Beauty for Ashes: A Global Outcry for Justice and Equality

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8

Oh, Nation! Do you hear our voices? Do you hear the cries of the people? The people who are constantly shot and killed on the streets and in their homes of America? The people constantly under assault and persecution for the color of their skin? The people striped of their identity and vandalized of their basic human rights to live free on this earth?

Our cities are burning due to the blind eye for justice. For generations, we have been raped of our humanity and dignity. How long do we have to continue on the same cycle of racism, prejudice, bigotry, harassment, discrimination and ignorance?

Oh, stiff-necked nation, repent for the sins against humanity. Turn away from your idols. Change from your wicked ways, devices and weapons of destruction against the people of color. Have you not learned anything from past generations?

This racist spirit; this racist attitude is a condition of the heart. It is a learned behavior that is passed on like a contagious virus. It is a disease of the soul that has infected every political, educational, judicial, and economical system throughout the world.

Do you not understand there is a penalty? That there is a price to pay for injustice? That you are accountable and responsible for your actions or complacency?

Why did it take cities to burn across the nation to the arrest four white men for the death of an innocent man?

Your hands are bloody and unclean. Your hearts are like filthy rags. Your mind is like a cancer.

We are at a crossroad in America for justice. We can’t go back to insanity. The repetitious pattern of hatred has to be extinguished. The time is now!

This moment is a pivotal point in history. The embedded racial coding throughout American culture is exposed and guilty as charged. Do you realize that there are consequences of an unchanged heart filled with arrogance, greed, ignorance and disobedience?

Oh city of Babylon, judgement is upon you. Purge from your evil ways before it’s too late. Its midnight hour in America and in the world. Extreme measures of correction, action and resolution is the torch that will lead the way out of darkness. The wind of change is upon us.

Will we finally have beauty for ashes?

The message is simple. Love.

Jer 50:23-25

How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!

24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the Lord.

25 The Lord hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

Jer 50:26-29

Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.

27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.

28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of his temple.

29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel.

Jer 50:38

A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

Jer 50:43

The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.

Jer 51:7-11

Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.

Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.

We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.

10 The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.

11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple.

Jer 51:17-18

Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

18 They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

Jer 51:43

43 Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.

Isaiah 61

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Seeking God in Solitary Moments

Resting in Gods Promises provides peace, security and strength to overcome life’s challenges.

Seeking God is Solitude Moments

Be Still

I hope you are finding peace in the midst of chaos. Just remember, Jesus slept on a boat in the middle of the storm. O ye, of little faith.

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

The Healing Garden: How to Find Beauty in a World of Chaos

Often we miss opportunities to capture the reality of the beauty that surrounds us because we are too caught up in our busyness. It takes a conscious effort to take notice of the little miracles and unlimited beauty that unfolds all around us.

Whether you live in a city, suburb or in the country, we are part of a collection of beauty.  Embrace the kaleidoscope of color that is found in a field of flowers or the silent whistle of leaves on a tree. Take notice of the backdrop under the night lite sky or a chiseled, sculpture of an architectural work of art in the heart of the city. Observe the colorful personalities that make up the tapestry of a community or region. Listen to the city rhythms of sirens, horns, or loud conversations. Gaze upon the choreography of weaving traffic.

When we embrace our natural environments and even our own circumstances, we release tension, resistance and stress. We can transform how we see our world. In the midst of chaos, it can be a place of acceptance and harmony.

It’s realizing that although we can’t change every area of annoyance and distraction in our lives, we can learn to perceive the discomfort through a different lens. We might be contained within our boundaries but understanding that things will eventually change because life is constantly evolving and shifting. 

Grounding yourself in peace is a life skill that only comes by a relationship with the Lord.

There is also healing that takes place when we don’t build up a resistance to it. Whether in solitude or a bustling crowd of people, we can find our center which surrounds us in peace and tranquility.  Just by taking a moment to pause, we can capture our lives in motion instead of a selfie.

There is beauty in living in the moment. If you blink, you’ll miss it.

Scripture Readings:

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Psalm 131:2

The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble. Prov 19:21

I saw a man who had no family, no son or brother. He always worked hard but was never satisfied with what he had. He never asked himself, “For whom am I working so hard? Why don’t I let myself enjoy life?” This also is very sad and useless. Eccl 4:8 (NCV)

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:4-21

Psalm 30

1 I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
2 Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
3 Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
4 Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness

5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
6 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
7 Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
8 I cried to thee, O Lord; and unto the Lord I made supplication.
9 What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.
11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever