Tag Archives: Jesus

His Blood Shed at Gethsemane

His blood shed

“By His Blood” (Detail), colored pencil drawing by Felecia R. Weber, OntheWingofaDove.com

His blood shed at Gethsemane – such a heavy weight Christ carried in knowing what was to be…

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”  Luke 22:44

His Blood at Gethsemane

His blood shed at Gethsemane

What it demonstrated to me,

Not the loneliness wrought by betrayal,

Nor the tortuous suffering at Calvary.

His blood shed at Gethsemane

It revealed something much deeper than that,

For there is no greater suffering, no other loss that can compare.

Yet, because of God’s deep love for us, His only Son’s life He did not spare.

His blood shed at Gethsemane

Such a heavy weight Christ carried in knowing what was to be;

The agony that stood before Him; the decision that He alone did make.

I praise Him and eternally thank Him, for the gift of salvation He made possible for you and me.

Felecia R. Weber 2016, OntheWingofaDove.com

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.  Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.  Stay here and keep watch with me.’…”  Matthew 26:36-46

It always touches my heart intently when I think of the grief and agony that Jesus suffered that night in the garden called Gethsemane.  Can you imagine it?  He not only had to deal with the fact that He had already been so wrongly betrayed, but He also knew that those followers of whom He had lead and loved so intimately and for so long, appeared only to have a vague understanding of what this incredible night was to hold for them in the immediate future.  His love for them and the entire undeserving world was so great, yet He knew that what He must do would be more than He, at least in His humanness, seemingly could bear.

But wait, there is more…the thing that caused His greatest anguish is something that we cannot even comprehend.  For Jesus knew that in order to make that deep love for all of us who have ever lived, and those who will come after us, be real and to free us in a way that nothing else could do…He had to make a decision that would lead Him to a place where only He could go.

I imagine we’ve all experienced, to some degree, the destitution of feeling completely alone.  With nowhere , or no one to turn to.  A place where no light shines and where all hope seems to have slipped through our fingers.  Where when we cry out for help, all we hear is silence, or worse yet, only the echo of our own tear-strained voice.  A place that is void of all that is good, and the vibrancy of life and joy.  Now try to fathom that feeling to be a million times greater and real.  Even then we cannot come close to where Jesus was to go.  For He would be completely separated from God the Father and God would turn His back on His beloved Son.  There would be no response from God to Jesus’ cries to Him.  His desperate tears would fall silently and God would not hear.

“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  Matthew 26:39

For me, His blood shed at Gethsemane symbolizes the level of intensity of how much Jesus’ love is for us.  That, although He pleaded with God the Father to take that utterly bitter cup from Him, He chose to take it on, for our sake. Indeed, there is no greater love than that.

May you take the time today, Maundy Thursday, to ponder the decision that Jesus made on that agonizing night He spent in the garden called Gethsemane, and may it move you to take a step of faith and place your trust, your life in Him, who is the Light and the Life.

Peace and love,

Felecia

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On Greatness

On Greatness

greatnessA Quote to Carry You

February 15, 2016

“People do not become great by doing great things; they do great things because they are great.”  George Bernard Shaw

On greatness…There is something about this quote that begged me to dig deeper.  On the surface, it didn’t really mean much to me.  In fact, I rather didn’t agree with it at first glance.  For greatness, described as something extremely large or notably big, sounds to me to be awkward and cumbersome.  There is however, an aspect of it that captivates me…that of being remarkable, outstanding, eminent, distinguished.  Certainly those qualities imply greatness, but what is more interesting to me is how does one achieve it.

I suppose, like beauty, greatness is in the eye of the beholder.  A parent has the greatest influence on a child in his early years.  As he grows, that sphere of influence expands…the individual begins to be molded into a person, full of strengths and weaknesses, positive and negative traits, all that combine to define who he is.  I believe that a person’s greatness stems from this.

For me, greatness doesn’t necessarily have to involve some heroic, life-saving act, that draws attention to the person because of the dynamic nature of the act performed.  Indeed, such acts are great and should be recognized and honored, of course.  I do, however, believe that greatness is carried out in a more profound way, in ordinary, daily life.  When a wife or a husband tenderly cares for their spouse as a disease ravages their spouse’s body to the point that the life is drained right out of them.  When one friend sits and listens quietly for hours as the other pours out the depths of his soul in his darkest hour, because otherwise he may not find the strength to go on.  When a person in a position of authority risks bending the rules in order to allow for the greatest good to be achieved.  Greatness…happens when we reveal love for others that goes beyond ourselves.

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”  Matthew 22:37-39

Peace and love,

Felecia

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What’s in a Name?

What's in a name?

Fragmentary Loom Width with Wavy-Vine Pattern (Detail), second half of 16th century. Image from a page of the 2015 Desk Calendar, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store

What’s in a name?  Jesus, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, that is you.

