Man In A Trash Box . . .

Man In A Trash Box

Have you ever seen something so strange that you weren’t sure you were actually seeing right?  I often will travel by train to Oregon or Washington because I prefer not to drive those long distances by myself.  On one train ride last summer, I witnessed a very strange event.

I don’t know if you’ve ever traveled over night by train, but for someone like my who can barely sleep in my own “princess” bed at home, I don’t usually get much sleep.  The overnight to Salem, Oregon was one of those nights.  No matter how I tried in my assigned seat, I couldn’t get comfortable.  So, I got up and went into the observation car.

It’s noisy in those cars even late at night.  They weren’t meant to be sleeping halls, but sometimes people spread out with blankets and try to sleep any way they can.  I sat on the end by the door and suddenly a man came up, looked around and decided to sit in the seat next to me.  He had a folded cardboard box with him.  I thought it was a little strange at first, but then he opened the box up and slid it over his head.

He was obviously of Asian descent and I imagined living in such a place where the population is so dense, one would probably rarely find any solitude, especially on public transportation.  I recalled having seen a documentary once which showed tiny little compartments on trains where people could sleep.  I thought maybe this traveler was used to that and longed for the silence of a private place.

I stared for a little while, wondering about him, but didn’t let it bother me.  Then, along came the conductor.  He knocked on the box and the man quickly removed it from his head.  The conductor tried to ask him what was going on, but it was apparent the gentleman didn’t speak any English.  I felt sorry for him, because the conductor took away his box and told him not to do it again.

What I hadn’t noticed was that the box was one of the train’s folding trash bins.  Well, I guess that made all the difference, because the Asian gentleman was tampering with something other than his own property.  The whole incident was so odd.  I also felt a little sad that the conductor hadn’t tried to be a little more kind.  I can see his point, however, because it really just didn’t fit in with the culture of the train system.

The more I thought about it, the more I felt it was a difference in culture that lead to the oddness of it.  That poor man was just trying to get a little shut eye in a noisy environment.  His creativity stood out to me and I never faulted him for his actions.  But what I realized about this is that there is a spiritual element we can observe.

Christians are rapidly becoming the oddballs of society.  So many people are adapted to our culture and we are starting to stand out as misfits.  I’m sure it will get worse, before it gets better, if it ever does. (Once Jesus is ruling here, it will!)  What I felt the Lord revealing to me from this “out of the box” (or should I say, “in the box”) experience is that the more our society falls to immorality and conformity to the norms of hedonism and lack of a moral compass, the more we will be judged as weird.

I’m already there, and I’ve decided that it doesn’t really matter what people think of me.  I know my King loves me and approves of me, because of the washing of regeneration of the word and the blood of Jesus that cleanses me.  So, if I begin to be stigmatized, I’ve already counted the cost.

My prayer for you all today is that you will hear the Lord calling you out of the world.  He is asking you to be willing to give up your reputation and your comfort to stand out for Jesus in this darkening world.  I pray that you will count the cost of serving Him and of standing for righteousness in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

May you find your security, your value and your worth in Him alone and let go of any sense that you need to stand up for yourself.  I hope you can get to this place, because it isn’t an easy place to be.  But it’s exactly where the Lord would have you to be.  Thankfully, most of you will never be asked to be so odd that you’re like that man in a trash box!

Trailing Ellipsis marks

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?  Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,

“I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
“And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
“And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.”

Always in Jesus,

Desireé Figg

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I hope you like my blog of Daily Devotions.  I would be honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts as they are created.  Please sign up with your email address and click the Follow button below or on the sidebar to receive emails when a new post is made.  Thanks again for visiting Trailing Ellipsis.  I’ll see you on the trail.

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The Sound Of Freedom . . .

By Petty Officer 2nd Class John Hetherington (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1445515) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Petty Officer 2nd Class John Hetherington (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1445515) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

When I was a young bride in the mid 1970’s, my Navy husband David and I were stationed at the Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island, Washington.  We lived in base housing on the small sea plane base near downtown Oak Harbor and had to drive in nearly every day to the main base about four miles north.

That daily trek took us to the entrance of the base which sported a famous sign that embodied the warrior spirit of those attached to the base.  When I drove onto the base to go to the Commissary, the movies, or the doctor, my heart would swell with pride when I saw that sign.

Daily, squadrons of fighter jets would practice for their landings on aircraft carriers.  This involved routine passes over the base and surrounding areas followed by short landings on the runway, to simulate carrier landings, then quick take offs immediately after touch down.

These drills were called “touch and goes.”  The rapid decelerations and accelerations necessary to accomplish this caused the engines to absolutely scream.  Even today, everyone who lives near the northern end of Whidbey Island has to get used to the roar of those aircraft doing their maneuvers.  It is a sacrifice, but most seem willing to bear it.  This roar could be deafening at times, so the sign at the entrance to the base read,

“Pardon Our Noise, It’s the Sound of Freedom!”

Although, sadly, the sign has now been replaced by a sleek wall with a Prowler jet mounted above it, I still miss the old sign.  When I visited Oak Harbor and my brother a few years ago, who has since retired as a career Navy man, I asked him to take me out to the end of the runway just so I could hear the “noise” again.

It resonates, along with the words of the old sign, within me because freedom has become the cry of my heart.  That cry is not only for freedom in our land, though that is important, but it’s a cry for the needed spiritual freedom I seek for everyone.  Instead of by the sacrifices of our brave service men and women, that freedom was purchased by the priceless, precious blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The sound of freedom is the call He issues.  But as always, freedom isn’t free.  It required His sacrifice, and it requires ours as well.  Galatians 5:1 reveals the fight that is necessary,

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and follow Him as a true believer, then you have received the call He issued.  You heard the sound of freedom from sin, and responded.  But did you realize that when you made this wonderful decision, you also were recruited as a warrior for His kingdom?

