biopsies and updates

If I could give you information of my life,
it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability has been led by God
in strange and unaccustomed paths to do In His service what He has done in her.
And if I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all, and I nothing.

Florence Nightingale

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(berries of the Chinese Mountain Ash along the grounds of Klyemore Abbey / Connemara, County Galway, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

Update on Aunt “Mothaaa”, aka Martha, and the liver biopsy.

Well, the doctor called her in yesterday afternoon and the news was not encouraging…
but it was what had pretty much been expected.

In her words… “it’s not good”

“Unusual” is what the doctor had to say as he would not have guessed this
to have happened this far out from the original surgery and kidney removal
of three years ago…
but it is what it is.

The next step is a visit, the first of the week, to the oncologist to hear the game plan.

So now it is prayer time for a strategic game plan!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Costly Grace

“God’s merciful love lives in the midst of its foes.
It is the same Jesus Christ who by grace calls us to follow him
and whose grace saves the thief on the cross in his last hour.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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(detail from the altar at Klyemore Abbey,Connemara, Co Galway, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

“Costly Grace is the hidden treasure in the field, for the sake of which people go and sell with joy everything they have.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

lovely words

“We must escape the slavery of words and give loyal adherence to meanings instead.
Words should express ideas, not originate them.”
A.W. Tozer

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(statue of the sacred heart of Jesus on the grounds of Klyemore Abbey, Connemmara , County Galway, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015—yes I know I’ve used it before, but the image is so right for the post)

A.W.Tozer, the great 20th century American evangelical theologian, often dissected man’s view of God.
Tozer noted that when “we say that God is love; we say that God is light; we say that Christ is truth; and we mean the words to be understood in much the same way that words are understood when we say of a man, “he is kindness itself.” By so saying we are not stating that kindness and the man are identical, and no one understands our words in that sense…”

Our words for and of God are really mere descriptors.
Words we have assigned to Him.

Nothing more.

These types of words are man’s feeble attempts to describe or even ascribe to God things that we feel are important characteristics which need to accompany any sort of dialog or introduction of His being.
A Being which defies and is beyond the limitation of human words.

We Christians often use the pity little phrase “God is Love” to sum up, to one and all,
what makes God… God

Yet…is God not so much more than Love?

What of Peace…which passes all understanding
What of Holiness…
What of Omnipotence
What of being Sovereign

In our statemet that God is Love, we have ascribed love as being God and God being Love…
with any and all other love being less than because if God is love, then all other love is therefore different is it not, and in turn not of God…
and if it is therefore something else, less, below, inferior, what then is it…
For if God is, as we say, love, then the whole concept of love comes back to being that of God….as we base our understanding and definition of love on one thing and one thing only…God

God being Love in turn becomes the benchmark so to speak.

That being the level we should all ascertain to when we seek love, offer love and give love…for love is indeed of God and is in turn Godly

Yet we have watched as love has fallen
It has become cliche.
It has become small
It has become cheap
It has become carnal
and it has become dirty.
It no longer seems to mean what we have said…God is Love
Have we allowed ourselves, by lessening the word love with our flippant and empty usage, to lessen and diminish God?

God, along with this love of His, are each deeply much much more than the one dimensional sweetness found simply in a deity being described by the human definition of the pure essence of love. To say that one loves another was never something trite or small…it was a big deal to declare love. It was earnest, sincere, deeply felt and beyond the surface of casualness. It became the verbal declaration of a bond that went beyond understanding. Just as God is beyond understanding.

Yet what then when we speak of His mighty wrath?
What of His being the Light of the world.
What of His being Justice…or of being Life itself….?

Are we saying that we believe, dare assume, that these very words are actually God?
Or are they merely metaphorical descriptors?
Do we separate the two or causally blend them together?
Or is there something much deeper happening and truly beyond us when we speak these words which we ascribe to God?

If we say God is Love, what then of all the other types of love?
Do we say that God is but one type of love?
A bigger love while all other love is little?
Or is love always love, with God being the highest form possible…
Therefore all love, all the feelings, the emotions, the definitions come back to one thing
God being love…with the love we offer, seek, want, give being interconnected to the love of God.
With our love being God’s love as love becomes One..as in the true intent of Love…two becoming one

Yet at the same time how do we describe, define, spell out who and what God is?
Simple Love?

How do we say that He is Love when someone loses a loved one due to tragedy and or illness?
How do we say He is Justice when we watch a life methodically ended by the hands of another?
How do we say He is Peace while we watch the results of fighting and wars?

It is then, at those very moments, when we declare that God is obviously not of of this world…
Separating ourselves from Him.
We create a divide.
As our love and His love suddenly become different…no longer one and the same..the One has separated and become two again.
As our descriptors, our words, our definitions become less, and less, and less…

For the Love,
The Peace
The Justice
The Life
The Sovereign of all Creation
has all remained the same…

What He is, does not, has not, cannot change….
His love does not change, therefore we know that Love has not changed…despite our changing….
our diminishing the words, the meanings, the definitions….
God, His love, are constant, forever….He, it, does not change.

It is us who change…for we are constantly changing the relationship….redefining, altering
rewriting the rules…
We change the meanings, the importance, the intent of the words and all that is associated with the words…

Love doesn’t change.
Love remains the same.
God remains the same.
The meaning of God and of His love has never changed.
For God is God and therefore cannot change or alter who He is…
For God has always been and will always be…God.

We are the ones to change.
We grow tired, bored, lazy and wish to rewrite what we know.
We want our words and their meanings to accommodate our whims, our wills, our desires.
Not the other way around where we must accommodate to the word…
and in this case the love of God…

Despite our best efforts to twist the word, the meaning, the message the definition.
Love is still Love and Love is still God, and God is still love…
And we are still the object of that Love.

The question therefore remains…what will define our love and what will define our God?

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished
Malachi 3:6

REJOICE

Rejoice in the Lord always:
and again I say, Rejoice.

Philippians 4:4

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(a weathered statue of a welcoming Christ graces the hill above Kylemore Abbey / County Galway, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

Rejoice this day for unto you is born a Savior,
Christ the Lord.

His (John the Baptizer’s) father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days…

And so He has come…
God of God
Light of Light
Begotten of woman
Crucified
Dead
Buried
and Risen again for our Redemption and Deliverance

Rejoice and come to the banquet… claiming your place at the table and taking in all that is given…
Hope
Joy
Salvation…
All of which is offered to each man and woman, young and old, sick and in-firmed, lofty and simple…

Rejoice,
Again I say,
Rejoice!