and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Refiner’s Fire

       The warmth of the fire came in waves and wrapped itself around my body like a well used comforter and my eyes closed to enjoy a few moments of quiet.  You could hear the crackling and hissing as the wood burned and I opened my eyes to enjoy the view again.  Few things in life are as relaxing as sitting close to a fire and watching it burn.  The brilliant colours drew my interest and the dancing of the flames held it there.  Eventually, my feet perched on the rocks by the fire became too hot to leave there and I pulled them back.

       You see, there is a well known and understood fact: the closer you get to a fire, the hotter it is.  That seems kind of basic, but important to know so you can avoid being hurt.  However, I find one fire irresistible of which I am drawn to as a moth drawn to the light: God, our refining fire.

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver… Mal. 3:2,3a
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. Zec. 13:9 
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job
Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. Pr. 25:4 

       God is like a refiner’s fire who burns the precious metals (us) using the trials of life in order to remove the impurities.  Now, I’m not trying to say I’m purified (not yet L ) but I’ve surely had a lot of dross removed with more to go.  What I am trying to say is I don’t mind being in the fire if the fire is my Lord.  I have found warmth and comfort right in the midst of Him. 

Oh my sweet Fire, burn in my heart.  Cause all the dross in me to bubble up and out so You can scoop it away.  Burn hot and bright in my life so that Your love shines out through me, because there are so many hurting people that need Your love.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Moderate Christian- Part 2

David, not an example of a moderate believer!

And David danced before the LORD with all his might… 2Sm. {When Michal, David’s wife, condemns him for dancing thus he states he would (laugh, play, rejoice) before the Lord, be more (abased, despised) than that and humbled in his own sight.} 2Sa -22 
Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of (adultery/murder) 1Ki 15:5 
And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: 1Ki 9:4 
With my whole heart have I sought you: I have longed for your salvation, O LORD; and your law is my delight  Ps:119:10,174
(David) a man after mine own heart Acts 13:22

       I think these scriptures, and many more in the Bible, show how passionate David was for the Lord God and how willing he was to publicly display this passion though it could demean him in man’s eyes.

Josiah, not an example of a moderate believer!

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. 2Kn. 22:2
And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. 2Kn.  

       Wouldn’t you like to be remembered this way?  Like David, Josiah was a boy, man who wholly loved/ served the Lord with all his might. (Yes, even though he made a fatal mistake that cost his life!)  If you read about him from 2Kn. and 2Ch. 33:25 to 35:26 you will see why this was said of him.  Josiah began his reign at 8 years old and reigned until he was thirty nine.  If he reigned today, it would be said he is a tyrannical, intolerant, judgmental king who does not display the ‘love’ of the Lord.

       Think about it…  He began to seek after God at 16 years old. (2Ch. 34:3) and at twenty he began to purge Judah of all idolatrous altars and idols.  At twenty six he delegated the high priest to find people to repair the temple.  A scroll was found, read to the king at which time he repented in humility.  He made all Judah gather to hear the king read the entire Law of God, (2Kn. 23) and they pledged to obey the Lord. (v.3)  Josiah ordered the Jews to observe Passover and contributed large amounts of animals to it.

       So, Josiah tore down other religion’s buildings, spent government money to repair Jehovah’s building, ‘forced’ everyone to listen to Jehovah’s Word, ‘forced’ them to participate in Jehovah’s festivals, and spent lots of government money for this festival.  Can you see North Americans today being okay with a president or prime minister that did all this!  Read again what God said about him.  Josiah was not a moderate believer.  He was bold in obeying the Lord and His Word.

       I am not advocated an annoying, in your face, or obnoxious pushing of our beliefs down other’s throats, but I am getting tired of believers having to be politically correct by repressing their own words- actions- beliefs in Jehovah God.  You know what I’m talking about.  I just can’t be a ‘moderate’ Christian anymore!

Lord, ignite a passion in every one of Your children… let Your holy fire burn in our hearts so it cannot be contained or remain inside.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

A Moderate Christian- Part 1

       Has a written piece of work ever made you angry?  Just yesterday I was researching online and came across a list that only ‘moderate’ Christians blogs were allowed to be on.  Reading a post on what makes for their ‘moderate Christian’ I realized it was not balanced Christianity they were writing about (not swinging to and fro with every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14), or solidly based on the infallibility of scripture (John 10:35b)) but rather the ‘Christianity’ that isn’t dogmatic about the Bible, won’t make sinners feel bad about their sin, or take too strong a stance on any Biblical principle, etc.

