and the One who walks with me on it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Defined:  Feeling or expressing distress and annoyance,
esp. because of inability to change or achieve something.

       Here is a list of ways the disciples must have frustrated Jesus by their unbelief, by not comprehending His purpose or theirs, and by their constant desire to be the greatest.  Remember, before and throughout all of these Jesus was teaching them and others the truth, He was healing many, casting out demons and doing miracles, all which the disciples saw.

       In fact, at one point the disciples were even sent out with power given by Jesus to preach, heal and cast out demons, which they did! Another time, three of the disciples saw Jesus transfigured! (Lk. 6:7-13)  Yet still, they did these things:

The disciples want to send the ‘5000’ away instead of finding a way to provide for them. They see a miracle.
Jesus walks on water; Peter starts to and then sinks due to unbelief.
The disciples want to send the ‘4000’ away without even considering a miraculous feeding like they’ve already seen. They watch another miracle.
Disciples fail to cast out a demon due to unbelief.
They ask ‘who is the greatest?’ (After all they’ve seen, this is important why?)
Two disciples ask to sit beside Jesus on His throne. (see above)
They complain about costly perfume wasted on Jesus. (Don’t they believe He’s worth it?)
The disciples have a debate over who is the greatest disciple. (see 3rd above)
Jesus is arrested and the disciples flee.  Peter denies the Lord. (Running away and denial.)

       As I said, teaching, healing and miracles were happening between all these actions.  Jesus must have been very frustrated with them at times especially with His inability to make them understand the truth, yet it is never recorded that He lost His cool or yelled at them for their continual unbelief and selfish desires, and He never gave up on them.

       Even in His darkest hour when they were sleeping and He wanted them to stay up with Him, Jesus did not get angry with them.  And though we must also frustrate the Lord time and time again, He does not give up on us.  He patiently continues to teach and do miracles in our lives just waiting until we live in unity with Him. (John 17:21)

       Lord, I don’t know how you kept from acting out in frustration.  It seems lately there are a lot of aggravations in my life and I would appreciate Your help in dealing with them Your way, in Your love, and for Your glory.  Please help me Lord.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jumbled Thoughts

       Too many thoughts in my head and not enough space to write about them all in one post, so instead of writing about one thing, I’ll just put some of my thoughts down.

I want more of the Lord.  Seems I am never satisfied to remain in stopped position with Him, but always want to move forward… fresh every day.

Life is tiring.  It is full of lots of things we don’t really want to do but must do anyway.  The Lord helps to make those times much more interesting.

I have never felt freer than I am (inside) and though I’m not positive how I got to this place, I am positive it was the Lord who brought me here.

How is it possible after so many years struggling to consistently read the Word that I now want to read it, miss it when I can’t and actually delight in all the words I read?

The greatest or first commandment is to love… if you love then you won’t do things to hurt other people.  If you love Jesus, you won’t do things to hurt Him.  He can hurt… did you know that?

Everyday is new with no mistakes in it.  That means tomorrow you have the chance to start again.

Watch a baby and think:  the Lord gave up power and glory, wisdom and honour to bring us back in relationship with our Father… He started out human life having to relearn everything, humbling himself as a helpless babe who had to have his bum changed and be fed.

Christian life can be boring and stale, but it becomes that way only because we let it.

Lord, thank You for never, ever giving up on me
     and for giving up everything for me.

Forever Yours,

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Wicked Past

       Whether we are as ‘evil’ as Stalin, as ‘saintly’ as Mother Theresa, or somewhere in between, we all have pasts and in our pasts are sins, transgressions and spiritual death.  When we surrender our hearts and lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven of our sins- they are purged. (1John1 7:9) The problem is that our minds which regenerate over time with the Lord still remember past sins and this can cause difficulty in our journey.

       There is a place in Israel that was considered ‘wicked’ by God because ancient peoples used it as a place of idol worship.  It was called the Valley of Hinnom, (or in Greek Gehenna) and was on the S.W. corner of old Jerusalem, likely in Benjamin’s territory. (Jos. 15:8) Incense was burned to other gods, the blood of innocents poured out, there were high places of Baal, child sacrifices (burnt offerings) to Baal or Molech and it was called the valley of slaughter. (Jer. 32:35; ; 19:1-6)

       King Ahaz burned incense and his own children there. (2Chr. 28:3) King Mannaseh dedicated or killed his children there. (2Chr.33:8) King Josiah shut it down for a while. (2Kn. )  Garbage was thrown in this valley where continual fires burned to keep the stench down, lepers lived there off the garbage scraps, and bodies of executed criminals were dumped there.  It certainly doesn’t seem like a place I’d enjoy visiting due to its history.

       But God… can redeem the most unredeemable. (Ps. 49:15) He can make all things new. (2Cor. ) He can heal and restore the vilest of our history and bring out beauty from our earlier spiritually dead places.  He will create beauty from the ashes of fires that burned in our past. (Is. 61:3)

       Today, much of the Hinnom valley is now beautiful park land.  Enjoy these pictures and think- God took this place with a wicked past and restored it to beauty.  He is doing the same to me!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Often Ignored

       Joe, Sam and Peter were three brothers who lived and worked together in the city of Toronto.  They got along great and worked well together.  They were thought of warmly by many people, and were frequently invited to social gatherings together. The brothers loved people and developed many close relationships at work and outside of work.

       The problem was that wherever they would go, everyone would speak to Joe and Sam but ignore Peter.  Often, people would praise Sam and Joe for the great jobs they did at work, but never even acknowledge Peter’s part.  Peter became used to being ‘welcomed’ and then being left alone, but it hurt to watch his brothers enjoy the company of so many people.  Though Peter tried to engage those around him in conversations and foster relationships with them, it was to no avail.  He felt like he was treated as nobody or insignificant, especially compared to his brothers.

       Eventually, Peter gave up trying and just waited for the very few people who would spend any time with him.  Peter’s brothers always took notice of those few who did not ignore their brother and gave special attention to them.  You see, it made them sad to see their brother left out as he was an important part of them.  Still, they never gave up on the people and hoped that one day others would realize the true worth of their dear brother Peter and treat him better.

       Take a few minutes to think on these questions.
How would you feel if you were ignored or treated as insignificant like Peter?  (sad, angry, frustrated, hurt?)  Do you think you could be close to someone who treated you that way?  What kind of relationship can you have with someone who ignores you a majority of the time?

       This story is based in fact, but the names were altered so that you could understand Peter’s situation.  In this case, Joe and Sam’s real names are God the Father and God the Son- Jesus: and you guessed it, Peter’s real name is God the Holy Spirit.  Three individual ‘persons’ with distinct personalities who live in complete unity with each other, yet one of them often ignored.  Only one question remains for us:

Do we ignore the Holy Spirit or do we treat Him as a legitimate, essential member of the Godhead in our thoughts and practical attitude toward Him?