Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: Christ in You, You in Christ

Christ in You, You in Christ
- Roy Lessin

God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and He gave Himself to purchase our freedom.  I Corinthians 1:30 NLT

For it has pleased God to tell His people that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in His glory.
Colossians 1:27 NLT


As a child of God, you are in Christ and He is in you. Each is significant in the following ways:

Being in Christ means that you receive the benefits of all that He has done for you through His death, burial, resurrection and ascension;
Christ being in you means that you receive the benefits of His presence, His character and His nature within you.

Being in Christ changes your position before God;
Christ being in you changes the inward condition of your heart.

Being in Christ brings you into heavenly realities;
Christ being in you brings heavenly realities into your earthly walk.

Being in Christ opens your eyes to the beauty of God’s love;
Christ being in you floods your heart with that same love.

Being in Christ allows you to see what God wants you to become;
Christ being in you means that you can become what God wants you to be.


Being in Christ means that He is the atmosphere in which you live your day;
Christ being in you means that each day His strength is your strength, His peace is your peace, His power is your power, His victory is your victory, His life is your life.

This post originally appeared 12/2008. ©2016 Roy Lessin, used with permission, meadowrequests@gmail.com 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: Fret Busters 13 - 15

Fret Busters 13-15
-Roy Lessin

Fret Buster #13:
If you don’t have peace about what you are doing, stop doing it.


Fret Buster #14:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Fret Buster #15:

The peace that God gives you is not circumstantial peace. Being in a hammock at the beach on a warm sunny day is not a picture of God’s peace. Remember, the peace in your heart is God’s peace; it’s there because He’s there, not because everything around you is calm and serene.

This post originally appeared in December 2008.  ©2016, Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow Reprint requests should be sent to meadowrequests@gmail.com

Roy's book, Fret Busters Devotional can be found for sale in Christian bookstores, and online here

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Book Review: All the Pretty Things, Edie Wadsworth

When I found I had been given the opportunity from Tyndale to read All the Pretty Things for review I was nearly beside myself. The previews and comments from other authors seemed surreal, and I knew that it would be difficult to read, given the hardships and poverty I knew existed in the Appalachians. I was right, there was plenty of difficult situations that author Edie Wadsworth had to overcome, and overcome she did.

I love a good memoir. After reading Emily Wierenga's book, Atlas Girl, I was hooked. I've always been a "real story" girl, not wanting the fiction of make believe things, but preferring the stories that happen in life - the struggles, the disasters, the tragedy and yes, real-life redemption. Even when they hurt, leave me with a heart broken up for the injustices in the world, or joyfully celebrating, I want to know those feelings because of real stuff that's happened.


The realities that Edie had to deal with in her life were seemingly unavoidable, and her simple, child-like memories set the stage perfectly. I do not doubt that her life was THAT hard. I can not fathom living a childhood like hers, knowing that she has battled the demons that won for generations in her family. For her to have overcome her circumstances, own up for the demons she chose on her own as an adult, and banish them through her faith, provided a story of hope and determination.


I can't express the intensity of this book, of her life. I had to make myself put it down, wanting to read it in one sitting. I'm glad that I broke it into a few day's read, as it gave me the chance to savor, contemplate, and appreciate all she was sharing.

Her love/hate relationship with her alcoholic father was poignantly written. I appreciated her honesty as a child wanting to be loved and cherished and as an adult understanding addiction and human behavior.

Anyone who thinks that their life circumstances will hold them back from achieving their dreams should read this book. Anyone who is in a difficult season of life would appreciate it. Anyone who is feeling sorry for themselves should read it, if for no other reason than to understand how so many people live today in our own country; that children still go to bed hungry.

I highly recommend this book for reading, though I wouldn't think it appropriate for younger readers (senior high school kids may be able to handle the adult content, but not younger or tender hearted kids or adults).

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: God's Overwhelming Generosity

God’s Overwhelming Generosity
 - Roy Lessin

Everything in your life that flows out of love has come to you from God. Everything in your life that is good has been initiated by God. God has done everything for you, He is everything to you, and He is enriching other lives through you. His generosity is overwhelming; His blessings are limitless; His love is endless.



No one has favored you more than God. He has removed every stain of your sin, He has cleansed all the defilement of your iniquity, and He has silenced every voice of condemnation that hung over your head. He has saved you, redeemed you, and justified you.

All of God’s grace abounds toward you, all of Christ’s riches are made available to you, and all spiritual blessings are provided for you. In Christ, you have received the treasures that can never be taken away, the hope that can never fade away, and the life that will never pass away.

As you walk with Jesus day by day, you will find that your thankfulness to Him is an ever increasing symphony of praise, building into a lifelong crescendo of gratitude that flows from your heart to His. You, who have so little, have received so much, because He has been so generous.

There are so many riches that He has given to you; so many answers to prayer that He has granted to you; so many kindnesses that He has manifested to you; so many joys that He has provided for you; so many mercies that He has extended to you; so many benefits that He has showered upon you. Everything you have has come from Him, and that is the reason why your heart can be so grateful.

©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow, Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table. This post first appeared online in November 2008. Print requests should be directed to MeadowRequests@gmail.com

Friday, November 18, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: The Gift We Give to God

The Gift We Give to God
Roy Lessin

Then one of them, upon seeing that he was cured, turned back, recognizing and thanking and praising God with a loud voice.  Luke 17:15 AMPC

The Bible tells us that one day Jesus’ heart of compassion responded to the desperate cries of ten lepers. They were outcasts without hope, without friends, separated from society and human contact. Some people ignored them, some pitied them, some despised them, some wept for them, but none could change them. Jesus was their only hope. “Have mercy on us,” was their collective cry.

Jesus responded to them with a word. Not a word of sympathy or pity, but a word of power. It hit them like a thunderbolt. “Go show yourself to the priest.” What a statement! According to the law, you went to see the priest to verify your healing. And as they went, in obedience to His word, they were healed—all ten!

To be instantly healed from leprosy was amazing. It meant everything—a place in society, a job, hugs and human affection, belonging, acceptance, purpose, value. But what is even more amazing is that only one out of the ten was grateful enough to return and to pour out his thanks to Jesus.


In Timothy we read, “In the last days…people will be…ungrateful.” We live in an ungrateful world. To listen to most, you would think that either God didn’t exist, or if He did, that He was indifferent, unkind, and uncaring. 


God’s generosity to us in Jesus Christ is overwhelming—God gives us a clean heart, a joyful heart, a loving heart, a peaceful heart—yet, there is one thing God cannot give us, and that is a thankful heart. Thankfulness is our gift to Him.

©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow, Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table. Reprint permissions should be sent to meadowrequests@gmail.com This post originally appeared in 11/2008

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: There's No Place Like Home!

There’s No Place Like Home!
Roy Lessin

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John 14:23

The Man Without a Country is a sad story that tells the plight of Philip Nolan, who renounces the United States of America and is sentenced to spend the rest of his life on warships of the United States Navy, without the right to ever again set foot on U.S. soil or hear its name mentioned.

One of the saddest stories in real life is the plight of the homeless who live on city streets and parks throughout the country. These are people with a thousand different stories to tell, but who all have one thing in common, the absence of a place they can call “home.”


The saddest story of all is to learn of someone who is spiritually homeless. There is no greater emptiness, loneliness, or isolation than this. Jesus Christ came to make His home within our hearts. His presence makes it possible for every person to find their true home and their eternal home with Him.

The home that Jesus wants to make within us is not a dark, cold, harsh place that we will tremble to enter, but a home of splendor, beauty, and tenderness that will always make us feel welcomed.

Here are six characteristics of the home that Jesus wants to establish within us:

  • 1. A home of love...where His arms are extended to help, to support, to encourage, and to embrace.
  • 2. A home of acceptance…where you are valued, celebrated, enjoyed, and appreciated; where He is genuinely happy to be in your company.
  • 3. A home of protection…where you can be sheltered from the coming storm and find safety from the heat of day, the cold of night, and the battering winds that beat against your life.
  • 4. A home of fellowship…where your hearts can open up to one another, where feelings can be expressed, where thoughts can be exchanged; where deep touches deep, and soul touches soul in harmony, in unity, and in sweet communion.
  • 5. A home of light…where a glow fills the hallways and floods the rooms with welcomed illumination; where it is possible to clearly find your way and fully discover the treasures within.
  • 6. A home of warmth…where the fire of His presence burns brightly; its beauty drawing you close—bringing laughter, shared joys, common interests and celebrated victories, while the golden flames of mercy and grace warm the deepest chills within. 


©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow, Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table. This post first appeared in 11/2008. For reprint permission email meadowrequests@gmail.com

Monday, November 14, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: Will the "Real You" Please Stand Up!

Will the “Real You” Please Stand Up!
By Roy Lessin

Do you know who you really are in Jesus Christ? Have you discovered your true identity and are you living in the reality of it today? Years ago there was a TV game show called To Tell the Truth. During the show three contestants, each claiming the same identity, stood before a panel of judges. The object of the show was to see if the panel, by asking a series of questions to the contestants, could identify who was telling the truth. After the panel members made their guess, the host of the show would say, “Will the real ………….please stand up.”

If you do not know who you are Christ, you will not be able to “stand up” to your true identity. Because you are in Christ, you cannot let the devil try to tag you with a false identity.

You are the Lord’s person and possession. He made you and He owns you. He has ownership of you through creation and redemption. Isn’t good to know that you are doubly His! You are no small thing to Him and your life is no small matter in His loving hands.

You are His, wholly and completely. There are no doubts in His mind or in heaven’s records. The devil has no lien against your life. Because of the purchase price that Jesus paid upon the cross, Satan has no rightful claim upon you. He cannot approach the courts of heaven and say, “The shed blood of Jesus Christ was not payment enough to claim this life. I still am owed back payment and I refuse to release my legal rights.”

Satan also has no parental right over you. The devil is not your father and he cannot say, “This is my child and I have every right to my authority over him.” You are now God’s child. You have been adopted into God’s family. He is your Father and you are a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ, there are no ties to your past to pull you back; no fears to hold you back; no chains to keep you back.


The Son has set you free, you are a new creation, the old has passed away and the new has come. Refuse every lie that places you outside of Christ. Forget the former things, for God has done a new thing in your life. You are not a victim who is held captive by the past, your circumstances, or your upbringing. Don’t live in the past, for you have died to it all and your life is now hid with Christ in God.

Don’t every say, “Poor me.” Instead, say, “Rich me!” Jesus became poor so you could become rich. You have been lavished with riches—riches of grace, riches of mercy, riches of kindness, riches of love, riches of salvation, riches of glory for now and forevermore. There is no reason to live a defeated life because Jesus is your life, and He is the victorious warrior. Be free, for Jesus has freed you; live free, for Jesus is your freedom. He is your life, and as He is so are you in this present world.



©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow, Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table. This first appeared online 11/2008. Reprint permissions directed to meadowrequests@gmail.com

Friday, November 11, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: A Few Quotes

A Few Quotes

Our Christian life today is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet still to come; for God has “made us to sit down with Him” who first was seated by mighty power in the heavenly places far above all (Ephesians 1:20; 2:6). This means that the work of salvation is not ours but His. It is not that we work for God but that He has worked for us. God gives us our position of rest. He brings His Son’s finished work and presents it to us, and then He says to us, “Please sit.”

His offer of salvation cannot, I think, be better expressed than in the words of invitation to the great feast in the parable: “Come; for all things are now ready.”
-Watchman Nee


You are His…by conquest. What a battle He had in us before we were won! How long He laid siege to our walls against Him. But we have become the conquered captives of His omnipotent love. Thus chosen, purchased, and subdued, the rights of our divine Possessor are inalienable.
-C.H. Spurgeon



©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow, Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: "Gordon"

"Gordon"

The following posting is from Laurie Marie Hopper. Laurie works in a Christian bookstore and her time spent with customers is an important part of her daily ministry. 
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Life lessons learned in the DaySpring isle...

Some lessons in life I only have to learn once, but others it seems I have to learn over and over. Like the lesson of Gordon ... I'll never forget the day I met him. He was looking for a card for his "dear wife" as he called her. Now Gordon is an elderly man in his nineties....at one time he was a very tall gentleman. Gordon is stooped over a little and has a VERY wrinkly face.

I saw Gordon and said "Hi! How are you today?" I looked Gordon right in the eyes and smiled. Gordon looked back at me for a long time like he was pleasantly shocked someone would talk to him. We struck up a conversation and before long I learned that he had fought in world wars and had been a missionary and a pastor for many years. He also began to share with me all the jobs he had done ... I was amazed at this man! What a full life he had led! Before he left with his card he said, "The beauty of God shines in you!" Wow, what a sweet thing for a little old man to say! I told him goodbye and have a great day.

Well.....I didn't see Gordon for about six months. Then all of a sudden one day there he was! I was so glad to see him and he was glad to see me, too. But this time Gordon was a little bit different...he wasn't as clean as he was the first time I met him....and he didn't smell as well either. His eyes were a little bit dimmer and I noticed some food in his teeth. On first impulse, I didn't want to be so friendly.

"THIS was different!" I said to myself. "Do I have to still be friendly to this guy?"


Now before you give up on me, you have to know where I didn't come from. I didn't come from a Christian home where you were taught basic courtesies and manners. I didn't have parents who taught me how to treat people nicely whether you liked the way they looked or smelled. God has had to teach me everything I've learned about kindness.

As Gordon proceeded to talk to me and engage in conversation, a scripture leaped up in my spirit...”For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 KJV

I knew deep inside of me that I was suppose to treat Gordon like he was the best-dressed, best smelling older gentleman I ever met. And I did, with all my heart. I spent time with him and helped him pick out just the right card.

Just before he left he looked up at me and said, “Thanks for being so nice to me. Most people don't like to talk to old guys." I laughed and said, “You come in any time you like, Gordon! I love visiting with you!"

The next time Gordon came by the store, I was on the floor putting together a new display, and he said, “Do you have a few minutes? Probably not, huh?" 

I replied, "Why, sure Gordon...what do you need?"  He said excitedly, “I’ll be right back!" Sure enough, Gordon came back with a big three-ring binder in his hands and gave it to me. I opened it up and to my amazement, it was full of the most beautiful pictures I had ever seen. Photographs of flowers, birds, landscapes, sunsets, insects; pictures of cocoons opening and baby butterflies struggling out. He also had pictures of flowers in sequence, as a bud, opening a little more, and even a little more, until finally fully open.

In utter amazement I said, “Gordon, did you take these pictures!?" "Sure did!" He replied with a grin stretching from one ear to the other. "I knew you would appreciate them so I came to show them to you."

"You do professional work, Gordon! You should sell these!" "Oh, but then I'd have to do bookwork!", he replied. After he was gone, I felt so satisfied inside and so grateful that I had not rejected him.

What did I learn? That we are never too old to dream and to be creative and productive; that the outward appearance can be so deceiving in judging what's inside a person; that I want to be like God .... I want to see like He sees ... He looks on the heart.

Do you have a "Gordon" in your life? Do you find yourself a little like me - apprehensive to reach out to those who might be different from you? Let me encourage you to reach out just a little more than you normally would ... experience the freedom and the personal growth that comes from getting out of your comfort zone and showing God's love to those who cross your path on a daily basis. I think you'll find pleasant surprises along your journey and you'll see more like God sees in the process.


- By Laurie Marie Hopper

©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. This post first appeared in November 2008. For reprint information, email meadowrequests@gmail.com

Monday, November 7, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: The Work of My Hands

The Work of my Hands
By Roy Lessin

And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands—yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it. Psalm 90:17 AMPC

It’s a wonderful thing to know that God’s favor and blessing can be upon the work we are doing. Sometimes we can mistakenly think that God only cares about the work of the pastors, youth leaders, choir members, and missionaries, but doesn’t care about us and what we do.

It is easy to think that a job in the workplace is secular work and a job in the church is Christian work. If God has provided you with a job in the workplace He wants to bless you in the workplace. All honorable work that is done unto the Lord can glorify Him and accomplish His purpose.


He wants to bless the work of your hands. He wants to bless your employer through the work you do, He wants to bless others through the work of your hands, and He wants to bless you. He wants to bless you with success, with an income, with productivity, and with favor.

Lord, thank you for my job and for allowing me to be in the workplace. Thank you that this is your appointed place for me at this time. Thank you that you care about me and what I do. I am so glad to know that I can have your blessing upon my life and upon what I do. Bless the work of my hands today. Bless the company I work for and make them successful. I thank you for the income that I am receiving through this work and that I can use it to meet my needs and bless others. Continue to bless me and grant me your favor.

©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Originally posted in 2008 at Meet Me in the Meadow. For reprint information, please email meadowrequests@gmail.com


Friday, November 4, 2016

10 Little Photos... and a few more...

I haven't done a "10 Little Photos..." post in a long while, and I thought it would be the best way to showcase some of the fall color that has lingered around here. OK. Perhaps it should have been titled "20 or more photos..."



I'm surprised I have this many photos. It seems fall color was slow to start, and the local meteorologists kept saying it was too dry to get much color. I expected it to all turn brown and fall off the branches before reaching any intense color.


