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Going Home! Crossing Jordan!

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Have you thought about crossing Jordan?
That perfectly crystal river that flows?
It splashes and gurgles, flowing, having the time of its life?
O it’s Jordan at last my spirit surely knows,
Hooray! At last! At last!

Have you thought about your first sight of Heaven?
Gates of huge pearls beaming smiles everywhere,
Angels singing praises and we join in songs familiar and old!
Not a single tear again will be shed here.
Heaven! At last! At last!

Does judgment cross your mind at all?
When we’ll be held accountable one and all?
Do you turn your head away?
Or wait your turn feeling guilty and raw?
One day soon! One day soon! Oh soon!

I’m set to go over Jordan
No bags to pack, instructions given, name in the book.
Won’t you come with me over Jordan?
I can’t wait to go, can’t wait to look.
Home at last! Home at last! Come praise the Lord!

Come down to the river my friends,
Come down to the shore, souls are coming home.
Boats are gliding up to the pier,
Just give’em your hand, no one is alone.
Step up! Here they go! Watch them go!!!

Heaven’s sounding more inviting all the time,
Jordan’s water never run so swiftly in all its days.
What a Homecoming this will be!
Listen to me one more time, hear me say,
Crossing Jordan! Going home! Going home!
                         —d.f.a.v . 4/27/15
—Donna

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BIBLE

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Read the Bible through many times.
Each time something different grabs my mind.
Like how the Old and New Testament fit together,
Or God’s love for us goes back and forward forever.
The names of people, places, things,
His hand is visible in the design of everything.
Ichabod, Rufus, Noah the girl stood out.
God is love but sin isn’t tolerated, no doubt.
The holiness, sacredness, mystery and wonder,
The Word indeed sweeter than honey creates deeper hunger.
Oh, so much I’ll never understand,
He was fully God and fully man.
Let me study and apply His Word morning, noon and night.
God’s Word, my steady guiding light.
d.f.a.v. 4/9/15
—Donna

grace

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grace
God’s grace
undeserved mercies
incomprehensible compassion
unbelievable gift
here
for you
proof of what you can’t see
when doubt could take your faith
supplying you evidence it is real.

grace
God’s grace
incredibly understanding
beautifully executed
creativity.simple yet divine.
amazing isn’t it
grace
allows us to grow and
bloom even when life says
we can’t.
               d.f.a.v. 1/1/15
—Donna

Believe

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Believe…
Believe I love you…
Will never hurt you…
Believe I believe in you…
And your goals…
And your abilities…
And your heart…
You can trust me…
You can believe in me.

I believed those words once
Believed I was loved
He would never hurt me
He was my loudest cheerleader
My perfect match…
Problem is believing
Doesn’t make it so.
And when he turned
I was devastated.
And I lost my belief.

Believing in God can be harder
But it can also be the best.
Nothing is harder than…
Believing what You can’t see…

d.f.a.v. 12/2/14

A Blessing

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The blessings in a life
Aren’t necessarily material possessions.-
Homes are needed but if empty,
If you live in it alone,
Your threshold ever welcomes friends,
Or kin,
A showcase can be cold and heartless
If no love grows there.

The blessings in a life
Aren’t necessarily fame or fortune
Fame can be fickle and fortunes lost
With the opinion of the world
Or the stock prices for the day or
Wars overseas
Fame can become bitter and fortunes
Burn up in flames.

The blessings in a life
Aren’t necessarily found in relationships
If those aren’t based on Christ
Eternally what have you in common?
For if you know Christ and they don’t
Did you share Him
Or did you fear offending them so much
You let them be?

The blessings in a life
Are often found in the intangible
Moments that God gives you
A spouse believes in you
A child admires you
God hears You
Your friends and family share your
Joys and sorrows.

The blessings in a life
Are given undeserved and freely
To carry you through grief
And harder times
     Times of discouragement
          Times of breathlessness
Always to divide our hearts
    And carry on with life.

The blessings in a life-
Come in all shapes and sizes
All levels of giving to one another
When life grows
And lives merge
And hearts crumble.
d.f.a.v. 7-13-14

–DONNA

Love Will Win

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Easter morning 2014 of our Lord
I cannot understand way back
To that first Easter morning
Exactly what it was like…
The record of those events
Are much to flat, so one dimensional
Though exciting and glorious no doubt
It was a road I did not hike…
But it was the crucifixion on Calvary
That made that Sunday morning
Of such importance to all men
So glorious that set me free…
Jesus was not found inside the tomb
Or stolen away in dark of night
Nor gone to Heaven not to be seen
But resurrected for the women to see…
I was not there I cannot know
But for an event to change us still
It must not be some gibberish tale
But the most pivotal moment in history…
The time when Satan’s fate was sealed
The time when others still cut it down
Trying to convince mankind it was a lie
But you cannot silence God’s pure glory…
For from the grave in deaths embrace
Jesus Christ arose as He had proclaimed
The earth sang in glorious praise
On that first Easter day…
There I did not need to be
My faith is upon God’s solid ground
He tells no lies, He does no wrong
He is faithful in deed and all He says.
What’s more important that anything
Is that you too can rest assured
The glories of Christ second coming
Are promised still in his sweet assurance…
That when He returns to Earth a second time
Satan loses his reign of terror
Is cast into Hades forevermore
No more mankind to puppet dance.
        d.f.a.v.  4-20-2014
Donna

An Interview with Eve

(While the Bible gives us some information on Eve, it doesn’t give us a lot.  So while some of this interview is based on scripture found in Genesis 2:1-5:5, a portion is also based on the author’s imagination.  For the story strictly from the Bible please read the scripture mentioned previously from whatever translation you are comfortable with.)

                       

Cleveland, AL –  Eve, wife of Adam, mother of Cain, Abel and Seth and others that are unnamed in the Bible.  Her name means, in Hebrew chavah, to breathe and chayah, to life or to give life.  Traditionally her name means living.  She is literally the mother of all mankind.  Eve was the first woman on earth.  Having her over for tea, conversation and fellowship presented an unusal opportunity so I was excited about meeting with Eve.

My first impression, as Eve walked into my kitchen dressed in a simple shift with her long white hair piled into a loose bun at the nape of her neck, fastened by what looked like carved twigs, was how confident she appeared.  (I made a mental note to ask her about her hair fastenings later.)  For some reason I thought Eve might be timid, the wallflower type but she quickly proved me wrong.

After offering her some coffee cake I baked using an old recipe of my mothers and laughing with her as we both choose coffee over tea we settled down comfortably at my kitchen table.  My ten-year-old daughter wandered through the kitchen asking if I had seen Charlie (her must have stuffed animal) and locating him (in the bathroom where she’d brushed her teeth) Eve and she engaged in a bit of conversation themselves.

EVE:  That’s quite the dog you have there.  I see he is well loved.

KIANA:  His name is Charlie.  Mama needs to do surgery on him again.  (She then proceeds to show Eve a tiny hole in the neck of Charlie at the seam.)

EVE:  I see that but he seems not to mind any of his other scars.  (Eve pointed out signs of Charlie’s other “surgeries”.)

KIANA:  Mama is a good fixer-upper.  Who are you?

EVE:  My name is Eve.

Kiana’s eyes grow large.

KIANA:  You’re the Eve out of the Bible?  The one who ate the fruit and all that Eve?

EVE:  (Smiling)Yes, that’s me.

KIANA:  Wow!  I’m going to see if Daddy needs some water.

Off Kiana went to take her Daddy some ice water as he mowed the lawn.

FVBF:  I hope Kiana didn’t bother you with her questions?

EVE:  No, she’s quite curious, I see that in her eyes.  Besides, you’re about to ask me questions aren’t you?

FVBF:  Too true.  The first one I’d like to ask you is where you got those lovely fasteners for your hair.  They are exquisite.

EVE:  Adam made them for me just before Seth was born.  They are one of my precious treasures.

FVBF:  I can see why. (Pause) Can we talk about the obvious first?  I don’t enjoy trying to talk around elephants in the room.

Eve looked around for an actual elephant and I had to quickly explain it was an expression we used in life today to describe an uncomfortable situation or issue that everyone knew about, wanted to discuss but was afraid to.  At that she laughed.  Her laughter was clear and musical.

EVE:  So this elephant, as you say, with me here is what?

FVBF:  Are you aware of how much blame people have assigned to you through the centuries as being the cause of the fall of mankind into sin?

EVE:  O yes.  God and I have talked about that many times.  I felt guilty about eating the fruit of that tree, about letting Satan trick me and about giving some of the fruit to Adam so he ate of it too.  But God forgave me.  He punished me and that punishment has filtered down to all women but I no longer feel guilty about it.

FVBF:  No?  (I expected her to say she would always feel guilty about it.)

EVE:  God forgave me.  To forget that, to wallow in guilt after He forgives is sin upon sin.

FVBF:  What about Adam?  How long did it take him to forgive you?

EVE:  Adam forgave me as I did him and the two of us forged a strong relationship as our years together went on.  People forget that after we lost the privilege of walking with God physically we had to rely on the same method people do today, you call it prayer.  That was the hardest part of our punishment and banishment from Eden.  Prayer became the sweetest treasure of my earthly life.

FVBF:  Does it ever bother you that God created you from one of Adam’s ribs instead of from the dust as He did Adam?

EVE:  No, God created me to be Adam’s help meet, to work with him in our day to day life.  While it’s true God said I would answer to Adam I have always believed that was because God would not be with us physically for me to answer to anymore.  Everyone answers to someone and ultimately to God, don’t they?

FVBF:  True.  How devasting was it when Cain took Abel’s life?

EVE:  Adam and I spent decades trying to figure out where we went wrong as Cain’s parents that he would do such a thing.  We’d encouraged both boys to work hard in the things they liked the best.  For Cain that was producing good crops from the ground.  It was hard work.  It was not easy but Cain had a knack at farming. It came so naturally to him.  Maybe too naturally.  Abel was always far more at home tending to animals, especially sheep.  It suited his personality.  His was thoughtful and strong.  He spent a great deal of time thinking and puzzling over life

FVBF:  Was there any indication of the differences your sons had of thinking about God?

EVE:  Abel seemed to always be more sensitive to what God wanted from us.  Cain was a less concerned with following God’s desires exactly.  Cain fell victim to the same scheme of Satan that I did. He cut corners and became enamored with the wrong things.  His banishment reminded Adam and I again of our own fall.  So we mourned the loss of them both.

FVBF:  That must have been very difficult for you.  Who did you turn to for advise?  It occurs to me you had no mother or mother-in-law to ask about what to do.

EVE:  Ask for advice?  God of course.  You’re right there were no other parents, our own or someone else’s to ask anything of.  And there were no internet to look things up “how-to” books at the library or Barnes and Nobles, Books-a-Million or Amazon.  At that time, not even the Bible you all have readily available today was available to us.

FVBF:  God gave you other children right?

EVE:  Yes, Seth was our third born son and God blessed us with other children too but none who ever took Cain or Abel’s place, but who were blessings nonetheless.

FVBF:  You were essentially the mother of all mankind.  How does that make you feel?

EVE:  Tired, very, very tired!

With our interview over I thought about what Eve said about the hardest part of her punishment being unable to walk physically with God anymore.  According to scripture Adam lived to be 930 years old.  Eve’s age was not recorded at her death.  No matter the number of years, it is always a long time to go without being physically in God’s presence especially once you’ve known that fellowship.

I thought about what Eve said about having to rely on prayer as their means of relating with God.  How dear that was to her and how callous so many of us treat prayer.  As an afterthought or a last resort! 

And finally I marveled at her ability to accept that people blamed her for the downfall of mankind and realize that God had forgiven her thus refusing to accept what is not her own to accept.  I had a new respect for Eve now and I intend to explain to my daughter that being referred to as a “daughter of Eve” doesn’t mean something negative.

It was also good to know that mothers have been tired, very tired since the beginning of time!

Interview with Mrs. Noah

(This is a work that is 99% fiction.  While it’s true that Noah was instructed by God to build an ark and that he and his family, along with each species of animal on the planet at that time were saved by God’s plan for the ark.  “Mrs. Noah” and daily life aboard the ark are not covered in the scriptures.  For an accurate recording of the story of Noah and the Ark please see Genesis 6:1-8:22 in the translation of the Bible of your choice.  All scripture quoted in this piece is from the New International Version of the Bible.)

