What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Secret Garden Chronicles: Moments of Grace ~ A Benediction - Updated

2/27/17 Update:  As I sat in the Secret Garden today I kept thinking about this place...the Methodist Youth Camp (now called the Warren W. Willis Camp), where I first learned how important it is to set aside a special time each day to reflect/meditate on God's Word and focus solely on the Lord.  We would start each day at camp at the "silver benches" on the lake shore, and have our morning devotions.  Read on for more about this...especially see the note at the end of this post with the picture of the cross on the lake.  

Here is the original post written on 1/9/2016:


"The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
and give you peace."
Numbers 6:24-26

When I was a young girl...many moons ago, I spent several weeks each summer and many weekend retreats at the nearby Methodist Youth Camp, now known as the Warren W. Willis Camp, named after the director who served there for so many years. Upon my graduation from high school, I spent the entire summer there as a camp counselor...an experience that I count as the turning point in my life.  It was during that particular summer that I totally recommitted my life to Christ, and made some decisions regarding my future that forever changed the direction in which I was headed. Not long after that I met my husband and God subsequently led us into full time ministry, and the rest is history. (A long story for another time).

What has all of that information to do with the above verses from Numbers Six?  Well, let me tell you. The verses above are also known by Bible scholars as the "Aaronic Benediction", when the Lord spoke to Moses and told him to (in verse 23)

"Speak to Aaron (his brother) and his sons, saying,
'This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel."

This "benediction" became a way to bless not only the children of Israel, but countless followers of Christ throughout the ages.  In our youth group, we always closed our gatherings and meetings with this particular benediction, as we crossed our arms and joined hands in a circle with our entire group, so that we were one in our purpose and prayer and blessing.

This little ritual always stuck with me as being a very special moment...

to be blessed by the Lord...
to be kept by the Lord...
to feel His radiant face shining upon me...
to know His Gracious GRACE was being bestowed upon me...
to know the beauty of His Divine countenance beholding my face...
and to be given His PEACE, which passes all understanding.

Wow! What a glorious moment of grace! I didn't fully comprehend how precious that moment was at the time. I just recited the words from memory with the others, not realizing that speaking those words was an actual blessing being spoken upon my own life and purpose. God was literally blessing me with His face, His grace, His Divine Countenance, and His peace. How beautiful...How marvelous...Such amazing GRACE.

Perhaps you are in need of a Benediction of Grace spoken over your life right now. I invite you to speak these words out loud, to yourself, or as you join hands with another who may be in need of a blessing today. Practice praying these words and claim them for yourself.  God intended you to hear them and to allow His radiant face to shine upon you...to feel His grace and peace washing over you...and to be blessed.  Amen.

This lighted cross floats on the lake in front of the Warren W. Willis Camp.
I used to sit on the shore on the
Silver Benches (a place for morning devotions) and pray and read God's Word early every morning and again in the evening.  


New note 2017:  Such a peaceful, restful place. I believe this is where the inspiration for my Secret Garden actually began...now some almost 50 years later the seeds sown then have produced much good fruit in me today.  We never know just how significant something so simple can be in the life of a young person...never underestimate the power of God to perfect that which He has started!


Psalm 138:8(NKJV)


The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;

Your mercy, O Lordendures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
Amen!







17 comments:

  1. What a beautiful prayer! I going to copy and save this!

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    1. And it's been there in God's Word for centuries...still blessing His people with His Grace and Peace. Sometimes we overlook these precious gems in God's Word, and when we look at in a new light, it takes on a new form in our hearts. I am glad that it has blessed you today as well.

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  2. You are always a blessing,Pamela, God has used you to bless the lives of so many. Thank you for this wonderful post, I will copy and keep this and refer to it on a daily basis.

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    1. Oh thank you Sylvia. This touches my heart so deeply to know that God is using this message to help others. But it is HIS message, not mine. Just passing on His good news! Thank you for being a part of this blessing today.

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  3. So blessed by your post this morning. Like Sylvia, I will copy this so it's always at hand. I'm printing it too and will add to my Faith Scrapbook. Have a very blessed SonDay.

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    1. Thank you Mary. I am so thankful to know that God is using this wonderful passage from His Word to bless and encourage others today. Isn't it amazing how something from so long ago continues to speak to hearts today? But that's because it is from God's own mouth...and it is His desire to bless us every day. Thank you again for becoming a wonderful new friend!

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  4. Beautiful post, Pam. There is when we pray God's Word, we can't go wrong. God's Word is living and active, even centuries later!

    Blessings!

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    1. Amen! God's Word is most definitely alive and well in our hearts and lives today! It never gets old or out of date or style. What a wonderful gift to keep on giving to the world. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today.

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  5. Hi Pam! This is one of my favorite Old Testament passages. What a gorgeous prayer to pray for anyone, anytime. So humble, but filled with the knowledge that God will not ignore a prayer like that. I think it's so powerful. I never thought of it as a 'benediction' before, but it adds some weight to it's importance, I think.

    What a beautiful memory to share with all of us, your time away at camp. I think it's so important to provide these opportunities to young people. It's a great way to show them that they're not the only ones interested in God, and you were able to give back too. Wonderful!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Thank you Ceil. Isn't it wonderful that God has given us such powerful words direct from His heart to bless His children? Sometimes we hear the words said in the liturgy or other services and we don't pay close attention to the meaning and its application to our own hearts. I am glad for this opportunity to share this "benediction" with others.

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  6. That is so beautiful, Pamela!
    How beautiful are the feet of Jesus, as He walked with you those many years ago and still walks with you now in that precious secret garden that you have created because of your love and devotion to Him.
    What a joy and a blessing this post was!

    God bless you~~

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  9. Pam, Thank you for sharing this again. It's amazing how certain places speak to us in the deepest parts of our beings. Praying God's Word back to Him is amazing.

    Blessings!

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  10. Oh, how I need to read and hear the words of this blessing today, Pam! I'm accepting it as an early birthday wish from the Lord, and will certainly make this beautiful blessing a part of my daily worship life.
    Blessings!

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  11. Pam, thank you for sharing this wonderful post and reminding us of His grace...how He desires us to come alone to be with Him and worship Him for who He is.

    xx

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  12. I enjoyed hearing how the Lord changed your life at the camp and how that impact forever changed your life too! What a beautiful cross out in the lake to look at! Such a beautiful scene to sit and meditate on the Lord and His word! A beautiful benediction and prayer too, I love that! I love your thoughts about being impacted as a young person - truly we never know how far our impact with others may go, much like a stone thrown on the water, we cannot tell where the waves will ripple to, and what they will touch. May we be that bread cast upon the water to return in many days to sustain and encourage. Blessings and hugs to you dear friend, what a joy it is to visit with you and share in your encouraging words from the Lord!

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