When praying for the healing of our broken bodies and forgiveness of our sins, we usually cite Isaiah 53:5 (ESV):
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
One phrase struck me this year of our turmoil – for no one is untouched: upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace.
No one knows what the truth is. We write posts, articles, and podcasts to publish our opinions, trolling, news, encouragements, or propaganda. Confusion reigns even for those who try to do their best to find out the truth.
Our peace does not lie in the facts. God does not give any person the whole truth. He gives us His truth in what soldiers know as “on a need-to-know basis.”
Our peace lies in the hands of God — the peace that passes all understanding. He’s got this. He’s got the whole wide world in His hands.
“I decree that any Jew in my realm, including the priests and Levites, may return to Jerusalem with you. I and my Council of Seven hereby instruct you to take a copy of God’s laws to Judah and Jerusalem and to send back a report of the religious progress being made there. We also commission you to take with you to Jerusalem the silver and gold, which we are presenting as an offering to the God of Israel. Ezra 7:13-15 TLB
The Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge was commissioned and largely paid for by a Public Works Administration project in the 1930s. The purpose of the commission brought to fruition the Oregon Coast Highway, which replaced the ferries. It was known as the North Bend – or Coos Bay – Bridge. Mr. McCullough designed several more, but the North Bend bridge was the longest and most costly Oregon bridge at the time: a magnitude of 5,305 feet long and $2.14 million. The North Bend bridge was his favorite.
The North Bend Bridge wasn’t just a functional bridge. It trailblazed in artistic design. He used 48,000 cubic yards of concrete, twelve million pounds of steel, and five million board feet of lumber. The thirteen arches made a functional public work into a work of beauty, complementing the beautiful Oregon coast.
Its current name of the Conde McCullough Memorial Bridge changed in 1947, shortly after the engineer’s death.
In 2005, the National Register of Historic Places added the bridge to their list of historical places. In 2007, the Oregon Department of Transportation started rehabilitating the bridge.
After the time of exile, Ezra the priest traveled back to Jerusalem to teach God’s laws and beautify the temple. The Babylonians were no longer in power. The Persian king, Cyprus, commissioned him to go back and rebuild the temple. And king Cyrus feared God: “and whatever else the God of heaven demands for his Temple; for why should we risk God’s wrath against the king and his sons?”
Prayers are the foundational form of restoring Oregon to what she was and can be again. There are varied ways of rebuilding, and they are all a part of His plan. What are you called to do?
During the dedication of the new Jerusalem wall, all the Levites throughout the land came to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies and to take part in the joyous occasion with their thanksgiving, cymbals, psaltries, and harps. Nehemiah 12:27 TLB
Occasional poetry is, as the name suggests, poetry written for an occasion. The emotional range is wide: it can be celebratory or a time of grief. German writer Goethe (18th through the 19th century) wrote that occasional poetry was “the first and most genuine of all kinds of poetry.”
United States poet laureates are assigned the task of writing occasional poetry.
Though Robert Frost wrote The Gift Outright in 1942, he read it at President Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. And although most Americans don’t think of The Battle Hymn of the Republic as an occasional poem, it is.
Nehemiah rebuilt the wall. And when it was finished, they celebrated.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, Hebrews 6:19 NKJV
In Praise of Dancing
I praise the dance, for it frees people
from the heaviness of matter
and binds the isolated to community.
I praise the dance, which demands everything:
health and a clear spirit and a buoyant soul.
Dance is a transformation of space, of time, of people,
who are in constant danger of becoming all brain,
will, or feeling.
Dancing demands a whole person, one who is
firmly anchored in the center of his life, who is
not obsessed by lust for people and things
and the demon of isolation in his own ego.
Dancing demands a freed person, one who vibrates
with the balance of all his powers.
I praise the dance.
O man, learn to dance, or else the angels in heaven
will not know what to do with you.
In my younger years, I danced in ballet and tap classes, and during college, I took a modern dance class. The pictures of me in a tutu and ballet slippers lay in a box with other photographs.
I still dance while doing the dishes or only to express my joy.
This expression, this dance — my Lord of the dance has sustained me, has been my anchor during the dark days of today.
Put on your ballet slippers, tap shoes, or whatever footwear you have (modern dance uses your bare feet) and express your joy in the Lord in an upside-down world.
For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, Ephesians 2:14 NASB
Writer’s groups are varied, depending on the genre and type of critique. Some are all-purpose, and some confine members to a single genre. Some are in-person, and some are video/online conversations. Some prefer the solitary way of books.
I have been a member of a few writer’s groups. Most of the time, the members were supportive of our pages.
A few times a disruptive person would join the ranks and cause discord. Often it was the subject matter or crowding the table/computer screen. Or both.
Our minds were joined to improve our writing craft. And to foster Heavenly creativity, the disruptive writers needed to be given other options.
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