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Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

A Walk with Willow

     There is a secret among some equine enthusiasts who desperately desire to own their first horse. One is good. But two are better. Three will love you. Four will thrill you. Five is uneven. And, six will complete you…unless you have room for one or two more.

     We already had five horses when Willow came looking for me.   She’s a six-year-old quarter cross, (half Quarter horse/half Tennessee Walker) seized with several others in a serious neglect case.
Since she was strong enough to survive on her own, rescuers attended to the sicker horses, and let her go out to graze.

     An unexpected email in my inbox asking if I might be interested in this black beauty peaked my curiosity. Since I didn’t go “looking” for her I thought it was safe to say this might be part of a grander plan. So, I put out a fleece like Gideon did in the Old Testament book of Judges. I asked God to confirm for me if I should attempt to take this untrained horse home. In my mind, if she let me halter her, and obeyed a few simple commands, then I had God’s “go-ahead” and Willow was mine.

     She did everything I asked and I accepted her obedience as a big bold YES from God.

     But then a few weeks later when it was time to transport her, she put up an incredible fight refusing all
attempts to load on the trailer. Three stressful hours later, with much persuasion, she finally submitted; but by then I was having second thoughts. The entire painful process left me walking on wobbly knees of wavering faith.

     By the time we got home she had settled down, she unloaded gracefully, walked slowly into the round pen, and posed for pictures.

     Then the rains came, the snow blew in, and the ground froze up.

     By the time the ground thawed all that was left was thick, slick, mud.

     I’m not opposed to suiting up in my outdoor armor…coveralls, neck warmer, insulated ski gloves, ear band, double socks, and muck boots but it was way
too dangerous to work with her. So, she stood her ground and I stood mine, squaring off like two gunslingers at high noon. I would move to the right, she would move to the left. I would move to the left, she would move to the right. I would reach for her halter and she would tremble and turn away.

     One friend recommended a natural supplement that would help calm her…it worked wonders…for two days.

     Another person suggested I ignore her, walk away, and let her stew in her own stubbornness. I did. She did. It only worked once.

     And finally another friend said, “This might not work. You may have to admit it was a mistake and send her back.” Thank God He does not feel that way about me. I probably would have been returned a long time ago.

     Since I am, at best, an amateur, I consulted a professional. The trainer recommended I be the only one to feed and water Willow so she would see I was now her sole source of survival.

     Willow understood. But, she is very smart and by Day 17 she was only inching up to the bucket of oats. She shuddered at the slightest move of my hand as I made many attempts to touch her.

     Remember, this is a horse I haltered and took for a walk the very first day.

     Since I believed God had given me the go-ahead to bring her home, I assumed she would respond to my requests. I was praying the whole time, but while I was dropping to my knees, my mind was already outside in the round pen. And, I struggled.

     One hundred days is the amount of time some of the Mustang tamers take…so that was the amount of time I told my friends and family I was prepared to train. What I really meant was more like two weeks.

     I was okay not being able to ride her. I just wanted to touch her. Hug her. Kiss her. I wanted her to recognize this relationship was good and I wanted her to love me. Those were the words that came pouring out when I was right on the verge of giving up.   And, my husband reminded me of the words spoken by Jesus, “…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

     If you only read my horse stories you might think me a failure. I sometimes feel like a failure; well actually I feel that way a lot. But, then I go over to see the other horses and I am reminded to take my time and trust. As my husband gives me a leg up and I hop on our horse Judah who stands perfectly still out in the middle of our pasture…the wind blows, the sun beams down, and I thank God for the moment… remembering that in some ways Judah was once worse than Willow. It took me months to catch her and a couple of years before she decided she was as hopelessly in love with me as I was with her.

     Judah still walks away from me at times…she heads out as far away as she can get only to discover there is no one out there who will clean those little boogie things out of her eyes, there is no one to dig the packed mud out of her big flat feet, there is no one to prick the ends of their fingers picking cockleburs from her mane and tail… and she returns. She nudges me with her nose, let’s me kiss all over her face, bears up under the full body hugs I press against her neck, and she fully submits to the fact that I am her Alpha.

