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Alive

James Tissot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

James Tissot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

ALIVE! My son is alive, and I have that prophet, Yeshua to thank for it.

I thought I had finally lost everything, but today, He gave me a fresh start.

After my Amit, my husband died, I felt empty, broken, as if I were only half a woman. Once he was gone, I could no longer keep the home we had made. I took Kfir, my son and went to lived with my parents.

When my Amit passed on, I lost a husband, a house, and his covering, but most of all, I lost my friend. His name – Amit – friend – was perfect. Before he was anything else to me, he was my friend. We grew up together, and we planned to grow old together. But it was not to be.

Kfir was not yet thirteen when we lost his father, not quite a man. At first he tried to step up and be the man of the house. But it started to wear on my little lion cub, and as time went on, resentment grew. He resented his father for leaving him. He resented me for taking him back to his grandparent’s house. He resented them for putting him in a room with his aunt, who was his junior. Moreover, he resented the Lord for putting him into this ugly life.

The same months and years that healed my hurts, and dimmed the loss I felt, seemed to make his grow. With each passing birthday, he grew more and more distant, until it seemed I had lost him too. It was just after his sixteenth birthday when he left the house, and left the synagogue. I would see him from time to time, but he would not make eye contact.

Then, about a month ago he got sick. He told me, that at first, he was just uncomfortable after he ate. He said he thought it would pass, but it got worse and worse, until he couldn’t keep his food down. That’s when he came back home.

I can remember when he stood at the door, asking for help, thinking thank you Lord for bringing my boy home. But after the first long night, I knew this was not the Lord’s doing. I saw in his eyes, a cry for help from my little cub. Yes, I had my Kfir, my little lion cub, in my arms once again, but he was dying. Doctors came and went, each with a different idea of how to get my boy to hold some food, but it was not to be.

I even called our rabbi, and he brought a priest into the house. When they heard my story, they would not pray for him. They said this torture, this torment my son faced was the judgment of the Lord, and to make an offering would be an abomination. They told me the Almighty would not hear the prayers of the rebellious.

Two days ago, death took my son while he lay in my arms. When he left me, he left me alone.

Our law requires that you bury your dead quickly, laying another brick on my heavy heart. I just wanted to hold him in my arms. I just wanted one last look in his eyes. My father helped me get him a coffin and dress him. He even gathered by brothers to carry him to the place we would bury him. A place I knew all to well. The place my Amit lay buried these three years.

As we moved into our little town of Nain we found the road completely blocked, hundreds of people in every direction. They strained and pressed in to hear as the man in the center of it all was talking, teaching I think. My brother’s who were carrying my Kfir’s coffin, eked their way through the middle of the street.

My heart cried out to the Lord, “Why is this so hard, I just want to bury my son” and that is when I broke down and began to weep in earnest. The weight of it all – the loss of my husband, that wound was re-opened – the abandonment and then death of my boy – the rejection of the leaders, it all gushed out in tears.

I bumped into my dear boy’s box when we came to an abrupt halt. It disoriented me a bit. Then I heard the voice that had been teaching moments earlier say,

Do not weep.

I am not sure what stopped my tears. It may have been fury, or indignation, or shock, or just confusion. I wiped the tears from my eyes, trying to find the words that would rescue me from this crowd. I wanted to get on with – get through – this most horrible of days. Then our eyes met.

I could see in His eyes that He could feel my pain. He was not trying to placate me, or control me or hush me. He knew what I felt. He knew the hurt. He knew the shame. He knew the guilt. I don’t know how this man could understand the heart of a woman, a widow, a mother with no children. I don’t know.

He put His hand on the rough-hewn coffin and spoke to my son.

Young man, I say to you, ARISE!”

That last was more of a shout, it had the feel of a command, like my Amit used to stop Kfir when he was in danger.

It was our tradition to keep the coffin open for the procession. This way people could have one last look at the dead before we surrendered them to the ground, and today I am glad we did. Because as the sound of that word echoed around the streets, Kfir began to stir.

First it was just, I don’t know, like a flutter. But then all at once, he gulped in a mouth full of air and started to talk. At first I didn’t know what he was saying, but then I understood. It was not normal street talk. It was the formal Hebrew of the temple. He was reciting the portion of Torah he memorized and recited at his bar mitzvah.

His eyes opened and he sat up. Then he understood what was going on, and he wept. As they lowed the coffin, he climbed out and came to me. His embrace engulfed me and our tears mingled. Then we turned and embraced Him, Yeshua, this one sent from God.

Was He just a prophet, a messenger, an angel? Who is this Yeshua? We were holding Him, embracing Him, but as we realized what had just happened fear – awe – wonder began to take hold. We let go of Him and fell to our knees. As we did we saw that everyone in the street had bowed low.

Murmurs rippled around us; What kind of prophet is this? Has the Lord come in a man’s body? No other man has done such things among us. Surely, this is the Son of God. What manner of man is this?

These same questions float around my mind and I have no answer. But I know this. Today I received my son from the dead, and we will follow this Nazarene.

===

If you like this, you might enjoy “Blood in the Sheets.

This encounter with Jesus is fictionalized from Luke 7:11-16

Copyright – 2014 –  Benjamin Nelson

 

 

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Encouragements: Get Serious

Get Serious

In the book of The Acts of the Apostles, chapter 12, when the disciples “got serious” about praying for a Christian in danger, he who was in danger, (in this case it was Peter) was delivered.

(OK now, I am limiting my discussion to the Bible accounts.  I am aware that there have been Christian martyrs throughout the last 2000 years.  That’s not the point.  What the Lord has deemed worthy to include in His book is the point.  It’s His story, His lesson.)

