and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Alive Again

       There was one particularly fierce trial we went through that left me feeling dead inside.  I wasn’t quite sure if I would ever feel alive or if when I looked in the mirror there would ever be a sparkle again.  Days, months, weeks and years went by, and it was like I was a newly planted seed in the ground that was oh, so slowly, making its way through the hardened soil to find its way into the light.  Once again, I felt alive, and good about living.

       It is the same thing as I am walking on this journey the Lord directs me on.  As I learn more about Him and His Word and try to live as He wants me to, I become more alive- feeling and enjoying life more.  When I look in the mirror I no longer see dead eyes...  Here are a couple of verses about ‘life’:

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.  Pr. 12:28

       Webster’s 1928 says this:Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, (in which it is chiefly used) is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue, with holy affections;’ In other words- holy and moral according the Bible.  So, in Biblically holy and moral conduct we have life (alive, raw, fresh, strong).  I’m sure these words are things we all want to feel.  And there is no eternal death for those who follow in the Lord’s path.

       Jesus came to life again after His death so that we may have salvation and eternal life, but also so we could experience real life here on earth.  Personally, I can’t imagine living without His constant presence (Eph. ) to keep me from loneliness, His peace (Pp. 4:7) to keep me from anxiety and worry, and His joy (Nh. ) to add spark to my life.  He frees us from captivity (Is. 61:1) and renews our hearts and minds (2Cor. ).  In Him, I have found life, freedom, and an enjoyment for people and living I have never experienced before.

I am alive again thanks to my Lord and Savior, who gave His life that I may truly live mine!

All praise to You glorious Lord!

Friday, April 20, 2012

We’ve Got to Hang On

                  When time is short        
                  But it drags on real long
                  It’s time to hang on.

                  When the mind is scattered
                  Like the leaves in the breeze
                  It’s time to hang on.

                      When all that we think
                      And all that we say
                      Is jumbled in the chaos
                      Of each and every day
                      It’s time to hang on.

                                 When everything we think
                                 And everything we say
                                 Is called into question
                                 In each and every way
                                 It’s time to hang on.

                      When you feel like crying
                      But they’re all dried up
                      And you want to run
                      And just give it all up
                      You’ve got to hang on.

                                 For it’s not in the running
                                 Of this earthly race
                                 That we learn to stand
                                 And seek His face
                                 It’s when we’ve got to hang on.

                                                       A poem by me…
                                                       Copyright 2004

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Isaiah speaks to us today…

       God loved mankind, but they didn’t love Him back the same way.  At one point He found a friend in Abraham (Jm. ) and decided to bless him and his descendants; to set them apart for Himself.  If they continued to follow the Lord they would be blessed beyond measure, but if not, they would be cursed (Dt. -28).  In the same way, God loves all people in the world, but He set apart the church (church=ekklesia= called out ones) for Himself and chose to bless them.

       If we parallel Is. -9:7 which speaks of Israel (about the time of exile) with the church we can find many similarities.  Isaiah says Israel would be captive, stumbling, weary and hungry (TLB) and because they are hungry they will be angry at God, curse the king and God.  Trouble, anguish and dark despair will be all around them and they will be in the darkness.

       Many Christians live in captivity they don’t even know exists, but they are so used to it they believe their current state of being is normal.  They stumble on their walks, become weary of the struggle- even of life itself and hunger* for, well, they are unsure what.  In all their troubles they become angry at God for their trials and sorrows, not understanding why He doesn’t answer their prayers, and it seems like anguish, despair and darkness are all around.

       Into this situation, Isaiah speaks these words of encouragement:  that time of darkness and despair shall not go on forever(Israel) will be filled with glory.  The people who walk in darkness shall see a great Light- a Light that will shine on all those who live in the land of the shadow of death For God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges themThis is going to happen because the Lord has dedicated himself to do it!” (TLB)

       Into our captivity or bondage the Lord reminds us that our ‘darkness’ will not go on forever, that His glory will show up and we will see a great Light (Jesus: John 8:12) which will shine on those who live in the shadow of death (Lk. 1:79).  All of mankind is in death’s shadow since these frail bodies will die.  So when Jesus came, He broke the chains of captivity/ bondage (Lk. ), all because He purposed to die for our sins and death sentence from the foundations of the world (Rev. 13:8). Halleluiah!  What encouragement to go on.

       We will not stay in our dark places forever
       We will not live in captivity forever
       The glory and Light of the Lord will shine in our lives
       For He has died for our sins.

       Praise you Lord that our trials, sorrows, captivity and bondage will NOT go on forever!  Thank You Jesus for bringing Your Light into this dark world and shining on our lives!  Thank You for being dedicated to save us and set us free.  We are forever thankful.

