A Song Between Creator and Created

A Song Between Creator and Created

On occasion I have mentioned how there are songs from the 1960’s and 70’s that can become ‘prayer-like’ and lead us to a deeper connection with God during our everyday activities… if we are listening with spiritual ears.

As an example, one such song for me is “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees from 1977 (Shared below). Did I listen to it with spiritual ears back in the day? Not at all. Not until I attended a beautiful spiritual retreat as an adult and had a priest suggest the interesting possibility. He also explained that it is never meant to replace lofty hymns of praise and glory, or to disrespect other Christian songs and listening. It is merely an additional way of being in a secular world and allowing His voice to gain entry in a very unique and beautiful way. At least for me, it is.
I have found that God takes my love of certain genres of music and gifts me the joy of often finding Him there reaching out to me and enjoying it with me. For me it’s always been a much loved and appreciated God Smile. And He knows it, therefore He loves gifting it.

So, here it is.
How Deep Is Your Love by The Bee Gees.

It begins as God speaking to me…

I know your eyes in the morning sun
I feel you touch me in the pouring rain
And the moment that you wander far from me
I want to feel you in my arms again
And you come to me on a summer breeze
Keep me warm in your love, then you softly leave
And it’s me you need to show
How deep is your love, how deep is your love
How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn
‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me.

And then Me to God…

I believe in you
You know the door to my very soul
You’re the light in my deepest, darkest hour
You’re my savior when I fall
And you may not think I care for you
When you know down inside that I really do
And it’s me you need to show
How deep is your love, how deep is your love
How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn
‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me.

And then the song continues on repeating lyrics. It may seem strange for some, but I come away feeling reassured that I am deeply loved by God, and that He desires Me to love Him just as deeply. I feel His deep longing, His need to be one with my soul, and His desire to know my love for Him is real. I also come away feeling it is good to express my own need to be with and feel His presence deep within my soul, and to voice my need for Him to show me that His love for me runs deeper than I can ever fathom.

The most beautiful lyric for me?
-We belong to You and Me- A beautiful back and forth communication of deep abiding love between Creator and created. The core of Life.

If you’ve read this far, I’m impressed. If you listen to every genre of music, past and present, with a spiritual ear, you just might be surprised where He sings directly to you, His beloved. I think that’s pretty COOL! 🙃🙏🏻❤️🎸

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A New Dawn of Light Filled Love

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5).

A New Dawn of Light Filled Love

Recently I have been reading an entry for each corresponding day in one of my past journals from “Journey Through The Stillness”.  At times it’s really an eye opener, reminding me of where I have been spiritually, and also serving as a renewed catalyst to accept and act according to His plan. His direct instructions have always been for me to share Him with you, with all of you.

In the beginning He had to admonish me fairly often, and still does at times. When I am fearful, doubtful, or even embarrassed about obeying His instructions to share Him publicly by writing, He reminds me in a very pointed and direct manner that I am His daughter and what daughter would not speak out on her Father’s behalf when asked. That hits home hard every time He has to bring it up. However, He does so in a very insistent yet very loving manner, letting me know He is ever there with me through it all. He gives me the tools, the words, and the confidence to do as He bids me. He takes all control out of my hands by telling me I am to leave the outcome, and its effect on each of you, in His Loving Hands. Even though I personally experience and write about my time spent in Stillness before Him, the sharing is never about me. In my time before Him, I have gotten ‘what’ is for me. Sharing is always only about HIM and YOU, even if I’m sharing something about me. LOL, I hope that makes sense. He wants to use my writing to stir a particular spiritual need or calling within you.

In fact, sharing can at times become a personal stumbling block for me, as I love to write. I have to remain (aka work hard at) humbly in awe of the words He has me write and not take excessive pride or ownership of any of it. Telling you this, serves to keep me honest, and shows you I also have faults and failures that must be rooted out just as we all do. We are each on the faith journey of this earthly life individually and yet together. We need each other to discover the many paths to the One True Way, Jesus.

Some days, when I revisit past Stillness entries, I can hardly read through my tears as I remember and relive the spiritual consolations given me. Other days it’s like hitting myself on the forehead realizing the simplicity of His lesson. I often want to leap up and share that exact entry again with everyone. Although I have learned to wait and see if that is what He truly wants at that moment, or if there is a broader picture He has in mind. LOL, it’s usually the latter of the two. I try very hard to temper my enthusiastic desire to please Him with my hard learned patience in His Ways.

Yesterday, I had an early doctor appointment and didn’t read. So today, I read two entries. Often, over the years, and after going through His Passion during Lent, He has to remind me to come back to the Joy, to let Him down off the Cross. He wants that message shared, so the following are those two separate, back to back entries from 2011, in “Journey Through The Stillness”, my personal spiritual journal.

April 28, 2011 – My Risen Lord says, “See how brightly shining I am in My Glory! You and everyone can shine too. Choose to come out of the darkness into The Light. Come toward Me, The Light, The One True Light. Come and be lit up for all to SEE. Those who SEE will be lit up and it will spread as a new dawn over all the earth. LOOK, SEE, Be Lit, and LIGHT!”

April 29, 2011 – My Risen Lord says, “Daughter, patience and lovingkindness are the Keys to bringing others to me. Love them where they are, as they are, and who they are. Let them feel My Love through you. They will know Me.”

What personally speaks to me in these two entries is the simplicity of them. I love how in the first, if we but go toward Him we will begin to light. He knows our desire. He sees our heart. Lean toward Him this very minute and begin to be Lit.

In the second, I love how simply He tells us to love each other just as we are. You are not mine to fix or control, and I am not yours to do so. We are simply to love and leave the outcome, the effect of that love, in His Loving Hands.
I know sometimes others, or even ourselves, are so broken in a myriad of ways that they or we need fixing. (depression, drug or alcohol addiction, are some examples)
The above does not mean we don’t try to help them. We do, and then through diligent and incessant prayer, we must leave them in God’s Capable and Loving Hands.

Today, He needs you to see how in allowing Himself to be Crucified, He both forgave and paid the price for all sins from the beginning of time to the end of time; for every sin you, I, and all of mankind, have already committed, are currently committing, and will ever commit!

Today, He wants you to know we each have a choice each and every day. We can hide and fearfully cower in the darkness or we can choose to be part of His glorious ‘New Dawn’ of Light and Love spreading over all the earth.

If you are unsure how to begin, start simply by leaning toward His Light and whispering to Him that you desire to love others without trying to change them. I promise, no HE PROMISES to be with you each step you take.

A New Dawn of Light Filled Love spreading over all the earth… Oh how in need our earth and We, His People, are.
God bless you, one and all.


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Best Times

Ceiling in one of the halls inside the Vatican Museum, taken 2012 by Martha Wiggins

Ceiling in one of the halls inside the Vatican Museum, taken 2012 by Martha Wiggins

Originally published in 2011 & 2012. What follows is an updated version-

“Do not say: How is it that former times were better than these?  For it is not in wisdom that you ask about this.”  Ecclesiastes 7:10

When I came across the original version of this article recently, I felt it was a timely reminder for us all… Especially during this worldwide virus Pandemic. Most business are closed and many are out of work through no fault of their own. We have all been asked to harbor safely in our homes for the sake of  all. Our schools our closed for the remainder of the year and our children are being home schooled by their parents. All graduation ceremonies have been cancelled or will be virtual experiences. Families are huddled together 24/7 with all the stresses of the pandemic (fear of contracting the virus, personal financial decline, the hoarding and shortages of food and necessary home supplies, and the uncertainty of the future). Add to it the day to day stresses of family relationships. We are probably saying and doing things, both good and bad, that we never thought we would.

That is the ‘background’ of  today’s article. As it was in the original article, the focus here is going to be our children…

I have always disliked hearing grown ups say to young teenagers, when talking to them about high school or college, “Enjoy these times.  They are the best times of your life!”  It actually makes me cringe.

Imagine at 18 or 20 years of age hearing that the best days of your life are already lived.  What does that say about the next 60 to 70 years?!  They must think, if it’s true, and it must be because that’s what all the grownups are saying, what is there to look forward to in my life? What a bummer. Thinking about this in terms of our current day situation, with graduation ceremonies cancelled, postponed, or virtual, are our kids being made to feel they are being deprived of one of the biggest days of their life? That if they don’t walk across a stage and receive a diploma they have actually incurred a sad loss they can never regain? A fun memory to have, yes. Important to success in life, no. Their accomplishments are the big deal here, and they need to know that. It is their own personal accomplishments that are going to take them to the next chapter, the next big time in their life! We need to focus on the good/positive realities of their current life situation just now, instead of creating drama or making them feel overly sad about possibly missing out on a public celebration.

