Sunday, March 25, 2007

Mary Magdalene Part 1

Word for the week: Salvation
Bible Verse: John 3:16-17 NKJV

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."

My thoughts take my back to Mary Magdalene as she sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to His teaching; experiencing such unconditional love. What a spiritual connection she must of had with the Savior.

She knew He loved and valued her the day He saved. I can only imagine the love and gratitude that filled her heart as she looked into His eyes and saw the love and acceptance He offered her as He extended His hand. How could she ever be the same again? It was a turning point in her life she would never forget and would forever give thanks; such deep love she must have felt for her Savior.

And now she sits at the foot of the cross watching her closest, most loved friend suffering an undeserved, cruel death and there was nothing she could do- How could she understand? How could she know the depths of the saving power being poured out from the cross that dark, sorrowful day?

What unbearable pain she must have endured. Pain that rips your heart in two. Pain that takes your breath and threatens your very life and sanity. And once again, she would never be the same. How would she go on without her dearest friend?

He was the only one who had ever loved her wholeheartedly and accepted her completely in spite of her failures, in spite of her lack of purity, in spite of all the wrong choices she had ever made- How could she go on without Him?

What was it she could do for Jesus, except stay by His side until the end? A broken vessel at the foot of the cross, pouring out every ounce of love she had for the Savior and grieving her greatest loss.

Copyright 2007 S.Hunt
All Rights Reserved

Forgive, Do Not Despise

"Forgive, do not despise,"
Christ my Savior said,
As He hung on Calvary's Cross,
Blood dripping from His head.
"Forgive, do not despise,"
Christ my Savior said.
"It's you I love without regret,
Though I suffered in your stead."
"Now I ask the same of you,
Without hesitation or blame,
Reach out your hand with loving-kindness
To the ones who have caused you pain.
Let them know the love I bestow,
To those who call My name."
"Forgive, do not despise."
Christ my Savior said.
It's you I love without regret,
Though I suffered in your stead.
"Forgive, do not despise,"
Christ my Savior said,
As He hung on Calvary's Cross,
Blood dripping from His head.
Copyright 2001 S.Hunt
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 18, 2007

God's Treasure

Word for the week: Treasure
Bible Verse: Matthew 6:19-21 NIV

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "

God's Treasure
Lay all your burdens at My feet,
Misery, Anger, and Defeat
In exchange for My treasure
Love, Joy, and Victory
beyond measure.
copyright 2007 S. Hunt All Rights Reserved

Treasure Under the Tree

Like most, I have a daily routine. Each morning I get dressed, gather the daily necessities, and off to work I go. I park in the same place everyday. I walk up the same sidewalk everyday. I greet the same people everyday. I hear the bird’s serenade and I see the glorious sunrise everyday.

One day last May was the same, with one small exception. I found an egg. There under the small tree that stands by the sidewalk, I spotted an Easter egg. What a surprise! “Hmmmm”, I thought, as I started to walk past; then a small, quiet voice spoke to me to go back and pick up the egg. So I did.

The green plastic egg was a little dirty and wet with the morning dew. I took it inside, washed and dried it, and placed it on my desk. I was somewhat amazed that I had found an Easter egg since Easter had been six weeks before. And then I began to think about how everyday I had walked up the sidewalk, past the small tree, yet I never noticed the oval treasure sitting there. How could that be, I wondered?

How many times is it that God prepares something for us, and places it right along side our path for us to discover, and we walk past it day after day, not noticing. And why is it we don’t see it sitting there?

As I looked back over the few weeks that had gone by, I remembered days I walked up the sidewalk past the small tree in a hurry, thinking about all the things I needed to do. Some days I worried about personal matters. Some days I grumbled and complained up the sidewalk past the tree where the egg lay.

The three mornings before, I had been troubled about why God was allowing certain things to happen in my life. People around me were questioning God’s purpose, and I had no answers. I hardly even remembered walking up the sidewalk I was so distracted.

I wonder what made this day different. There was nothing about my daily routine that had changed. However, I wasn’t in a hurry. I wasn’t worried, and I didn’t grumble and complain.

In fact, this May morning my heart was filled with praise and thanksgiving. The song on the radio had echoed in my ears, “Though I cannot see, I still believe in Your faithfulness, in Your truth and in Your holy word.” The words had confirmed my decision to trust God no matter what happened in my life, even though I could not see the reason.

Then I knew why I had found the egg. It truly was a treasure. Even though I could not see the egg, it had been there all the time, just like God’s blessings are. And just like the egg, when the time is right new life will spring forth and God’s blessings will be revealed.

The treasure I found under the tree will be a reminder to me that God is faithful to prepare and provide what I need, when I need it, and I will most likely see it on a day when my heart is filled with praise and thanksgiving.