Not only that, but like that young bride I once was, I was called to sacrifice right along with my brave husband.  Thankfully, our sacrifices were only those of inconvenience, for the most part.  Today, we still bear many of the marks of his military training and service.

Those of us who have heard the Freedom call from Jesus are also called to prepare ourselves as His Royal Bride, and to follow His sacrifice.  This means we are both recruited and betrothed.  Both callings are serious, and require training and preparation to fulfill.  We must become separate from”civilians” and set apart for this calling.

My prayer for you today is that you’ll be willing to allow yourself to be put through the spiritual “boot camp” God uses to make us all ready as warriors.  I hope you will embrace and willingly take on that role.  The days ahead are going to be full of the challenges of war.  We can’t afford to be “soft” or out of shape spiritually.  Please join with me today as I stand up and shout like a trumpet making the battle cry and proclaiming the sound of freedom!

Trailing Ellipsis marks

 2 Timothy 2:3-4  “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.

Always in Jesus,

Desireé Figg

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I hope you like my blog of Daily Devotions.  I would be honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts as they are created.  Please sign up with your email address and click the Follow button below or on the sidebar to receive emails when a new post is made.  Thanks again for visiting Trailing Ellipsis.  I’ll see you on the trail.

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It’s All About The Experience . . .

Jerusalem. Eastern Gate from Gethsemane

Jerusalem. Eastern Gate from Gethsemane

Last night I listened to a sermon on Youtube that had to do with some of the amazing discoveries and scientific breakthroughs that have been made in recent years.  They discussed the advent of cloning and inventions in the robotics fields.  The purpose was to help Christians understand the times we live in.  I couldn’t help thinking that some of the digital world is creating a less-than-real simulation which society seems to be embracing.  Me included… I love my smart phone.

But what occurred to me was that these things can easily remove the reality of actual experience.  This holds true for movies, television, gaming, and even Facebook.  Even though that is based on real people doing real things, the actual physical experiences, say, of holding someone’s newborn baby with that incredible scent they have, are not experienced when we only see it while scrolling.  I’m not trashing that world.  I’m just recognizing that in many ways, it’s become a substitute for true experiences.

In 2009, I had the very wonderful privilege of traveling to Israel.  I had wanted to go since I was 14 years old.  Fulfilling that dream was incredible.  I had read the Scriptures about the places.  I had seen many pictures and even videos of the Holy Land.  But, I promise you, those things can’t hold a candle to the reality I touched while I was there.  There is a powerful impact of being present in a place, seeing with your own eyes and having full access to that place with all your senses that can’t be replicated in a two dimensional realm.  Nothing can replace that.  I will never forget it.

One morning during my quiet time with Jesus, I felt His presence very tangibly in my prayer room.  I often sit quietly waiting and listen for His voice.  That particular morning, He began speaking as soon as I sat in my chair.  It was fabulous.  I know the sound of His voice as opposed to my own voice or my own imagination, and this time it was even more evident it was His still small voice.

At the risk of some people misunderstanding me, I’m just going to share with you what happened, because I can’t explain it and don’t understand how it could happen.  But it did.  Here are the words I heard Him say.

“I long to know you – your whole being, from the inside.  I am one with you, in your spirit.  We are forever linked.  Yet I desire to know you as one knows a dear friend.  I want you to be so eager to share with me all that you feel, think, desire.  Yes, of course, I know all things.  But this knowing I want is experiential – a sharing.  It’s not the same as just knowledge.  This is one-ness I long for.  And only as an act of your will, welcoming Me in, can I have you.  Oh, how I desire this.  Your open heart is inviting to Me, as no other possession could be.  This type of intimate relationship has been in My heart since long before I made the world.  Give yourself to Me wholeheartedly and I am rapt with joy.”

When I decided to write this entry today, I had to hunt for this journal page because it was hidden among all the other pages that look remarkably alike.  There was no outward sign, or strange manifestation.  There was nothing to set that page apart from the others.  But once my eyes fell upon the words again, I was mystified.

How could the Creator of the Universe and all life desire to know me.  Just me.  I’m not anybody super important in the grand scheme of things.  I’m just someone who desires to know Jesus intimately.  So, the fact that He spoke to me, tells me He can speak to you as well.  It tells me these words are not just for me, sitting in my little room in my rocking chair.  These are words of truth, fleshing out the Scriptures that are ripe with it.  But the uttering of them on that morning made the truth of the Word stand out separately.

Somehow, that morning, I experienced the Living Word Himself.  And astonishingly, He said He wants to know me.  I’ve heard that my whole Christian life.  I’ve read it hundreds of times on the pages of my Bible.  But this time, I found it was all about the experience.  This knowing of Him like a true friend, though the most Holy and Perfect friend there could ever be; this is what He desires.

I’m humbled by the experience.  More than that, I want to share it.  Not like sharing an experience to brag or show off – No, sharing, as in giving some to someone else.  You see, I believe if He told me, then He wanted me to tell you.  And that means He wants this kind of experiential knowledge of each of us.  He longs to share Himself with His Beloved Bride.  I believe every one of us can be part of that Bridal company if we truly desire to be.

So, today, my prayer for you is that you will settle it in your heart that Jesus Christ, God’s Holy Son, desires to be intimate with you in such a way that He can experience what you do, that He can feel your hurts with you and rejoice in your triumphs.  Of course, He knows them, but if you don’t offer to share yourself, the Gentleman Holy Spirit will not force His way into your life.  I pray you will open yourself up to Him and let Him in to the secret places of your heart so He can touch you in a way you’ll never forget.  I don’t know about you, but I want to make sure He knows me.  I hope you will allow Him to truly know you – because, as far as a relationship with Him goes, it’s all about the experience!

