Good Friday or Bad?

Today, many of us celebrate what we call, Good Friday. The day Christ died on the cross with the promise of rising in three days. The day the earth shook, the sun darkened, the veil was torn, and the believers were scattered with their dreams of majesty shattered. The day the Holy Lamb of God was beaten, bruised, pierced by those who hated Him and forsaken by the very Father God who claimed to love Him.

So, if all this bad happened on this day, how can we call it Good Friday? How can we join together to celebrate such a horrific, gruesome, unimaginable death? How can anything good be taken from such a terrible day that is forever written in the annals of time?

If you don’t know Him, I can understand why you’d wonder. If you’ve never realized His love for you, I can believe your confusion and doubt. If you’ve only heard of Him in storybooks and seen Him portrayed as “just a man” in cults and Hollywood box office hits, I can comprehend your skepticism, ridicule and even rejection.

But for me, I know Him on a personal level…

He was there before I even took a breath. He was there when I was in my mother’s womb, and her guidance counselor tried to convince her to “get rid of the dilemma,” because, after all, she was just 16. He was there when I was born six weeks (8 wks to today’s standards) too early and fought for life for those 10 days in that tiny incubator.

He was there when I was six months old, and my alcoholic parents split up. He was there when my four year old self waited by the door with packed bags for a father who never showed up. He was there when my twelve year old self received a “new daddy” who took us away from a comfortable, small town to a great big city with so many unknowns.

He was there when I met the man of my dreams and said, “I do.” He was there when our first child never grew in the womb, and we buried him under those great big oaks at my childhood home. He was there when our firstborn aspirated meconium, and we were told by a young nurse that it could be fatal. He was there when our second son fell off the changing table onto a tile floor while being babysat. He was there when I lost my precious grandfather to cancer, the man who had protected me, loved me and cherished me, the man who been my “Daddy” for so many years. He was there through all of the grief and sorrow.

The stories could go on and on with so much more detail, but I won’t bore you with my life story. I can just say, with 100% confidence, He was there. In my darkest days and in my happiest hours, in my finest moments and in those times that I wish to never be repeated, He was there.

He has always been there.

So, I call it Good Friday, because I know He was there hanging on the cross pouring out His blood for me for redemption. I call it Good Friday, because I know He rose just a few days later with the promise of victory, and heaven and eternity for my soul if I just believe. I call it Good Friday, because I am a witness to all that has come from His sacrifice, His love and His grace just in my own life.

I call it Good Friday, because often times, out of the bad, the horrific, the most unimaginable things comes such beauty and goodness and promise that you can’t call it anything but GOOD!

Watch and listen…

https://youtu.be/Is6weMrenls

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A Curious Thing

Death is such a curious thing.

I want to weep and wail, scream and curse at no one in particular

Yet, I long to let my furry flow.

I want to punch and kick, run and stomp

at no person specific

Yet, I yearn to unload and unwind.

I want to tell every naysayer, “You’ll never know this kind of love.”

I want to tell every well wisher, “You’ll never understand the pain.”

But then,

I look upon Your face

Your whisper draws me closer still

Your eyes coax me to silence

Your hands comfort my tears

You remind me of Your sufficient grace.

You remind me of Your unending mercy.

You fill me with Your peace that surpasses all understanding.

You overwhelm me with Your love that is always without limit.

Where can I go from Your presence?

Where can I flee from Your shadow?

You see every corner of my world.

You fill ever space within my heart.

There will come a day I can breathe again.

There will come an hour I will see.

Until then, I will allow Your Hope to be my anchor.

Until then, I will dream of what could have been and what will be.

Heaven is going to be a beautiful thing.

Penned – MG – 9/19/17

Don’t Move The Goal Posts

Have you ever watched a football game where they moved the goal posts after a tough first quarter? How about a soccer game when the odds are stacked against the home team? Oh, maybe it was that last basketball game, when they moved the goal post over a bit to be more accommodating to the competition. 

No? Well, God doesn’t expect you to move the goal post either. We started this walk of Christianity to finish. We got in this to win the good fight of faith. If He told you to do something; then, it’s in your best interest to do it. When He said to finish the race, He wasn’t kidding. He will help us to finish well. 

