Sep 17, 2014

Liebster Award

Hello friends! 

My dear cousin and kindred spirit, Emily Elizabeth over at the The Tansy Patch has nominated me 
with the Liebster Award to answer some questions. So without further ado, here they are!

1. What do you collect?
 I collect stuff that looks like it has potential--from abandoned furniture to old wine bottles and nearly anything cute and glass, such as mason and pickle jars (in hopes of crafting beautiful somethings one day such as outdoor lanterns or doing decorative table-scapes, or using them as goodie gift containers.…Oh the possibilities!).    

2. Who is your favorite literary hero? Heroine? 
Assuming this is outside the scope of the Bible, I'll go with Christian in John Bunyan's A Pilgrim's Progress because I identify so much with his struggles. 
As for the heroine, that would be: 
EITHER Jane Eyre, because she chose to do what was right according to God's Word despite the fact that her heart and every fiber wanted to do otherwise. And since the ability to do right is a supernatural gift of God, she apparently was well graced.
OR Elsie Dinsmore from Martha Finely's Elsie series because, despite the fact that her understanding of race and equality was messed up (aka she seems to be confused about human color in heaven), she did have a very tender heart toward God (which I would like to reflect).  

3. What is your favorite game?
Whew…not sure but I'll say Apples to Apples; it can be quite fun when played with funny people!

4. Would you rather ride in a hot air balloon or skydive?

My immediate response, perhaps for the shocking and exhilarating sound of it, was to skydive, but after further thought (in light of my sometimes inordinately large fear bone and the insaneness of the venture) I thought a hot air ballon ride might be more suited to my love of scenery…and would give me the chance to enjoy it for longer. So all that to say, I will go with the balloon ...for now. ;)

5. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?

A horse. Of course. I love the idea of riding through the high grass of open hills…*sigh*

6. What movie do you watch the most often?

Over the course of my lifetime I am not certain, but one movie comes to mind that my family watched a LOT as I grew up, and most of the time it was a seasonal thing to watch when Thanksgiving/Christmas time rolled around: It's A Wonderful Life.

7. What would you like to build or create one day?

I would like to build/create, by the grace of God, a home; not just a house where people eat and sleep; but a home. I want to nurture an environment in which creativity and happy childhood  flourishes while hard work, wisdom, and logic are learned; where my husband walks in from work to find forts in the back yard and castles made of pillows in the living room, where children laugh with each other and our family sings its Creator's praises, where children are taught that their greatest good is in knowing and treasuring God and loving His people, where the needy are cared for and hospitality abounds, where struggles make room for growing and tears fall into God's hands, where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is praised and cherished from the oldest to the youngest, where forgiveness abounds because Christ has forgiven, where God's Word is held dear and applied in all of life, where food is celebrated as a gift to enjoy and family is treasured. In short, I want Christ to build His Kingdom in our quarters and shed His light of love through our windows and doors by the work of our lives. For that is the work of our lives.  

8. What one item do you most desire to have in your future home? 

Oh this is tough…but I'll go with an internet connected computer, because I can write with it, get recipes, listen to music,  view pictures on it, and listen to audio books. 

9. Where is your favorite fictional place?

Narnia. It's like childhood adventure in a wardrobe world, what's not to like? 

10. What was your favorite toy when you were little?

I had cabbage patch baby doll when I was really little, and I must have liked it pretty well at one time, because I remember that I missed it when I realized that we didn't bring it back from Albania when we moved back to the US.

11. If you could meet one person from the past, who would it be?
(Other than Jesus because He is not confined to the past due to the fact that He is risen) I'll say Corrie Ten Boom, because I would like to hear more about her experience not only during WWII but her life before and after. She has been an inspirational character to me.

May 15, 2014

Time to Say Goodbye... and Hello

I have to say goodbye,
but tears are in my eyes
as I turn towards home--
Summer and a life ahead.

Learning more of His Word,
His power far above,
His provision when I fail,
and His capacity to love:

Reformation has occurred
through His saints,
through His Word.
And yet I need far more.

I am parched as I long for
deeper faith,
higher joy,
more contentment,
and trust.
Lord draw me near,
hold me tight,
teach me--
You must!

You promised to fill
the righteous hunger of the soul
So make me clean, Jesus,
and please, make me whole!

the welling spring
that makes my heart anew,
but You, oh God,
Who know my life
can quench me with Your truth.

Forgive me for my many sins,
all my rebellion and shame,
because of Jesus Christ
Who lived, loved, and fully obeyed.

Praise You God!
For Your call to prayer,
that You hear the humble
and promise to care.

Be with me
'till the day I die,
You are my God,
to You I cry.