The peak of color is usually in early October, but we haven't had a hard freeze yet, and the temps have stayed unseasonably warm. There hasn't been the brilliant colors that I've seen in the past, but there is some color coming out now, rather late. It's beautiful, and I'm so grateful and thankful to see the reds, oranges and yellows linger on the horizon.


Some of these photos were taken at Silver Dollar City in Branson, just a short drive down the road from us. Many were taken in our neighborhood. I'm so blessed to have neighbors who don't mind me snapping photos of their trees, or leaves, laying colorfully on the grass like confetti.



I noticed something for the first time as I looked through these photos, the most colorful leaves are rarely perfect. They have blemishes, brown spots, torn sections, or are flawed in other ways. I think that is how God makes us too. If we were just plain green all year along, there wouldn't be much story to us. As it is, God takes our bruised bodies, broken hearts, torn promises, and puts us in His light, changing us into something spectacular. We wouldn't be nearly as beautiful without His light shining behind us, radiating His glory.


















I'd like to dedicate this post to my Auntie June, who passed earlier this year from cancer. She loved the colors of fall, and delighted in the photos I would share from wherever I was living. She was such an illuminating light, radiating Jesus in each of us. She loved to love like Jesus does, forgiving the bumps and bruises and bringing the best out in all of us. I miss her so much every day, but I'll hold her especially close to my heart when I see the leaves changing color each fall. I'm so grateful for the time we had together, and know that she is enjoying a heavenly view of the fall colors this year.

-Marina

Meeting in the Meadow: Today (From Today is Your Best Day)

Today (From Today is Your Best Day) 
By Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. Philippians3:14 NLT

There is a heavenly call of God upon you today. A call for you to move on and press on toward all that He has prepared for you. Yesterday’s progress is all behind you. Your best day is today, whether you take a small step forward or a giant leap, this day will move you closer than you have ever been before.

What a day this is! You have never gone this way before. Today may be the start of an anticipated vacation, the day of a planned event, or it may be a normal day spent around the house or at the office. What you have planned for today is not what makes it meaningful. What makes your day meaningful is that God is in it.

God was in your day when you first opened your eyes. He has sustained you through the night, greeted you with new mercies at morning’s light, given you the breath of life, and promised to direct your steps until day’s end.


Because of God’s mercies you can follow Him with all of your heart today…you can take each step today with a quiet heart…you can move ahead today with great confidence of faith knowing His love keeps you close to His heart, mindful of His promises, and confident of His care.

God’s mercies declare that you are covered in His compassion; His peace proclaims that you are renewed in His rest; His love heralds that you are bathed in His blessings of joy.


Are you tired or weary today? Allow God to renew you with His strength. Are you discouraged or downhearted? Allow God to lift you with His love. Are you in need of reassurance? Allow God to hold you in His embrace. 

©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table. This post first appeared in November 2008. Permission to repost via social media. Print requests should be directed to meadowrequests@gmail.com 

The book Today is Your Best Day is available through New Leaf Press at Christian bookstores and online retailers. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: Punctuation Marks

Punctuation Marks
By Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Are you going through a time of change in your life? How does God want you to view this change? Consider your life like a story that God is writing, one sentence at a time. This time of change is one of the sentences in your story. Sentences are written with punctuation marks, and each punctuation mark has a different meaning. If God were punctuating this time of change in your life what punctuation mark would He use?


God would not use a period. A period would leave you with the sense that you were at the end. This could lead you into despair and discouragement. Your life is not over just because you are going through change, no matter how great that change may be. God promises you hope and a future.

God would not use a question mark. A question mark would leave you with the sense of uncertainty. Uncertainty would be the doorway that leads you into worry. God does not want you to worry about the change you are going through or worry about what is ahead. God has promised to take care of you and He has told not to be anxious about your life.

God would not use an exclamation point. An exclamation point would leave you with a sense of high emotion. Exclamations points have been called “screamers” or “gaspers.” These are the things that would lead you into panic and fear. God has not given you the spirit of fear, and He has promised to give you His peace.

Since God would not use a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point, which form of punctuation would He use?

God would use a comma. The reason God would use a comma to punctuate a time of change is because a comma means a brief pause. A comma lets you know that the sentence has not come to an end. A comma says that after the brief pause, something else will follow. God wants you to know that there is something ahead that He has planned for you.

"Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19

©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley. Permission to forward in social media. For reprint permissions, please email meadowrequests@gmail.com