OK, really?  Did they only “get serious” about praying for Peter?  Were they not serious about praying for Stephen or James? [Read More]

Encouragements: Get Serious.

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He’s Right – You Are! ~ SoS Saturday

Your hair is like a flock of goats
That have descended from Gilead.

Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
Which have come up from their washing,
All of which bear twins,
And not one among them has lost her young.

Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate
Behind your veil.

Song of Songs 6:5-7 NASB

Today we find the Shepherd King once again describing His maiden. In fact this description is one He has used before. You can find the exact words mingled with another description from Song of Songs 4:1-3

The last time He spoke these words was directly after their wedding. We saw the wedding procession in the end of chapter 3, then chapter 4 begins with the Grooms enthralling description of His beautiful bride.

It was also before the testing she walked through in chapter 5.

At their wedding, He was affirming what He knew was within her, even though it had not been tested by fire, it had not been given a chance to grow. He gave her credit for these marks of maturity (as we will see) before they were visible, even to her.

What this means to us is that God calls those things that are not, as though they are.

He speaks into our future.

And not only into our future circumstance (because that is what consumes our attention)

but

He speaks into our future character (because that is what consumes His attention.) [Tweet This]

The day that He breathes the breath of life into our spirit
The day He calls us His own
The day He adorns us in His wedding garment
The day He burns the filthy clothes we arrived in
The day He chooses us out of the liar’s orphanage
The day He gives us His own name

That is the day He plants His character in us.
That is the day He grafts us into the tree of life.
That is the day He clothes us in Christ.

And that is the day His view of us is 100% Christ and 0% us.

But now we find our maiden, our bride, (ourselves) having come through the fires of trial and what was…

germ
seed
vision
prophecy

…on our wedding day, now is blooming and bearing fruit.

She is (your are) no longer a dark but lovely stranger to grace

Not simply in possession of a promise and a future

She is becoming the image of Christ, being fashioned by the hands of the Potter into something beautiful.

Next time we will look at the specifics of this declaration of Christian maturity Christ sees in His bride, but for today know this.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6 NASB

IMG_2337Thanks for coming by today.

Walk in the light.

Ben

 

 

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What To Do Today

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

“For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.”

For not even His brothers were believing in Him. – John 7:4-5 NASB

These verses pique my interest today.

We are given that the Lord’s brothers (two of whom would go on to be contributors to the canon of scripture) at this stage in Him ministry did not believe in Him. They did however believe in the wonders He was doing.

If you are going to do these miracles – do them where You can receive the notoriety they bring.

If the world sees what You can do, Your popularity will increase, and so your influence.

There are those for whom notoriety is anathema – they are so “with Jesus” when He avoids the crowds.

There are others for whom every step is calculated to build or enhance their ‘platform’ so they ‘get’ Jesus when He rides into town in great pomp and procession.

Jesus does not ‘do’ to impress or draw people, nor does He ‘do’ to drive people away.

He ‘does’ to please the Father.

And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” – John 8:29

He ‘does’ to seek and save the lost.

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” – Luke 19:10

He ‘does’ that which destroys the work of the devil.

the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. – 1 John 3:8

For Jesus, it is never about Him, but about the glory of the Father.

The Father on the other hand was pleased to make it all about Jesus.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, – Philippians 2:9

Father, help me with my motives. Fill me once again with Your Spirit that I might ‘do’ what pleases You and accomplishes Your desires. Let me have this same mind in me today.

Nora and Papa BenThanks for stopping by.

Don’t forget to shine, no matter where the Lord has placed you today.

Ben

 

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Don’t Abandon Good

Originally posted on Comments on Christianity:

WoodGrain

By Benjamin Nelson

I came across a quote from John D. Rockefeller on twitter that gave me a twinge.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” ~ John D. Rockefeller

Let me start by saying, I get it. I understand that the English word Great is a superlative version of one use of the English word Good.

I’ve read the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. It’s an excellent read and I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to make any organization better.

And yet – there’s that twinge.

When I think about these two words, I am drawn to the character and nature of the Lord God.

Our Father has never made this journey from good to great. In fact, when we think about the Almighty one, we realize that these two words are not related. Great is…

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Living in Humility

Ben Nelson:

I am pleased to share this wonderful teaching form my sister from across the globe.

Originally posted on Karina's Thought:

Living in Humility -Karina's thought-Paul Militaru

Some time ago when I was walking around in the shopping mall accidentally I met an old friend when was in college. I am so excited met her because been many years I have not hear news about her. Afterwards we were deep in exciting conversation. We were talk about many things. But after a while, I felt there was something different from her. I heard sound of arrogance in every of her words.  There was her sayings that really show her arrogance when we talked about business, “If you have a problem in business, you can come to me for help. Now with the position and authority that I have, I can do anything. I can change everything from impossible become possible!”

Honestly I  really sad to saw her changed drastically. I knew her very well before.  A meek young college girl even there was an impression of inferiority…

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We follow – but why?

After Jesus fed the 5,000 the crowds grew.

Jesus answered them and said,

Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

John 6:26-27 NASB

A quick observation today.

One of the names that Isaiah gives us for Jesus is “Wonderful” which at its root is miracle. He is Healer – even today. He is Provider – even today. He is the Gift of God – even today.

And even today, some seek Him for what they might get. They come only to be healed – to be fed – to escape judgment.

Does He today look at the crowds and say: “Do not work for the food which perishes?

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. – John 6:29 NASB

I need to get about my Father’s business today.

Lord, give me the faith I need to follow you – to work for the food that is eternal.

Ben NelsonThank you for stopping by.

See you again soon.

Ben

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