It made me look up 'moderate'.  Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
- in adjective form:
1. Literally, limited; restrained; hence, temperate; observing reasonable bounds in indulgence; as moderate in eating or drinking, or in other gratifications. (usually good though not applicable)
3. Restrained in passion, ardor or temper; not violent; as moderate men of both parties.
4. Not extreme in opinion… (a moderate opinion keeper: perhaps like being midway between a ‘holy roller’ and a ‘quiet brethren?  I think that’s mostly a personality issue so not applicable.)
5. Placed between extremes; holding the mean or middle place; as reformation of a moderate kind. (#2,6,7 also not applicable)

       But my frustration was aroused by their ideas of what a moderate Christian is: not passionate about anything, and basically in the middle of two extremes… would that be hot or cold? 
Let’s read what the Bible says:

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. ,16 NKJ
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Dt. 6:5 cleave unto him Dt 11:22
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded (who waver in mind). Jas 4:8
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Jm. 1:6-8 

Moderate is NOT always okay. Consider, would you want…:
- a moderate thief in your house?
- a moderate pedophile to live next door to you and your young children?
- to be married to a moderate adulterer or abuser?
- a moderately drunk doctor to operate on you?
- a moderately skilled auto mechanic to fix your brakes?

Being a moderate Christian breaks the first commandment to love the Lord completely with all our being and might. 
(most important, greatest commandment Mt. 22:38)

Remember the Lord said: As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent (think differently). Rev. 3:19

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Up Close and Personal

       It is rare that I find a picture I just ‘have’ to have.  From the moment I saw this picture, I wanted a copy because it stirred my own imagination.  What made this little girl stick her face right in the sunflower?  Was she trying to smell the pretty flower… did she want to see more details of the insides… was she trying to bite off some seeds… or did she just want to get up close and personal?

          Obviously this flower captivated this little girl’s interest.

                    I wonder if the Lord ever wishes He could captivate our interest this much.

          …“Unless you turn to God from your sins and become as little children,
                         you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven Mt. 18:3 TLB

Monday, February 06, 2012


       Have you seen the movie Courageous yet?  It is the newest release from Sherwood Pictures and by far the best visual quality- although I still prefer the moral lesson of excellence for God in Facing the Giants.  The basic story of Courageous is four policemen who work and socialize together, joined by a construction worker, who face a tragedy that changes their perspectives on life.  As always, it is intermingled with the right balance of humour.

       What really strikes me is the courage it took this church (as in the people) to step out and do what God called them to do despite no previous experience and no other church filming big screen movies.  Not only did they have the courage to obey God’s direction, but to film it with excellence and boldly proclaim the salvation message in each movie.  Here is one of the six times the Bible records Joshua being told to be strong and of a good courage:

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Dt. 31:6

       Movies are one of the ministries of Sherwood’s church members.  God has called them to do this work and they step out in faith to do it.  We are also called to obey God’s will in our lives.  Besides our call to proclaim the gospel and to pray, the Lord has called each of us to particular works.  We decide if we will obey.

       Some people work with numbers, some clean, some cook, some teach, some lead worship, some fix houses and there are many more callings than I can list.  For some reason, Christians tend to think of callings as only ‘spiritual’ ones such as preachers and teachers, but all of us are to use the gifts/ talents God has given us (Mt. 25), courageously to show forth His love and salvation to the world- and that is our calling.  We must be obedient to do what God calls us to do with courage to face all challenges with love and His strength. (Php. 4:13)

       It isn’t always easy, and there might be times we want to give up, but we can’t.  Lives are at stake: friends, family, co-workers and neighbours.  We must obey God’s will for our lives, be strong and of good courage, and fear not man or what they think of us. What will help us with this?  Remembering that God goes with us in our obedience. He will not fail us.  He will not forsake us.  He does not slumber or sleep, (Ps. 121:4) but leads us on our way. (Dt. 31:8)

Be courageous… and step out in faith to do what God has called you to do.

If you watch the movie, check out the special features (if included on your disk).  The deleted scenes and bloopers are great, but there is an interesting feature on prayer.  {fyi- Storylines, plots, and endings are prayed for well in advance according to Kendrick and each actor is screened for solid Christian standards before 'hiring'.}  It shows how the church begins the filming process with corporate prayer for the filming, and all the actors.  They pray on the set every morning, before each scene and several other times of the day.  In other words, each film is bathed in prayer from start to finish.