Friday, October 31, 2008

Remember where you came from

The Value of Diligence

1 Cast your bread upon the waters,
For you will find it after many days.

2 Give a serving to seven, and also to eight,
For you do not know what evil will be on the earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain,

They empty themselves upon the earth;
And if a tree falls to the south or the north,
In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.

4 He who observes the wind will not sow,
And he who regards the clouds will not reap.

5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind,
Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child,
So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.

6 In the morning sow your seed,
And in the evening do not withhold your hand;
For you do not know which will prosper,
Either this or that,
Or whether both alike will be good.

7 Truly the light is sweet,
And it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun;

8 But if a man lives many years
And rejoices in them all,
Yet let him remember the days of darkness,
For they will be many.
All that is coming is vanity.


Ruth and I had a wonderful day painting yesterday. We painted from a yard tucked beneath a mountain. Well, I call it a mountain, I know that those that live out west where the mountains live would call my mountain just a hill. Same thing with things that bother us or problems we have to solve. To us they are mountains, but to others they are just hills.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Consider your life

Ecclesiastes 9: 1-12

1 For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them.

2 All things come alike to all:
One event happens to the righteous and the wicked;
To the good,the clean, and the unclean;
To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice.
As is the good, so is the sinner;
He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.


3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 4 But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they will die;
But the dead know nothing,
And they have no more reward,
For the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;
Nevermore will they have a share
In anything done under the sun.
7 Go, eat your bread with joy,
And drink your wine with a merry heart;
For God has already accepted your works.
8 Let your garments always be white,
And let your head lack no oil.


9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

11 I returned and saw under the sun that—

The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.


12 For man also does not know his time:
Like fish taken in a cruel net,
Like birds caught in a snare,
So the sons of men are snared in an evil time,
When it falls suddenly upon them.


Ruth and I had a wonderful time yesterday painting. It was a bit chilly in the morning hours, so we waited to paint in the afternoon. Ruth painted two paintings and I painted one which I promptly wiped off. I so enjoyed getting my paint into my brushes again. Work is good for the soul.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dreams

Ecclesiastes 5: 1-7

1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.
2 Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven
and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.

3 As a dream comes when there are many cares,
so the speech of a fool when there are many words.

4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, "My vow was a mistake." Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.


Last night I had another dream that for the life of me I can imagine why I'm dreaming. Nothing like that seems to be on my mind and I don't have a problem like my dream I'm trying to work out. Still, there's that dream that keeps popping up. Then I woke to find this passage looking thru me.

...

Ruth arrived safely, today we'll paint and enjoy each others company. I am so thankful for my life and all the plans God has for me even if most of the the time I don't have a clue what those plans are. No need to listen to dreams, thank God.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sold

14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

15For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.


Romans 7:14-25
I love this verse. At first it rolls off everyone's tongue like a tongue twister and a bit of a puzzle but after really looking and hearing, just about everyone sees that it's just a picture of our human condition. We all sin and most of us hate sin. I would venture to say that even those that enjoy sin actually deep down don't really want to sin.

I think until we actually are faced with spiritual law we don't see how really sinful we are. It's like my paintings. I think they are GREAT until I go see some in a museum or even put them beside some of the work of my friends. Then I see. :)

Praying today for safe travel for my friend Ruth. She will be coming to spend a few days with me. I haven't seen her in about 5 years and it will be good to connect again and have time to enjoy her company.
This is one of her paintings and it belongs to ME! :) BIG GRIN It's my Tuesday Treasure. :)




See more of Ruth's paintings here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Evidence

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

It is hard to believe in something you can't see. I'm thankful today for healing that can't be explained for my friends Johnny B. and Sandy. The doctors at Houston medical told them that they do not preform miracles, but they see them every day.

Be well Johnny and enjoy your life.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Under our feet

Psalm 8 To the Chief Musician. On the instrument of Gath. A Psalm of David.


1 O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,

4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,

7 All sheep and oxen— Even the beasts of the field,

8 The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!


Praises to God this morning. I woke in the middle of a dream, I remember I was trying to explain a point to someone and I kept getting interrupted. I never did get to make my point, but had made it to others earlier in the dream so maybe the others would pass it on. Don't know. Can't get back there. :) Then I fixed my coffee and opened my Bible to this passage. As happens many times, I paused over the scripture before heading to read my scriptures for today in a Bible study I'm doing on the book of John.

video

Friday, October 24, 2008

Now showing

Psalm 73 - A Psalm of Asaph.


1 Truly God is good to Israel,
To such as are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 For there are no pangs in their death,
But their strength is firm.
5 They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like other men.
6 Therefore pride serves as their necklace;
Violence covers them like a garment.
7 Their eyes bulge[a] with abundance;
They have more than heart could wish.
8 They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression;
They speak loftily.
9 They set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue walks through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return here,
And waters of a full cup are drained by them.
11 And they say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the ungodly,
Who are always at ease;
They increase in riches.
13 Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,
And washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all day long I have been plagued,
And chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.
16 When I thought how to understand this,
It was too painful for me—
17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their end.

18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors.
20 As a dream when one awakes,
So, Lord, when You awake,
You shall despise their image.

21 Thus my heart was grieved,
And I was vexed in my mind.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

27 For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
28 But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.


Yesterday afternoon I took my mom to the Ritz theatre to see "Billy", about the early years of Billy Graham. Both of us really enjoyed it. Hope you get to go see it. This is a movie of fiction based on facts, but again, I think you will really enjoy it. :) See the Christian Post review

Sometimes you just have to try eating cereal another way.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

To my King and my God

Psalm 5

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.

9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.

11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield




Yes, this is another photo of the children. Praying today that God will surround all of us with his shield to protect us in whatever we do. I know we don't have to keep asking for what God has already promised us, but I think of it as not so much asking as confirming just like we all do when we greet someone or as we are leaving when we say "love you." I am very thankful for His protection and thankful I can talk to my King and my God anytime and He listens.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Children are a heritage from the Lord

Psalm 127


1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.

2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.

5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.


I thank God for the blessings in my life and the opportunity not only to have children in my youth, but grandchildren that make me smile every day.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Full Circle

For eyerything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

It's finally fall here in Georgia. The air is crisp and there is talk of frost. The trees know it and are turning all colors and getting ready for a winter's rest so they can have strength to start anew in spring and shade us in summer.

Our lives run in cycles too. It's God's Spirit that helps us through them, helps us grow and mature using each cycle for our good. It's fun to think about us starting out like little seeds nurtured by God helping us through the trials of our lives to make us wiser and complete in Him. Each cycle has a purpose fitting us in the larger plan He has for all of us and each cycle builds on the next making a full circle to repeat over and over until the "season" is finished.

It doesn't really matter what "season" we happen to be in. God sees and works in our lives even when we are not aware. This past week has been a busy week for me. Terri and the girls spent the entire week with me as Brent went on a misson trip to help build houses in Mississippi. It was a wonderful week for all of us and now the house is much too quiet. It's another cycle come and gone. I smile and look forward to daybreak to see what God will show me this day on this wonderful earth.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Justice

Psalm 111
1 Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

2 Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them.

3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.

4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate.

5 He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.

6 He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations.

7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.

8 They are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness.

9 He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name.

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.


video

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Crucified with Christ

Galatians 2:20
International Standard Version (©2008)
I no longer live, but the Messiah lives in me, and the life that I am now living in this body I live by the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God's Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins.

King James Bible
I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

American King James Version
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

American Standard Version
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.



No one can be united with Christ until he is willing. To be crucified with Christ takes more than just asking for forgiveness, it takes giving up your old life, your old way of looking at things and seeing, feeling, hearing with the eyes of Christ. Does this hurt? Yes. Maybe part of it is like growing pains. When we begin to see ourselves in our sinful nature and see what Jesus Christ did for us... taking on all our sin, we realize what a sacrifice it was and how painful it was not only for Jesus, but for God too.

Thinking about being crucified with Christ brings me back to thinking about submission and how the crucifiction was the ultimate submission act. God submitted to us, Jesus submitted to us and now we can make the choice to submit to Him. Submission is an act of love not a duty or a chore.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lightbulb moment

40 Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" John 11:40


In my Bible study class last night we were talking about the glory of God and Jenny, our leader, asked us to give a definition of glory. I don't think I had ever thought about what glory actually meant until last night. Think about it. Glory must be something we just can't comprehend, better than anything we can think about.

Before we see the glory of God we have to believe. It's in the daily walk, our daily trust in God, that we begin to really see Him and His glory. Each day we take that walk our faith grows stronger. Each day we take that walk we understand more, love more and can give more. That is why it is hard for those that don't believe to understand how important building a personal relationship with Jesus is. Once a persons believes they are able to see the glory of God. Until they believe the glory of God is hidden from them. Understanding this helps us better relate to those that don't believe in Jesus. They can't see God as we do. It's only when they take those first steps to believing that His glory is revealed. I'm picturing a man or woman walking toward a light they see in the distance. The closer they get the brighter and more awesome it becomes. Maybe that's why folks say they have a light-bulb moment when they begin to understand something. They finally see the light. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On Prayer

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?

12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Luke 11: 9-13

When I think of someone praying I first think of someone either on bended knees or sitting at a table with hands folded, but prayer doesn't rely on posture. Prayer relies on the Holy Spirit.

When we choose Christ as our Savior we automatically have the life of the Son of God living in us. Then we can choose to either nurture or starve that life.

I know many times in my life I've thought of prayer as a means of getting things for myself but the bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God himself. Jesus said that we should become like little children and I believe it's that childlike wonder that He wants from us. He wants our complete trust, our faith in Him, our devotion. It's in that spirit that God will give us all good gifts even those that we have not even asked for.

Also, I think it's the very things that we haven't asked for, but trust God to give us what we need, that are the most important things for us to recognize. Maybe we never will recognize them. Maybe they are all woven in the fabric of our lives just as the mystery of breathing in and breathing out is. When you get right down to it, our lives are miracles. Prayer and praying is like that. It's not so much that prayer changes things as it is prayer changes us.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Stewards

1 Peter 4:10

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.


What was I thinking? Last night I forgot to let Cocoapuff back in after Anna Claire and Carley Ann had opened the door for her to go out. I suppose I got so busy getting Anna Claire settled down and into bed, I forgot poor little Cocoapuff. It wasn't until this morning when I sat down at the computer I heard her crys at the door. Fortunately she was okay... but a little misty from the morning dew.

Lately I've been thinking about our responsibilities and how God has given us charge over animals and all the earth. We are their protectors just as we are protectors of our earth. I've been working on a new garden plot just outside the studio. It's a small spot but I am determined to make it be the best. I hope next year I will be able to put in some vegetables to enjoy and maybe save a little on the grocery bill.

We also have responsibilities to serve one another. This also has been heavy on my heart of late and what I'll be thinking of today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sending Love

The Lord will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces.
Isaiah 25:8

Today I learned of the passing of a sweet, precious soul... a son of a friend of mine. His name was Ronald. Ronald was severely disabled and so medically fragile all during his 19 years. His presence in this world proved to be such a blessing to his parents. I know the heart space he occupied will be with all those that loved him forever. He has a twin brother Anthony who suffers from the same debilating illness so his parents have many concerns for him since they don't yet know the actual cause of Ronalds death. Abby, their 9 year old daughter who is turning into a great little artist just like her mother, will also have lots of questions that will need special answers since she is such a smart little girl but yet not quite old enough to take it all in. Please help me pray for this family that they will know the love and peace of God during this time.

7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7


Ronald

Friday, October 10, 2008

Endurance

James 1:3

The testing of your faith produces endurance.


I've learned so much by studying God's word and mediating on His promises, but I also learn by the way I see God working in the everyday experiences of my life and others. It takes opening your ears and your eyes.

Same thing with painting. Today I want to share a painting by one of the hardest working ladies I know, Linda Blondheim. She is talented in so many areas I hardly see how she can just focus on one. I suppose she does it one thing at the time, but looking at her blog, you'd never know it. Enjoy, it's one of my favorites. You can email Linda from her web at http://www.lindablondheim.com At this moment, the painting is available but look at all her other work... and look at her blog. You'll see what I'm talking about.



Oaks and Palms
14x18 inches
oil on canvas
1100.00
shipping 75.00
gold or silver frame

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Being one

John 15:5

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.


I love this passage for many reasons, but more because Jesus is talking directly to us and telling us how to live. He doesn't tell us to copy what he does. He tells us that we are both the same when we are living within each other. He in us and we in Him.

Now, I'm just a lay person and don't have a great deal of book theology behind me so in the beginning I thought of Jesus as a person to copy to emulate like you would someone you admire or hope to be like one day. Growing as a Christian I realized my thinking was wrong once I read this verse and remembered the goal is not to copy, but rather be. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean be Jesus, I mean have Him live in me and have me live in Him. Being one, that's the goal.


This is a painting by my friend L. Diane Johnson. The painting is sold, but you can find more of her work by going to http://www.ldianejohnson.com Or,it is also in print at Art.com:

http://www.art.com/asp/sp-asp/_/PD--12119367/SP--C/IGID--12119367/Vineyard_in_the_Garden.htm?sOrig=CRT&sOrigId=66290&ui=82681C8CE94D431BA89CD2862B2148A1

Enjoy

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Faith

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


Somewhere between being a child and trusting God's abilities and becomming a Mature Christian like I think of my grandmother being, we fall into the chasm of doubt. Well, that statement might be a bit strong, but I know I've felt the seeds of doubt trying to take root in my head... but thankfully my heart stops them.

In this age of information one has to realize that everything that is in print or on the TV is not the gospel truth. More and more I hear and see folks trying to tear down our faith and belief in God, Jesus, and the Holdy Spirit.

I tell my self... hold on... God has promised you wisdom. Walking with Him will get me and you there.

Tuesday's Treasure: Yes, I have one for today. Well, I don't actually have one in my house, but my mother does and I've always loved them.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Forgiveness

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


"None of us are 100% perfect", I heard Pastor Bill Barber say in the pulpit yesterday. How many times have I heard and even said that? Still the guilt of sin lingers on and on even after we have realized our sin, confessed our sin, and know we are forgiven. Why is that? I think one reason is because even though we know God has forgiven us, we can't forgive ourselves and perhaps feel that others haven't forgiven us.

There have been many articles written about how to forgive yourself. A search on the Internet using search words of "forgiving yourself" yields link after link for consideration. Web MD has several pages about your health and forgiveness. Just as being forgiven is a personal act between the person and God, so is self-forgiveness. Although God forgives instantly, we are not God. The process of self-forgiveness is slower as we gain wisdom and understanding of how and why sin entered in our lives in the first place. With God's forgiveness power we begin to forgive ourselves and continue our life journey. Without His power we can do nothing.

I am thankful that God immediately forgives. I'm also thankful that He is patient with me as I continue to find ways to forgive myself and realize that none of us are 100% perfect.... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Contentement

Hebrews 13:5

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.


I know in the he back of my head, and sometimes the front of my head, what's happening to my 401K right this very minute bothers me. The problem with being content with what I have is my need to hold on to what I have if that makes any sense at all. I worry and I am afraid for myself, others and our country.

We are promised that we would never be left alone or that He would ever forsake us. I know I trust the promises of God. I take a deep breath with the assurance He knows everything about me and will take care of me. In God I trust.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Time alone

Psalm 62:1

Truly my soul waited upon God: from Him cometh my salvation.


In the Bible we read many accounts where people including Jesus would seek out solitude so they could talk with God one on one. I catch myself saying a quick prayer here and there, doing my devotion time and then going about my daily life.

God listens patiently but I know He wants more. He wants more because He wants to give us more. I know this is true because the times I have given my relationship with God the time and effort it deserves, I have felt His presence, His love, His guidance, His power in my life beyond anything I expected or certainly deserved.

No, I don't think we have to have a mountaintop or desert experience every day. I just think time alone with God in a new place reconnects us in a way that living our routine Christian lives can't.

Today is my son's birthday. I remember well the day the nurses placed that baby boy in my arms. I think I share a common experience with many mothers and fathers when they say they know their children were a gift from God. Brent certainly was and still is. I'm thankful for God's presence that day in the hospital and for His continued presence in all our lives.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Short Story

Luke 9:23

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.


I've read that Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a story in six words. After he had done that he said he felt it was his greatest work. The words read, "For sale: baby shoes, never used." Reading this story tells the story, but leaves one wanting to dig further as to why. It's human nature to want to know why.

We all have heard and even repeated Luke 9:23 but for each of us the answer to what it means is different with each new day we face. Even the words "take up his cross" will mean different things to different people because Jesus is speaking directly to the reader when he says his cross. We don't pick up the cross of others, but rather pick up our own cross... daily. It's all part of accepting Jesus Christ by faith. One commentary by Darrell Bock, I read said it like this:

The essence of discipleship is humility before God. That humility expresses itself as self-denial. Taking up the cross daily and following Jesus means approaching ministry in the world as he did. He served and gave of himself daily, even to the cultural ignominy of publicly bearing rejection on the cross (Acts 5:30; Gal 3:13). The Savior bore rejection and death for others, and the disciple must follow in the same path of service. We must be prepared to accept rejection as a given. Everything Jesus teaches his disciples in chapters 9--19 will underscore this point.


Other commentaries said the cross is not ours but the cross of Jesus. Either way, I feel Jesus meant it to be the same. It's a short story with big impact and I am thankful for the message and the desire to know more.

Word of the day.

.:.