     So I decide yet again, to submit to mine. Every day I try to inquire of the Lord. There are days, sometimes weeks, when I don’t work with Willow. I try to be patient. She seems to be learning from the herd, so I let it be. There are other days when we accomplish what I consider to be serious milestones in her training. We are not all the way there. But the difficulties continue to draw me and I inquire again and again.

     Willow is becoming more social, allowing others besides me to groom, feed, and lead her.
I’ve been up in the saddle several times; and Sunday September 10th, with the help of my husband, son, and a
dear friend, I rode her in a few round pen circles. You can tell she’s a bit confused but she remained calm. We brought her home in December and I didn’t get to ride her for the first (2nd, 3rd, 4th…) times until September. I’ve now fully accepted that horse training cannot be measured in hours, but understanding…hers and mine.

     There were many late nights listening to praise music together. Mornings when all I did was sit close by and let her relax on my watch. I still find myself bypassing the prayers and running right out to the pen, anxious to see what we can accomplish. But, every time I think, “I’ve got this,” God reminds me that I train on his terms and his timetable. He’s going to do a mighty work in Willow. I can sense it. And, so, I wait.

“For the dream comes through much effort…”

Ecclesiastes 5:3

 

“Breaking a pony is the fast way, gentling a pony is the sure way.”

~Grandpa Beebe, Misty of Chincoteague

 

“Ask often, be content with little, reward generously.”

~Jack Brainard, Legendary Horse Trainer

 

God often puts us in these places because no matter

how much we know, we still have to be reminded.

~Greg Mangrum, Farrier

How is God working in your life?

What is He teaching you?

What draws you to Him time and again?

Do you inquire of Him or go it alone?

 

© Copyright 2017, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Willing to be Wounded

Star must have taken many blows.  

The marks on her body displayed the evidence.  

Sweat had dried and hardened her golden hair.  Her eyes were weary, yet strong, and determined.  

While every animal instinct should have had her on the front line of defense, she had turned and faced her own herd, in order to protect Princess Olive, a young, previously mistreated, and now permanently deformed filly.  She took much of what was actually meant for the little interloper. 

Although, by all appearances, a horribly cruel encounter for any new one, it is but a necessary reshuffling of the hierarchy in order to determine the parameters of the herd.  Each equine encounter ends in a

showdown decision.  One will dominate; the other will submit. When Star saw the overwhelming odds against Olive, she stood her ground.  As the only mare in the pasture who has ever given birth, we believe she knew the difference in this little defenseless lamb and was determined to defend and protect her.

Initially, as is a good practice when putting any new horse in an established herd, we placed them in separate pastures.  We even put our little donkey with Olive for overnight protection. But when we turned our backs to retrieve water, she effortlessly jumped the 4-foot dividing fence and ran right into the middle of our anxious herd.  We were paralyzed by the absolute awe of it.  Here we were trying to help this little rescued fragile filly and yet she was gutsy enough to run right into the middle of six healthy horses more than twice her size.

We run right into the middle of many messes.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Unfortunately, Olive was wounded in her foolish attempt to force her way into their world.  But her wounds are healing.  Star took most of what was meant for Olive, put a hedge of protection around her, and stood so Olive could lay down and sleep.  We lost an entire day of work just watching this unique display of selfless love play out in our little leased pasture.  God does some of his greatest miracles in what we might all perceive as the most unlikely of places.

It has taken a few days but, literally, the dust has settled. Olive has been accepted.  She has established herself in herd position and gets to push the little donkey…because she can.  She ventures out alone looking for
him…hoping to prove her dominance.  We’ve also seen her push the mares that rank upper middle. She struts her stuff when they move out of her way.  But, what we see, that she doesn’t see, is Star standing guard, parting that path, giving Olive confidence, and making a way where there is no way.

I was pushed back and about to fall but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my defense he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:13

          Our Lord’s lessons play out all around us.  Some we see, some we take for granted, and more often than we ought, we take credit. He is still our rock, our refuge, an ever-present help in trouble…our bright and morning STAR!

 Princess Olive was rescued by an amazing agency whose volunteers found her on a filthy farm, locked in a horse trailer with no food or water.  They cleaned her up, gave her lots of love, and now she lives with us…fostered by a friend of ours who also exhibits selfless love.

We are humbled and honored to have the opportunity to teach Olive that she is a Princess and that her physical disabilities do not devalue her sweet existence.  She is worthy of all the love we can lavish on her.  And we look forward to all that God has planned.

Father, forgive the man who abused her…for surely he knew not what he did!

© Copyright 2017, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

“Hi, Friends!”

          The first ride of the day often starts with a horse sneezing on the back of our bare legs. It’s usually followed by horse hooves kicking hot sand a couple of feet in the air to stick and stay right below the back of our knees.  The grains of sand that aren’t picked HI Friends 7up like little hitchhikers jump in the back of our boots. Sweat is already seeping into our socks to join the water sloshed in there that morning while we were filling eight individual buckets. We’re about to take a test ride around the arena to see if we dare leave the safety of the sand and the security of the fencing.  And, it is now when the stress level slowly begins to creep its way up.  

          Children who sometimes boast of their riding skills realize they are still beginners. Those who have taken English lessons on a tight rein try to wrap their understanding around a Western trail horse that wants the freedom of its mouth. And while many kids ride for the very first time, thrilled with what is finally happening, others are in tears begging to be brought back down on solid ground.

          There are four of us. Two directors. Two counselors. There are 16 of them. Eight kids. Eight horses. We usually have 20-30 minutes to get all the kids on a horse, get them going in the same direction, get them to listen to us (the kids and the horses) and override each and every opportunity our equine friends find for mischief. You know the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”? Well, it’s true! It’s also bankable information that you can take well-trained horses, put them in random riding situations every hour for five hours, and see them react in ways that will either throw your heart into overdrive or melt it in one memorable moment. Our emotions, if monitored during one ride, would look like an electrocardiogram right before a heart attack. Hi Friends 8 copyThe intensity can be indescribable, while the satisfaction at the end of a good ride can be quite soothing. But, what is constant in our world of unknown equestrian circumstances is a greeting we often receive, if and when, we venture out of the arena onto the open trails.

          “Hi, friends!”  

          The young woman easily voted Counselor of the Year at our children’s farm day camp is so full of light that she helps all of us walk right out of the darkness. Just those two words, “Hi friends,” spoken in genuine kindness, sincere sweetness and a directness that makes you feel as if you are here among the best of friends…those two little words carry amazing power. HI friends 6 We see her, we hear her, and we know her heart for the children, the horses and us; and, with those words, our fear washes away, our stress is released, and even our legs, still gripping grains of sand, feel strong and determined to walk the road ahead.

          In a place where my words look for ways to join in the cacophony of complaints, Miranda chooses her words carefully.  She is quick to listen and slow to speak, and like Proverbs 12:18 tells us, her wise words bring healing.

          If asked about her life, I would have supposed she had an idyllic childhood. I would have further ventured to guess that she has been so much the center of someone’s attention, the art of making other people feel special, just came naturally to her. But what I’ve found out is that her life has not always been fairy tales and princesses.   She’s had some struggles along the way…she rises above them. Instead of focusing on herself and “what could have been,” what “might have been,” or what “she may have missed,” she looks out ahead of herself for the next face she’s about to see.

          During a recent late night dinner, a bunch of us were gathered around a table at a 24-Hour Steak and Shake. I was on the Hi Friends 2opposite end and wasn’t always privy to her conversations. The next day, I was told she engaged others in a way they had never experienced. Full on, eye-to-eye, completely engrossed in what they were saying and obviously, genuinely interested. Those who might have felt awkward, uncomfortable, or on the outside of the little group, were immediately put at ease, welcomed in, and not just made a part, but an important part of all that was happening.