Trailing Ellipsis marks

 Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ “

John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Always in Jesus,

Desireé Figg

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I hope you like my blog of Daily Devotions.  I would be honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts as they are created.  Please sign up with your email address and click the Follow button below or on the sidebar to receive emails when a new post is made.  Thanks again for visiting Trailing Ellipsis.  I’ll see you on the trail.

PS.  Some of you reading this blog may wish to continue now that the 30 Day Content Challenge is over.  I’m committed to writing the devotional and would love to have you join me.  Here is a quick survey for you to let me know just how you’d like it to come as I go forward.

Trees Cut To The Knees . . .

Avocado Trees near Morro Bay

Avocado Trees near Morro Bay

On the day after Christmas, Dave and I took a lovely drive through the countryside around where we live.  I love the views and the beauty that surrounds us.  We came around a corner and a beautiful glimpse of the ocean peeked through the hills.  It was lit up with sunshine so much it looked like a fire between the hills.  Once we came along side the ocean, wind whipped the tops back against the incoming waves and sprayed white water behind them. Moments like those are what fill me with joy at living where I do.

On our way home from Morro Bay, we happened to notice an avocado orchard which had cut a huge section of their mature trees down to stumps.  They had painted the trunk bases with white paint and had grafted in new trees. It literally looked like the trees had white socks on up to their knees.

We mused about it for a bit, coming to the conclusion that they may have had a devastating frost or some type of disease for the ranchers to cut the trees back so drastically.  The vivid sight stuck in my mind.  When I contemplated what to write for today’s post, the realization came to me that sometimes God has to do that with people.

He knows just what it will take to get us to submit to His plan and purposes for our lives.  For some of us, there is such stubbornness that He has to cut us back almost to what seems is utter destruction.  I know He prunes us, and that’s usually sufficient, buy sometimes the problems are so deeply rooted inside of us that He has to nearly destroy the tree.

This reminded me of the Scriptures about Nebuchadnezzar’s judgment in Daniel 4 after he became so prideful.

14 & 15a “…Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, strip off its foliage and scatter its fruit; let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches.  Yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground…”

That passage is in the middle of a fascinating testimony by one who had been an unrighteous king.  The king himself penned the words and Daniel incorporated them into his book.  It’s so vivid and full of meaning, but what I was reminded of when I saw the Avocado trees cut back was how far God has to go sometimes to bring forth righteousness in us.

Much of my life was spent struggling with besetting sins and wrong mindsets.  I know I had to be cut down to the nub like those trees, because all I produced was evil fruit.  Nothing good dwelt in me.  As I look back on the hard falls I had to take, I can really only rejoice in God’s incredible mercy and grace for me.  I’m truly in awe of His patience and love through the worst of it.

When I was a little girl, we lived on a couple of acres of land with an apricot orchard in it.  I remember those trees being painted white on the bottom too.  I also recall a line my father had painted on the driveway which was our demarcation line.  It was a wide white stripe we were not to cross.  Of course, the rebellious streak in me always had to stand at the line and put my big toe over the line.

The problems within me became apparent later in my youth and into early adulthood.  One day while trying to work on healing some issues from my past, the Lord confronted me with a statement and a realization.  He showed me I was defiant!  Wow, did that hurt.  I had always told Him I wanted to obey Him and live my life how He wanted me to.  But when He revealed that to me, I was cut to the quick.

I can’t imagine what would have become of me if Jesus had just decided to leave me in that broken diseased place.  I know now, looking back, that it was His great love that had to chop down my life – a little in the manner of that ancient king.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to eat grass and live with the cows.

Today, I recognize the Lord is still working.  He is still looking for healthy good fruit.  He will continue to examine me and work on me as long as I live in this world.  And He will do the same with you.  Hopefully, you won’t have to be treated with such drastic measures.  If there is any way to learn from my mistakes, let the Lord reveal to you if there is anything He wants to prune from your life.

It may be a bad habit or two (my hand is raised!) or it may be a wrong relationship or something He has told you to do that you’ve not done yet.  Whatever it may be, I know you can trust your King to reveal it to you so it can be dealt with.  I’m seriously in the orchard with you and am still having to let Him do the pruning every day.  I just pray that you will, of your own free will, decide to let Him do what needs to be done.

It’s never comfortable or easy.  It takes looking deep inside and bravely facing things we’d rather keep below the surface.  But God’s love won’t let us go without working to deal with those buried problems.  My prayer for you today is that you will let Him dig them up and root out what isn’t healthy.  You might even need to hand Him a spade.  In any case, I encourage you to embrace the pruning, because the alternative is a scary massive step like what happened to those Avocado trees cut to the knees!

Trailing Ellipsis marks

 Luke 13:6-9 “And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.  And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any.  Cut it down!  Why does it even use up the ground?’  And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”

Always in Jesus,

Desireé Figg

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I hope you like my blog of Daily Devotions.  I would be honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts as they are created.  Please sign up with your email address and click the Follow button below or on the sidebar to receive emails when a new post is made.  Thanks again for visiting Trailing Ellipsis.  I’ll see you on the trail.

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A Simple Glass Of Ice . . .

"Ice cubes openphoto" by Darren Hester - Openphoto.net. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ice_cubes_openphoto.jpg#/media/File:Ice_cubes_openphoto.jpg

“Ice cubes openphoto” by Darren Hester – Openphoto.net. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ice_cubes_openphoto.jpg#/media/File:Ice_cubes_openphoto.jpg

This morning we woke up to 27 degrees and a thin covering of ice on everything.  That’s about as close as we get to a White Christmas here in California.  Although, today, I have friends and family in other parts of the country posting about sunbathing at Christmas.  So far it’s been a mild winter in several other places used to piles of snow by now.

The ice reminded me of a time a few summers ago where a strange phenomenon occurred and I knew there was a message in there somewhere.  That day, my husband worked all morning creating a unique custom cup holder for his off-road vehicle.  He loves Diet Coke and is rarely without his extremely large mug.  Usually, it is full of mostly ice and watered down soda, but that item is such a part of him that he is known by it.

When we got back home from our “test drive” to make sure the holder worked properly, (an excuse to go for a ride I fell for willingly) I needed something to drink and went for a jar of pre-brewed caffeine free iced tea I’d left in the refrigerator.  I filled a clear glass with ice and poured the amber fluid over the sparkling cubes.

I got distracted and wasn’t able to drink much of my tea right away.  Later in the evening, I went back to get a drink of it and by that time, all the ice had melted.  I noticed a clear layer of liquid near the bottom of the glass.  God used that image to reveal a spiritual truth that I want to share with you today.

It seems we are very much like that glass of ice with regard to the way we relate to God and how He relates to us.  Like the ice cubes, we do have an inherent beauty and some definite characteristics that are pleasant.  Ice cubes are made of water, which, in Scripture, is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.  We were made in the image of God.  We have a spirit within us, but if we let the spirit within us grow cold and frozen, we change what God means for us to be.  If the free flowing properties of water are frozen, the result is a hard, cold substance.

Granted, ice is useful in that state (I admit I really like ice in my drink.  It was 105 degrees outside that day!), so we can’t adopt the metaphor entirely.  The idea is, though, that even in our hardened state as human beings, full of sin and frozen to God’s love, we can be changed.

Jesus’ victory over sin on the cross purchased for us the right and privilege of being filled with the Holy Spirit if we have accepted Him as our Savior.  God longs to come into us and fill us until we overflow with His love.  As seen in the simple glass of ice, if we daily let Him fill us with His Spirit, we will eventually be transformed.  We will see a radical transformation in our substance.  Our being will mingle with His so much that others will barely be able to notice us.

This is what John the Baptizer meant when he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)”

Even though the cold tea didn’t melt the ice cubes quickly, eventually the ice did melt.  It would have melted on it’s own, but with the liquid around it, when it melted, the natural content of the water was pushed to the bottom of the glass and the tea had transformed the ice into it’s characteristics.

I contemplated this, realizing that when we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us completely and consistently, though it may take our lifetime, He literally dissolves our being.  We become like the melted, transformed, former ice at the bottom of the glass that now looks a lot like tea.

For years, I thought if I read my Bible more, prayed more, went to church more, then I’d be more like Him.  The problem in my thought process was the word “I”.  That one word kept me bound up in my “frozen” state and I couldn’t be transformed.  What I had to do was immerse myself into Jesus.  Yes, it’s important and even critical to do all those other things.  But I was doing them in my power.  Once I gave up and admitted I couldn’t do any of it without Him, I began to conform to His image.

This transformation pushes down our flesh and keeps it under God’s control.  If we continue to surrender to the Lord, He can surface in us and make His character known through us.  All the ice had to do was be around the tea, subjected to the atmosphere around it and the melting took place automatically.  All those years, I tried with all my strength to be what Jesus wanted me to be.

What I didn’t realize is that the “me” part was the problem.  I can’t be what He wants me to be.  I have to let Him be Himself in me.  That means I’m going have to give up my stubborn, cold, hard mindset in order to let “self” die.  We hate to hear that.  But the reality is, that’s what it means to follow Christ.  John 6:63 helps us understand this.

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

So, as you go through your day today, I pray that you will ask God to fill you with His Spirit and make you more like Jesus.  This will allow Him to recreate you in His image.  I hope you will recognize that your good works are as filthy rags and must be cast off so the Spirit of God can empower you to let Jesus live through you.  If you will make that request, it will put you in the best position to be dissolved, just like the ice in the simple glass of ice.Trailing Ellipsis marks

 John 14:16-21 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

Always in Jesus,

Desireé Figg

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I hope you like my blog of Daily Devotions.  I would be honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts as they are created.  Please sign up with your email address and click the Follow button below or on the sidebar to receive emails when a new post is made.  Thanks again for visiting Trailing Ellipsis.  I’ll see you on the trail.

PS.  Some of you reading this blog may wish to continue now that the 30 Day Content Challenge is over.  I’m committed to writing the devotional and would love to have you join me.  Here is a quick survey for you to let me know just how you’d like it to come as I go forward.

Ministry To The End . . .

"Gerard van Honthorst 001" by Gerard van Honthorst - The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gerard_van_Honthorst_001.jpg#/media/File:Gerard_van_Honthorst_001.jpg

“Gerard van Honthorst 001” by Gerard van Honthorst – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gerard_van_Honthorst_001.jpg#/media/File:Gerard_van_Honthorst_001.jpg

It might seem strange to you that I would be talking about the end when this week we celebrate the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on earth.  Christmas time reminds us that the very purpose for Jesus coming was to die.  He was born to be our sacrifice.  Most of you know this, so when I talk about ministry to the end, you might wonder what I mean.

Of course, he proclaimed on the cross, it is finished.  Most of the time we celebrate that wonderful statement during Resurrection time.  Today I want to show you something the Lord revealed to me when I was meditating on the cross and the purpose Jesus had for coming to Earth.  He always had His eye on the end goal.  Even when the storms got rough, He never lost sight of His purpose.

If we examine His actions while He was on the cross, we can glean an insight that I believe He wants us to see today.  After being betrayed, kept up all night, and severely beaten to within an inch of His life, we see something in His actions that is astounding.  There were, of course, two thieves being crucified with Him and at first, both of them cast insults at Him.  As the time of agony got worse and worse, He was at the point of not being able to breathe.  He had to push Himself up using His feet in order to keep from suffocating.  His lungs filled with fluid and the pain He experienced was excruciating beyond anything most of us can imagine.

But, somehow, in the midst of His suffering, He still had His eye on the goal.  He had compassion on the thieves who watched Him suffer and watched His actions.  Jesus was the perfect witness to these men, despite what He was going through Himself.  This is so remarkable.  When I pondered this situation, I realized He kept doing ministry to the end.

Now, I want you to imagine your service to the Lord.  I’m sure you give sometimes until it hurts.  I’m sure your time and effort for the Kingdom is valuable and important.  I applaud anyone who is willing to follow Christ by giving of themselves.  But the more I thought about Jesus hanging on the cross, the more I saw how woefully insufficient my sacrifices are.

When I imagined how I serve, I realized I often take thought of myself and what I go through.  I sometimes feel resentful if it takes too long or if I have something else planned to do.  Wow.  I guess I’d better examine my motives and my purposes.  I fall very short of Jesus’ example.  How about you?

In your times of giving service, do you keep your eyes on the ultimate purpose of making sure every last person around you has a witness of love, mercy and grace?  I sure don’t.  As I write this today, I am grieving over my lack of commitment to God’s purposes.  I do serve and usually without complaint.  But sometimes the frustrations and people issues get the best of me.  I recognize that I can barely push past my insecurities to share the gospel with a stranger.

Yet, here was Jesus in the most horrifying experience of His entire life, and He still chose to serve His Father.  How many of us make excuses about what we have to do for God’s Kingdom when we don’t even have the tiniest fraction of pain, suffering or inconvenience like He had?

Most people would have cut Jesus a little slack.  They’d have said, don’t worry about any of that right now, you’re suffering.  It’s okay to stop ministering, after all, you’re going to be with your Father soon.  Just focus on you right now and let someone else worry about ministry later.  I think most of us would say that to a brother or sister who serves Jesus but who is in great pain or anguish.  We’d give them a break.  We’d all understand if that person just “went home” and left the job to another.

But Jesus refused to let the thief stay in the condition he was in.  He ministered up to the very end, making sure that one last soul on His watch had the opportunity to come into the Kingdom.

Folks, I’m undone by this.

My desire today is not to heap guilt on anyone.  I’m not even going to take it on myself, though the temptation is very strong.  Instead, I’m going to draw near to Jesus, the perfect sacrifice and rejoice that He completed His tasks despite the anguish.  I’m going to sing Christmas songs tonight at Candlelight Service and remember that Jesus came to save us from our inadequate flesh.  He paid it all, so we can be empowered to live like Him.

We will never attain the perfection He had, but we will one day look like Him and hopefully, every day, you are growing a little closer to being like your Bridegroom.  I pray that this Christmas time will find you serving the Lord with gladness and offering yourself for His purposes instead of your own.  But I know we all fall short.  So, receive the heart of compassion that Jesus brought into this world by humbly taking on the form of a bondservant.

I don’t know how this might affect people today.  I’m a wreck and can’t even think clearly enough to make sure this post is coherent.  All I know is that the Lord loves us and wants us to be at peace with God, our Father.  He came so we could.  I pray that you will contemplate these things as I will continue to do.  I pray that His example will encourage you to keep going with the things the Lord has called you to do, acknowledging your inability to do them without His divine empowerment.  I hope you will find a way today to rejoice, because Jesus completed His ministry to the end.

Trailing Ellipsis marksLuke 23: 39-43  “One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ?  Save Yourself and us!”  But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?  And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”  And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”  And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Always in Jesus,

Desireé Figg

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I hope you like my blog of Daily Devotions.  I would be honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts as they are created.  Please sign up with your email address and click the Follow button below or on the sidebar to receive emails when a new post is made.  Thanks again for visiting Trailing Ellipsis.  I’ll see you on the trail.

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The Fragrance . . .

Christmas Fragrance collage

Attribution Christmas Fragrance CollageDuring this time of year, there are so many things which pervade our senses.  They say one of the most powerful senses is the sense of smell.  Christmas, no matter how you observe, or don’t observe it, is one of those times where our memories are jogged relentlessly by scents and smells.  A homemade pumpkin pie fresh from the oven, a batch of sugar cookies, simmering mulled cider and a freshly cut evergreen tree – these and many more are the fragrances we enjoy during this season.  To me, it’s intoxicating in a good way.

The wise men brought gifts to the Christ Child and two, specifically, have very strong smells; frankincense and myrrh.  Recalling all these delightful scents reminded me of a wonderful time I had with the Lord recently.  I often sit quietly before Him in the mornings just listening for Jesus.  It is a sacred time and most of my journal writings are very personal.  But sometimes when He speaks, His voice almost seems to cry out – “Speak of This!”

During those times, I often get a picture of Jesus in my mind and ask the Holy Spirit to guide my imagination and sanctify it for His glory.  One such morning I saw myself near a small waterfall, water gently pooling into a clear pond.  Moss and grass grew down to the water’s edge.

I was in what seemed to be a forest and the water was extremely clear.  I saw a lotus flower floating on the surface and sat down tucking my legs up under me.  It was beautiful.  I began to look around in the vision to see if I could find Jesus, but I didn’t see Him.  I said, “Where are you, Lord?”

Suddenly, I could see Him up in a tree behind me, one leg under His robe dangling down between the crux and a limb.  I asked Him what He was doing there and He told me, “Watching you.”

I smiled and looked back down at the flower.  He asked me to pick it up and smell it.  But I couldn’t smell anything.  Then I heard Him say, “My fragrance is all around.  When you are in My presence, everything you touch will have My fragrance on it!  You will take it with you into various places.  Once you have touched the things that are around Me, the fragrance will be on that thing.”

He continued, “If I were to show you a flower in a vision with Me in it, then you would know you could speak that out to one you were ministering to and my pleasant fragrance would touch them.  This is a principle for you to understand.  You have seen pictures in your mind’s eye in the past.  You often didn’t know what to do with them.  But now you see that I am in the picture.”

“The thing you see may mean so much to the person you speak to – even if you don’t know why you saw it.  Now you know, that as you give the “picture” to others, that My fragrance goes with it.  You can be thoroughly assured that I will touch that one as you give the word.”

“This is My way.  For those who minister to others, I must have touched the things you give them so I will permeate their being and their circumstances.”

I was overcome as I contemplated the experience.  I realized over the years, I’d had many prophetic words spoken over me about flowers and about pouring myself out as a fragrance to the Lord.  His amazing revelations come just when we need to be reminded that we’re on the right path.  His encouragement helped me to gain courage to continue using the fledgling gifts He has given me.

You may or may not have any such visions or encounters; I didn’t for many years as a Christian.  But I believe the Lord wants to encourage you too today.  He wants to use you to spread the beauty and fragrance of Jesus around to everyone you touch.  Don’t think He can’t use you.  He can!

At this beautiful season, when we acknowledge that Jesus came into our world as a human baby so we could be touched by His holiness and be saved, I pray that His fragrance will become a reality in your life.  I pray you will submit to Him and surrender all to Him for His use.  Remember, it’s not what we do for Him that matters, but what He does through us which changes the circumstances and lives around us.  As you enjoy the wonderful scents of Christmas, may you realize that what matters in every instance, is Jesus and the fragrance He brings.

Trailing Ellipsis marks

 John 12:3
Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Always in Jesus,

Desireé Figg

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I hope you like my blog of Daily Devotions.  I would be honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts as they are created.  Please sign up with your email address and click the Follow button below or on the sidebar to receive emails when a new post is made.  Thanks again for visiting Trailing Ellipsis.  I’ll see you on the trail.

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Where Are All The Lights? . . .

"Christmas in Dublin, CA" by V Smoothe - These people really went all out. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christmas_in_Dublin,_CA.jpg#/media/File:Christmas_in_Dublin,_CA.jpg

“Christmas in Dublin, CA” by V Smoothe – These people really went all out. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christmas_in_Dublin,_CA.jpg#/media/File:Christmas_in_Dublin,_CA.jpg

Well, it’s almost Christmas.  Trees are up; presents are wrapped; assorted baking creations are completed.  Everyone is pretty much ready.  So on a cold night Dave and I decided to take off and go driving around looking at all the Christmas lights.  We had my iPod with Mannheim Steamroller playing and a cute Christmas Lights scavenger hunt in hand.  As we drove around Dave commented, “Where are all the lights?”  He felt like there were hardly any Christmas lights up this year.

We talked about it a little bit, back and forth and came to a few conclusions.  We thought maybe the lack of Christmas lights was due to economics.  Then we thought, maybe its due to lack of time, everyone is busy.  We thought maybe people were just tired of the tradition.  We wouldn’t even let our minds go to the thought that all those people without any lights on might have lost sight of the reason for them.  We just happily drove around and enjoyed the ones that were on display.  Except for a couple of items, we managed to get everything on the scavenger hunt list completed.  It made it a little bit more fun than usual.

When I got home I kept thinking about the lack of lights and wondered what it really meant.  Of course, there isn’t anything inherently sacred about putting up Christmas lights.  It’s simply a tradition.  According to Wikipedia, “From the 1960s, beginning with tract housing in the U.S., it became increasingly common to completely outline the house (but particularly the eaves) with weatherproof Christmas lights.”

So, this tradition is simply a trend we’ve known throughout our lives.  Perhaps we shouldn’t be shocked or dismayed because it seems to be fading.  There’s something about tradition that sometimes has a tendency to become stale after a while.  Most people have many Christmas traditions but those traditions can take over our lives when we forget what they mean and just do them by rote.

Even though we didn’t like the apparent dimming of a treasured tradition from childhood, I thought there might be something deeper to discover.  Years ago, I found a wonderful essay written to help the writer get over the commercialization of Christmas.  It was called, “Where Is The Christ Of Christmas?” by Marjorie Gordon (see link below to read.)  It was published in Ideals Christmas Vol. 37, No. 8, Nov. 1980.

Her Christmas piece has become a tradition of sorts in my house because I echoed her sentiments and adopted her attitude of trying to see evidence all around us of the symbolism behind some of the common traditions.  The symbols are every day Christmas decorations or items, but the meanings she attributed to them have stayed with me all these years.

The lights, of course, stand for Jesus, the Light of the World.  They also represent those of us who are His followers.  Jesus stated in Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

This wonderful passage encourages us to let our light really shine.  So, I had to wonder if the absence of Christmas lights might be an indication of the times we live in.  Our politically correct society absurdly prohibits the expression of any personal statements of faith.  But since Followers of Christ are to live by God’s standards, I believe we should be shining brightly as the darkness continues to get darker.

Maybe the tradition of lighting up our houses for Christmas will ebb into the history books, but our desire needs to be the same as Jesus’ desire for us.  He didn’t ask us to just shine a little.  He said that we are the light of the world.  That seems to be a tall order.  Not only that, He didn’t expect us to just light up our little corner of the world, but related it to a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.

As we come to the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior, I pray that we will all remember His desire for us to glorify our Father and allow the radiance of Christ to outshine any Christmas light show out there, so no one will have to ask, “Where are all the lights?”

Trailing Ellipsis marks

 Hebrews 1:3 “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.  When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

John 8:12 ” Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

Always in Jesus,

Desireé Figg

Click to read “Where Is The Christ Of Christmas?”

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I hope you like my blog of Daily Devotions.  I would be honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts as they are created.  Please sign up with your email address and click the Follow button below or on the sidebar to receive emails when a new post is made.  Thanks again for visiting Trailing Ellipsis.  I’ll see you on the trail.

PS.  Some of you reading this blog may wish to continue now that the 30 Day Content Challenge is over.  I’m committed to writing the devotional and would love to have you join me.  Here is a quick survey for you to let me know just how you’d like it to come as I go forward.

Not Made For A Cage . . .

PublicDomainPictures / 18043 images

PublicDomainPictures / 18043 images

My neighbors have two pretty large dogs and when they leave for work in the morning they put the dogs in a very small kennel.  It’s really more of a cage.  For at least an hour after they leave, the dogs bark and literally climb the chain link trying to get out.  One of them jumps up on top of the igloo shaped dog house which takes up almost a quarter the space, and he barks at anything and everything incessantly.  It is extremely annoying and an un-welcomed alarm clock.

I was thinking about this when deciding what to write for the day and realized those dogs were never meant to be caged.  I understand my neighbors dilemma because they can’t be allowed to run free in the yard since the alpha male always tries to dig out under the fence.  I also realized they don’t have a lot of choice, so I’m not judging them, although it is quite frustrating to deal with their problem everyday.  I’m pretty sure a bark collar would eliminate some of the big dog’s ridiculous behavior.  But it doesn’t remove the reality that they should not be caged.

Both of those dogs were made to run in open fields chasing rabbits or cats or birds.  It’s so sad to see them locked up like that.  When the one tries to climb up the chain link, its a very disconcerting sight.  I don’t want to belabor the point.  This is a pretty simple analogy.  Let me just put it bluntly.  We were not made for a cage.

God made us to be free, to roam and explore the earth around us.  He made us with creativity and the ability to use natural things to make something new.  I believe when we are creating, we are most like Him.  We were made for walking in freedom with our Lord.

But what happened when our race fell into sin because of Adam and Eve’s choice, is that we were put in a spiritual cage designed by the devil.  He hates our freedom and our ability to walk in fellowship with God.  He hates us because God chose to put his image inside of us.  He hates us vehemently and will do anything to stop us from experiencing the freedom that God gave us.

Obviously, since at the fall, we lost the ability to walk in freedom the way we were intended, Jesus Christ had to pay the ultimate price of His blood and His death on the cross to purchase our freedom for us once again.  I for one, don’t want to waste His incredible sacrifice.  But even though I had accepted Jesus as my Savior, there was a time when I was still caged.  Because of the lies the devil threw at me, which I believed, I was imprisoned.  I could not get out of my sin, confess cycle.

Every day I would do things that I knew were against God’s desire and will for me, but I felt completely powerless to stop it.  Paul talks about this in Romans, where he shares with us the internal struggle he has, to do what is right and explains his recognition that the flesh stops us.  I believed that for many years and could identify with Paul.  It actually helped me keep from losing my mind because I knew a godly man struggled with the same thing.

Romans 7:15- 20 “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.  But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good.  So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.  But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.”

My problem was, I didn’t recognize the other truths in that passage.  I missed the most important message in it.  I saw myself not doing what I knew to be right, but somehow missed the part about it being sin which dwells within me warring against me.  I thought the problem was with me.  I thought it was all my fault for not being able to obey what the Lord clearly wanted me to do.  But, you see, I was caged.  Trapped!

I was being held captive by my mis-beliefs.  I couldn’t see past the problem to the solution.  Jesus was standing outside my cage, telling me He had already paid to set me free.  He was showing me there was no lock on the cage gate any longer and all I had to do was walk out of it.  But I was blinded and couldn’t grasp the truth.  Once I quit focusing on my failures and realized that my true self wanted to obey Jesus more than anything, I finally saw that I wasn’t being held down by those sins anymore.  I quit beating myself up all the time and started quickly repenting of any known sin, then gladly received the forgiveness Jesus paid for.

It took me many years of re-shaping my thought processes to walk in the truth that I had already been set free.  But I was on my way.  Unfortunately, this problem of mis-belief seems to characterize much of the Body of Christ today.  Too many find themselves trapped in the sin cycle and feel there is no way out.  They may weep and claw to get out, but fail to see that the door is open.

I pray that today you might begin to examine some of your beliefs to see if you’re believing the truth of the gospel.  I am not a proponent of the hyper-grace message which dismisses any responsibility we would have regarding sin.  I still believe we have to acknowledge our sins, confess them and receive forgiveness.  There are no shortcuts.

I hope you will stop today to take a little time and make sure you realize that Jesus paid in full for every sin you would ever commit, and He wants you to see that He has opened the way for you to be free of sin’s miserable grip on your life.  Only His power to deliver you can make the necessary changes.  Your job is to believe He can do it and offer your heart up to Him in humility and with a thankful heart.  Push that gate open and refuse to stay in a prison of unbelief.  Jesus has set you free!  Just like those poor dogs in the kennel, you were not made for a cage!

Trailing Ellipsis marks

 Galatians 5:1 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

Always in Jesus,

Desireé Figg

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I hope you like my blog of Daily Devotions.  I would be honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts as they are created.  Please sign up with your email address and click the Follow button below or on the sidebar to receive emails when a new post is made.  Thanks again for visiting Trailing Ellipsis.  I’ll see you on the trail.

PS.  Some of you reading this blog may wish to continue now that the 30 Day Content Challenge is over.  I’m committed to writing the devotional and would love to have you join me.  Here is a quick survey for you to let me know just how you’d like it to come as I go forward.

There’s A Mirror In There . . .

Last weekend my husband and I went to a small cafe for lunch.  They have great burgers (veggie for me) and the place is decorated excessively as a 50’s style malt shop complete with chrome, white and black checker and red seats.  Probably to make the place feel bigger, the owners placed mirrors on every wall around the booths.

I’ve always been camera shy and am often mortified by candid shots of myself.  So, putting mirrors all round me insures quite a bit of discomfort.  If the food wasn’t so good, I would avoid the place.

I felt self conscious staring at myself as we ate, so I commented, “I don’t like all these mirrors.  Maybe I should have sat where you are.”

He quipped back, “It wouldn’t have helped.”

