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Stripped Away 3/23/16

  • Joel 1:7


    He has laid waste My vine, And ruined My fig tree; He has stripped it bare and thrown it away; Its branches are made white.

    Have you ever stood naked in-front of the mirror? Have you ever taken a good look at your self? What does your body reveal? Take a good look, what do you see? Does it show the scars of your journey? Does it show the day oh so many years ago, when you tried to take your life? Scars left on your writs where you tried to commit suicide reveal a troubled past. Take a good look at your face, does it show the worry lines from a time you watched your child die? Does it show the time you held your spouses hand as he/she lay dying in their hospital bed? Look at your hands, do they show the callouses from a time when they worked the land? What do your feet reveal? Bunions and callous from being on your feet for hours as you toiled on the front line of life. The only scars on your body that bring a smile or a glimmer of joy are the scars from your child’s birth that made all the bad in your life melt away like ice melts on a sunny day. Take a good look, what in your life has been stripped away, and what does it reveal?

    Job 23:10

    But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

    How many things in this life need stripping away before they reveal the beauty they behold at the core? An old piece of furniture, sitting by the side of a curb waiting for the junk man to take it away, shows great promise to the eye that beholds it and can see the beauty beyond the funky color that coats it now.

    The fields that are burned to a charred state, reveal a beauty underneath as all the old has been stripped away, and now, from a single seed left by a foraging bird, begins to take on new life. As the flowers return to this charred wilderness no one looking on this beauty sees the darkness that had to take place before the beauty could return.

    Isaiah 48:10

    Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

    The piece of wood held in the carvers hand sees the beauty within that piece, but before it can be revealed he has to peel off the bark, cut away the excess knots till the wood begins to take on the shape the carver wants it to be. The carver uses a knife to whittle down and carve out the sculpture he sees in his mind that will unfold in the piece of wood he holds in his hands.

    John 15:5

    I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.


    An archeologist digging in the dirt as a child plays in his sandbox, looks for hidden treasure from long ago. In the rubble he finds old clay pots. He finds them in a broken state, a burned or chard state. He finds many cracks on them, with scratched paint, made from plants, these pots reveal a history of how they were used once oh so long ago.

    Jeremiah 18:4

    And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again in to another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

    Do you realize the power of prayer? Are you ready for a life changing stripping away of that prayer you just prayed? Are you willing to undergo the stripping away of certain things in your life because of that prayer? Are you ready for heartache, loss of loved ones, financial ruin, job loss, a pets death? Are you ready for physical moves and poor health? Are you willing to sacrifice it all to follow the Lord? Are you willing to have the Lord strip it all away so you can be remade for His glory? Are you ready to be broken bread and poured out wine so that His light can shine through you? Are you willing to leave behind friends of a life time? How about moving away from your parents and neighbors you grew up with? What if all the security you once knew was stripped away, what would you do?

    This journey becomes a drought at times, full of cracks with no life to them, until the Lord waters them with His tears for you and life returns once again.

     "The Heart Of Worship'

    MICHAEL W. SMITH LYRICS

    When the music fades
    All is stripped away
    And I simply come
    Longing just to bring
    Something that's of worth
    That will bless Your heart
    I'll bring You more than a song
    For a song in itself
    Is not what You have required
    You search much deeper within
    Through the way things appear
    You're looking into my heart

    I'm coming back to the heart of worship
    And it's all about You,
    It's all about You, Jesus
    I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
    When it's all about You,
    It's all about You, Jesus

    King of endless worth
    No one could express
    How much You deserve
    Though I'm weak and poor
    All I have is Yours
    Every single breath
    I'll bring You more than a song
    For a song in itself
    Is not what You have required
    You search much deeper within
    Through the way things appear
    You're looking into my heart

    I'm coming back to the heart of worship
    And it's all about You,
    It's all about You, Jesus
    I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
    And it's all about You,
    It's all about You, Jesus

    I'm coming back to the heart of worship,
    And it's all about You,
    It's all about You, Jesus
    I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
    And it's all about You,
    It's all about You, Jesus

    When I gave my heart to the Lord, I had no idea what my life would be like in the days, weeks, months, and years that followed. I just knew that Jesus gave his life for me and that I owed Him my life in return. I knew this was the right way, even though I had no idea what is was going to cost me over time. God has shown himself to me over the years in so many ways. I have not learned to be content in the circumstances I am in, maybe I'll learn that down the road. My patience only goes so far, and every once in a while, those words you try so hard not to say somehow slip out of your mouth before you have time to think to hold them back. But no matter my flaws, I know that God loves me unconditionally. I know He has a plan for me, I know He is making my path straight when all I can see is crooked endless pathways to who knows where but God.

    Although I do not strive for perfection, my life has been remolded, broken, reshaped, pulled, and stretched. It has seen drought, and death, it has been barren of life and has withered in spirit many times. But I refuse to let go and give in. My God said He will never leave me nor forsake me. I might not see him right away, but on the wind that kisses my cheek, I feel His hand gently stroking my face with His presence. I see that lonely monarch

    butterfly fitter by me as I look for Him, and I know that he sending me a Butterfly Kiss. I hear a song bird before the sunrises and know the Lord is singing me a song to let me know He is there. My life has changed greatly since the day I excepted Jesus as my Savior. I have heard Him, I have seen His hand, I have felt His touch on my shoulders and felt his hand on my pain in the middle of the night. My God is alive in my life and I know deep within me, despite my current circumstances, I know that I know that I know, all things work together for good, and that in His time all will be revealed for His glory.

    Spring is here, new life and new beginnings abound. With God beside me I can not fall, and if I am teetering on the edge of that cliff, I know that He has His wings round my waist so that I will not fall. I am thankful for my life, that He chose me oh so long ago and that I said “YES”! My life is a reflection of the God who took me and stripped away all that was unnecessary and remolded me into that vessel that can be used to show His glory to others. I might not always shine brightly as the sun upon a glass window, but the SON still shines on a cloudy day, even though we may not be able to see it. I have much to be thankful for. You can never repay the one who gave His life for you, but you can reflect that love to others.

    It is my hope, to reflect His love to others in some way. I may not present the gospel to all that I meet, I know people have heard it in some form, but they do not always see the physical care, love, concern or compassion that Jesus showed to others. I want to show others that Jesus loves them through my actions, then my words. It is easy to say “Jesus Loves You”, it is harder to show them HE loves them. I do not choose the easy way, my road has been the harder way. And it is all for “HIS GLORY”.

    May your day be blessed with HIS PRESENCE !

    Leslie 3/23/16


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David and Dianna Wyles likes this
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David and Dianna Wyles
David and Dianna Wyles I can see much strength in your words:) I believe God is leading you to many great blessings for all you strong faith! Thanks for sharing your heart and journey with us. God bless
March 23, 2016
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Leslie McLea
Leslie McLea Thak you kindly my friend. I love writing for the Lord it is where I feel like its home. 
March 23, 2016