          In a world war-torn by angry and aggressive words, where what we want to say often outweighs what others might care to contribute, she honors others above herself.

         Hi Friends It’s why we all wanted to spend time with her. It’s why the kids clung to her, crying, begging, and not wanting to leave even though it was time to board the buses.

          Sumer camp is over

          The horses are grazing gracefully in the pasture as if nothing ever happened.

          And, Miranda’s life is about to change. She’s on her way to a big exciting city to pursue a graduate degree in social work. She’s confessed her fears and little bouts of anxiety. Still, she knows not to worry about tomorrow, for God has promised tomorrow will take care of itself.

          Her wise words will bring healing in her new exciting city as they did at our dusty hot summer camp. Proverbs 13:2 tells us she will be blessed because of the words she chooses. Just those two words that wield such amazing power.

          “Hi, friends!”

Hi Friends 4

 © Copyright 2014, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserve

I Wish I Had Known

     It wouldn’t have done any good for someone to tell me the things I wish I had known in my 20’s.  I was headstrong, determined and still a little bit angry.  Looking back on life sure brings things into a different point of view.

     I wish I had known in my 20’s that my body was about as perfect as it was ever going to be. 

     I wish I had known kindness would get me further than competition.

     Could someone have told me that trying to control everything would hurt more than help?

     Would I have listened?

     I wish I had known some of my most prized possessions would be those that took thought and not money.

    Could someone have told me a career was going to be fun but not necessarily fulfilling?

    In my 20’s, I still thought prayer was part of my duty and not an incredible privilege.

    I wish I had known God truly is the source of all good things and the quicker I put my own agenda aside, the better off I would be.

    I wish I had known then that I really did have a soul mate so I could have avoided all that angst.

    It might have been amusing to know one day my son would say the day I spent playing a Jimmy Neutron video game with him still ranks as one of the best days of his life.

    If I had known some of these things, I would have worried less, quit trying to change things and relaxed a little. 

    Stress, anxiety and worry only make you old, even in your 20’s.

    The Bible says:

“In the day of prosperity be

happy,

But in the day of adversity

consider-

God has made the one as

well as the other”

     I’ve always seen adversity as something gone wrong…but when God is growing us… it can only be right. 

     Adversity does send me to my knees far more than prosperity. 

He never leaves me there.

He always brings me through.

I was wild and free

And no one could have told me

But my how the years have flown

I really wish I had known.

What do you wish someone would have told you?

Would you have listened?

If only I had known… all I had to do was lose one pound a year and I could have lost the 20 pounds I’ve been trying to lose for the last 20 years. 🙂

Before I get any older, somebody please tell me something else I should probably know!!!

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Freshly Pressed

         Audio and Music version

          When I was growing up, my mother and grandmother ironed everything.  They would take their ironing board to the living room, change the setting on the flimsy metal legs so the board was waist-high, then sit down while they ironed, so they could watch their “stories.”  Ironing was a thankless hot job, but at least they got to see who had checked into General Hospital or who was following the Guiding Light.

          I swore off of soap operas years ago when my son told his teacher I watched them “all day long!”  The only one I really kept up with was The Young and the Restless, and I only watched it because it came on at lunchtime.  But if my child thought it was excessive, it was time to stop.  So I stopped watching, but I kept ironing.

          I also iron everything.  Most of my friends think I’m crazy, but it hasn’t kept me from creasing my son’s school khakis or pressing my husband’s pants.  I even iron t-shirts, shorts and blue jeans.

          Wrinkle free clothing just looks nice.  It makes you feel good.  It’s attention to detail in a ratty old world.

          It would be nice if we could just iron out all the wrinkles in our relationships. I’m a fan of acting like nothing ever happened when it comes to mending the messes that I make and it works really well if the other person also prefers that plan.  But sometimes we have to put more effort into it, make up for what we did or said, and then try to move on.  Sometimes we have to push past our own prejudices and refuse to fall into that old trap of thinking someone else’s sin is worse than our own.

          When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  He didn’t say some of the law and the prophets hang on those two commandments, he said ALL of them do.

