Report Card

Today I found and read thoroughly through my grade 8 final report card, line-by-line. “Natashia” it begins, in one of the few commentary sections of the three-page document. There it was, my name, my grades (for every single course taken that year), my class average, and of course, the number of days I was late or absent from school.

Nearly 20 years ago and it now intrigued me more than ever before. Reading through teacher comments and advice to me and, (consequently my mom), of what I needed to focus on more to understand, develop and refine growth in the education of such intelligence, such as, the sciences and mathematics, reading and writing, and so forth.

As I looked at my overall student average, I could see clearly it was average indeed, that is, to the class average. Most of us did fine, okay. Satisfactory, is what they named it. I have since changed, thankfully. But as a looked at my grade 8 marks, I smiled at some, stared wide-eyed at others, while glancing over most – the more abundant average ones.

What is it about average? It’s not failing, though it’s certainly not excelling. Most the class was average in their grades that year – our graduating year. Cleary the marks I smiled at were above average. I excelled. I went over and beyond satisfactory! I did well. Very well.

The wide-eyed grades, well, they were below the class average. Way below. Yet still I spent much more time thinking on the one or two, than the satisfactory ones.

Later on having tucked away my report card so I can ‘discover’ it another 20 years from now, Christ willing, I picked up my bible and began reading in Matthew chapter 5.

Jesus teaching…

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Soon after, I began thinking about that report card and then of the fruits of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, self-control, meekness, and faith. Finally, I spoke softly, “Holy Spirit, I wonder what grade you would give me in these “subjects” – areas of your teachings.” I sat, stayed quiet. Then, I began to write this note – blog.

LUKEWARM

Could the ails of being satisfactory be likened to that of lukewarm? In the book of Revelation, Jesus commands John to write to the seven churches. Through the letters to the churches, we read passages where the Lord is pleased and not pleased with attitudes and lifestyles and practices that are either right before God or evil before God. He warns and beckons “repent.” And, He encourages, “I know your works, and charity, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first…”

Why would God say in Revelation 3:15, that He would prefer that they (the people of the church in Laodicea) were cold OR hot? With the understanding that, to be hot is to be as we say – on fire for God – meaning of course, being spiritually fervent and filled with His Spirit, walking after His ways willingly and devotedly by His sufficient grace and everlasting mercies. To be hot is obviously the mark, but why then does Christ also makes mention of being cold rather than lukewarm…if you’re not hot?

Well, to be cold is to know that you are at opposite ends of hot. Not even close, and far from it – which is good, evidently. You see, the soul that is turned from God and knows it, might turn to God, but the soul that is turned from God and does not know it, or believe it, cannot ever turn to God. The lukewarm soul – the person who is turned at some angle(s) away from Almighty God, is not fully surrendered to God. That person or perhaps you, continue living this life believing that you “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength,” yet all actually means all and not some. Hot is hot – fully. Cold is cold – fully. But, and this is the BIG BUT, lukewarm isn’t hot and, it isn’t cold.


Beloved, if you, like me, need to and will to pray, pray.

Search me Lord. Evaluate me. Judge me and tell me what You find. For You only are able to judge righteously and You only can see my heart and know its thoughts entirely. And then Lord reveal to me what in me and of me pleases You, what I must continue doing in Your grace and truth and also Lord, reveal to me what I must turn away from. I pray this in Your name that is above every name ever named, Jesus. Amen.

And now may the Good Shepherd give to you and I, ears to hear what the Spirit will say.

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No Other Way

I just don’t know any other way to love Christ than to obey Him. So help me Lord, through your grace I can. I will. I do. Even as you judge me, have mercy I pray you Father in heaven, have mercy upon me. For He try’s the reins of each heart. Our outward appearance is as heavy as a single maple leaf. Thought we search for blush and lip gloss, God searches for honour and integrity, justice and truth, mercy and love, faith and faith and faith. Glory to God who makes wise the simple. Amen.


“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” 

JEREMIAH 17:9-10

“Look not on his countenance nor on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

1 SAMUEL 16:7

 

Great Waters

Upon the path of God are steps taken by faith. Upon the route of the most High are long leaps tried. Upon the flight plan of thy Maker are ways unknown to you. Yet still, by accepting His way through the grace supplied unto you for the task, you can now by faith power courage and strength, hold your peace and move forward. Press forward. Go forward. For though His way be not seen as yet, it will. Follow through on His direction and see the desire of God.


