and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Getting into Trouble

       It was only one minute or less.  I just went around the corner into the kitchen, leaving my nine month-ish daughter on the floor of the living room playing.  (She was a beautiful child who was very curious and did everything very early.)  Suddenly, we heard a wailing cry that frightened us and we raced into the living room.

       There we found our precious treasure standing on the fully extended table top of her high chair wobbling back and forth.  Her cheeks were red and wet with tears; her hands were subconsciously rocking to try and achieve balance.  In that one minute, she had managed to climb up the high chair, under the table, onto the chair, and finally, onto the table top.  I’m sure up until that moment, she was secure in the solidness of the chair, but once on the unsteady table she suddenly realized her dangerous predicament and she cried for us.

       Do we not often do the same thing in our lives?  We start on our own paths, not bothering to ask the Lord for direction or for His will.  All seems well until we end up wobbling, barely able to stand and close to falling so we cry out for help and wondering how we ended up in such a mess, and why God is allowing the mess to happen.  Come on, admit it; we’ve all done this before, many times.

       The Israelites had the same problem.  Twice, after they entered the Promised Land they neglected to ask direction of God and ended up in trouble: Ai (Jos. 7:3,4) and the Gibeonites   (Jos. 9:4-15) “asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD”  Abraham bore a child through Sarai’s maid trying to ‘help’ God with His promise.  Elijah ran from God when He found out Jezebel was out to kill him.

       We make all kinds of choices without the Lord’s guidance.  Believe me, He is with all of us at the same time (Ps. 139:7-10), He is all knowing (Is. 46:9,10) all powerful (Rev. 19:6), and He wants to be a big part of our lives, so He can handle guiding (Ps. 31:3) each of us through our days.  Do we confine God’s input to only the big decisions in life such as marriage, house, car, children, or do we allow Him to influence all our decisions?  We feel secure until we start ‘wobbling’.

       I think sometimes we don’t want His input on the smaller matters, or we just might find out He doesn’t want us to eat that donut, go to that party, buy that new tablet, etc.  We also don’t want to be told ‘no, stay out of it’, ‘give your ipod to Sam’, ‘you’re spending too much time on the computer’ or ‘stop criticizing your pastor!’  But there is a lot more security and safety when we seek God’s guidance often- and follow it!  It doesn’t mean we’ll never find ourselves in trouble, but it will happen less often and our loving and trustworthy Father will come running when He hears us cry! (Ps. 34:17)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Promise to Abraham’s Seed

(To Israel, Jacob, the seed of Abraham) 
Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Is. 41:9,10 

       Who is the seed of Abraham?  It is those who are of the faith, believers in the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” (Gal. 3:7) “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:29)  So we are Abraham’s seed and heirs to the promises God bestowed on him.

       Many of us come to the Lord from the farthest reaches of society:  in the depths of despair, bondage, oppression and brokenness.  It is in this place of need that we realize our need for a Savior, because we know we can never escape the misery on our own.  But in the depths of our wretchedness His voice calls for us to come unto Him (Mt. ) and He waits for us to draw close to Him (Jm. 4:8).  When we give Him our hearts and lives, we become His bondservants as He paid our debt that we could never pay (Mark ) and because we are His, He will never cast us away.

       To us, His children, He says to ‘Fear not’.  Why?  He is with us all of our days (Mt. 28:20).  Just imagine having the greatest, most powerful man in the world, who can even command nature and raise the dead, walking with you every moment of every day.  Our God is a living God (1Tm. ), and dwells with us (Eph. ) therefore we do not need to dismay when trouble hits, for we are not alone.  We will never be alone again.

       Our God promises He will strengthen us (physical and mental courage).  He doesn’t promise to take us out of all our trials, or take them away, but God will be with us to bring comfort through them all (2Cor. 1:4) .  He will protect and help us with His hand of strength and favour.  We are His children, and He is our Father.  We can trust Him.  He loves us more than His own life…

He proved it at the cross.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


       It’s the worst thing that could happen to a parent- the death of a child.  Early on Oct. 2, 2006 in Nickel Mines, Pa., a 32 year old man stormed into an Amish school house, terrorized, shot 10 young girls then committed suicide; five of the girls died.  The man was Charles Roberts IV and he left behind a wife and three children.  Can you forgive the man who killed your child?  Many parents every year are faced with this question.  I can only hope my answer would be yes, but…

       The Bible teaches us that we have all sinned (Rom. ) and need a Savior for forgiveness of our sins (Col. 2:13,14).  Even after we are ‘saved’ we still sin (1Jn. 1:8; ) and need forgiveness
(1Jn. 1:9).  The Amish community knew this and decided to forgive the man and show kindness to his family.  Soon after the incident, Amish men and women visited and comforted Roberts’ family, about 30 went to his funeral, and they set up a charitable fund for the Roberts family.  Is this too much?  Many of us would not even think of such kindness let alone show such compassion so soon after our own loss.  What made the difference?