May 2006 S. Hunt All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Be My Compass Lord

Word for the Week: Trust
Bible Verse: Proverbs 3:5 -6 NIV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all you ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Wherever the road leads, be my compass O Lord.
Show me the way to the place you have prepared for me.
You alone know the way -

Ready me for the journey.
Equip me with Your knowledge and understanding.
Fill me with Your words of peace.
Instruct me Lord, so that Your Will can be fulfilled in my life.
Nurture me along the way so that I may continue to grow into what You want me to be.
Enable me with Your strength and power to fearlessly go wherever You send me.

Mend me when I stumble and fall so that I may continue to walk the path You have set me on.
Embrace me with Your arms of love whenever the journey seems more than I can bear.

The Path
If only there were road signs
All along the way,
I could see much better
The path on which to stay.
Instead there are landmarks
Only eyes of faith can see,
Grace, Mercy, Love and Peace
Sent to set my spirit free.
Sometimes the path seems dim and lonely,
Sometimes the briars cut deep.
Sometimes the path is stony,
Sometimes it's narrow and steep.
Sometimes I feel like sitting down,
I'm tired of walking, you see.
But then I hear my Father say,
"Come go a little further with Me."
My feet are sore,
My heart is weary.
I can't walk another step
Down this path so dreary.
Then in the distance on the ground
The shadow of the Cross I see,
And I remember the cruel road
Jesus walked down for me.
The nails, the spear,
The thorns, the shame.
He didn't stop, He persevered
Without a word of blame.
"Stand up My child and take My hand,"
my Savior said to me.
"You must make it to the end of the path,
Where at last My bride you will be."
copyright S.Hunt 2007 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 4, 2007

All for the Price of a Penny

The smells and sights still linger in my mind as I think back to the little country store where I loved to go when I was a child. I can still remember the feel of the cool concrete floor under my bare feet as I pitter-pattered up and down the short isles behind my mom. It was there in the little country store that my life was changed forever.

I had no idea this would turn out to be a day of remembrance for me when I entered the little country store, trailing after my mom. The tingling bell always greeted visitors as they came and went, and the smell of hamburgers sizzling on the grill was a reminder that lunch was nearing. And like always, my mom grabbed a grocery cart and off she went, tossing things right and left into the squeaky contraption.

Of course, I had my own agenda. I spied my favorite bubble gum as I passed by the candy shelf. There it was, Green Apple, a penny a piece. My mouth watered at the thought of the tangy experience. I didn’t have a penny, but I did have a plan.

My mom was busy talking to the man at the meat market, and the lady at the counter was busy talking on the phone. Just at the right time, I very carefully positioned myself in front of the green apple bubble gum and while no one was looking I took a piece and hid it in my pocket. My heart was pounding as I slowly moved away and caught up with mom. WHEW! I did it. I could hardly wait to get out of the store.

I didn’t have to wait long. I stood there at the counter looking innocent as my mom paid the wrinkle-faced lady for the groceries. Finally, out to the car to safety, I hopped in and slammed the door. I dug the green ball of gum out of my pocket; the paper fell to the floor and I popped it into my mouth before my mom finished putting the grocery sacks in the back seat.

Oh, the taste of the tangy green apple gum was sending my jaws into spasms. I was chomping and savoring every drop of juice that squished out, when I heard my mom say, “Where did you get that?”

My heart sunk, and my face felt hot. With the wad of gum clinched between my teeth, I confessed I had taken it from the store. “Did you pay for it?” She knew by the look on my face that I hadn’t. She frowned and put out her hand for me to spit it out.

“Well, little lady, you are going right back in there and tell Mrs. Janelle that you stole a piece of gum and then you are going to pay for it.”

Puddles of tears filled my eyes as I asked my mom to come with me. The last thing I wanted to do was go back in and tell the lady at the counter what I had done. I would have rather suffered a spanking. “NO”, she said. “You have to go by yourself,” as she handed me a penny.

I did as she said, and went in and confessed my sin. It burnt like fire inside my chest as I looked into Mrs. Janelle’s wrinkled face and told her that I stole a piece of gum. I handed her a penny; she smiled and said it was okay.

As I ran out of the store that fateful day, it was clear that the tangy taste I had so desired was not worth the scorching consequences I had just endured.

Many years have passed since that day. Many opportunities to take things that didn’t belong to me have also passed; each time, I walked away knowing with certainty it was the right thing to do.

I will forever be thankful for that painful experience. A valuable lesson was burned into my heart that day; it changed my life forever, and all for the price of a penny.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NIV

copyright 2006 S.Hunt All Rights Reserved