          What if we could iron out the differences between Republicans and Democrats, men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, Apple and Dell? 🙂 What if, as women, we were the first to quit pointing fingers at each other, to quit judging each other by some sin scale we were taught as children, to open our hearts and minds and really believe that ALL the commandments hang on the two Jesus cited?  We can’t condemn, we can’t judge, we can’t hate the other woman’s hair, dress or make-up if we are loving others as we do ourselves.  It doesn’t matter what we think of abortion, gay rights, paper or plastic.  Love is the bottom line.  We can love someone solely because they were made in God’s image or, better yet, because He told us to.  It doesn’t mean we have to invite them over for Sunday brunch. 🙂

          We’re all in this together.  Even in the Garden of Eden where Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the Serpent and everybody was judging everybody else for what each one had done wrong, they were still in it together.  They had to learn to live together.  They had to overcome the blame game and who did what to whom or whose sin was worse than the other and they had to learn to love again.  As the World Turns wouldn’t have worked any other way.  They just had to iron it out. 🙂

We would love for you to join us on this journey.

Just click on the little box in the upper right hand corner and

an email will be sent to you when I think of something else I just have to say.

🙂

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

GREAT Things Happen all at ONCE!

  Audio Version

     The cell phone rang when I was half way across town running a routine errand. “Our cousin is moving to Florida and he has two horses he wants to give away,” my aunt announced.  “He’s had offers, but he wants someone who will love them.”

     My heart pounded.  My mind raced.  And then just as quickly, I reasoned my way back to reality.

     “I don’t have a place to keep one horse,” I told her.  “I sure don’t have a place to keep two.”

     “Well then, find one,” she said matter-of-factly.  “And you’ll need to do it soon.  He’s already leased his land and needs to find a home for them by Saturday.”

     It was Monday.

     We hung up and I did what I always do when I don’t know what to do.  I called my husband and blurted out all she had said.

     “Go slow,” he warned.  “This could be God.”

     I had been praying for a horse for over 30 years.  I was so passionate and so determined to have one, I was even able to convince my “city husband” to buy a house out in the country.
I had spent the last year praying for a very specific horse I really couldn’t afford.

     “But God knows I want an Appaloosa,” I whined.

     “Well,” my husband responded, “Do you want what you want?  Or do you want what God wants for you?”

     “I WANT WHAT I WANT,” I said, somewhere between laughter and tears.

     “Then the best way to know if it’s God,” my husband encouraged, “is to take it one step at a time and see where the road leads.” 

     The fact that he didn’t think we were all crazy was the first step.  

     Monday night I called a stable close to our home.  It was full.  I called two other places.  No response.

     While all this was going on, my uncle had passed away, and we were preparing to leave town.  I had no idea where this cousin lived so I called to tell him we might not be able to come see the horses.  He told me he only lived about five minutes from the funeral home and if worked out for us, we could stop by after the visitation.  On the way there, we joked that they were probably going to be run down old farm nags, and we would have to politely decline. Of course, they were beautiful, healthy and happy to see us.

     When I REALLY don’t know what to do, I ask my dad.  He almost always gives me his opinion.  So I ran to him.  He  just laughed, hugged me and said it was up to me.  

     But it was starting to feel a lot like God.

     We came home Wednesday night after the funeral and I called the stable again.  Despite being full on Monday, they now had two openings.  It was even less expensive than I had imagined.  The horses would need tests and shots.  And this process, I was told, usually takes a week or more.  

     Thursday morning, a veterinarian agreed to see them and return the tests in 24 hours.

     We still needed a saddle because, no matter how pretty the horses were, I couldn’t bring them home without riding first.  I found a used saddle online but it was in another town.  I called my husband again.  No problem.  It just so happened, he was scheduled to do a presentation for work that afternoon, just a few miles away from where the people were selling the saddle.   I think I knew, before we
saw it, that the saddle would be perfect.  It even cost hundreds less than it was worth.