Take my hands
and lead my heart.
Lord, now I pray,
Complete Your art.

(15 May 2014 saying goodbye to Reformation Bible College)

Jan 2, 2014

Taste and see!

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Psalm 34:8-10 (ESV)

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
~ Psalm 119:7-11

Oh, God over all,
Who feeds the starving,
Make me hungry to receive
the sweetness and the meat.

Let Your nourishing Word
give me pleasure and strength.
Let Your will and glory
be my heavenly drink.

By Your Spirit enable me to treasure You--
loving more Your holy ways!
In my heart let Your praises ever ring,
You, Whose splendor breaks the dawn of endless days!

Dec 25, 2013

Wonder of wonders.

Stop. Breathe it in.
God the Son--Maker of lightning, spherical worlds, and musical wonder, the Word of God in Sinai's thunder--wrapped Himself in human flesh. He Who created man to bear His image stooped to wear the image of man.

Adam broke the reflection of God's glory that the Spirit breathed into him and bequeathed to humanity darkened hearts of sin. Traitors to the King of Glory, humans now hated Him. The very One Who gave us breath and sunlight's rays, we fled from His presence and hid from His face.

Now the Father, Son and Spirit in love's greatest triumph worked out redemption for His chosen people. The only price that could pay our debt would need to be eternal. The only One that could save us wretches is One Who was by sin unsoiled. That He might fire the shattered mirror of His chosen seed, the Father sent His Son to pay the penalty. Under the hot wrath of His own justice, He proved to be the smooth and clear reflection of the Father on behalf of humanity.

The new Adam, Jesus, embodied the beauty of what mankind was made to be and was the glory of God united with humanity. As we remember the birth of the ultimate King, may we be broken and filled with joy as we realize the amazingness of God's grace to those who fear Him and are covered by Christ's blood. The God of heaven and earth owed us His incalculable wrath, but chose to take up flesh to keep true justice for the sake of His mercy. Unutterable mercy. We are called to repent (live lives pursuing holiness: turning away from our sins and toward goodness) and believe (rest in Who He was/is/will be and what He did/does/will do). For our God is an awesome, glorious, holy, and just King. Hallelujah amen!

Nov 29, 2013

Only One Can Wake (For the evangelists trying to share Christ with people about to kill their babies)

Only One Can Wake
by Jessica Dickens

Though the wind of our words grows
causing them to shake
their bony fingers clutch
and rattling fists make.

These skeletons of humanity
these cowards—rebels in the fray
their skulls wag in the wind of preaching.
Yet they have no hearts to break.

They know not God,
And could not care less.
What skeleton desires
what for his soul is best?

The silent screams, they do not hear
of their own helpless young,
they care for self and have no ears
numb: they go un-stung.

“Oh!” we cry in desperation,
“How can we wake the dead?!
They cannot hear our voices calling
or follow what is said!”

And then I remember,
as I am forced to see,
I’m just as helpless at saving others
as I would be at saving me.

You see,
I was a skeleton,
just as hard and cruel
with no heart to break
no ears to burn
no feeling:
a fool.

I too, a sinner fierce,
was cold as icy stone
No human voice could pierce
my dead dry bones.

But God—
two words ever great—
stepped down into the gap
and ransomed my fate.

By the blood of Christ,
the power of the Spirit
working through His Word,
then it was that I awoke
then it was that I heard.

I heard the truth that set me free.
Indeed I could not sway,
For when God grabs a heart
His power cannot be stayed. 

So as we stand in tears of anguish
wishing they could hear
let us realize once again,
only God can give them fear.

Ah yes! He Who chose to create
hearts of tender beating flesh
can speak through His word 
and truly wake the dead!

Not our words have power to move
apart from His behest.
So pray that His will be done
and in His Spirit rest.

We are not called to give up,
when we see that we are weak,
we are called to look up
and pray that He would speak.

Oh, Spirit of God,
we cannot make anew
You alone have the power,
now show Your power true! 

Nov 14, 2013

Ode to Fluffy Britches

Dear Fluffy Britches,
I thought I'd write you a poem,
you know, in light of you turning 18.
And you had sure better enjoy it,
if you know what I mean!

You were a slightly chunky child,
born when I was four,
born to be a blessing,
a challenge
my friend
and more.

You've been my play buddy
for many a day and year
climbing trees, building forts,
learning how to skin the deer.

Splashing in streams,
training as spies,
We'd be clanging about
in old fashioned sword fights.
We'd make bow and arrows,
shoot Daddy's guns,
traipse through the woods
to where the Cadron runs.

Yeah and we'd go fishing,
play baseball too,
yep, we played bat the ball
--just me and you.