Sometimes, we step into this Christian walk, passionate, all consumed with faith and exuberant obedience, and then, all of a sudden, life happens. Things get a little harder than expected, or maybe a lot harder, and we slow down. We question. We doubt. We might even argue with God that this was not what we bargained for. We begin to wonder if it’s worth the struggle, and we’re tempted to lay it all down for a moment of sinful pleasure and for, what seems like, a breath of relief.  

Yet, just because life didn’t unfold in the the easy way we expected, doesn’t change what God has told us. It doesn’t alter His plans or His direction in which He first told us to go. We can’t change the goal posts in the middle of the game, simply, because our opponent is gaining ground. No, we are commissioned to carry on. We are commanded to persevere, to endure till the end, and to take as many with us as we can! 

Remember, the Book is already written. The end is already confirmed. WE WIN! Don’t move the goal posts when you’re this close to scoring the winning point! 

Romans 5:3-5, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Travel to Another Land

We went to a place recently that I’d like to share with you. It almost seems like a far away land, one of which I’ve read in a book of fairyland or heard of in a dream. It is so beautiful, I long for these days when I return to the routines of mundane.

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When I stand at the top of this mountain, I feel like I can fly. I feel as if I’ve been snatched away from this earthly home, from the care and the concerns, from the responsibilities and burdens of this life. I feel as if no harm, no evil, no danger can come my way.

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It is a place of beauty, a place of tranquility, a place of senrene peace. My heart longs for it when I am away. My soul yearns for its return.

It makes me wonder if this is a tiny glimpse into what heaven must be like…

Will you join me?

Do Not Weep For Me

We had to bury a precious elder in our church today, and it made me think of this. I hope it blesses you…

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Death engulfs me in its grasp

Darkness is surrounding me

I hear wailing and mourning

But the faces I cannot see.

 

You weep for me to return

But do you know where I am going?

I am to travel the streets of gold

I am to see His Heavenly Throne

 

I am sorry for your loss and sorrow

You will miss me while I am gone

But you don’t have to be without hope

You don’t have to be lost and undone

 

You can join me here when life is through

You can walk in this Paradise Land

You can have eternal life and happiness

If you will just ask Jesus to take your hand

 

Penned – MG – 2/27/01

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Happy Valentine’s Day

In light of Valentine’s Day coming up Sunday, I couldn’t help but reshare a note I wrote last year concerning this day of love…I hope you have a love-filled weekend, wherever and with whomever you find yourself to be. ❤️

the grizzle grist mill

IMG_9457 As I sat in a memorial today to celebrate the homecoming of a life well lived, I thought about love, life, faith and death. I thought about the wife of the deceased who had been married for 53 years. I thought of the precious lady who sat beside me who, just a few short months ago, had said goodbye to her husband after so many years of loving each other. I thought of the young man I would see just a few minutes later, who just lost his wife to an organ transplant failure. Surrounded by so much grief, I wondered how it could possibly be Valentine’s Day today.

So many getting ready for their ‘hot dates’ tonight. Others bragging about all the candy, cards and roses they had received. My husband and myself exchanging our love just a few hours before, yet, waiting to truly celebrate until tomorrow because…

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My NY2016 Resolution

My New Years resolution is HOPE.

Hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Hope for a better future.

Hope for peace.

Hope for love.

Hope for joy.

If your hope is in this world, you will find yourself disappointed and let down time and time again.

This world has nothing for us.

This is our temporary home.

This is just a lay over, a delay at the airport.

Make the best of it while you’re here, but don’t set up camp.

Don’t make it permanent.

Don’t lay up treasures for yourself here.

Don’t trust that you can become comfortable here in this earthly home.

We’re not here to stay. We’re here to leave just as soon as we can.

Make sure your heart and soul is set to leave, and don’t wait too long to assure that hope.

For we are never guaranteed tomorrow. We aren’t even guaranteed our next breath.

He has promised to come back and take us home, and it will be soon.

Heaven is Honest.

Heaven is Home.