     There was still one thing I hadn’t thought much about… how to get the horses home.  Three people had told me they would be available with a trailer if this day ever came.  But none of them could do it.

     Little did I know, my stepmother was already online looking and had sent an email, earlier in the week, that for some strange reason I hadn’t seen.  It had the phone number of a man with a brand new horse trailer for rent, and it was on the way between our house and the horses.

     I had no control over anything that was happening and yet everything was in control.  It even seemed as if each detail had been meticulously planned out in advance.

      We got up early Saturday morning, stopped for a few horse supplies (one of the greatest shopping sprees ever) and off I went with the
three most important men in my life…my husband, my son and my dad.  
We took pictures every step of the way and we’ve told the story many times.  I share it with you now, because I am reminded, God wants to give us the desires of our hearts.  He sees us.  He knows us.  And even after 30 years of praying, some days begging, some days crying, never really understanding why I couldn’t have something I wanted so desperately, God had planned double for my trouble.  I wanted one horse, he gave me two.  His timing was perfect.  The stars were aligned and we were ready.  While I didn’t get an Appaloosa, we did get a Palomino, the horse my husband had dreamed of owning when he was a boy.

     Their names are Star and Judah.  It’s been one year since they joined our family and it is still so surreal.  Some days I just shout toward heaven, “Oh God, you gave me horses!!”  Because it is true, good things happen over time, but GREAT things happen all at once.  Don’t give up.  Keep praying.  Keep asking.  Keep believing.  He hears you.  He loves you.  He wants to bless you!

“Delight yourself in the Lord

and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4

“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart;

consider what great things he has done for you.”

1 Samuel 12:24

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

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Life on a Leash

          There are two types of people on the rural road where we live.  There are those who keep their dogs on a tight leash, and those who don’t. I have to admit our two canines are free runners.  It’s one of the reasons we like living outside of the city. While an unleashed life comes with great risk, it also comes with incredible reward.

          Our dogs love to chase squirrels, romp through the woods, go creek walking or doggie paddle across the pool.  They have known and experienced the dangers of getting too close to the cars and have come running back home for help.

          God gives us complete freedom…so much freedom, in fact, we are free to walk away from Him…free to go it alone…free to find what is out there in the world that might bring us more happiness than Him.

          When our three-legged white terrier Zadie is headed up to the neighbor’s house for a little extra loving, or our black and white Border collie, Liberty, is bounding across the road after a squirrel, all our attempts to call them back fall on deaf ears.

          We’re more like them than we might care to comprehend.  How many times does the Spirit of God call us back?  How long does He wait for us to decide, even without a leash, that we would rather return to his presence than ever go it alone?

          Robert Robinson knew what it was like to be alone.  He lost his father when he was only five years old and was later disinherited by his wealthy grandfather.  Robert desperately desired to find his peace in the presence of Almighty God.  But in 1757, at 22-years-old, he penned the words,“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” It’s true, even the mighty men and women of God, down through the ages, have been prone to wander.

           I wandered away for a while, just a couple of weeks ago.  I was distracted by something that held worldly promise.  I tossed up a prayer, but when God didn’t respond on my timetable, I took my eyes off Him, and looked around me.  There’s always another way if you look for one.  And there’s always a way out if you change your mind.  I turned back.  It wasn’t really because I necessarily wanted to; our minds and bodies rarely want to do what is good for us.  I turned back because I had to…I needed to…I would have been crazy not to.

          And just as I open the front and back doors a dozen times every day to let the dogs back in, God was there waiting for me to return to Him.  Sometimes Zadie and Liberty are wet and muddy or covered in cockleburs but I let them back in anyway.  We clean them up and allow them to climb in our laps, on the couch or even on the beds.  We do it because we love them.  We can’t make them love us in return and we wouldn’t want to, but they do.  They love us.  They trust us. They need us.

          God knows we need our freedom.  He knows we are going to go out and get dirty.  He loves us anyway.  He’s not going to force us to love Him in return. What kind of love would that be? But when we do discover that we can’t do life without Him, He is always there waiting when we turn back and head home.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.

And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out

so that you can endure it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13  

       

          My father-in-law spent almost all his life in service to the Lord. He used to tell the story of watching 4-H animal competitions.  He said the kids would bring their prized pigs to the fairgrounds, bathe them to perfection, and adorn them with ribbons.  But if one of the pigs got away, even for a moment, it would head straight to the nearest mud hole and roll in it.  He said they did it because it was their nature…just as it is in our human nature to sin.  But God is a God of forgiveness and He will always take us in and clean us up again.

Are you prone to wander?

What are the things that cause you to take your eyes off God?

How long will you wait on God before you look for your own solution?

Would you rather do life on a leash or have a life of freedom?

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1

“Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.”

John 8:36

 

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Such a Good Friday!

I hope you don’t mind me re-posting this story from last year.

I recognize today, that I am just as much a sinner as I was one year ago, when this was written.

I need Him as much as ever.

I am as responsible, as anyone, for the price He had to pay.      

          Pounding hammers and cracking wood echoed through the old Catholic sanctuary.  It went on for only 15 or 20 minutes but it seemed so much longer.  I sort of knew what might happen when I first walked in and the man at the door handed me a nail.  But the longer we sat in the silent service, the less sure I was of what was going on.           

           The music playing was reminiscent of a Catholic Mass.  And I wondered if the nuns, who moved out of this former convent years ago, would be pleased with the ceremony now taking place, with people from many different backgrounds of faith.

            On the big modern video screen, hanging up front and to the right, were images of Jesus on the cross.  Silently, but together, we read his final words…the last seven things he said.

            Then it was time.

            A large thick dark wooden cross had been placed on a table at the front of the sanctuary.  We were encouraged to go forward, and by driving our nails into the cross, accept that our sins were as responsible for his death as the Roman soldiers who hung Jesus on the cross at Calvary.  When I picked up the hammer, my hands were shaking a bit more than I had expected.  I placed the nail where I thought his hand might have been if this were the actual crucifixion.  I hit the nail three times before I had to let go and walk away.  I felt sick and weak and very sad.  But, there, at the base of a driftwood cross hanging high on the wall in the center of the church was the welcoming invitation to share the Lord’s Supper. 

            It changed me.

            I thank God I will never be the same because that experience last night changed me.  I suspect it changed all of us.

            As we walked back to our seats, the sounds of cracking wood and pounding hammers continued for a few minutes and then, once again, precious silence. 

            We stood and sang the song, “Lord Have Mercy.”  Then, everyone ended the evening in silent prayer.

            When we walked out into the hallway, it was filled with the voices of families making dinner plans, talking about the weekend and the upcoming Easter services. 

            We left knowing we will sin again. 

            But we left free from the burden of sin and free from the price he offered to pay. 

The last seven things Jesus said:

“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:34  NASB

Speaking to the thief who had asked Jesus to remember him, “And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise. Luke 23:43 NASB

“When Jesus then saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, He said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, Behold, your mother!”

John 19:26-27  NASB

“About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying ELI, ELI LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”

Matthew 27:46 NASB

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” John 19:28  NASB

He said, “It is finished!” John 19:30 NASB

“And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.”  Having said this, He breathed His last.

Luke 23:46 NASB

As a woman and a mother, I think of Mary standing there and the helpless agony she must have felt watching her son die. 

But I also think of the lyrics to the song “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” by Stuart Townend and I recognize my role in all that happened. 

“Behold the Man upon the cross,

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,

Call out among the scoffers 

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished.” 

Yes, ladies, it is finished.  No guilt, no shame, no more penalties for our sins.  He has paid our debt.  And the debt is paid in full.

Happy Easter!

Who Needs Love?

300 Maple Street, USA.

Late summer.

Exactly 6:43 PM.

A roaring sound followed by a flash of light.

All communication cut off.

It’s an old episode of

The Twilight Zone.

At first, neighbors congregate, wanting to be close to each other, and looking for answers.  But fear and suspicion soon lead to accusations and before the show is over, they turn and attack each other.

 “The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:14-15)

We woke up one morning, several years ago; to find my husband being bashed on the front page of the paper and morning radio talk shows.  He hadn’t committed a crime, but he had said some things that didn’t sit well with people in power.

Co-workers and friends scattered, and a lynch mob mentality took over, as people called for his firing.

This past week a prominent person in our community was accused of doing something, that in an instant, took his freedom, cost him his job, and threatened the stability of his family.

In my husband’s situation, only one man had the courage to speak up and put things back in perspective.  He is a man who loves God more than he loves himself.  He is a man who knows what it means to love his neighbor as himself.  His support helped save my husband’s reputation.  My husband kept his job and has lived to give God the glory many times.

In this more recent case, when the man’s actions were reported to the public, some of the very people he had hurt were asking for prayer and compassion…not for themselves…but for him and his family.

          Who Needs Love?

Jesus showed us by example.

He loved the people who were broken, the people who had sinned, the people who had been slow to listen but quick to speak, the people who had made complete messes out of their lives, the people who were shamed, humiliated and ostracized.

When someone else’s sin seems worse than our own we tend to distance ourselves…shake our heads…point our fingers…and offer up our opinions.

But on this Valentine’s Day, if we live by the command that sums up the entire law, we may find those who need love the most, are the ones we think don’t deserve it.

In The Twilight Zone people from another planet caused the conflict between neighbors on Maple Street.

But in the real world, all it takes is someone who is different from us, to breed fear, suspicion and hate.

Jesus’s instructions were clear, love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Who Needs Love?

We all do!

Happy Valentine’s Day

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Who Does He Favor?

There is a man with three children.

The outrageously rebellious daughter,

The loving and loyal middle son,

The carefree, on the run, gotta go, catch ya later youngest boy.

Who does he favor?

Who does he love?

He tries to talk with his daughter but she tuned him out a long time ago.

His middle son spends a lot of time with his dad and hangs on his every word.

His youngest is just too busy.  He has his friends and all his activities.

Who does he favor?

Who does he love?

There is a man who remembers the moment his baby girl came into this world.

He never knew he could love so deep.

He was pleased when his family grew and he loved his second child.

The third child was a surprise but much-loved.

Who does he favor?

There is a man who gave his daughter many gifts and opportunities.

She thought him old-fashioned and out of touch.

He gave his son many gifts and opportunities.

He thought his dad wise and strong.

The man had even more to give, so the third son received the most.

He just felt entitled.

Who does he favor?

He loves them all!

There is a man whose heart is drawn toward the son who spends time with him.

He talks to the son who listens.

He walks with the son who is by his side.

When his son asks him for something he takes great joy in blessing him.

There is a man who never quits trying to reach his daughter.

But there are other men in her life now and she’s not interested.

He tries to get his youngest son’s attention but there are just so many things distracting the boy.

His eyes turn back to the young man who wants to be just like him.

And he blesses him.

This same man ridicules people who tell him that God has blessed them.

He says it doesn’t make sense that God would bless one person over another.

And yet his own life is like a parable.

He loves all of his children.

He doesn’t love the middle son more.


If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

                                                                              Matthew 7:11 NIV

The middle son has no fear of asking his father for a favor.

He spends time with his dad.

He listens to his dad.

He walks with him and talks with him.

He honors and obeys him.

And when his Father calls, he knows the sound of his voice.

There is a man with three children.

The outrageously rebellious daughter,

The loving and loyal middle son,

The carefree, on the run, gotta go, catch ya later youngest boy.

If you were one of his three children,

which one would you be?

“The King of the universe wants a real, live relationship with us.

He’s not interested in just being a mind reader.  He’s not even interested in just being a provider.  He’s both of those things, but

the role He relishes most is Father.  He wants us-frail mortal creatures-to connect with Him and communicate with Him as the

dearest relationship in human existence.  He rejoices to hear our voices.  He delights to be our sole and holy source

for all things in life.”

~Beth Moore from the study of James Mercy Triumphs

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

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