His Little Lighthouses

Photo by: Cody J. Haines

By: Carole L. Haines 

 “They came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the “legion”; and they became frightened.” (vs 15 of, Mark 5:15-20) 

I have lived in fear for most of my life. But Jesus has slowly become my all-in all-over fear. I wish I could say I just jumped on the trust wagon of Christ, but I didn’t. It has been a long journey, and it isn’t finished yet. I haven’t learned trust through easy living, but hard knocks. Yet I want to be a beautiful picture of God’s amazing faithfulness. I want people to look at me and see me “clothed and in her right mind, the very woman who had been _____________,” as the man described in our Scripture today. I guarantee you there were times people thought I was crazy. Heck, there were times I thought I was. Anxiety Disorder can really mess with your mind, and it has wreaked havoc on mine at times.  

“As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him. And He did not let him, but He *said to him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.” (vs. 18-19) 

O, how we long to be with Him now. O how our hearts yearn to be with this Amazing Savior of ours. But He sends us out to share with others all that He has done for us. He leads us to tell our stories of His Rescue, His Redemption, His transformation of our lives. So great is His love for all the people of the world.  
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) 

Jesus leaves us as lights in the world to point others to Him. We are His Little Lighthouses on the wrecking shore of the world. Let us go back, even as this healed man went back, to our own Decapolis to share all the wonderful things Jesus did for him. 

“And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.” (vs. 20 of Mark 5:15-20) 

The Ocean

BNH

by: Carole L. Haines

My husband and I try to have dates each week. He wanted to go see the ocean yesterday, so we hopped in the car rather late in the day, and were at the ocean two hours later. It was cold, but we sat there and just listened, just stared at the waves. It was so peaceful.
On the way home, my husband reflected on why he wanted to go to the ocean. Here is basically what he said:
It is amazing how looking at the ocean puts everything into perspective. Life is so fragile, ever changing, but the ocean is so constant. You never expect to go to the ocean and have it not be there. It’s ever there, forever constant. The ocean reminds me to trust in God, for He is constant, never changing, always there. Life can be so precarious, so fleeting, fragile and unsteady. But God is ever trustworthy, strong and I can trust Him to never change, even when life always does.” (Bruce N. Haines)

We didn’t stay long, for it was quite chilly on the beach, but it was well worth the drive. It is so good to find God in the natural rhythms of life. Sunrises, sunsets, seasons, moonscapes, all of these point us to God. Rainstorms and lightning, glimpses of majestic foxes, rare eagles, peaceful deer; they all point to a Creator, a Savior, who is constant. God can be trusted to keep His promises. What a comfort we can find in nature, about this very thing.
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” (Genesis 8:22, NIV).
Let as stare long into the ocean waves and remember the God who never changes as we ride the waves of our own lives each day.

The Perfect Sermon

PHOTO: CLH

By: Carole L. Haines 

“Imagine the feeling of Jesus saying your name when you are at your lowest point. Imagine the hope that flooded Mary’s heart. Commenting on this story, Charles Spurgeon said, “Jesus can preach the perfect sermon in one word.” (Michael Murray, Nobody Left Out) 

All of Jesus’ words were the perfect sermon for the circumstance in which he found Himself speaking. But to do it in one word, Wow! In continuing to comment on the encounter with Mary Magdalene at the Tomb, Michael Murray goes on to say this: 

“When Jesus calls Mary by name, it changes everything. Mary feels known by Jesus. When we feel known by Jesus, it changes things for us too. This story is an encouragement that in times of grief and despair, Jesus calls out to us by name.” 

Jesus is the Word of God made flesh to dwell among us (John 1:14). He is the Way, the Truth and The Life (John 14:6). We are living in what feels like extremely unstable times, yet God’s Word says this: 

“And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the Lord is his treasure.” (Isaiah 33:6) 

I cannot even imagine what all the disciples felt when Jesus died. Yet only Mary hung around at the Tomb long enough to meet Jesus. Only Mary stayed to find out more. We need to stay longer in God’s presence as well. Only there will we find the kind of acceptance from Jesus that our heart craves. No one else stays forever committed to finishing His work in us. We all fall short in our love, so do even the best people in our lives. Only Jesus’ love never fails. He promises that He will finish His Perfect work in our hearts and lives. 
Let me close with the Chorus of a Song I wrote about Mary Lingering a little Longer and meeting her Lord because of her determination to be near Him. Whatever Jesus says to us when He has called our name, whether one word or many, is always The Perfect Sermon. So, let’s linger longer and listen. 

Linger a Little Longer 

BY: Carole L. Haines 
CHORUS 
Linger a little longer at the tomb  
when grief and despair have threatened to rise 
just linger a little longer in your time with Him alone 
when you can’t sense His presence at all 
His plan has turned out different than you had in mind 
But still just linger a little longer at His Throne 

Let’s run to Him often, sit with Him long, Look to Him always and rest in His arms. 

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