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Rescue (corrected)

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An open letter to survivors of domestic s.e.x trafficking, who are being restored to Light and Life at centers like Wings of Refuge:

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Dear brave Sisters,

I don’t know your names, and you don’t know mine, but that’s ok. I have heard about your courage and the hard work you’re doing in your journey toward healing. Please, don’t quit. Stay on the path even when things get rough.

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Verses in the first chapter of Colossians  (9-14) express some of what I wanted to say. I paraphrased and elaborated:

Since the day I heard about you, I have been praying for you and asking God to fill you up to the brim with understanding of His will for you.

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I pray for wisdom, too, so that you will know how to live your life, how to make good decisions about your future.

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I pray that you will be like a beautiful tree in a garden, bearing fruit and growing stronger and taller each day.

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When the road get rough, I pray the Lord will give you endurance and patience. Then one day you’ll be walking down the path and realize joy is there, walking with you.

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The Lord has rescued you (and me–all of us, really) from the domain of darkness so that now you can live in the kingdom of Light.

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That kingdom belongs to God’s Son (the Son He loves), and we get to be part of it because we have forgiveness in His Son, Jesus.

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The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26   NIV

I pray this blessing for you, one of Light and Love and Peace. Amen.

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My sincere apologies to those of you who received a draft version of today’s post again. I am so embarrassed!

Thanks to Barb Briggs for sharing her photos of crocus and the crown of thorns.

Worms and Wings

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tobacco hornworm gobbling tomato leaves in my garden

If you’re a gardener, you may recognize this bane of the tomato world — the tomato  hornworm and its cousin, the tobacco hornworm.  They can devour a plant’s leaves, tiny stems, and, occasionally, green tomatoes in their ravenous march toward metamorphosis.  When the larva is fully grown, nearly four inches long, it will drop off the plant, burrow in the soil, and emerge in about two weeks as a sphinx moth.

These large moths are often mistaken for hummingbirds as they hover over flowers, feeding on nectar.  It’s an amazing transformation!

God is the author of metamorphoses of all kinds, and he is in the business of transforming us.

We are being changed to become more like him . . .

2 Corinthians 3:18 NIRV

We are asked to put off our old selves and put on the new. (Ephesians 4:22-24 and Colossians 3:9,10) There may not be an immediate transition to a life of

compassion , kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience  Colossians 3:12 NIV

but I see progress.

I’m looking forward to the final metamorphosis, too, when we trade in our old bodies for heavenly ones and are completely changed from the worm to the moth.

By his power he will change our earthly bodies. They will become like his glorious body.  Philippians 3:21 NIV

But until then I’m hoping to be a little less tomato-leaf-devouring worm and a little more nectar-drinking moth each day.  I know the metamorphosis itself is God’s work.  Taking off the old self and putting on the new imply some action, as does this verse:

. . . take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.  Ephesians 4:24 The Message

What is my part?

The light is fading as the sun sets, and my back is aching.  It’s time to quit writing for the day, leave the computer desk, and find a more comfortable seat.  I find myself drawn to my cozy chair in the living room with its bright reading lamp, and I’m thirsting/hungering for something cool and sweet.  I turn off the TV and hover over my Bible, finding these verses:

The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.  Exodus 16:31 NIV

Taste and see that the Lord is good;  Psalm 34:8

For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.  John 6:33  NIV

I am the bread of life.  John 6:48  NIV

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.  John 6:51 NIV

Jesus is the nectar, the sweet manna/bread.

photo by W.S. Crenshaw/Colorado State University

photo by W.S. Crenshaw/Colorado State University

I read and pray.  I taste and know that the Lord is good.

And that odd ache in my back?  I think I’m growing wings.

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