Sunday, December 29th, 2019. 10:09 AM.
“The Lady of the Valley”
She lived in the valley of the black stone.
And her heart and soul and mind and spirit all felt the blackness of it all.
When she saw “Lost in Space” and heard Doctor Zachary Smith lamenting,
“Oh the pain, the pain, the PAIN OF IT All!” she understood.
First Time Dr. Smith Ever Said “Oh, the Pain… the Pain” (Lost In Space, S1 E7)
All her life
So far . . . that was how it had been.
Her life was about to change
From blackness to lightness.
Ya’, right . . . Oh sure . . .
Sam Cooke – Another Saturday Night (Official Lyric Video)
All around her in the Big Valley
Were high hills.
They seemed like mountains to her.
She had never tried to climb those high hills.
They all seemed insurmountable to her in the lowliness of her spirit.
So, she quietly lived in the Big Valley all alone.
The longer she lived there the lowlier her heart sank.
She only thought she was all alone, though;
Someone was watching her . . . high above.
“Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly:
But the proud he knoweth afar off.” -Psalm 138:6. KJV.
El Condor Pasa – Paul Simon & Garfunkel
One day she was walking in the big valley alone, as usual, and her soul was silently crying.
She stopped and looked around her
At all those high hills that surrounded her all her life long.
Green Green Grass Of Home – Tom Jones -with lyrics
And her heart began to wonder if, maybe, those hills were not insurmountable after all.
She began to wonder if, maybe, she should try to climb one of those hills
And see what there was there to see from above, at the top of the hill.
Oliver – Jean (Original Recording)
So she began to consider taking a walk out of her big valley.
A few days later, she put a sandwich in a bag with a bottle of spring water
And she went out on her daily walk.
And she found a path at the base of one of the hills that surrounded her valley.
And she began to walk up the path rather than pass it by — as she had always done in the past.
When she got halfway up the hill she saw a big rock that was flat on its top.
So, she stopped there and sat on the Rock to rest.
And there, she ate her sandwich and drank the spring water in quietness.
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress
And my deliverer;
My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.” -Psalm 18:2. NIV.
Lead Me To The Rock (Psalm 61:1-2 NIV, 2,4 NLT) – from Labyrinth by David Baloche
Lead Me To The Rock
After her rest and refreshment, she got up and continued her upward walk.
[1 Corinthians 10: 1-4 NIV]
“For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”
The Lily of the Valley
Lily of The Valley w/Lyrics
There is Power in the Blood
When she finally reached the top of the hill she looked at the vista before her.
There was a long and gradual descent on the other side like the one she had just ascended.
However, below was a beautiful lake rather than a dry valley.
She saw flowers of many colors growing around the shore of the lake.
And the placid lake surface reflected the blue sky.
And pretty birds were flitting from the verdant bushes growing about the shore.
And then she saw something else, a young man walking along the shore.
And there was a book in his hand.
And then he stopped and sat down on a big rock.
And he opened his book and began to read silently.
The lady loved reading.
That was how she had gotten through the lonely days of her life, by reading stories.
She wondered what book he was reading.
She walked down the hill and approached him.
Her curiosity had emboldened her.
She forgot herself completely.
When she got near, she stopped and stood still, and waited for him to notice her.
He finally looked up from his book and was surprised to see this pretty young lady standing there.
Their eyes met.
He returned his attention to his book.
“Excuse me, sir. May I ask a question?”
He looked up again. “Sure.”
“What is that book you’re reading?”
“Actually it is a book of many books. Sixty-six books, in fact.”
“And which one are you presently reading?”
“The first one.”
“So, you’ve only just begun reading that book?”
We’ve Only Just Begun – The Carpenters – with lyrics
“No. I’ve read all of the books in this Book. I’m beginning it all over again. A new beginning, I guess you could call it.”
“Why would you read a book that you’ve already read?”
“Because this particular book is so deep and so wide that it’s worth reading many times.”
“May I see this book of yours that is so deep and so wide?”
“Yes, you may.” And he moved a few inches away from the middle of the rock so the lady could sit down beside him. And she walked over to him and sat down.
And the young man presented the book to her so she could examine it. And she carefully and with great interest took the book into her hands to see what it was about.
And she looked at the first page and read the word at the top: Genesis.
“What does Genesis mean?” she asked as she turned her gaze to the man.
“It means, “In the beginning,” he replied.
“The beginning of what?” she asked.
“The beginning of the Creation.”
“What creation?” she asked.
“The creation that is all around us. And in us, too.” He answered.
She turned her gaze from the Book to the lake before them and the vegetation and the birds chirping and flying about.
“And who created this Creation that we see all about us?”
“God did.” The young man replied.
“And who is God?”
“He is the one Whose Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Book you’re holding.”
“The Holy Spirit?” she repeated with her eyes wide open and a look of wonder deep within.
“Where may I get a copy of this book, please?”
The man replied, “Do you see that building there on the other side of the lake?”
“Yes.” She answered him.
“That is The Living Rock Church building. They have a bookstore that has many versions of this book – including versions especially for young women such as yourself. Would you like to visit the bookstore? We can walk over there if you like. It’s open.”
“OK” she said. So they got up and began walking together around the Lake.
As they walked, the lady asked the young man, “Do you know the name of this pretty lake?”
“Yes,” he answered her. “It is called Lake of the Living Rock.”
“That is an impressive sounding name.” she answered.
“And what is your name if you will forgive my boldness? she asked while wondering if his name was Rocky.
“My name is Stone. And I’m pleased to meet you, lady.”
“And I am pleased to meet you also, Stone. My name is Lily.”
Deep and Wide
As they drew near to the Living Rock Church building Lily became uncomfortable and so she turned to Stone and said, “I have a confession to make, Stone. I’ve read the Book before, many years ago. And questions arose in my mind, many questions that troubled me so much that I just had to stop reading it.”
Stone: “What was troubling you, Lily?”
Lily: “I wondered why, after the Flood, that the human race was replenished through Noah; since Noah was a descendant of Adam and Eve, Noah still had the sinful nature. And so, the human race that filled the earth again still has spread sin and violence all over the earth; so, what was accomplished by destroying so much life? And, the apostle Paul strove so hard to preach the gospel – and yet, he suffered from “a thorn in the flesh” and asked God three times to remove it; but, God would not remove it. And Jesus said that if we turned to Him he would heal us. And I turned to him – and he did not heal me – at least, not yet. I’ve been in pain every day for years. And, it is written that God scourges every son that he receives. Why would a merciful God scourge those who come to him? The suffering I suffered for so long was driving me mad and making me bitter. I became so angry in my thoughts about all the suffering that was happening on Earth. I was having the vilest thoughts. And so, I just cannot read that Book anymore.”
Stone: “I’m in pain, too, and have anger. It’s a terrible struggle that we’re all going through, I guess. Sometimes I wonder if we’re already in hell.”
Lily: “Why then do you continue reading that book?”
Stone: “I haven’t found a better one.”
Lily: “Maybe there isn’t a better one. And maybe books aren’t the only thing.”
Stone: “What do you mean?”
Lily: “Books make you think; however, it is written: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” -Isaiah 55: 8, 9. NIV. And Jesus said, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of Man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” -Luke 12:40. KJV.
Stone: “How can I stop thinking?”
Lily: “It is written for us: “And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” -2 Peter 1:19. NIV.
Stone: “And when the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts,” then what?”
Lily: “We walk in Him, by His Light and His Spirit. And we see Him, the Living Word of God in the life that is all around us in His Creation. We become born again by His Spirit living in our hearts. As John the Baptist said about Christ, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease.’ -John 3:30. KJV. As we let go of self, Christ himself, the Lord of glory, becomes greater in us. “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:19, 20. NIV. “Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” -2 Corinthians 3:4-18. NIV.
Sweet Beulah Land – Squire Parsons
Stone: “I don’t know what to say.”
Lily: “We need not always have something to say. As it is written: “Be still before the LORD.” -Psalm 37:7; Psalm 46:10; Zechariah 2:13. And, “for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” -Matthew 6:8b. NIV.
There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood
Be still, and know that I am God (HD)
Still – Hillsong United with Lyrics
Matthew Chapter 3
1 Peter 1-5