On a hot summer day in July I sat down with Mrs. Noah for tea and conversation.  We made an odd pair, me in my modern red maxi-dress, short brown hair that is always slightly untidy and sitting in a power chair and she in her loose long dress nearly covered by the inner mantle both in shades of brown and her hair white as snow neatly braided and hanging down her back, seated in one of my mismatched dining room chairs.

This was my first interview of a “famous Biblical person” so I was a little nervous.  Mrs. Noah helped put me at ease by smiling and patting my hand.  “Go ahead dear, ask your questions.”

So the interview began:

FVBF:  How did you find out about Noah’s plan to build an ark?

Mrs. Noah:  Noah’s plan?  Where on earth did you get the idea it was Noah’s idea?

(Great I thought to myself, I’ve managed to start out asking a bad question!)

FVBF:  You’re right, how did you find out that God had given Noah the task of building an ark?

Mrs. Noah:  (Laughing dryly.)  Like every other woman finds out such things from their husbands.  He walked into the tent with our sons and they started making plans.

FVBF:  I suppose some things haven’t changed!  Was it difficult when the community didn’t support Noah’s building of an ark?

Mrs. Noah:  Truthfully that was the hardest part for me.  I prayed daily, several times a day in fact, for the strength to help Noah continue what he knew God wanted done when our other family and neighbors thought he had gone mad.  Some even suggested he had been possessed by a demon when he told them God had spoken to him.

FVBF:  Tell us what a typical day on the ark was like once the rains came and you began floating.

Mrs. Noah:  It wasn’t anything like your modern day cruises I can tell you that!  Once the rain started it was dark outside the ark so telling time, knowing the passing of time, was dependent upon the inner knowledge of the roosters who crowed at days start and our own body’s clocks to tell us when the day was drawing to a close. 

We met in the common room for prayer and while my daughter’s-in-law and I prepared food to break our fast the men began to tend to the animals.  Noah liked to walk through inspecting them all first so that was where they started.

After breaking our fast Noah, our three sons and their wives began the daily tasks of cleaning stalls and feeding the animals.  I usually stayed in the living quarters to tend to the daily housekeeping tasks, cleaning, food preparation, meal planning, and laundry – Oh the laundry!  At least there was plenty of water!  (Laughing at her own joke, she continued.) 

The mid-day meal was usually eaten in shifts but the evening meal was always eaten together.  Noah would lead us in worship and prayer and then we would separate to our own rooms to sleep.

Not a very glamorous way of life but blessed for certain.

FVBF:  Was it noisy on the ark?  Smelly?

Mrs. Noah:  Of course!  But the animals did very well considering they hadn’t floated around in an ark before either!  They settled into a routine much as we humans did in time.

FVBF:  Were you ever afraid?  Of all the rain?  Even the animals?

Mrs. Noah:  I can’t lie.  I’d like to say that no, my belief in God kept my fears at bay but that isn’t true.  Many times I was afraid.  When you start thinking that just feet below you are animals that could easily tear you to pieces or that there’s so much water outside it seems you will never have earth beneath your feet again – fear creeps in on you.

FVBF:  How did you overcome those times of fear?

Mrs. Noah:  Well the same way you do I hope!  I prayed.  I listened as Noah told us again and again the stories of God since the beginning of time.  I had to keep choosing to trust God and believe.  A walk of faith was no different then than it is now.

FVBF:  One last question, have you ever been offended that you weren’t mentioned more often in the scriptures, the oldest history book of mankind?

Mrs. Noah:  Offended?  Offended by whom?  Moses?  Noah for not telling more people about my small role in such a miracle?    God?  Goodness no!

God didn’t speak to me now did He?  He spoke to Noah.  He told Noah what to do and how to do it.  But you know what?  I’m mentioned.

I made the book.  Now, may I ask your readers a question?

FVBF:  Certainly.

Mrs. Noah:  Are they in the book?  The one John tells us about in Revelation, “Another book was opened, which is the book of life.” (Rev. 20:12b) “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15)  So dear Readers, have you made it into the book?