without. Regaining my equilibrium meant taking steps from my mental checklist:

  • Make a home. It needed to be more than a place I occupied and filled with stuff; it had to embody my personality, my vision, my décor.
  • Get revived. I had to make quality alone time with ABBA to once again enjoy the relational intimacy I craved as his daughter.
  • Restore leisure. Enjoyable things that had fallen by the wayside like writing, reading, music, movies and bubble baths, were once again gaining their place in my life again.

Sometimes it’s easy to get off track in life with all the distractions this world has to offer. Distractions make it easy to forget how to enjoy the beauty of living. For me, this means taking time to enjoy my hermitic side without guilt; to step back from life’s crowding demands and just be; and, to get the rest I need to avoid feeling like a mindless, murderous zombie.

Sleeping under the stars from the vantage point I now have makes for sweet slumber and tranquil living. Though not as beautiful a view as the Norway image used for today’s blog, it will suffice as an anchor for my balancing act.

Whatever it takes for you to gain a balanced life, I surely encourage you to find it and continue your life on a beautiful journey.

Image by Eamon – Blogger at https://waywardwheeler.wordpress.com and https://www.facebook.com/waywardwheeler/.  Used with permission.

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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