There is a saying ‘We are as sick as our secrets’ I have kept secrets most of my life, it is something I learned long ago, a coping skill to survive. In silence I created a hiding place deep within.
It had affected my behavior, causing neglect of my children, my well being and unhealthy relationships. When it was brought to my attention, it was difficult to learn how to let these things go. How could I create healthy behaviors, to break the silence and find help in dealing with these long term issues? To let go of unforgiveness toward those that had harmed me?
Then in some words I had read, it shared, there is a Power greater than I that can help us to do this, to replace learned behaviors.
‘The Four Behaviors Of Jesus’ Forgiveness (recognizing our bitterness toward others, and ourselves, who have offended us, and forgive them even as He has forgiven us)
Stewardship (exercising love for others as God Loves us, extending concern and care as we are cared for) Intellect ( to evaluate the need to walk away from situations that are harmful) And the last – Speaking out, and reaching out, (to set boundaries of protection when someone continues to cause conflict and stress)
Not an easy thing to do, but when discouragement sets in, if we can remember the words – “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:1-2 No longer will it be needful to dwell in the hiding places we have created, with our secrets held in. Our silence can be broken, as we trust in Him!
After living in the desert a good part of my childhood, Years later, I was listening to a song on the radio, ‘A Horse With No Name’ by ‘America.’ The lyrics and tune – “In the first part of the journey” And _ “I’ve been through the desert on A horse with no name” Brought to my mind a beautiful story of God’s love. The rendition of this song addresses in quite an astounding way the theme of God searching for His children midst wasteland and desolation Written by a man named Ezekiel.*
I have written an allegory of this… *****
A voice is heard in a desolate land,
Oh Ezekiel, what do you have to say
Of this man, one that is searching
For a child among rocks, stones and
There is a desert under a blazing sky,
Where serpents lie. Cacti hide a tiny
Wren, it’s wings singed from the noon
Day sun, unable to fly as high again.
All is still, but for the horse and its rider,
Moving faster, as its hooves pound the
Clay baked ground.
On the first day of his journey, no child
Was found and in disappointment turned
His horse around. With an empty heart
And far from blest, even though he did
He could not remove the picture from
His mind and returned to the desert one
More time. Searching far and near, a cry
In the distance spurs him on.
Pulling the brim of his hat to shade his
Eyes, looking on the desert floor, in a
Pool of blood in a pocket of sand, he
Hears a child’s cry again.
Lifting this child to his saddle side, with
His hands its tears he dries.
Cleansing with water and oil, removing
Clothes dirty and soiled. With newness
Of life the child lifts its head, and is given a Name.
No longer living in shame.
The desert is turned to a river bed.
The wren flies high again, and with joyful song it sings.
Living waters flow upon the earth. He
Bids the child live in a land with no more
Playing among the reeds on the river’s
Edge, no danger will come from the adder’s
Den, for there is no more sin.
All things are new because of this Man’s
Redemption Plan! **** Our experience may sometimes seem like A desert lot, dry and desolate, but There are words of comfort given –
“In a desert land he found him, in a barren And howling waste. He shielded him And cared for him… Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, and Hovers over its young, that spreads its wings carrying them aloft.” He carries us On His wings of love through all our Trials, always searching for us!
The twelve days of Christmas began on December 25, 2020 And ends on January 5, 2021. It is a festive Christian season, also known as the ‘Feast Of Epiphany’ Celebrating the Nativity of Jesus, which extended from His Birth, to the coming of the Magi, traveling to worship Him. .“Now when Jesus was born, three wise men From the East came to worship the new born Child. Belonging to a large and influential class, They were known as Kings, wealthy and wise.
Bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Studying the starry skies, a star appeared as They traveled afar beholding the glory of the Creator. These men had heard of the Coming of the Redeemer, and turning to Hebrew Scripture they treasured the prophetic writings, that Predicted the coming of the birth of a Messiah. At every pause on their journey they comforted Each other with these holy Words. As we are approaching the end of time, Are we as diligent as these men of old Searching the signs of the prophecies, Pointing to the Lord’s second coming? God has never left his people without Knowledge of the greatest event in History to take place.
Gathering his disciples about him, they Asked Him when would be the Signs of the nearness of His second Coming
With twelve young men they Climbed Mt Olivet Following their Teacher’s Footsteps His disciples questioning “Why are there so many disturbing Things happening? What will be the signs of your coming?” Their teacher of God will surely have The answers to all of these Things approaching
From the Mount of Jerusalem they look Upon the Temple, beautiful and proud But their teacher warned, not one Stone shall remain, but all will be Thrown down ~~~ For as the days of Noah so shall it be Eating and drinking, marrying and Given in marriage, then the flood Took them all away
There shall be earthquakes, wars Pestilence and plagues But be not afraid Though you may be betrayed Fathers and mothers may reject you Children may turn against you I will never leave you or forsake you
“And immediately after those days The sun will be darkened! The moon will not give its light! The stars will fall from the sky And the heavens will be shaken!*** ~~~~ Many shall say “Look for me in the desert Or in the chamber Do not go there For as the lightning comes from the East and flashes toward the West So shall you see me when I come back
No one knows the hour I will come But my Father in heaven Though days may be dark and dreary Look up and know I am with you’ ~~~~ I am your hiding place Preserving you from trouble All who look to Me I will save!”
**Adapted from the book ‘Desire Of Ages’ by Ellen White page 60 ***Joel chapter 2:28-31 Inspirations from the ‘Book of Matthew’ Chapter 24 in God’s Word
The Christmas tree had its beginning in Germany, In the 16th century, when Christians brought Decorated trees into their homes. There is a Story told of Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformer, who was walking home one wintry Night, and as he gazed on the snowy hills in The distance, the beauty Of the trees silhouetted against the starry Skies, he was stricken with the majesty of God’s Creation. Returning home, gathering his children About a tree, they decorated it with candles, And this is how the Christmas tree came about.
Around the year 1226, St Francis of Assisi created The first Nativity scene with live animals, the Manger and the straw holding The Christ Child.
In the Middle Ages, many people could neither read Nor write, and in order to share these heavenly Truths, actors traveled from town to town, Reenacting these scenes in Passion Plays. Many of these traditions are observed at the Advent season, Foretelling the reason we celebrate Christmas.
There is a story of three Trees
They could eat of the Tree in the
In Eden’s fair garden
But of the Tree of Good and evil
It was forbidden
They did not listen and partook
Of the fruit
This is the first Tree in the midst of Three
With one last look they fled in terror
Why do they fear their Heavenly Father?
In His evening walk
They heard the words “Do not be afraid
A Savior shall be born in a manger of hay”
This is the second Tree in the midst of
His path will be lonely, His friends
Will forsake Him, His enemies will hate
Him, but for your sakes He will give
His life that you may be saved
“On a Tree He will hang before
Mockers and throngs
In a grave He will lay and rest three
Ascending to heaven, giving us the
Hope of His Second Coming
“There will be earthquakes and
Famines, pestilence and plagues” ***
The world will be in tumult and
For deliverance, crying
“But do not be afraid”
“Do not be sad” He said
I will return to take you home”
This is the third Tree in the Midst of Three
Eden’s Tree will be restored
For all who believe, of its fruit
They shall eat
The leaves of its Tree bringing
Healing to the nations
And forever in heaven and earth, there
Will be peace!
***Prophecies taken from the ‘Book of Matthew’ Chapter 24 in God’s Word