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Everything posted by turtletwo

  1. The idea for this was inspired by Sonshine's thread called "YOU SAID, LORD" It is about reminding Him of His promises in scripture when we pray. A beautiful verse in Isaiah immediately came to mind. It shows God's ability and willingness to bring good out of bad in the lives of those who are His and love Him. I hope this article I found is encouraging to all of you who read it. "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:3 ) Throughout the Bible and ancient practices, ashes have often been the symbol of deep repentance and grief. We are reminded of this truth, “…for dust you are and to dust you will return." (Gen. 3:19) Not exactly a nice, happy thought to get your day going. But the reality of it all sinks in deep. Because, as many of us know, life is not always “happy.” Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s dark. And it leaves its mark, like ashes of grief, in the deepest parts of our souls, where no one but God can really see. You may understand if you've ever felt these ashes: You’ve ever lost a loved one or had to say good-bye too soon, left to journey through dark days of grief, wondering if you’d ever be able to carry on without them at your side… You’ve ever received a hard diagnosis, faced the fear of the unknown, and felt the effects of disease and pain... You’ve ever set at the bedside of a dying friend, and held a hand that once was strong, whose life had been cut short from the ravages of cancer… You’ve ever been to a funeral for a sweet baby, or a precious child, and watched endless tears flow from hurting souls of a Mama and Daddy…. You’ve ever been deeply wounded, betrayed, abused, or mistreated… You've ever walked through the fire of hard situations and wondered if you'd come out the other side... Yes, it’s true, life is not always happy. It’s not always easy. It deals harshly sometimes, it seems unfair, and we may wonder where God is, or why He didn’t stop that difficult event or illness from happening. Job was there too. This righteous man who loved and honored God. Yet he lost everything. It crumbled around him, all he held dear. And he knew without God, he was nothing. And we find him in the beginning of the book of Job, “…he sat in the ashes.” (Job 2:8) Daniel was there. He and the people had suffered under captivity, he prayed to God on behalf of his people, that God would have mercy. He repented, and confessed his own sin, his deep need for Him. He knew where true strength and help came from, “Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel 9:3 Tamar was there. She had trusted and yet was betrayed. David’s own daughter had been taken advantage of, raped, and she was left on her own, alone, with no hope for her future, to pick up the broken pieces of shattered life. “And Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe that she wore. And she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went.” 2 Sam. 13:19 And they may have wondered too... Where was God in it all? Where is He now? Deep grief, crime, captivity, illness, death of loved ones, shattered hope, and broken dreams? What Beauty for Ashes Really Means: His truth says this: He was there. In the midst of it all. And though we may not always see it, or feel it, or even understand it, we can know beyond a doubt, that He is now. Still. He is with us. "To provide for those who grieve...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes." Isaiah 61:3 For He will never leave us or forsake us, His love for us in greater than we could ever imagine, though we live in a world where we face trouble many days. Jesus reminds us in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, for I have overcome the world.” And that’s the key to the ashes that cover our days in this life. The deeper truth that shines through every bit of our grief, and pain, and sin, is this, Christ came to set us free. Christ came to redeem. Christ came to bring hope. Christ came to bring beauty from ashes. “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." (Is. 61:1-3) He never intends for us to stay stuck in our sin, pain, or deep sorrow. He heals and restores, He calls us onward, He reminds us that in Him, we have great purpose and hope. There’s beauty and greatness behind every mark of darkness. The ashes will fall away, they don’t stay forever, but His greatness and glory shine forever through every broken place and flaw we’ve struggled through. He conquered death. He lives forever. He reigns in glory. And we have victory in Him... Take courage dear friends who are facing deep battles. He is greater than any enemy we face in this life. We overcome because He has overcome and our lives are hidden in Christ. May God cover you with peace, may He bring healing in the face of hard news, may He bring deep, abiding joy that makes no sense to the world, may He bring comfort and care as He wraps you in His arms. The God of miracles fights for you today, and He is Mighty. There's still beauty ahead...straight out of ashes. Christ redeems. Grace. A Prayer for Beauty from Ashes Dear God, Sometimes the way has seemed too dark. Sometimes we feel like our lives have been marked by such grief and pain, we don’t see how our circumstance can ever change. But in the midst of our weakness, we ask that you would be strong on our behalf. Lord, rise up within us, let your Spirit shine out of every broken place we’ve walked through. Allow your power to be manifest through our own weakness, so that others will recognize it is You who is at work on our behalf. We ask that you would trade the ashes of our lives for the beauty of your Presence. Trade our mourning and grief for the oil of joy and gladness from your Spirit. Trade our despair for hope and praise. We choose to give you thanks today and believe that this season of darkness will fade away. Thank you that you are with us in whatever we face, and that you are greater than this trial. We know and recognize that you are Sovereign, we thank you for the victory that is ours because of Christ Jesus, and we are confident that you have good still in store for our future. We thank you that you are at work right now, trading our ashes for greater beauty. We praise you, for you make all things new.
