On His Shoulders-Part One

by Mary Beth on November 28, 2017

“Wait patiently, trust humbly, depend only upon,

seek solely to a God of Light and Love,

of Mercy and Goodness, of Glory and Majesty,

ever dwelling in the inmost depth and spirit of your soul.

There you have all the secret, hidden, invisible,

Upholder of all the creation,

whose blessed operation will always be found by a humble,

faithful, loving, calm, patient, introversion of your heart to Him,

who has His hidden heaven within you, and which will open itself to you,

as soon as your heart is left wholly to His eternal, ever-speaking Word,

and ever-sanctifying Spirit within you.

Beware of all eagerness and activity of your own natural spirit and temper.

Run not in any hasty ways of your own.

Be patient under the sense of your own vanity and weakness;

and patiently wait for God to do His own work, and in His own way.” ~William Law

*

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  ~Isaiah 9:6

*

We often reflect on this beautiful verse of scripture during Christmas,

rightly so, but rarely do we ponder its power and purposes within.

“…the government will be on his shoulders.”

 As Christians we are sojourners,

called as God’s people within His purposes,

to be a dynamic and transformed people

by the gospel of Christ for His glory.

“By this we know that we abide in him and he in us,
because he has given us of his Spirit.”
1 John 4:13

*

What is this office of Christ,

this wise government which is on His shoulders,

that He so tenderly and mildly establishes upon our hearts,

and in His church?

 

It is a rightful government.

Agreeable to His character to rule in love and peace,

Jesus Christ our Prince of Peace,

gently ushers within souls

a government of righteousness-

administered with wisdom,

conviction, and power by the Holy Spirit.

Through the gospel of Christ,

His wise and well-ordered government establishes by grace,

a foundation of transformational righteousness.

“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory,
are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory,
which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
~2 Corinthians 3:16-18

 

It shall be a peaceable government.

Peaceable in the sense of a holy life in righteousness, peace and joy.

Our new nature in Christ,

is at peace with God to surrender and follow our great Shepherd,

as He removes unbelief from our hearts. Isaiah 1

According to His Word,

we align our hearts, souls and entire life with His purposes and plans,

while pressing against compromise and complacency

to love the world and its many pleasures.

“They have a common table, but not a common bed.

They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh.

They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven.”

~Alan Hirsch

 

 By the mercies of God,

the Spirit within us will comfort and bring conviction

to cast oneself into the arms of Christ,

and lay our present state alongside the office of Christ.

The Father has given us to Christ,

and Christ gives us back again to the Father.

*

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. 
They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.
Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.”  ~John 17:6,7

*

It is an everlasting kingdom.

There shall be no end to the increase of His government,

for the gospel church is the holy hill of Zion, on which Christ reigns.

For God has put eternity in the hearts of men that we may fear Him;

the heart and will of God is all about His advancement

of the kingdom of Christ among men.

What government do you see ruling in hearts?

Is it the zeal of the Lord of hosts?

By and through the Spirit,

the work upon a heart establishes a freedom from self

to reflect the Lords glory.

This is transformation into His likeness; therefore,

our lives speak outwardly a commentary of our inward life in Christ.

Shine His clear, bright light in our dark culture!

Shine biblical truth, sincere love, and a reality of hope

to a culture facing a crisis of conscience!

“The Holy Spirit cannot be located as a Guest in a house.
He invades everything.” Oswald Chambers

 

This peaceable government is also one of judgement and wisdom.

In a previous post Feet to our Faith

I write a similiar view to consider and ponder for our hearts

as we move into the new year.

Ponder a few weighty words and by faith,

rest in God’s mighty hand to accomplsih His workmanship in us

and in the lives of many family and friends.

May our love abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.  Phil.1:9

*

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
 In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. 
In his law the islands will put their hope.” ~Isaiah 42:3,4
“Where Christ establishes his government,
he inspires care to keep the judgement clear and fresh,
for while the judgement stands straight and firm,
the whole frame of the soul continues strong and impregnable.”
The Bruised Reed, Richard Sibbes

*

“In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious,
and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel.” 
~Isaiah 4:2

May the perfect government of Christ be set upon our hearts and in His church!

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Mary

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Leaves

by Mary Beth on November 13, 2017

 

I invite you to welcome a guest writer on mightyrighthand this month.

She’s a cherished friend and writer,

who shines like a rare beautiful gem-

with several artistic gifts for the hungry contemplative mind and spirit.

Her writing often reflects an earthy, deep and beautiful inspiration

in a natural, and profound manner.

It was by request to simply but only list her initials.

Admire and enjoy her creative voice, and the ordinary yet delicate leaves

she collected in the beautiful artwork. ~Mary

 

Sights and sounds of the first day of November:

My excited boots knock softly against the sidewalk.

Knock knock, knock knock, stop.

The tree overheard, rustle rustle in the breeze.

Me-neck crank, crank, craned up, eyes open wide to see

the very first leaf of fall break off and dance in the swirling breeze,

only to land harshly on the ground.

The breeze whispers in my ear, tells me, it’s sorry.

I gaze down at this leaf, this, perfect leaf,

sunshine yellow with scorched burgundy veins.

I hold it, intensely aware of the many stomp, stomp,

stomping boot steps coming toward me.

This leaf too alive, to die now.

It’s skin too vibrant, to be stepped on.

I take the leaf, nestle it in between the empty pages of my now filling notebook.

How many leaves have I gathered this week?

The hands of my watch tick, tick, tick, into my ear.

I sigh, squint eyes at nature’s potential for destruction,

and shuffle on my way.

 

Sights and sounds of the second day of November:

My excited boots once again knock softly against the sidewalk

knock knock, knock knock, stop.

Thirty-seven perfect leaves,

lie flinching on the sidewalk in front of me.

Rustling tree laughs at me.

Breeze blows a too late apology.

Throat tightens.

I can’t breathe.

Boots sprint home exhausting every part of me.

Burst through the door.

See mom over steaming stove top.

Fall to knees.

Yank out notebook.

Ask mom:  “What do I do when I don’t have enough pages?”

She stirs her steaming pot and doesn’t answer me.

I say, “Mom. What do I do with all of these fallen leaves?

They need my help.

Mom, they’re bleeding their colors in the streets.

Mom, they’re dying. Mom, they’re dying. Mom, they’re dying.

Mom, look at me.”

She taps her wooden spoon against her cauldron of a pot,

looks at me with a spell in her eyes, and says quite too simply:

“Honey. What are you doing, trying to save them?

Don’t you know, that fallen leaves,

are supposed to be stepped on?”

 

Sights and sounds of the third day of November:

My heavy boots drag somberly against the sidewalk.

Step step, step step. Step step, step, step.

Tick tick, tick tick.

Breeze blows. Trees rustle. Leaves fall. I walk.

Step step. Step to class.

Keep my screaming hands, inside my quiet pockets.

Step step. Step to class, so I can learn all about fallen leaves,

from safe inside, a university room.

~ M. S.

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It Is Time

by Mary Beth on October 25, 2017

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“Turn, Turn, Turn,” echoes the popular song from The Byrds,

reflective from Scripture in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

“For everything there is a season,

and a time to every matter under heaven.”

Ecclesiastes was pivotal not only in my surrender to Christ,

it was foundational in growing my trust and love for

God’s powerful, sufficient,

and living Word.

Truly, God’s eternal words from Ecclesiastes,

continues to hold cherished meaning and purpose

as I’ve sojourned through the years.

Once again the great Preacher’s words,

  both affirms and settles my heart through minor and major life transitions.

After seasons of prayer and counsel through the years, while

 trusting God’s will and timing,

we moved forward in weighty decisions

towards neccessary endings

and new beginnings.

We intentionally took steps to be more open-handed

with God given gifts of

established friendships,

rare opportunities,

biblical community, and

our leadership roles.

All to circle back where our roots began

within the Great Lakes area,

and to begin a new

work and life balance.

 In Crazy Busy, Kevin DeYoung writes how leaders are challenged

by “over developed strengths that are under protected.”

Throughout our research, this statement among others,

continues to hold one of many check point convictions

we embrace in our work/life balance.

God was and is gracious with His guidance,

goodness, and generosity to us throughout the

tedious process and numerous changes,

including our tender emotions.

Many transitional changes required a delicate balance of people and process.

We received two offers on our home within four hours of listing.

The speed of our process took a fast pace; we’re thankful for it.

How vital the timing proved to be for us in this transition,

to critical needs within

our extended families.

Close friends in our prayer group, neighborhood,

and community stood with us-

through highs and lows, strengths and weaknesses, tears and mutual love.

Their kindness, timely encouragement, meals, and prayers,

all offered strength to us-

yet the comfort was simply,

being together.

*

What depth of love, joy, and support to truly experience biblical community.

This is life together Dietrich Bonhoeffer encouraged!

Why welcome sincere community,

of maturing love, life, and support among believers?

 Together we learn to live wholeheartedly,

and to trust the Word will light our ordinary paths.

We need one another as we seek to walk in the fear of the Lord.

Even more beautiful, we’re family by God’s grace.

Side by side taking humble steps of trust and obedience,

following our great Shepherd and Keeper of our souls.

For our help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
For the Lord is our shade at our right hand.
He will watch over our life.
The Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.  Psalm 121

 

Resources:

Crazy Busy, Kevin DeYoung

Necessary Endings, Dr. Henry Cloud

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