Another thing that has always made me cringe is when I hear young mothers carelessly say in front of their young children, “I can’t wait until they start back to school!”  I can’t help but think how it must make the child feel?  At the very least, they must think, Mom is tired of me; that she likes it better when I am at school. Now I’m not trying to guilt trip all you Moms who have ever said that, as we often say things in a joking way and that’s fine, occasionally. Teasing and bantering with our kids is part of a learning process for sure. Hopefully they are not hearing something like that on a regular basis. Certainly not a message a child should internalize.

And, please know that I am not saying as parents we don’t sometimes/often  welcome relief from the stresses of parenting; that we don’t need and treasure our ‘alone’ time. We just shouldn’t make or allow our kids to feel they are the cause of our stress or our unhappiness. If our children feel they are a burden to us, or that we would rather be somewhere else than with them, then they will see themselves as unlovable, or at the very least, a burden.  They will see themselves as something we need a break from.  Whenever another Mom said to me she couldn’t wait for summer or holidays to end and the kids to be back in school, I would reply loud enough for my kids to hear, “Not me!  I love having my kids home with me!”  Which kid would you rather be?

And yet, we also need them to not be fearful of venturing out of the nest to places such as school, sports, etc.  They need to feel secure in the knowledge that they are loved and will be missed while at school, but also have the strong feeling that they are encouraged and supported. As parents we must support them in growing up to be confident, capable, caring adults.

When my three were in high school and college, I told each of them to enjoy this special time in their lives, but to also look forward with anticipation to the future and all that God held in trust for them. I needed them to know that no matter how wonderful or bad a particular time might be, the best was always yet to come. I told them life was a gift that God gave us; a gift to be appreciated, enjoyed, and lived to the fullest; a gift to be cherished and protected.

Our children learn from our example how to react to the events in their own lives.  If we spend all of our time looking backwards, living in ‘what ifs’, and blaming our present trials on the past, then they will learn to do the same.  They will always look backwards with remorse, or with a longing for the ‘good old days’. Either way they will not be focused on the blessings of the present or the hope of the future.  Living in the past is not a path to success in the future.

Our children need to see us making the present time the best time in our life, or at least making the best of our current situation with the hope of a brighter future.  Sure, we can share good times from the past with them, but at the same time, making them think we love all the different times of our lives.  I have loved my kids in every stage of their lives.  I wouldn’t want to go back though, because I love who they are right now too!

You may think my view of life to be too simple and too optimistic, but I am also a realist.  Like everyone, I have real responsibilities and problems.  At times, some are more serious than others.  I have learned I have a choice in how I react to them.  While it is not always simple or easy to find ways to deal with difficult times and difficult problems, I remain happy in my core beliefs.  I believe in my God, my Father, my Creator.  I believe He’s got my back!  Because I believe this, I am able to navigate through all the different times of my life, and look forward with hope and joy to the next. I live in His seasons for my life.

It may be difficult for some to understand that, but the best way I know to explain it is to say that I choose happiness even in sadness. Does that mean I am not sad? Of course not, but when I am, I turn my focus (even if through tears of sadness) to all the blessings in my life, no matter what else is going on.  I focus on God.

 “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012-2020
Posted in Faith, Habits, Inspiration | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Glory of The Lord

Originally published 1/27/2011. What follows is a newly updated version—

My sons hiking above The Valley of Ten Peaks, Banff National Park, Canada, 2010, taken by Martha Wiggins

My sons hiking above The Valley of Ten Peaks, Banff National Park, Canada, 2010, taken by Martha Wiggins

Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.” 
Job 40:10

One of my most favorite places on earth is in Banff National Park, Canada.  My husband and I, along with our grown children, have been there several summers hiking in the beautiful, pristine mountain setting.  My absolute favorite is Lake Moraine and The Valley of Ten Peaks.  I call it ‘Heaven on Earth.’  In the summer of 2010 we hiked one of the most breathtaking hikes I have ever been on.  I felt as if we were ‘hiking in heaven.’  The reason I share all of this is because it touched me in such a way that I believe it is etched on my soul!  If you have experienced anything similar, you know exactly what I mean.