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  Matthew 1:21

What’s in a Name?

Jesus, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, that is you.

Master, Mighty Counselor, Savior, you are all that is true.

Shepherd, Lord, Son of God with your life, you paid the price,

Jesus, Holy Jesus, your gift to us was your sacrifice.

Felecia R. Weber, OntheWingofaDove.com

What’s in a name?  That’s a strange question to ask, especially on the biggest shipping day of the year, right?  Thanksgiving Day is over, Christmas is coming, Santa Claus, Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman are all on their way.  So many images flood our minds during this happy season.  But underneath the wrapping paper, when the colored lights click off at the programmed time, and when the holly, jolly music fades away into the cold winter nights…what name resounds the loudest and shines the brightest in your heart?

What’s in a name?  For me that name is Jesus, oh my precious Jesus!  There is no denying that Jesus truly is the reason for the season.  As we enter into Advent, awaiting with so much anticipation the coming of him whose very name commands our attention, may you take the time to reflect upon the magnificence of Jesus; the name above all others.

Peace and love,

Felecia

 

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On Respecting Others

On Respecting Others

respecting othersA Quote to Carry You

October 19, 2015

“So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  Genesis 1:27

On respecting others – Respecting others goes far beyond getting along with them, or even being nice to them.  I believe that respecting others means to honor them as individuals, uniquely made, even when their views or behaviors represent something completely against what we believe or value.  To me, respecting others has less to do with a person’s actions, and more to do with the person’s value and worth as a human being. We’ve all been given the gift of life, a treasure bestowed upon each of us by God.  In that regard, each and every one of us is precious in his sight.  That being the case, shouldn’t we all, at the very least, go about respecting others?

“…the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…”  Genesis 2:7

No matter what society says, we are all fundamentally equal.  After all, each of us enters into the world and exits from it in the same way.  God breathes life into us when we are conceived.  We take our first breath of air when we are born, and life escapes our physical bodies when we breathe our last.  The act of respecting others, honoring the dignity of each human life seems so basic.  Yet, according to the tragedies we hear of in the daily news, it is apparently one of the most difficult things to uphold.  It often makes me wonder why?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

I believe the answer lies within the lines of the above verse. When I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart as a child, I did not fully understand what an awesome sacrifice was made for me, and all mankind, to make it possible to receive not only a new life in him, but life eternal.  In essence, Jesus gave up his life for ours; the ultimate sacrifice, born out of love. The older I get, the  clearer and more important that truth has become to me.  If God so loved each and every one of us that he would demonstrate that love in such a way, isn’t all human life worth respecting?

Respecting others is something that calls for us to peer into our own hearts and face what lies within it.  For, all of us being equal, respecting others essentially means respecting ourselves.  When we value and love others as we do ourselves, just imagine how amazing life can be.

May your respect for others lead to loving others…and may that love lead to a life that is truly worth living.

Peace and love,

Felecia

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On the Unknown

On the Unknown

unknownA Quote to Carry You

October 5, 2015

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear and the oldest and strongest of fears is the fear of the unknown.”  H .P. Lovecraft

On the unknown – October is a month that brings with it an air of mystery.  Not only does it seem to usher in the sharp contrast of noticeably shorter days and a heavier mask of darkness during the nighttime skies, the undressing of the leaves from the trees all combine to create an eeriness to nature’s canvass.  Lately, I have found myself not wanting to venture outdoors once the sun starts to set, and I’ve turned on more lights indoors than I have during the past months.  I seek out the warming comforts of a hot cup of tea and nestling down under heavy blankets or wrapping myself up in my cozy sweaters, as if to shelter myself from the wiles of the outdoors.  I never know what to expect from one day to the next…the blazing sunshine of an Indian Summer day can fade into a blustery snow squall seemingly overnight.

Fear of the unknown has a similar quality.  When we face new situations or volatile times, we become uneasy and seek out the comfort of familiarity.  The unknown, no matter if it is something as common as the weather or as major as a life altering event, the mystery and uncertainty of not knowing what’s ahead can be frightening.

There is one sure way to face the unknown with confidence and security…his name is Jesus.  When we cast our cares upon him, the unknown becomes known, because he will reveal it to you perfectly in his timing and in his way.  When we yield to his love and care, there is nothing that we will ever face that he hasn’t already equipped us to handle.

“Fear not tomorrow, for God is already there.” Author Unknown

When the mystery and fear of the unknown threaten to creep into your comfort zone, may you always step out in the boldness of knowing that our Lord has already cleared the way…you need only follow him.

