THE BRISK WINDS OF TRANSFORMATION

 Taking advantage of the few remaining hours of daylight on a sunny Sunday afternoon on the eve of winter, I took a stroll with my two dogs. Typical of March, the winds were blustery and biting. It made the walk a challenge for the three of us, but we pressed our way to get a bit of cardio exercise. Facing the force of the wind, I watched dead leaves thrust from their winter resting places. They tumbled down the pavement in an almost dance-like fashion.

The scene reminded me of the Holy Spirit’s power to transform the human heart. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he penned these words: 

“But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:14-18, ESV).

When we turn from the charm and distractions of the world and turn to God, the veil is removed. The veil is like a dark opaque curtain that separates us from God. It blocks us from the truth of the gospel. Our view and approach to life are obscure because the liberating light of Christ is hidden from our sight. Paul often refers to this veiled state as the hardened condition of the heart.

When we turn to God, remarkable life changes begin to occur. We are set free from our sin. He sets us free from the guilt of our past. For in Christ, there is no condemnation (read Roman 8:1-3).

There is a freedom to serve a living Savior through our daily interactions with others. There is the freedom to be transformed into Christlikeness through the power of His Word and by His Spirit.

When we surrender our lives to Christ, the brisk winds of His Spirit will change us from our spiritually dead lifeless state into a people who are fully alive.

A woman tried desperately to find happiness and success through human effort. Though busy and productive as defined by man, there was pain and battles both internally and externally. The score was uneven. She was losing more than she was winning. As the struggles mounted, she realized that change was needed. She prayed this simple prayer with a sincere heart, “Lord, help me.”

A new journey began as the Spirit of the living God lifted her from her dead state (worldly, religious, but no relationship with God) and set her on the path to transformation. The battles and struggles of living life on this earth did not come to a screeching halt; however, the Spirit of God remains a constant companion. His Spirit and His word have been the hope and anchor for her soul.

That woman is me. God has delivered me from so many things. In Christ, I have a freedom that I would not have known had I not turned my heart toward Him. I am still on the journey of being transformed into His image, and it has been well worth it.

You might have wounds from the battles of life. You may feel weary and worn. You may not believe that God exists or cares about you because you have experienced frequent and intense episodes of hurt and disappointment. But He does care, and He does love you. There is hope no matter what has happened in your life before today. His name is Jesus. Do not give up on Him, my dear friends. He is knocking at the door of your heart. Please open the door and let Him in.

I leave you with these words of God spoken through the prophet Ezekiel.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:26-27, ESV).

Blessings

Phyllis

A SEPTEMBER SUNRISE

It was the final Saturday sunrise for September 2021. The hues of color that spanned the morning sky were stunning. Realizing that the moment would soon fade, I hurried back to the house to grab my camera. Above the tree peaks were orange, pink, blue, and gray bands.       

As the sun was rising from the east, God was calling attention to the greatness of His creation. Only He could orchestrate such beauty.

The hues of the morning sky would also introduce an array of exposure to life under the sun. The dawn releases new mercy and a pouring out of God’s unearned grace.

The sunrise signals another day to strengthen our trust in God. We can breathe deeply, knowing that He will guide us through the day if we trust and believe.

We may face problematic and sometimes-peculiar dynamics of human relationships on any given day. It may be cynicism, hatefulness, false accusations, and jealousy where the motives are designed to cripple us beyond recovery, destroy our hope, silence our giftings and crush our destiny. God, however, has the power to shine through the darkest of darkness. Through His Son, Jesus the Christ, He beckons us to come, to follow him to the light.

Jesus’ message is always illuminating. John, the gospel writer and beloved disciple of Jesus, recounts the Messiah’s dawn appearance at the temple courts. In a portion of the narrative, we find Jesus’s own words: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, NIV)

Christ’s light living inside gives us strength to overcome the deeds of darkness not with worldly responses but with love and Godly wisdom. I don’t know about you, but I have struggled in this area. There have been times when I’ve handled matters in ways that were not pleasing to God. I am so grateful that He forgives! I can almost hear Him saying, “Okay, not quite the response I was hoping for, let’s try again.”

Like the hues of the morning sky, transformation often occurs within the context of human relationships. Through Christ, our trials, struggles, pain, and disappointment become illuminating pathways to spiritual growth. Through Him, we can rise above the darkness and see the dawn.

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he instructs the believers to walk as children of light, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:8-11, NIV).

You may question this biblical truth and wonder how this can be possible. But I must ask, are you ready for a new life? If so, then take a giant leap forward, give up the darkness and surrender your life to Jesus Christ. He gave His life for you, and His arms are wide open to receive you. It doesn’t matter how deep in the darkness you are at this moment. It doesn’t matter what you have said or done. Neither your past nor your present excludes you. He died to rescue all of us from the domain of darkness and bring us into the glorious light of His kingdom.

 I say to you give Jesus Christ a chance. It may be for the first time, or it may be the renewal of the relationship you once had with God, but for whatever reason, you walked away. 

I pray that every sunrise will be a reminder of His greatness, His power to save, and His amazing love for you.

Choose Him, Choose Light, Choose Life.

Blessings  

Phyllis

LIVING IN THE CALM

In December 2018 I had a wonderful opportunity to take a Western Caribbean cruise. As the massive cruise ship moved through the waters of the Caribbean Sea the first portion of scripture that came to mind was “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God. . .” (Psalm 14:1, NASB).

From the ship’s deck I gazed intently at the massive body of water. I was in awe of its beauty. However, I was also mindful of its immense power.
God created the seas (see Psalm 95:5). He can cause them to stir up the wildest tempest, fierce enough to toss ships off course, forceful enough to destroy entire landscapes, cities, towns and sadly it can and has taken numerous lives. It is a force of nature that no man can control.

The same sea that can destroy can help us experience the calm. As I listened to the sound of the gentle waves on the sun kissed body of water, I felt a calming peace rush over my soul. I thought to myself, “I can just stay right here.”

Because Cruises don’t last forever, and we must all return to reality and the normalcy of daily living it is important to find the calm in the routines of life. Life for most of us is busy and fast paced. We deal with stressful situations in the marketplace. We work to develop a healthy equilibrium between work, parenting, caregiving, fun, hobbies, ministry, community involvement and relaxation. There are relationships to foster amongst family, friends and associates. There’s a list of unanswered prayers and unresolved matters of the heart. Considering all of these things, living in the calm can seem out of reach. Yet, our God is there to help us to live in the place that He created. It is a place call Peace.

I am often reminded of the words in Psalm 29:11 “The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace” (NASB). During the challenging times in my life I have often repeated this verse.

Living in the Calm requires that we pursue the God of peace. It requires that we remain faithful and true to Him. Living in the Calm requires that we see Him as the King who sits enthroned over all of creation. Living in the Calm requires that we put God is His rightful place, enthroned over every aspect of our lives.
In this new year and decade cleave to God and to all of the promises found in His life giving and life changing Word. It is in Him and through Him that we experience the calm. And so, my dear friends relax in His presence. He is waiting to meet with you.

Blessings

Phyllis

©Phyllis A. Clemons 2020, Broken Wing Ministries

NEW BOOK RELEASE!

Lydia: It’s a New Day is a beautifully illustrated picture book that promotes the power of a supporting family and the biblical foundation that is needed for success in overcoming challenges and disappointment. Readers will find encouragement, the strength to move forward, and be compelled to explore the truths in the word of God. Lydia will help readers appreciate the beauty and the blessing of each new day.

This book will complement any collection of children’s books. An excellent read-aloud book for families, small groups, and Sunday school classes alike it appeals to the visual learner.