While staying in Banff, I tried to spend time in Stillness before Our Lord as often as possible.  From our hotel room I looked out on a spectacular view of Lake Louise.  As I have occasionally done in the past, I would like to share my entry from The Stillness of July 24, 2010.  (You may be familiar with my ‘Journey Through The Stillness’ journal which I have shared publicly on Facebook.)

July 24, 2010 – Today it is My Risen Lord, as I sit before the gorgeous view from the hotel room window.  He is excited, almost bouncing with pleasure.  He says, “Look, look at the grandeur of all My Father has placed before us.  See His Glory, Martha?  Be in it, be of it.  Take it unto thyself and make it a part of you.  It will be given back to others tenfold because it will radiate from you.  This is how one should relish creation.  Become a part of it.  Become ONE with it, become ONE with Me.”  He is smiling, ready to go!”

One of the things I state on the website is that I have a simple faith.  The site is based on sharing my simple faith.  While I am a wholeheartedly, and faithfully Catholic, I also explain on the site that I believe there is much in common to be shared with all Christians.  Love is the common thread, and Jesus is Love!

While still on our trip, I entered into The Stillness again on the 26th and here is what transpired.  “As I place myself in His Presence He is glad to see me.  He reminds me, ‘I know this is a busy and exciting time, but remember to look inward to Me often.  Martha, you are surrounded by love; love of family, love of nature, and love of Me.  In fact, as you realize, you don’t have to look INWARD ONLY to see Me.  Here, you have to just look OUTWARD.  I am EVERYWHERE; it is easy.  It is SIMPLE.”

In my simple faith, because I believe He will speak to me, and because I listen for Him to speak to me, He does.  I am simple in the same way a child is simple, and always expecting to be awed by Him.  When I see His Glory I long to be in it, and of it.  I long to make it a part of me so that I can reflect and radiate it outwardly to all!

“The LORD our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire.  Today we have seen that a person can live even if God speaks with them.” Deuteronomy 5:24

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2020
Posted in Inspiration, Meditation, Prayer | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Music Within

St Peter's Basilica, 2011

Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy, 2011, taken by MMW


The Music Within

Lord Of The Dance –
I danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon
And the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven
And I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem
I had my birth.
Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he….
(Except from Hymn by Sydney Carter, 1963)

If you know me, you know my love for music. For as long as can I remember I felt as if it was music pulsing through my veins. It doesn’t matter where I am, or how noisy it is, if a song is playing somewhere in the background I will hear and listen. When I awaken in the middle of the night there is usually a song playing in my head. I am never without music within.

I can’t tell you the number of times that God has used my love of music to reach out to me in some way. The following is just one of those times, and I’m so glad I was paying attention! (The personal note at the end was written as part of the entry at that time.)

Stillness entry from March 5, 2018 —
As I enter The Stillness He is telling me over and over to breathe deeply, to breathe Him In and Satan out; Him In and the world out; Him, New Life, In and me out. As I still myself and welcome Him, I am hearing my music playing downstairs. It keeps drifting into my conscientiousness. He says “Let it, child.” I begin smiling, softly crying, and praying, “Thank you, Lord, for the music in my life. It brings joy to my heart and an exuberance for the life within me. It is a pure happiness that makes me thankful, and while it is secular music from my past, it fills me with a spiritual awareness that it is truly a love gift from You to me. Thank you, my Lord, Jesus Christ, my Savior, and the One who Loves me.”
(Personal – As I end this, the song drifting up just happens to be, “You Decorated My Life” by Kenny Rogers. I firmly believe He just confirmed all that just took place in The Stillness. Yes, The Lord has decorated my life through His gift of my love for music. He wants us all to be happy in who we are and He looks for opportunities to give us Love gifts. I need to be better at looking for them and being open to receive them. Oh, how His heart must ache when we fail to notice His gift, and how He must smile when we recognize His gift as the blessing it is, and thank Him for it.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘To Do’ Lists

“In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;  In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”  Psalm 5:3

We all have ‘to do’ lists, whether written down or in our heads.  The list may be of things we must get done or take care of.  There may be multiple lists of things to accomplish, things to buy, things to change, things we desire to achieve or things we need to let go of and forget.  We have bills to pay, groceries to buy, houses to clean, jobs to work at, children to raise, husbands, wives and friends to spend time with.  When we get up in the morning, most of us, have a fully planned day ahead.

Each one of these lists has something listed first, and something listed last.  First might not be what we necessarily want to do first, but rather what we feel must be done first.  However, if both the first and the last on the list are not prayer the in-between doesn’t matter.  In fact, prayer should be listed first, last, and in-between every item on our list!

If we begin in prayer, strive in prayer, and end in prayer our ‘to do’ list will be fully accomplished… at least everything that should be accomplished.  Put prayer at the top, bottom, and in the middle of your ‘to do’ list, and let God work beside you.  Soon, you will wonder how you ever got anything done without praying through it!

(Originally published in 2011, and again 2013.)

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2020
Posted in Faith, Habits, Inspiration, Prayer | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The In-Between

Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Canada, taken by Martha Wiggins, 2010

Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Canada, taken by Martha Wiggins, 2010

“For I know the plans I have for you,”, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

There is a real difference between a frown and a smile.  This difference can be both seen and felt.  There is also a real difference between begrudgingly doing something and joyfully doing something.  And then, there is the in-between.

Let’s say you have something you need done.  It is very important, and yet, you are not able to do it yourself.  You ask someone to do it for you.  How do you feel when they mumble and groan the whole time?  You feel entirely different when they smile, when their demeanor shows they actually want to help out.  And then, there is the in-between.  You ask; they do.  You and they both know it isn not something they particularly want to do, but because they love and trust you, they are very willing to do it.

The same correlation can be seen in how we accept and have faith in God’s will, God’s plan for our lives.  Sometimes we want something so bad we are willing to sacrifice other things, important things, to get it.  We jump through all of the earthly hoops, and then seal the deal with prayer.  We know how we will react when the answer is yes, but how do we react when the answer is no?

Do we really have a choice here?  After all, when the answer is no, we have no other choice but to accept His will.  Actually, the choice is in how we respond to and accept his will.  Remember the difference between begrudgingly and joyfully doing something?  If we begrudgingly lay our disappointment at His feet, we are saying, “I don’t like this.  I don’t want this, but because You are Lord and you say so, then it is.”  If we joyfully lay it at His feet, we are saying,  “Thank you, Lord.  It really is fine!  I guess I really shouldn’t have wanted this after all.”

I think this is where the in-between comes in to play.  Instead, we bring our disappointment and lay it at His feet saying, “Lord, this really hurts right now, but in your infinite wisdom you know best.  Help me to accept and trust your will, your plan for me.”

If you were God, which approach would you prefer?  Would you want the begrudged acceptance, the joyful resignation, or the trusting disappointment?  Which response would you feel was the most honest?  Personally, I would rather know someone is disappointed in me, but trusts me, than have them constantly complaining about me, or just giving me lip service.

You do have a choice.  Take your disappointments to Him.  Let Him know your pain, but let Him know you trust Him also.  He knows the plans He has made for you.  Besides, He can handle it!

(Original article posted in 2013, and in 2014)

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012-2020
Posted in Faith, Habits, Inspiration | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Taking On The Burdens of Others

This Stillness Journal entry is one I have shared before.  After reading it again recently I felt the nudge to share it again. It just made me think of all the pain and suffering, and all those helping others, those who take on the burdens of others, during this worldwide virus pandemic. Prayers for all.

Stillness entry from 2012…
February 2, 2012 – Today as soon as I felt His Hands on me in blessing my mind took off in many different directions. Recognizing this I immediately asked Him to place His Hands and bless me again so I could begin again. He did so, and as He did, He began to tell me this story.
“There was a man who drove a truck. He had delivered all of his goods to the city at the top of the mountain in a timely manner. He was returning home with his empty truck. Along the way down the mountain he saw other truckers who had packed their trucks so full they were struggling to get up the mountain. The trucker felt both the need and the desire to help so he stopped each truck and took on some of their load. His heart was gladdened as he watched each continue on effortlessly up the mountain. At the bottom he turned his truck around to head back up the mountain, but soon realized he was now too full to make it up to the top. In taking on everyone else’s loads he had overburdened himself. Knowing the goods still needed to be delivered on time, and that there was not enough time to lighten the load and make two trips, he began to worry, to doubt his good intentions and his good actions. Where was everyone he had helped? Surely they would see his state of affairs when they came back down the mountain and offer to take back some of their load. But no, they were so elated in their own good fortune to have completed their deliveries on time that they could focus on nothing but themselves. After struggling to head up the mountain for a time, the kindhearted man stopped. He said, “Lord, if You want these goods delivered to the mountaintop city, You will have to do it. The Lord replied, “Exactly, son. I already have.” A cross appeared in front of the truck. The man got out and kneeled down at its foot. He began to pray and offer up all the burdens he had taken on from others. He prayed to the Lord to help all with their burdens in the future but to use him to help whenever needed. He asked for himself only those things to be of use in helping others. The Lord was pleased and rewarded the man with great faith, strength, courage, and wisdom to know which loads to help with. The man returned to his truck. The load seemed ever so light as he traveled to the mountaintop city once again to make his delivery. The others’ heavy goods were delivered on time. While they went about in ignorance of the labor and suffering they had caused, the trucker continued to help wherever possible. He now knew he could always lighten his load by first dropping it off at the foot of the Cross. He knew Jesus would deliver the goods.”
(Personal thoughts – I wrote this as it was being given to me having no idea where it was headed and how it would end. As always, everything left at the foot of the Cross is delivered.)

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Lenten Journey – Day 42b

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 42b
Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There (Part 4, Final)

And His own received Him not. But, to all who received Him…

In this final day of our Study we are going to look at how wonderfully the LORD fulfilled His promise in Ezekiel 48:35. I will be heavily relying on the Study book to take us step by step through the life of Jesus using many of the names we have now come to know, but also adding my own commentary to help clarify at times or to go a bit further…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Elohim, The Creator). He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:1-4).

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
While others knew Him not, there was one who did. As required by law, Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to be presented to the LORD. This was the new temple, built by the Israelites according to the LORD’s instructions after the earlier one built by Solomon, from which the Lord had departed, had been destroyed. Simeon, an old and righteous man, had been promised by the Holy Spirit that he would see the Messiah before he died. Upon seeing the infant Jesus there in the temple, he immediately recognized him as Jehovah-shammah, The LORD is There, as prophesied by Ezekiel.
“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2:22-32)

At the age of twelve Jesus came again to the Jerusalem temple. Separated from Mary and Joseph, He remained behind for three days among the teachers in the temple, listening and asking questions. While they were all amazed at His understanding, unlike Simeon, they did not recognize Him as Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There.

Nor did they submit to Him as Adonai, The Lord, when during His adult ministry,  He divulged His true identity. “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds” (John 8:58-59).

They could not see that it was Jehovah-jireh, The Lord will Provide, who stood before them in His temple, or on Mount Moriah, the very place where Abraham was provided with the ram to sacrifice in place of Isaac, his only begotten son. There before them stood the Lamb of God, the LORD’s provision, His only begotten beloved Son, to be sacrificed for all of their sins. Yet, they did not recognize Him, they knew Him not.

They also refused to hear or see Jehovah-raah, the Good Shepherd, who called them by name, who came to find His lost sheep and lead them to life eternal.

Because so many refused to believe, an undercurrent of fear had developed among some of those who had chosen to follow Him. “As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore” (John 6:66).

Even though they had been following Him, they failed Him by not carrying His standard, by not rallying around Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner. Instead they deserted Him. By putting themselves first, by refusing to defend Him, they greatly tested Jehovah-tsidkenu, The LORD Our Righteousness!
“For knowing God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God”(Romans 10:3).

As His popularity grew among the lost and wandering people, crowds began to form wherever He went. They hungered and thirsted for the Truths He shared. As the crowds grew, so did the fear among government and Jewish religious officials. He was gaining too much power. They began to plot against Him. They arranged to take His life never realizing (blinded so the LORD’s promise could be fulfilled) they would be laying hands on Jehovah-sabaoth, The Lord Of Hosts, who had at at His command legions of armies filled with mighty warrior angels.

For 33 years Jesus, the Son of God, walked the land of Palestine preaching, teaching, working miracles, and going in and out of His Jerusalem temple, until the day came when He departed it once again, saying “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, ‘BLESSED is HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! And Jesus came out of the temple” (Matthew 23:37-24:1).

They crucified Him, Jehovah-tsidkenu, The LORD Our Righteousness.
They pierced His side. The healing blood and cleansing water gushed forth. They did not know that it was the blood of Jehovah-rapha, The LORD Who Heals (them).
They did not know, and could not believe, that it was Jehovah-mekoddishkem, The LORD Who Sanctifies You, who hung there on the Cross of Crucifixion.
And sadly, because they did not know Him, they missed the peace that Jehovah-shalom, The LORD Is Peace, brought with Him.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand”(Romans 5:1-2)

Three days after being crucified and buried, Jesus was Resurrected from death and ascended into Heaven, where He, Jehovah-tsidkenu, The LORD Our Righteousness, sits in judgment over all.

