WHAT A _______ FRIDAY! June 26, 2015—Supreme Court Ruling, Charleston Funeral, Gospel Sing at Whitehouse. (unedited)Review
In answer to a New York Times Op-ed: Why I Can’t Forgive Dylann Roof, Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Forgiveness does not mean condoning wrong. Forgiveness is release to God. At first it may not be a feeling but an act of the will. I will forgive. I pray God to give me the grace. Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them. They do not know what they do.”
The people of Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston are an example for us as they demonstrated how powerful is forgiveness. They told Dylann Roof they forgave him and prayed for his soul. The funeral of Rev. Pinckney was encouraging, revealing how God can bring good out of tragedy. “God works in mysterious ways,” President Obama said. He spoke of God’s grace—something we don’t deserve or earn—it is just given. He sang, “Amazing Grace” and after he started, the church and the organ joined him.
What if we, as a nation, had responded this way to 9/11? Some of the victims said, “Not in our name will you wage endless war, invade countries, bomb civilians, kill more children.” With such methods have we not recruited more terrorists? As a nation, we need forgiveness and God’s grace.
As I said, What a _______Friday!—June 26, 2015
I know--"What's that line doing? Well, it's a word and if you want to do what it is, you have to ask me privately. :) It's not a bad word, but some people. . .we have to be sensitive to our brothers and sisters!
I. Supreme Court ruling regarding Gay Marriage. I thought, "Oh, no--this can't be coming on the same day as the Charleston funeral of Rev. Clementa Pinckney!" I especially didn’t want it to overshadow the funeral or be used to further tear our nation apart. I prayed much in the Spirit and am so grateful Billye Brim told the people on the Kenneth Copeland program about a month ago that God told her to get as many people as possible to pray in the Spirit at least l/2 hour each day WITH NO AGENDA! "We do not know how to pray as we ought but the Holy Spirit groans and makes utterings according to the will of God. We speak mysteries." We may be praying for someone in Africa--In this holy language we did not learn coming not from our head but from our innermost being, our belly, our womb. In the book of Acts, they didn't have the New Testament. The Holy Spirit came upon them with tongues of fire. It's good if people pray in this language and some of their English prayers are canceled. Jessie Penn-Lewis said, "Sometimes you have to plead the blood of Jesus over you from some people's prayers." (I see I have to stop and leave this lesson for another time and get back to THE FRIDAY!
I am attaching my article, Ending the Gay Marriage Debate, Polk County Democrat, January 14. I want to be a peacemaker and address issues with God’s wisdom—to see the whole picture and not just one side or the other. God has solutions of peace. We are to find the mind of Christ.
II. Funeral at Mother Emmanuel-- around 4 hours--it play repeatedly on Cspan and into the night and early morning Saturday. The music, the speeches, I could feel the presence of God —so remarkable after such a tragedy! I didn’t expect to be so uplifted and inspired!
It was a celebration and I noticed that some people wore white. You can see why I would identify with this. You will remember that I wore white to Dick’s funeral.
If we would go on with the Lord, at some point we must learn to trust when we don't understand. I learned this through the death of Lori, subsequent miscarriage after waiting over a year and then the birth of my beautiful Jacinda.
Mother Emmanuel-- I love the name of the church—“Emmanuel, God with us” (God, both our Father and our Mother) “She shall cover us with Her feathers and under Her wings we shall trust. . . When the Holy Spirit is come, She shall guide you into all truth and show you things to come.” (In the original, the pronoun for the Holy Spirit is feminine.)
Memorize Psalm 91—God’s 911 #. Read out loud everyday for 10 days. Then shut the Bible and stumble through the best you can. See where you missed. Repeat. With children who cannot read—read for 10 days and then leave out words. Psalm 23, Psalm 100--short to start with. "The Lord is my_______"SHEPHERD!" Psalm 91 is the Protection Psalm as many give testimony--it saved my life. People will think your children are brilliant. I did this with my children. They said chapters when they were two. Rebecca recited the Luke Christmas story when she was 3 at First Baptist Jacksonville, Florida--it was on TV. (It seems we're free flowing--the Holy Spirit is like the wind--you can't put it in a box--hence no wind.
The Dwelling Place—progressive revelation--the Bible teaches progressive revelation.
(1) The Tabernacle: “ As Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for see, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 8:5
(2) Solomon’s Temple: “And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the Lrod must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory thourghout all countries.” I Chronicles 22:5
(3) Jesus, “Emmanuel, God with us.”
“Woman, believe me the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet in at Jerusalem worship the Father. . .God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” John 4
(4) The Holy Spirit “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” We are the Dwelling Place, the temple of the Lord through the Holy Spirit,
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Corinthians 6:19
“ Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” (II Corinthians 3:3)
“Then I will give them one heart and I will put a new Spirit within them and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19)
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house. . .” I Peter 2:5
Without the sound of a hammer,
God’s building today,
A house to dwell in,
Forever to stay.
How firm a foundation!
How great to behold,
Every stone that is placed therein,
Shines forth as gold!