Your way is in the sea, and your path in the great waters, and your footsteps are not known. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. 
Psalm 77:19-20

 

God is true 1

 

Sick with Love

I am sick with love for my Father, for His name, His ways and His kingdom. His voice strips the forest bare and makes the deer give birth. And in His temple everyone says, Glory. In the stillness of the early morning as drops of rain beat the ground, so too my soul drips and beats upon the heart of my God, my Lord Jesus the Christ.

Draw me, again my Lord. For yours is the table I shall eat from. Your fruit is sweeter than any others and your face doth shine more brighter than a million suns. Who can look into the eyes of majesty? Who can behold the eyes of fire?

Draw me precious Saviour. For I am yours.

He Leads, Like This

The Spirit of the Lord Leads From all angles

I sighted two geese today. Parents of three little ones. Countless I’ve seen families of geese, this time however, an understanding of their formation was given to me. As I looked straight on, and into the pond called Lake of Dreams, I took noticed how each parent was leading their three babes. After being in the cool of the water for sometime, the parents led their children near to the side of the field where large rocks are (to eat and rest, I suppose). They were looking for a safe place but, since I was there, shouting at them not to come any closer (if you don’t know geese, you don’t know they hiss and wring their necks like snakes – all warning signs that they will certainly attack anyone (me) should they feel threatened under any circumstances – especially that of protecting their children…good parents)! Either way, I stood tall on the park bench to make myself bigger and, to make them go find another spot – since there were many to choose from (for them).

It work!

I stood my ground, (bench), and they stayed their distance, enough. I had gone their to read and talk and listen and bless and enjoy a moment with God, Jesus. But I didn’t end up reading. I just sat, thinking, talking, laughing, and sitting still.

Then, as I looked up, there was the family, again. Only this time they were near the other side of the large pond. Then I saw this:IMG_5093

One parent in the front – leading the way. The other at the side and the rear of the children.

This is how He leads us – you and me. This is how the Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus leads. He is in front of us – so we can follow. He is beside us – so we can hear Him speak and He can hear us speak. We can keep up with His pace whether that’s a (walk, glide, run, jog, sprint, swim or flight) and, He is set as our rear guide and guard – seeing all that we can’t and protecting us from the same. Praise God!

All angles of the leading of the Holy Spirit are covered. They are great comforts for us. He is always is and, always all ways. Ponder that.

Also, I observed that none of the three baby geese had a leash around their necks nor feet nor wings nor belly. None. Not one of them. The first time they came near me, one of the little ones were in front, not able to see their dad or mom, yet as I began shouting to shoo them off, one of the parents starting making a noise. It was noise to me because I don’t understand their language but, surely it was communication to them…to the baby goose. Very quickly it turned back and towards its parents. Back into the water where they all swam together across the pond to the other side where they eventually got out, rested and flapped their feathers.

Had this little one not heard and listened to the words of their parents, it would have been neglecting the protection and wisdom its parents offered. The parents had an understanding and an insight, a point-of-view its children did not.

If this little bird did not retreat on its own there was no leash for its parents to pull it back. They could squeal at the top of their lungs, they could flap their wings, they could even try dragging their child back into the water but, if the child is not willing, eventually they won’t heed any warning messages and, they’ll sadly ignore all the signs.

I reading this we ought to consider ourselves. Christ Jesus died for the world since He loved us and, in doing so made a way for us to have our sins forgiven, our souls justified, and our lives lived eternally with Him. Yes, the King of kings, Maker of all, even died and rose up His life again, completely destroying and defeating what was the strength of death;  He sends warning messages to us, He gives us help, healing, hope in our times of need; He restores us, corrects our steps, our character; He can bring His Light into our darkness and truth to expose our lies we have come to accept and impart but, ultimately it is all up to us – you, whether to follow Him – as He is God, sovereign and all-knowing. It is solely up to us to desire to hear Him and to listen with the witness of our convictions. It is up to us to have a real-ationship with Him because, like the parents of the three little geese, He wills and desires and is most joyous to be our God and we His people, His fiends, His servants, His delight, His sheep, His children. Yes, He, the Christ, loves you. Will you follow Him?

NOTE WELL: None of the three baby geese had a leash around their neck or feet or wings or belly. None. We are free. You are free. I am free. Free to make decisions – but never free from decisions.

 

 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

PSALM 32:8

“Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”

ISAIAH 58:8