Yet, recognized or not, received or not, Jesus fulfilled the promise of Ezekiel 48:35, that Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There would return to His Jerusalem temple. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

We are His children, and as such, heirs to Life Eternal. Because we have believed on His name, and are His children, Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There, dwells within each of us, for we are each His temple.

So, the Study book walked us through the timeline of Jesus’ life on earth while interjecting many of the names of the LORD wherever it was meaningful to do so. By studying and knowing these names along with their characteristics and attributes, we have developed an arsenal of weapons ever at our disposal to fight our daily battles against Satan and his desire to rob us of our inheritance. Clearly, it is in these battles that our hope is in Jehovah-jireh, The Lord Will Provide.
“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. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (John 3:16-21)

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Yes, We are His children, and as such, heirs to Life Eternal.
First we must recognize Him when He is Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There. Then we must make our temple a good and honorable dwelling place for Him. Does your temple need cleaning? Now is the time.

Further action if so inclined:
—Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
Do you live in darkness for fear of the light? Sometimes the most important thing you can do is shine a light on your deeds.

I’d like to say how much I’ve been blessed knowing that you came along on this beautiful and hopefully meaningful Lenten Journey with me. I wish you the most wonderfully blessed Easter as He Resurrects Himself within your heart. 🙏🏻💖😇

I’ll leave you with one last thought-
—“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5)
Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Lenten Journey – 42a

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 42a
Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There (Part  3)

“Then the cherubim, with the wheels beside them, spread their wings, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. The glory of the Lord went up from within the city and stopped above the mountain east of it” (Ezekiel 11:22-23).
It would be almost six hundred years before He would return to His temple. How deeply saddened He must have been.

The LORD did not completely wipe out His people though. After the seventy year captivity He allowed a remnant to return to the destroyed city of Jerusalem. They began the work of restoring the new city, rebuilding the temple, and later the walls of the city.

The new temple could never compare with the former glory of Solomon’s original temple. Nor could the new city equal the old Jerusalem. The people wept for the loss of the old, learning the hard lesson that sin costs and consequences.

The word Shekinah comes from the root word ‘dwell’ and signifies ‘the dwelling presence of the LORD on earth’. When the LORD eventually did return to the temple it was not in complete fulfillment of Ezekiel 48:35, it was not in His full Shekinah glory. However, through His prophet Zechariah, He later confirmed His intent to still fulfill the complete promise.
“Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord. “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling” (Zechariah 2:10-13).

Later, He again expressed His intention, through the Old Testament prophet, Malachi.
“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty” (Malachi 3:1).
Malachi was the final Old Testament prophet. The people would wait to hear from the LORD again for four hundred years more

During the long time of His silence the children of Israel would cling to two very important truths, to both His name, Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There, and to His Word.
“I bow down toward thy holy temple and give thanks to thy name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness; for thou hast exalted above everything thy name and thy word” (Psalm 138:2)

If we remember nothing else from this Study of His names, we should remember the LORD keeps His promises, His word, without fail… for the LORD, is unchanging and His love endures forever.

I divided this day into two parts, a and b. Our name is still Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There. It is the name the LORD himself used when He promised His people, those who love Him, that He would return and dwell in their midst. And He kept His promise…
He came to his own, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13).

Let’s stop here. He came into the world and we knew Him not. I am so glad the LORD led me to this particular Lenten journey. The Study book ties it all together so beautifully, especially for Holy Week, as we shall see.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Stillness before the LORD is something that doesn’t always come easy for me, and probably for many of us. Try to set aside some time this week. Choose a spot, inside or outside, that gives you a sense of peace or at least comfort. Turn off your worldly connections, maybe do a little spiritual reading or pray. Then stop and quietly invite Him to sit with you.

Further action if so inclined:
Have you ever fallen on your face before the LORD in desperate fear or need? I have, and I wish that type of situation on no one. If you have, though, you know what it means to realize He is there.
When you realize He is walking right there with you and is totally involved in whatever your situation may be, you will find relief. You will find your fears and anxieties are unnecessary. Call out to Jehovah-shammah, The LORD Is There. He’s there already, you just haven’t recognized Him.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment