The Land of Enchantment

Driving across the desert with my own thoughts and a couple books on CD was uneventful.  Well except for the large rubbermaid trashcan that decided to play chicken with me on the road.  But I won.

I’m not good at being alone but when the GPS says, “Left turn in 236 miles.”  and you’re the only one in the car, you settle in and make the best of it.  The drive was actually quite cathartic.

Cloudhaven was everything I thought it would be and more.  A sweet retreat in the pine covered mountains.  Each day dawned with a new wave of possibilities.  Piles of books, miles and miles of forest, an unending ball of yarn, conversations to be had and yet nothing planned.  And everything was done with a wonderful backdrop of fresh green.  At first it was warm and clear but towards the end of the week, the clouds moved in and the rain added another layer of sweetness.

Each morning was started with a walk or a hike higher up the mountain.  Sometimes there were deer along the way.  Sometimes I had four legged companionship.  There was a waterfall to walk by, trees to look at, gravel and pine needles underfoot, and miles of blue sky.

Meet the four-legged companion.  Bailey just loves to be where the people are.  Whenever I left the house she was always there by my side and ready for anything.  She’s getting a bit old so sometimes I wondered if she would survive the hike but a little water, a bit of rest and a scratch behind the ears can do wonders.  When we weren’t out exploring Bailey loved her post in the middle of the road, sunny, warm and a great view of the neighborhood comings and goings.

When I wasn’t hiking or otherwise out exploring, I perched myself in a rocking chair on the porch.  Armed with a blanket, pen, a pile of books and my knitting, I spent many happy hours reading, writing and just enjoying the quiet.  After most of the week just taking notes  and jotting down thoughts, Jesus- An Introduction took shape.  This is part summary of the Bible, part synthesis of all the books I read, part personal journey and part step forward.

When it was too cold to sit on the porch, I curled on the couch inside and enjoyed a nice fire.  No stresses, no unwelcome distractions, just a great week with great people.  Thank you Jim and Katy for the showers of blessings you poured out on me.  Cloudhaven truly is a haven.

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.—Is. 44:22

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Jesus- An Introduction

Look to Him who woos His own.

Look to Him the fulfillment of prophecy,

the blessed sacrifice and true heir to the throne.

Look to Him who was, and is, and is to come.

Look to Him, the one who lives,

truth embodied and hope eternal.

A life foreordained, a death foretold

Ancient words, the Son’s story

A covenant beginning with creation

Truth proclaimed and hope revealed

Look to the true Adam

Eve’s seed, the ultimate victor

The earth shook, the curtain tore,

tombs opened, the serpent’s head crushed

Atonement, righteousness, justice

Look to the prophet greater than Moses

Moses talked with God, He is God

Moses kept the law, He fulfilled the law

Not welcome in His own town yet the great I AM

Bringing truth and grace

Look to the priest from Melchizedek’s line

He who has the power to bless us forever

He who made himself the final sacrifice

The ultimate sin offering

His body, His blood

It is finished

Look to the Servant King who will reign on high forever

David’s glorious successor

Lord of the everlasting Kingdom, the New Jerusalem

Extolled for all eternity

King of Kings

A history for us remembered, the future for Him a reality

Living words, the Son’s glory

A new covenant that He fulfills

Truth proclaimed and hope revealed

Water poured out as a flood

Crossing through the parted sea

Washing, healing, cleaning, restoring

John knew him, Lamb of God

The dove descends and His arms open wide

“Let all who seek come to me”

A meal of deliverance

Salvation manifested in bread and wine

Remembering those passed over and the one sacrificed

Communion with the saints

Instituted with a prayer and arms open wide

“This is my body, come and eat”

Abraham’s sacrifice, the son spared, the bull’s blood shed

Eternal sacrifice, the Son condemned, His own blood shed

Flanked by sinners but ever merciful

Hung upon the cross with His arms open wide

“Look at me”

The tomb empty, stone rolled away,

death overcome, the body resurrected

Enoch and Noah walked with God

and now the Son appears on the road

His scarred arms open wide

“Believe and follow me”

“For this is the will of my father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life.” John 6:40

Cloudhaven

This next week I will be computer and cell phone free in New Mexico.  I’m looking forward to time away in a beautiful new place.  Cloudhaven is a study and retreat center located high and remote in the New Mexico mountains.  The week will be spent reading, having conversations, enjoying quiet reflection, knitting, writing and simply taking the time to be still and listen.  I’m bringing quite a few books but the pile is much smaller thanks to my Kindle.  This reading will be fuel for thought and discussion while keeping me company.  I’m sure I will bring back pictures and stories to share.  Enjoy your week!  I know I will be enjoying mine.