What could be better than Our Eternal Mother with us? A mother’s love is unreasonable—nothing can stop it no matter what her child does. (I think of the mother of James Holmes, the boy with the orange hair in the Dark Knight Rises theater killing. She pleads for her son’s life, keeps a journal, prays for the victims. Can we empathize with the parents as they sit in the court room day after day knowing their son has caused so much grief? What could be worse? Wouldn’t this be even worse than your child being a victim?)
Today, June 29, on the Andrew Womack program he was talking about God’s grace. How you can’t earn it—he was doing all the right things but that didn’t give him peace—not until he realized grace as a free gift. It is grace received by faith. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom also we have access by faith in this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1,2) He pointed out that someone said that the Bible was written by murderers—Moses, David, Paul. What if we believed in redemption? How would that affect our prison system?
At the Charleston funeral we heard how grace is not something we earn or deserve, but God gives freely since it has been paid for by the blood of Jesus.
A story I’ve recited since college: “Dopshun in search of a Mother—about a little girl in an orphanage who is obsessed about adoption and getting a mother—so much so that at a program where she was supposed to recite Psalm 23, she said, “The Lord is my mother.” Actually, that’s right! Jesus is our Mother! This revelation came to Lady Julian (1342-1416). Written about 1395, her work, Revelations of Divine Love, is said to be the first book written in English by a woman. Jesus came to her and she saw Jesus as Mother. I first heard of her by this quotation, “All shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well.”
May, 2013, No Arms
I was at my son’s in Fleming Island—which is between Orange Park and St. Augustine. I rode my bike to the library thinking to get some books for my friend, Gerri, who is in a psychiatric ward in New York. Friends of the Library sell books for $1.00. One of the books I got was Chicken Soup for the Soul. I read one of the beginning stories entitled, A Family for Freddie.
It’s about a little boy in an adoption center without arms. Months go by and no one comes by to adopt him. There’s a couple who have been wanting to adopt for a long time, but they were told they didn’t have enough money or their house was too small. This is the family who adopt Freddie.
I wept when I read this story. Later when I read it to my grandchildren, Patrick Anabelle and Philip, I cried again. It is not unusual for me to get tears in my eyes and cry at movies or
when reading a book, but this was affecting me in a way beyond my understanding. I wondered, why is this story affecting me so much?
Sometimes you know things in your spirit that your mind has not yet figured out. A good example is the Norman Williams story. Before the plane crash, as was their custom before a trip, he and his mother put their hands on the Bible to pray for the trip. As they did so, his mother began to weep--she had never done that before. It was the greatest plane crash in aviation history. Norman Williams came through standing on, When you pass through the fire, it shall not burn you."
I told people about the story and read it again to my daughter’s children—Abigail, Robert and Jonathan. Jacinda said, “It’s a Mom thing.” Yes, it was, but. . .
I don’t look on Facebook very often, but one day I did and happened to see this entry by my daughter, Rebecca:
May 3, Noah’s question of the day: Mom, when I was born, did I have arms?
Just a few days after I read the story, Noah asked this question. My youngest daughter, Rebecca, lives in Brooklyn—I moved from Riverdale in the Bronx in April—so I used to be close by. I took care of him since his birth and one of the hardest things in my life has been to be separated from him. To know that Noah said this was a great comfort to me—to know that even though I was not physically near him, I was still bonded and connected to him.
I knew there was more the Spirit was saying through this story—
Everything in the physical is a shadow of the reality in the Spirit—arms—God’s arms.
I thought of these song words that go with Amazing Grace:
Amazing friends have been God’s arms
To hold and comfort me
And ‘tis by grace I now can see
My heart has been set free.
I heard Joseph Prince refer to “the arm of the Lord” in Isaiah 53:
“To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed. . .” He said this was Jesus—the arm of the Lord was Jesus.
Wanting to discover more I looked up “arm” and “arms” in a Biblical concordance.
I noticed that many verses speak of “God’s outstretched Arm.” Our holy Mother’s arm stretched out to us.
One morning I woke up and knew what it was about--Our Mother weeps. She stands without arms to help her. She needs for us to let the Word become flesh in us—that we might be hands and feet and voice and arms for her. Think of all the mothers of suffering children—incarcerated, medicated in psychiatric wards, refugees--some without water, shelter? Is this God’s will? No. After a catastrophe, someone said to God, “How could you let this happen?” God said, “How could you let this happen?”
Without God, we cannot; without us God will not—or rather God cannot. Kenneth Hagin says you can’t just pray and ask God to take the devil away. No, we have to do it. We have to resist the devil and command him in Jesus’ name to be gone. Prayer is so important. How grateful I am that we can pray in the Spirit for things beyond our understanding that we don’t even know we are praying about. However, someone said, Two simple prayers through the day are “Help” and “Thank You.”
We have freewill. The Word must become flesh in us. “Without God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1
If you did not see Charleston funeral, do go to C-span and see it.
3. Last event of Friday—Gospel Sing at the Whitehouse—I thought what a schedule for the President and Michelle!
One of the songs:
What a Fellowship, What a Joy Divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning, Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, Leaning on the everlasting arms.
2. O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms
3.What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Sheilah Hill, 1400 Old Bartow Eagle Lake Rd. #4110, Bartow, Florida 33830, (863) 904-7363; (863) 409-7071