Peace and love,

Felecia

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On Priorities

On Priorities

on prioritiesA Quote to Carry You

July 27, 2015

“For when my outward action doth demonstrate the native act and figure of my heart, in compliment external, ’tis not long after.  But I wear my heart upon my sleeve, for daws to peck at:  I am not what I am.”  From William Shakespeare’s “Othello”

On Priorities – It is fair to say that what we put first in our lives says a great deal about who we are.  Thinking about what my true priorities in life are brought the saying “I wear my heart upon my sleeve” to mind.  Being a task-oriented person, it pleases me when I check off something on my “to do” list as complete.  What’s even better, is when I can check off every item on the list.  However, it seems that when my list appears to be complete, a whole slew of other tasks follow and on and on it goes.

When my “to do’s” outweigh the time that I have to complete them, setting priorities comes into play.  When I begin reviewing my list trying to decide what is the most important thing that needs to get done, I often come to the same conclusion.  The things on my “to do” list are really not important at all!  When I examine my true priorities, I’ve come to realize that the most important thing in my life has already been done.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  Matthew 6:33

I have found that in turning my life over to Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I have essentially made following him the priority of my life.  As a follower of Christ, it is ever my hope that what “I wear upon my sleeve” is a heart that reflects the love that God has filled it with.  In turn, my true priorities have become completing my part in what God has already done.

Spending time on God’s “to do’s” are rewarding, that certainly is true.  May spreading his love to others be your number one priority too.

Peace and love,

Felecia

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Amazing Love

Amazing Love

My great-nephew, Ryder Cullen Stevens. Congratulations Alexia and Jeff! Photograph courtesy of my sister Marjorie Karimi.

Amazing love – There have been many stories written about a love bond so strong that words cannot even come close to describing it…that’s not just love, that’s amazing love!

“I have never been so in love.”  Alexia D. Karimi (speaking about her newly born baby boy, Ryder Cullen)

My family and I have had the pleasure of welcoming our new addition, my great-nephew Ryder Cullen, to the world a week ago.  His arrival came a little sooner than we’d expected, but we are exceedingly happy to welcome him nonetheless!  I’ll admit, when I woke up to the news that our long-awaited bundle of blessings had been born, I felt as excited as a little child on Christmas morning!  We knew what he looked like from the sonographic images that my niece Alexia shared with us throughout her pregnancy, but my first glimpse of the photographs of him shortly after he’d been delivered simply took my breath away.  It was most definitely love at first sight!

Amazing love certainly has a way of doing that.  It touches us in such a profound way.  It seems to mesmerize us and it only grows deeper and stronger as time goes on.  Although I certainly consider the love that Ryder’s parents, Alexia and Jeff, feel towards their precious baby boy to be that kind of love, I can’t help but think of another amazing love that is even greater than that.  When God so richly blessed my family with this little life, he surely showered his love upon us.  As little Ryder grows, that love will increase many times over as we get to share in it over the years.  What is even more amazing to me is that, because of the love that God showed towards all mankind through the birth, death and resurrection of his son Jesus, we all have the opportunity to share in our love for each other not just here, but throughout all eternity…amazing isn’t it?

Amazing love, God has for me,

a love he freely shares.

One that surpasses the veils of time,

no other love compares.

Felecia R. Weber 2015, OntheWingofaDove.com

May you consider what blessings await you when you embrace God’s amazing love.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

Peace and love,

Felecia

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Shepherd – What’s in a word?

shepherdShepherd…I can think of nothing more comforting than the thought of me being a helpless sheep with Jesus as my Shepherd…

“The King of love my Shepherd is,

Whose goodness faileth never,

I nothing lack if I am His

And He is mine forever.”*

Protector, comforter, provider, friend, caregiver, gentle guide…the one I want to follow…

Shepherd…What’s in this word for you?  If you can tell me, please do!

“The Lord is my Shepherd,” (Psalm 23:1). I can think of nothing more comforting than the thought of me as a helpless sheep with Jesus as my Shepherd.  My late husband Stephen, without a doubt, also found great comfort in knowing that he needn’t fear anything, for under his Shepherd’s care, everything was complete.  This became more evident to me as I watched him live out his last day.  Although his body had deteriorated a great deal from the cancer that had spread so rapidly, he seemed to be adorned by a pensive strength that allowed him to walk through our home, room by room, seeming to take all of his fond memories into his heart for safekeeping.  He responded to my words and watchful care with a quiet, attentive grace, yet I knew that his mind was very far away.  At one point, as he rested a few hours before he passed, he stretched out his arm as though he was being gently led to a place that the serene expression on his face told me was where he was most willing to go…

“In death’s dark vale I feel no ill

With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;

Thy rod and staff my comfort still,

Thy cross before to guide me.”*

At that moment, the peacefulness that my dear one surely was experiencing made me pause and think of the green pastures and still waters that our Shepherd promises to lead us to and through.  When my Stephen passed, I know that our Shepherd, Jesus, restored his soul…

“And so through all the length of days

Thy goodness faileth never;

Good Shepherd, may I sing they praise

Within Thy house forever.”*

*All verses by Henry W.  Baker, “The King of Love My Shepherd Is.”

Peace and love,

Felecia

 

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