  2. @Sonshine☀️ This is a wonderful topic. You are taking your grief and using it to help others deal with theirs. That is a beautiful thing and I commend you for it. Thanks. You have gone through deep heartaches, Sonshine. I see your life as an example of God bringing beauty from ashes. And as the Lord working 2 Corinthians 1:4 through you. “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” Praying the scriptures and reminding God is a vital part of my prayer life. It builds faith. Hebrews 11:6 -"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." So faith is the ONLY way to please Him. What is important to Him is what is important to me. The Scripture you posted from 2 Corinthians 12:9 is excellent. It makes me think of a couple promises I remind Him of when praying. Such as Phil 4:13 "Lord, I feel overwhelmed right now. I just can't do this. But You said that although I can not do it in my own strength, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I believe that. For You are God and can not lie. So I draw upon Your strength to carry on." "Thank You for Your promise in Romans 8:28 that You will work all things together for good. No matter how bleak these circumstances look to me right now, I know You can use them for Your glory. For You teach us in the hard times and through our trials. Help me to receive whatever it is You want me to know. And let me use it to help others in a similar situation. If it is Your will, take this and turn it around. Meet the needs of those I pray for and myself. Strengthen me in patience."
  3. Thanks for asking. He's been watching YouTube in hopes of figuring out what might be wrong with it. So far his hunches have proven to be off. I give him credit for trying, though. I sure wish he had a friend who is mechanically inclined to help him out.
  4. Please pray for my daughter. She has a job interview today. Also, two other interviews are scheduled this week. Thanks.
  5. @marvelloustime Praise the Lord! I'm glad that I could introduce you to one of my favorite hymns. It brings out a tenderness in our Lord to think that He cares for all of His creations...even the tiny sparrows. Cool. Where is that scripture found, dear sister? I'm happy you do. Thanks for letting me know. I always thought of sparrows as sweet. Btw, sorry it took me so long to react to your post. I just now found it. This shows how unorganized and willy-nilly I am. I see you posted it around the time of my daughter's wedding, so that might explain it. lol Please read what I wrote in my reply to Jubilea. I mentioned you in a comment there.
  6. @Jubilea Me, too!! I'm eager to meet you, Becky, frienduff, sugarbear, Beaujangles, and soooo many more. Too many to list. The song you posted has such encouraging lyrics. Thanks! Brings back wonderful memories of growing up. This is one we would sing in our little church. My family would attend together. My dad (now in Heaven) really enjoyed the hymns. I loved how he belted them out.
  7. @LadyKay Thanks. Definitely a worthy subject. You get a big, resounding AMEN from me. His is the Name above all names Soon and coming King!
  8. @Neighbor Nice version of this much loved hymn. Interesting story behind it, too. Thanks for sharing it. As a child I thought it was about coming to Jesus in prayer in a peaceful garden and sensing His presence there. Your history of the hymn intrigued me. So I looked it up and added a bit more info I found. Also, the lyrics. God bless you. I Come to the Garden SONG & MUSIC WRITER: C.Austin Miles HYMN HISTORY: C. Austin Miles writes his own story on how the words were written to "In the Garden." "One day in March, 1912, I was seated in the darkroom where I kept my photographic equipment and organ. I drew my Bible toward me; it opened at my favorite chapter, John 20 . . . That meeting of Jesus and Mary had lost none of its power to charm. As I read it that day, I seemed to be part of the scene. I became a silent witness to that dramatic moment in Mary's life, when she knelt before her Lord, and cried, "Rabboni!" . . . Under the inspiration of this vision I wrote as quickly as the words could be formed the poem exactly as it has since appeared. That same evening I wrote the music." BIBLE VERSE: John 18:1 – “When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.” HYMN LYRICS: I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses; And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses. Refrain: And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own, And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known. He speaks, and the sound of His voice Is so sweet the birds hush their singing, And the melody that He gave to me, Within my heart is ringing. (Refrain) I'd stay in the garden with Him Though the night around me be falling, But He bids me go; through the voice of woe, His voice to me is calling. And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own, And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.
  9. Thanks for your prayer. God bless you. "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us." (1 John 5:14)
  10. Yes. I will double check I didn't miss any questions before i sign out
  11. kingdom sorry it took so long my computer was being a sassafrass
  12. Even when our computers act up Which mine was doing ... trying to freeze up on me
  13. Have you ever heard this song? It's so true! HAND TO THE PLOW Paul Clark, from Hand to the Plow I felt the pressure of temptation I heard the breathing lies of accusation I know the world can be distracting But if I keep my foot there, then I'm just acting Chorus: Well, I can't think of a reason why I should look back (can't think why) And I don't intend to start now (no, I don't) Gonna set my face like flint to Jesus and His Word Yes, I'm keeping my hand to the plow I felt the weight of condemnation And how the devil twists my situation My brother, if you feel defeated Let me remind you, friend, that you've been cheated
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