       Herman Bontrager said, “The Amish believe that we must forgive because we ourselves need to be forgiven. [They're] trying to live the way Jesus lived.”  “Tragedy changes you. You can't stay the same,” Jonas Beiler says. “Where that lands you don't always know. But what I found out in my own experience if you bring what little pieces you have left to God, he somehow helps you make good out of it…”

       Jesus said, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Mt. 6:14,15)  Even on the cross in pain, sorrow and shame, Jesus said, “…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)  He had compassion on us even then.  Paul also wrote about the subject: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:32)

       Forgiving doesn’t mean moving on and forgetting what happened.  It means moving forward to begin healing.  The Amish families, and all those who have lost children, have many years of heartache and healing to get through, but as Beiler said, “if you bring what little pieces you have left to God…”  In God is healing (Ps. 147:3), unending love (Rom. -39), deliverance (2Tm. ) and forgiveness (Ps 86:5) for all who come.  If you are broken in little pieces, know there is a God who loves you and holds His arms open wide to show you His love.

Father, for all who have suffered terrible losses, please pour Your love upon their hearts and let Your healing power flow in their lives.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Death Comes to All

       I’m not very good with death.  I don’t like it when people die, whether they are close or not.  I don’t like to see road kill, or even to think about the fact that when I walk I may be slaughtering multitudes of insects (this excludes any bug that attempts to bite me of course.)  But we cannot escape death; it is all around us.  Leaves wither and fall, insects give birth and die, people sometimes die in accidents or by health problems.  Death truly comes to all humans*.

       Jesus Himself died a most horrible death. (Is. 52:14-53:10; Mt. 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19) Just read the accounts of His death and you will see a picture of torture, pain, and blood loss that we cannot truly grasp, especially since He allowed it to happen (John 10:18) all for the joy of our salvation (Heb. 12:2).  He knew that our eternal life was at stake, and He was more than willing to sacrifice Himself for us- because He loves us (Rom. 5:8).

       Death entered the world at the sin of Adam (1Cor. ), and please understand, you and I would have made the same choice. The Bible says, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men… (Rom. )  But we have hope.  Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ who was in the beginning, who is alive now, and will come again.  Through His act of death and His resurrection we are able to be saved and have everlasting life.

       When these bodies die, those who are born again into the family of Jesus Christ will be with the Lord in heaven (2Cor. 5:8).  As one man brought in death, so one man brought resurrection from the dead (1Cor. ) and makes men alive (v.22)  And this hope is available to you and I because of the grace of our Father, our Creator, our God.  We have hope, hope in Jesus Christ for a wonderful everlasting life where we can be with Him and where death and sin no longer have any place in the world. 

Our hope is in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 
Thank You Lord for Your mercy and grace, and your limitless love for us while we were yet sinners.

     O death, where is thy sting?
          O grave, where is thy victory?

* (rapture not included here)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lesson on Faith

       Almost every Sunday I ride my bicycle in to church so that we don’t have to drive the van there twice wasting gas and putting wear and tear on it just so I can work in the library.  There is a new road complete with a bike path that passes very close to the church now.  It’s about a 35 min. ride and there are two sets of sensored lights to go through, which means I usually have to press the switch to activate the green light and then wait.

       Today, as I was getting to the first set of lights I heard the Lord say (to the best of my memory), “Go faster and you’ll make the light.”  Yah, right, I thought because I’ve done this route enough that I knew with a car already waiting, there was no way I’d make the green in time even going faster.  Ah, what a lack of faith I thought and decided I would just speed up.  The light turned green, then red again, but what amazed me is another car appeared quickly making it turn green again, and because I had sped up, I made it through.

That’s when I realized I have two basic problems with my faith:

One- I continue to look at myself and not God.  Of course I cannot speed up enough, I also can’t heal someone, make money appear out of nowhere, alter nature, raise the dead, etc, but there is a God who is more than able (Eph. ) to do all those things.  I can choose to be obedient and to exercise what ‘little’ faith* I do have.

Two- I continue to look in the natural at things that seem impossible though this is contrary to scripture (2Cor. 5:7**).  Just because I don’t know how a thing can or will ‘work out’ doesn’t mean it can’t.  Obviously, I didn’t know it would be the second green light I’d get through, but God knew, and I just need to learn to trust Him completely

In short-
It’s not our ‘great’ faith that will cause ‘great’ miracles to happen,
     rather, it is our great God who can do great miracles in all our lives!

*And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. Luke 17:6 
**(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)