Heaven is Hope.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you.” Colossians 1:3-6a 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrew 11:1

A King’s Gift

Mephibosheth…what a name. He was crippled in both feet, too…his nurse had dropped him as a child…and his Daddy and Grandaddy had been killed in battle…and he was born to royalty, but his kingship had been taken away, because a new king had been crowned. By law, he could be killed by that new king. He just wanted to be left alone to die in his misery…but the new king had called upon him. 

I wonder what he was thinking when he got that message. I wonder what he thought of his life. What hardship he had endured. What tragedy he had survived…I don’t think he was thriving in his current life. I don’t think he was too excited about this call either. He had to receive the call…and he had to answer; after all, it was the King

If it were me, I think I might just tell that messenger, “Will you just kill me now?? I mean, really. I’m crippled. I’m broke. I have no family. I have no heritage. I have no inheritance, and now, the very one who’s taken my inheritance away from me is calling for me to come to him…probably to kill me! What more do you want from me? Can’t you just leave well enough alone?!” What a terrible lot in life. 

He followed through with the request. He went to see the king. Could you imagine his anguish as he entered the Kings’ courts? Could you imagine his resolution, probably, to just take his death sentence and be done with this sorry life he’d been handed? In your mind, can you see him??

Now, could you imagine his relief when King David told his servants to clothe him in the finest robes and seat him at his personal table for a fine dinner? That’s what happened! He was seated at the king’s table to eat of the king’s meal, and then, he was welcomed in to live at the king’s palace for the rest of his days! 

You see, before he died, his father had been best friends with this king. This king grieved over losing his best friend. This king longed to show kindness to his best friends’ household, and Mephibosheth was the only one left. 

Oh, what relief. Oh, what utter JOY!! Could you imagine the turn of events? To be given such a gift, I would be elated! To be given such grace, I would be ecstatic!! I would be overjoyed

Did you know, you and I can actually receive such a gift??

It may not be in an earthly kingdom, but it is in a heavenly one. Here on this earth, you and I are destined for a life of sin and an eternity of hell, but we have a Father in heaven who sent His Son to die for us, to forgive us our sins, and if we’ll just accept His invitation, He promises to give us an eternity of heaven!

What an incredible story…what an incredible ending…it’s a true one,* by the way…

What an incredible opportunity for you and me… How about it? Will you accept the invitation today? All you have to do is believe. 

*2 Samuel 9:1-9 
*John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Jennifer*

She had a way about her that made everyone feel loved.

She wasn’t an ordinary little girl. No, she was just a cut above.

Her laughter could warm the coldest of any hearts;

From her welcoming eyes, you’d never want to depart.

Now to the Promise Land, she’s gone far away,

Never to return or come again to play.

We all will miss her sweet little smile;

But if we’ll hold on, we’ll see her in just a little while.

She has been made complete by the Great Physician.

Her mind and her body, both now, in great remission.

She’s probably dancing on those streets of gold,

And most likely, hearing all His stories yet untold.

If you could see her at this very moment,

She might just be praying for your life’s atonement.

If you could hear her message as she calls out your name,

She might just be telling you to not remain the same.

“The Master is coming for you; I know it won’t be long.

Please, don’t wait forever, or you may sing a sad, sad song.

What a terrible disaster to live your whole life through,

And in the end, not give to Him your love which is so past due.”

Penned – MG – 9/20/03 

*Wrote in tribute to a precious little girl I knew who lost her battle with cancer when she was only six years old…

Draw Nigh To Him

Life is so very, very seared;

Be sure not to let it pass you on by.

Jesus promised that He would always be near,

But first, unto Him, you must draw nigh.

His love for you is very, very deep;

Sometimes, it can almost seem intoxicating.

Yet, He is such a gentleman, merciful and meek;

His love is never made to be suffocating.

This world is so very, very impure;

It will always turn your ’round and ’round.

He longs to give you a hope and a future;

He wants to free you from these chains you are bound.

His time is so very, very uncertain;

We cannot know the hour or the day.

Turn to Him before they draw a curtain;

Surrender your heart or be eternally swayed.

Penned – MG – 10/31/03