I looked around at the memorabilia and collage photos all over the walls, each booth with a theme; Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, James Deane and several others.  It’s really pretty cute.  I responded back to Dave’s deadpan observation with my own smart-alec comment.

“They could remove eight of these mirrors and there would still be too many.”

He, of course, thought to count them.  We’re pretty sure there were only eight and I re-stated, “And there are still too many.”  We chuckled and continued our lunch surrounded by the make believe world the restaurant created.

Since doing my daily devotional posts means I’m having to be quite attuned to the things around me, more so than usual, I recalled a poem I’d written several years ago when I was getting healed of self esteem issues and of a type of fantasy world mindset.  It’s a little ambiguous and I won’t take the time here to explain, but it helps usher us in to what I believe the Lord wants to say today.

Objects In The Mirror

A chastisement of self – The spirit to the soul

I’ve watched you come quietly creeping
to the attic hidden and dark.
Your hands slowly trace the curving
of the tall and graceful trunk lid arc.

You open it with arms strong and sure;
the contents so rich and gleaming,
come tumbling out onto the floor —
a velvet cape, a boa streaming.

You hold up the strange mask to cover
your sadness and hot, tear stained face.
Then don one costume, or other –
‘cause without it you won’t leave this place.

I’ve seen you hiding here like a child
playacting many a fantasy role.
I frowned at you when you went wild
and grieved so much, when it took its toll.

The dark disguise you chose still lingers.
Like thick make-up, it left traces.
Fooled yourself with skillful fingers;
Each character more you, erases.

The real you in the glass reflected,
cries to be saved from this great ruse.
It once kept your faint heart protected,
but now you fear the life that you must lose.

Set down these props, oh you sad pretender.
Embrace instead, the real objects in the mirror.
The truth is, falsehood you can surrender,
for they are closer than they appear.

Desiree

That very sad commentary reveals how important it is for us to be real, transparent and honest with ourselves.  I have worked very hard to allow Jesus access to all the places inside me that I kept locked up tightly for so many years.  I am finally able to see myself more clearly.  I’ve taken off as much of the “make up” as I could.  I also realize there is much more to go.  Death to the self is not fun, but it’s required to allow Jesus to live through us so He can be our all in all.

I pondered these things after having recently gone through an attitude problem I was having at church.  I love serving the Lord and I love my church and church family.  Sometimes, the circumstances get to be a little overwhelming, however, and I found myself complaining to the Lord.  (Yes, I might have complained to a few friends. I’ll be honest, my little meltdown was anything but discreet.)

I have learned to take these things to the Lord, instead of internalizing them, and it didn’t take me very long to get on a good footing again and to be rejoicing in the fact that I can serve and have an impact on the Body of Christ.   Since this was fresh in my mind, when I went to lunch with two of my “besties” this week, when the conversation turned around to taking our heart attitudes to the Lord, I was all ears.  One of my precious sissies was explaining how she had to adjust her attitude and how hard it is when we take our complaints to the Lord.  Then she uttered a profound statement that stuck in my head like a commercial jingle.

She said that when we go into that place with the Lord where we are complaining about others around us that – “there’s a mirror in there.”  My heart clamped onto that phrase and it kept ringing long after she said it.  I knew she had stated a pure truth.

Before writing today’s entry, my husband and I sat in the living room together.  He enjoys reading Classic novels on his tablet and I was typing away, composing my blog on my phone.  He suddenly stopped reading and said, “Listen to this.”  He began quoting from a Charles Dickens novel, Nicholas Nickelby.  He was only on the preface but the complex sentence structures of the mid 1800’s prompted him to share.  Little did he know what the Lord was preparing in my heart as he read.

“Where imposture (pretending to be someone you’re not), ignorance and brutal cupidity (greed for money or possessions) are the stock in trade of a small body of men, and one is described by these characteristics, all his fellows will recognize something belonging to themselves and each will have a misgiving that the portrait is his own.” (italics mine)

I couldn’t believe what he was reading to me.  It was as though Jesus pulled up the pages of a secular book and bookmarked that one, just for this moment.  I’m amazed at how God speaks to us, even unexpectedly through things we may never anticipate.

Like that quote, my painful poem revealed a sudden understanding of how childish I was and how my masquerade couldn’t continue if I was to get well.  The Lord used that difficult time to correct my pretending and brought me into alignment with how He sees me.  Only when I embraced His truth was I able to come out of that attic prison and start living the abundant life.

With a heart full of gratitude for the amazing way the Lord speaks, I continued to think about what my sweet friend said.  It made me acknowledge that mirrors are a gift from the Father.  (Ugh!)  We have to see what we are really like sometimes, and with that, comes a respect for those we work or serve with every day.

Seeing, in the sanctuary of God’s holy place where we have access to come boldly to the throne, we have to behold ourselves along with our brothers and sisters.  We are not so different from one another and grasping the concept of our own shortcomings must be part of our communion and confession before the Lord.  Yes, we need to bring our complaints and our concerns to Him, but we all need to see there is a little of “us” that needs to be corrected as well.

Today, my hope and prayer for you is that you will allow the difficult process of self examination to occur.  I suggest you don’t try to fight it.  When you go to “Abba,” don’t be afraid to voice your cares and concerns, but be willing in the midst of it to take a close look at “you” while you’re at it.  After all, when you go into that place, there’s a mirror in there!Trailing Ellipsis marks

 Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”

Always in Jesus,

Desireé Figg

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I hope you like my blog of Daily Devotions.  I would be honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts as they are created.  Please sign up with your email address and click the Follow button below or on the sidebar to receive emails when a new post is made.  Thanks again for visiting Trailing Ellipsis.  I’ll see you on the trail.

PS.  Some of you reading this blog may wish to continue now that the 30 Day Content Challenge is over.  I’m committed to writing the devotional and would love to have you join me.  Here is a quick survey for you to let me know just how you’d like it to come as I go forward.