We had some snow fights,
made snowmen, and angels.
We laughed too much,
yeah, you nearly strangled!

We split many a log,
and stacked the wood.
So much kindling we hauled
but the work was good.

When I had a bargain to make
I'd barter with chess:
you do such and such
and I'd play at request.

Through the "pasture" we'd run,
on the path to Papaw's house,
to get cookies or cinnamon buns
and  watch cartoons for hours.

We played with matchbox cars
and your fancy Power Rangers,
you horsed around as Zorro,
loved Roy Rogers and Lone Ranger.

But alas, I cannot write it all,
the adventures we had,
the problems we solved!
My memory flees to childhood.

But as we grew older,
your voice squeaked and changed.
We rode horses in the mountains
and horses on the range.

We learned to love liberty,
listened to debates with Ron Paul,
were soon to be a campaigning,
with him "for the long haul!"

We practiced many an
analytical thought,
subjecting many arguments
to what the Bible taught.

We still do snow fights,
We still debate,
And we still fall down
then extend God's grace.

18 years ago, that cool November day,
when God destined you to breathe,
He knew, 18 years down the road, exactly what I'd say:
You've been a blessing on my life,
though tough times we've seen,
and on that day, those years ago
a gift I was bequeathed:
my special younger brother.

I love you, Josiah!
Happy Birthday!


Jul 30, 2013

Grace like water

I need grace like water
As dry ground needs the rain,
Enough grace to seal the cracks
To heal the guilty pain.

I need Christ the Potter
To break me gentle--mold me firm
Until I humbly bow
a reforming urn.

I need His Spirit's wind
In the sail of my soul
To ignite hot gratitude
For His making me whole.

Oh, how I fail daily!
Yes, in thought word and deed.
Yet every sin of mine
Is covered in mercy.

Bloody--violent mercy
Bought with pain unknown
Except by His own dear beaten brow.
Yes. To Him belongs the throne.

Come reign, my Lord, within!
Give strength for killing sin!
May my heart beat hard with love for You
For in Your grace You showed love in truth!

Jul 4, 2013

Calling all patriots!

There is one hope for our country: salvation through Jesus Christ unto the work of repentance, faith, and love. Let us grasp our Savior, in gratitude for His amazing mercy, and let us repent of our lack of fervor, witness, prayer and action for our country. Then let us rise from our knees to love a land that's dying with the the healing salve of the one true Gospel and all it's implications! Have a richly blessed Fourth of July! Remember the freedoms gone by and press the King of heaven above for their restoration! Or better yet, pray for the greatest awakening yet which will set men free in the truest and most beautiful way ever!

Our grip is loose upon the gold
of yesteryears' freedom,
It slips like sand from a cold dry hand
as our country wanes--self beaten.
We grasp. Grasp.
Yet find our efforts squelched.
Those who swear to uphold our rights
Slap our hands who dare grip them tight.

"No, no!" They say,
"Only our way!
"You must not: Sell real, raw, healthy milk,
Or grow crops enough to feed the poor to the hilt,
Or pray in the public schools
where murder is rampant,
promiscuity the game,
and drugs and Planned Parenthood
universally famed!
The name of Jesus--oh mums the word!
Only let the name of Allah everywhere be heard!
We'll use your money
to fund mass murder, within the womb,
Of millions of children
By hundreds of fools.
We will protect your right to be right-less
in the name of freedom,
While the only one infringing is
us and all our illegal legislation.
You see,
the second amendment,
Ha! Why that's just a joke--
probably framed by some right winged folk!
And you don't need privacy
Who needs that?!
Except us closed-door, body guarded, sniper shooting bureaucrats!    
As for the freedom of speech,
speak as much as you like about what ever you will
So long as we approve of your Godless spill.
We are selling you to China
So we can run our wars--
You know-- fighting those governments that want us off their shores,
slaughtering innocent with little reprieve,
They were in the wrong the place, you see, not we.
And we'll send your troops to fight and die
On soil not ours, for reasons not right.
We are sure we know better
how to run your medicinal affairs
than your local doctor and nurses
who know you and care.
Socialized medicine sounds truly great!
So you can wait in endless lines
to be prioritized by your expiration date.
We'll remove the cross from your chaplains arms
And silence the Gospel--burning Afghanistan Bibles
rather than let the military hand them out.
But we'll let you petition on our website,
So we'll know how to pose until electing time.

*sigh* we just don't understand
Why you don't like us...
What have we ever done?!"

Jun 28, 2013

Live, love, and listen. Before it's too late.

Just sitting on the side porch glider talk'n with Mom in the "cool" of dark. Friends, let's not waste it, if we still have parents, let's talk to them and listen. Listen while we have them. Before their voices are only fading memories. Before you regret the time lost. I have grown up in the elder care world and the reality of age that relentlessly takes us all to our eternal home-- endlessly leaving others behind-- is real and not to be ignored. We may think we have a lot of time, but the truth is we never know for certain how much longer we really have. Live today. Soak up the gift of conversation, real conversation, realizing that others have thoughts to share and vantages that you may just miss if you aren't careful. I tend to forget how precious it is to have them still here, to be able to talk to them and have them answer. But I lost a brother when I was 14, and you see, there is no talking to them when they're gone, there is no chance to hug them, no chance to love them then, until you meet again on the other side. Let's fight the temptation to live on auto-pilot with the wrong things as goals. Let's make it our goal to reflect Christ from pure hearts and enjoy His reflection in others around us. 

Jun 5, 2013

Not called to complacency but the application of His truth to all

Sometimes I wonder if it is good to share gruesome pictures of our holocaust (as I do on FB). But then I think of William Wilberforce and consider that perhaps they might just be used to move people to do something just as his escapade to the slave ship was used to fill the nostrils of the jovial dainty people with the stench of death. Death. Brutal. Murderous. Legal. Hellish. Breathe it in people. Breath it in until you are sick of the Slavery of sin, sick of the blind eyes turned, and sick of the politically correct and damnable behavior of our country and this world as they murder children inside and out of the womb. May God shake us to our core over our own complacency and lack of care. Shake us until we wake up dare to take Christ's banner of reign into every area of life and every stance of social implication, to tackle any political question. There is no grey ground with God. We must search the Scripture in light of itself and it's context in order to apply it now to our own society. This is vital if we are to witness a thoroughgoing and truly Great Awakening. God help us.

God did not shield the prophets eyes from the sight of the open graveyard, human bones desolate and dead. Rather He called him to action in Ezekial 37, He called him to prophesy. So as you are stung by the grotesqueness of it all--every human corpse picture mangled from its mother's womb, take a serious look at your life and ask: what is God calling me to do? Perhaps He wants you to hit the streets outside the abortion mills and prophesy the truth of God's just character and ensuing wrath but also the hope of redemption to the repenant in Christ. Perhaps you are to get your church involved in the fight.

The reason why our action is important is not because we are saved by our action but that we are saved unto action. Christ is not a Joker to rule over some emotional throb of your heart and let every other area of your life be run as you please. He is Lord over every last molecule. Politics is not excluded from His rule. The fact that some twist Scripture to read their own agenda into it does not negate the fact that there is nevertheless a single truth. Truth does not contradict itself. We as Christians should be the last ones to shy away from controversy when it comes to justice, mercy, life, and death. All of life--political or otherwise--is to be brought into submission to Christ's will as expressed in His Word. No exception. We are to speak up for those who are appointed to die unjustly and to hate every evil because we are His--made in His likeness, to love life and mercy. Now let's go live as Robbin Hoods of the true King, and fight all evil and usurpation of His reign until He returns. Let us never be said to have ducked into the bushes as the battle raged on our own lands. 

Eph. 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

May 16, 2013

A poem story

Here is a poem that I wrote to sum up my beliefs when preparing to come to Reformation Bible college. One year later I have learned so much and hope that I will someday be able to capture some of it in poetry. But for now here is the pre-RBC load down. :)

Long before the land was seen
And far yon from earthen time
The triune King of Heaven 
Inscribed His plan divine.

He would create a world to glint
And fiery sun to shine,
But far beyond these wondrous things
 He planned to use mankind.

The human race would bare
His spark of thinking mind
And would come to show the glory 
Of God’s character and might.

Alas! With eyes to see they chose to be blind
For they would turn aside to rebel.
So Adam’s sin bequeathed the human heart
with hating God and earning Hell.

Those acts of  Eve and Adam
 to God were no surprise. 
For He‘s the Master writer
Of beauty from demise. 

The Maker’s story was not at end
As Satan might would wish.
For God had His plot before 
And His works He’ll always finish.

He had purposed to use their evil 
to let His glory gleam
And for His hidden reasons 
He chose some to redeem.

Christ wrapped Himself in human flesh 
to bear my sinner’s load
He faced the heat, touched the filth, wore the spit
Of hateful human goads

But earnest pain was felt indeed
When He who did love God 
Was left to hang upon that tree
To bare His Father’s trod.

He died without His Father’s smile,
Which He, for ere had known,
Because when God looked down on Him
He saw my heart of stone.

The grace is more than can be bound
In books of silvered leaves!
For God had mercy on my soul 
And to my soul He cleaves!

Christ could not be chained by death forever
For He is stronger still
He my Savior lovely lives
He who concord death and Hell!

May 3, 2013

God will in perfect time let loose His just wrath!

In our murderous and wicked society it's good to be reminded that God is not blind and He will repay. Yet for mercy we may even still pray.

"O LORD, God of vengeance,
O God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
repay to the proud what they deserve!
O LORD, how long shall the wicked,
how long shall the wicked exult?
They pour out their arrogant words;
all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O LORD,
and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the sojourner,
and murder the fatherless;
and they say, “The LORD does not see;
the God of Jacob does not perceive.”
Understand, O dullest of the people!
Fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
He who teaches man knowledge—
the LORD—knows the thoughts of man,
that they are but a breath.
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD,
and whom you teach out of your law,
to give him rest from days of trouble,
until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the LORD will not forsake his people;
he will not abandon his heritage;
for justice will return to the righteous,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.
Who rises up for me against the wicked?
Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the LORD had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
those who frame injustice by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
But the LORD has become my stronghold,
and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will bring back on them their iniquity
and wipe them out for their wickedness;
the LORD our God will wipe them out."
(Psalm 94 ESV)

Apr 15, 2013

Upon a Cross

Upon a cross so long ago,
my Lord died for me
there burdened by my guilt and hate
was speared on Calvary's tree.
Precious Prince of life,
Lover of my helpless soul,
He chose to shed His sacred blood
to wash me clean
and make me whole.
I cannot repay the eternal debt I owe
but am blessed for eternity
His praises forth to show.

by Jessica Dickens

Apr 10, 2013

Mar 7, 2013

There is a power greater: God's Spirit in prayer

(photo taken from Facebook)
Do you mind having a militaristic government that uses your money to fund murder both of millions of infants as well as the murder of foreign civilians in un-declared war, and has now decided that its right to murder extends beyond those categories to anyone the president so chooses to add to his "kill list" ?
Well, then join me in praying for the Holy Spirit to humble our nations leaders and laymen before Jesus Christ. And pray that as we turn from our sin, that humbled and God fearing men will stand up for what is good, just, and merciful even if it means risking life or limb. Please pray for the protection and blessing of men like Rand Paul who have stood up despite the odds and despite the fact that in so doing he has painted a target on himself. And please join me in seeking to look into the mirror of God's Word  to take seriously our own short comings in such a way that we would be equipped to do as John Owen rightly advised: "Be killing sin or it will be killing you."

Feb 27, 2013

To the Rest

Jeremiah, my brother,
He beat me to the Rest.
My race is still unfinished,
my flesh still here to test.

He is freed now
from sin’s haunting call
while I hear its voice
still echo in the hall.

He no longer worries
about what others think,
content to bask in Jesus
His Spirit’s peace to drink.

I still have to struggle
and fears arise indeed,
but the One who came for him
is coming back for me.

Yes! To Jesus I will fly
sooner than I know
though time, now at times,
does feel rather slow.

I too will see my Father
with my life afresh and bright
and I’ll stand beside my brother
As we cry “Worthy is our Christ!"  

by Jessica Dickens

Feb 16, 2013

Jan 10, 2013

The tongue's power

Sometimes reality hits you and you realize that there should be more to friendship than the ability to "burn" with the best joke. There is something about our culture that is fraught with careless ways of speaking. I fear we may do more damage than good when we "joke" about others too much or in the wrong way. I am seeing that the proverb which says,  "like a man who throws firebrands and arrows is one who says, 'I was only joking'." Vigilantly guard your tongue, always watching what you say and how  you say it. I find that I have this problem myself. Don't get me wrong, proper humor is good, but let's be careful not to make other people the target of sharp and witty words. For if we let fly our smart elic arrows they may cut behind the laugh, they may hurt behind the smile. Remember your tongue is a dangerous thing. 

However, the tongue can be used for much good by God's grace. Encourage. Speak the truth in pure love. Bolster the good in others. Build up with useful knowledge. Call evil "evil," and good, "good". Let the praise of God role freely out. Let gratitude be continually on your lips. Let your tone be kind and patient, your content pure and peaceable, your melody echoing with God's glory and true joy. This, my friend, will come with practice and with steeping yourself in His words. Was He gentle? Was He wise? Was He careful of the needs of others? Was He frivolous and full of pretended burn? Or did He tell it like it was without quenching a smoking flax or breaking a bruised reed? I do not call for false presence, but for genuine, gentle, tactful honesty and the kind of humor that we know Jesus would approve of. 

Be jovial but kind
With words of truth
And wisdom's mind.

Be gentle and meek
But bring the truth
And rightly speak.