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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

grace in the wilderness

Wolcott Falls: Wolcott, NY 9/14/2015

On this past Monday (9/14/15) in celebration of Rosh Hashanah, I participated in the ritual of "tashlikh" or "casting off", symbolically casting my sins into a body of water by throwing rocks representing my sins for the year.
"He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19). 

I should have most likely thrown a number of huge boulders.
Sin. Ugh. 
Why are we humans so fallible and filthy? 
Even Paul said; 
"I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate." (Romans 7:15). 
And he was was a pretty "good" guy, yet, even he could not get it right all the time, Saint Paul, the apostle - chosen by the Messiah - screwed up. 
God is funny that way, He seems to choose some pretty messed up individuals to represent Him down here... 

God, You gotta love the guy, He really seems to have a great sense of humor.
Of course to be fair, flawed - imperfect - screwed up people ARE all He has to work with!

My sins? Well, they are grievous and many. 
The ten commandments? I've trespassed every one in the course of my life, not "merely" in thought - but in deed. 
I have much to be forgiven for. 

For this forgiveness, I am grateful, and in my gratitude I commit to love. 
May I walk in forgiveness each day He allows me on this earth, may I remember how much I have been forgiven and extend that forgiveness to others. 

I offer you this reminder today:

Do you doubt? (Yeah, well so did Thomas.)
Do you deny Him? (Yeah, well, so did Peter.)
Get over yourself.

Seek and you shall find, look not at the reflections or shadows of God that have been perpetrated by the "church", instead look for yourself. 
You will discover a God who came to earth as none other before Him, a Man who lived like no other before, or since. 

I was blessed to read the following from Jeremiah during service on Monday evening. My prayer today is that we all may go out in the dance of the merrymakers - and that we all may find grace in this wilderness.
In love, 
JLR Grace 

Jeremiah 31: 1 - 7

1"At that time, says the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people."
2Thus says the LORD: "The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest,
3the LORD appeared to him from afar. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
4Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with timbrels, and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
5Again you shall plant vineyards upon the mountains of Sama'ria; the planters shall plant, and shall enjoy the fruit.
6For there shall be a day when watchmen will call in the hill country of E'phraim: `Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.'"
7For thus says the LORD: "Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, `The LORD has saved his people, the remnant of Israel.'