*And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. Jn. 6:35

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Confession

       So… I was sitting in yet another waiting room reading my Bible when I stumbled across a verse that smacked me hard in the heart.  I had to keep reading it over and over again though it made me sad every time as I realized a big flaw in me was now exposed (ouch!)  My heart is still seeking answers as I ponder these words: …and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be. Rm. 5:2 TLB

       Other Bible versions translate this differently, but that doesn’t matter now because this statement, accurate or not, has now impacted my life.  You see, the Lord’s been showing me for a while now what might lie ahead in my life with/ for Him, and I’ve been paying little attention to it and not facing the truth.  Undeniably, I have failed to be joyful or confident in becoming all God wants me to be. 

       Once again, I am dealing with a fear of the unknown.  Most of my life this fear has kept me from doing many things deep inside that I wanted to do personally and some of the things God wanted me to.  Mixed in there was some fear of man, his response to what lies ahead for me, knowing that I will be judged for things I may say or do, or even falsely accused.  But why should I be any different than my Savior who was judged for what He said and did, and He was also falsely accused- many times.  Still, both fears are based in the same root problem: lack of complete trust in God. 

       Here I thought I’d been doing so well in the area of trusting Him when I realized I still have so much farther to go (don’t you love when that happens?)  In frustration I wonder just how long it will take before I am confident in Him enough to let go of all the fear that prevents me from moving forward.  Of course, though I am saddened by the thought that this flaw still remains, still I know that He will continue to work in me, and that this is just another part of the journey in becoming who He wants me to be, in His timing of course.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Php. 1:6
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD… (thoughts=intentions, plans)  Jer. 29:11

       God knows His plans for me, and He will help me get to the levels of trust in Him that I need- He has so far anyway.  And if it takes until I am eighty (like Moses) I will still get to that place of trust that He needs me to be, one step at a time.  This scripture gives me hope: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2Cor. )  The Spirit of the Lord will continue to help me change…

…in that I am fully confident!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Night in the E.R.

       It started with a phone call on a Sunday night, “Hi, this is Sue from the church.  Your son had a seizure like incident and we had to call the paramedics…”  A scramble to leave, a fast drive over, a quick conversation with the paramedics who found a concern with some test results, a swift ambulance ride over to the hospital, and then the waiting began.

       We waited for an available bed, we waited for a nurse, more tests were performed, and then more waiting for a doctor.  Three hours later and we had a five minute visit with the doctor who said he was calling in the pediatric doctor… and then more waiting.  More questions, more waiting, and the ped. doctor (who looked as young as Doogie Howser) arrived… to spend at least minutes asking more specific questions.  Another test was needed, more questions yet again, and what started out just before was ending after in the morning.  Many of you have had similar experiences.

       Personally I think waiting is worse than rushing for three reasons: because you have questions that aren’t being answered, potential problems to consider and stress/ anxiety to deal with and many hours to consider them all.  Then there are some of us who have to deal with growing boys who are ‘starving’ but can’t eat in case certain tests are performed, and overall it makes hospital waiting unpleasant.

       It’s not much different with the Lord.  Most of us hate waiting: for our prayers to be answered, for our loved ones to get saved, for the Lord to open doors, for our healing, etc.  Of course these days we hate waiting for anything- at checkouts, for our spouses to get ready, in traffic, for food and on and on.  We’ve forgotten how to wait.  We want it all and we want it now, or maybe even yesterday!!!

       What we don’t usually consider is that sometimes there are logical reasons why we are required to wait.  Things may need to be in place before our prayers are answered.  Our loved ones need more ‘watering,’ ‘sunshine,’ or ‘fertilizing’ before they are ready for salvation.  Often, having to wait causes us to struggle, but struggling causes character growth (Rm. 5:3,4 ISV) so this is not a bad thing.  These experiences help us to mature and be complete in Christ (Jm. 1:2-4 ISV) if we allow them to.

       The Lord is good to those who wait for Him (Lm. ,26) and we are to wait for His salvation (deliverance from whatever we need to be saved from).  He will strengthen our hearts when we wait (Ps. 27:14) and in Him we can find rest (Ps. 37:7).  We will be blessed if we wait for Him (Is. 30:18) and in His word we have hope (Ps. 130:5).  Our hope is in the Lord (Ps. 39:7) while we wait, for He is trustworthy and worthy of our trust.  That’s what it all boils down to.  Do you trust in the Lord enough to wait?

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Is. 40:31

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Prayer

Lord, come as a consuming fire.
     Burn away all our unrighteousness, all the stuff we carry around in us from the kingdom of darkness we
     walk through every day,
     ...then continue to burn bright in our lives so that others come to us for warmth, comfort and to help them
     see along the way so we can share with them Your love.

Lord, be our consuming fire, engulfing us in Your presence
          So we may know You more
                 So we may understand Your heart
                         So we may be one in You, and You in us. (Jn.17:23) 

      …serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.  (Heb. 12:28,29)