and the One who walks with me on it.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Vacation Time

Hello my Friends

Just wanted to let you know I will be on vacation for a week and won't be able to post.
I plan on restarting Friday Aug. 3rd.

Hope you will come back and have a blessed week!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Gracious Gift of Rice

       Cooking is not my talent; in fact, I would rather scrub toilets then cook, but that’s a topic for another post.  Normally I wouldn’t watch a cooking show for anything, but my daughter usually watches with my hubby, and since it is more fun to watch with someone, I found myself watching Master Chef; a ‘non-professional’ cooking competition.  The skills of the contestants are put to the test by varying assignments.

       David won a huge advantage: he got to choose what ingredient they would all cook with (he chose corn) in the next challenge (a professional dessert), and then he got to see examples of what he could make.  He liked the idea of making a corn infused rice pudding, and he was given a longer time than usual to get all his needed ingredients.  After he left the ingredient room, he realized he forgot the most important item- the rice, but now it was too late to go back.  The other contestants had a limited time to grab their ingredients before they came back to stand at their stations and the timer was started.

       David was at a loss to know what to do without his rice, so he went around asking if anyone had some he could have.  Now remember, this is a competition where there is only one winner.  A contestant named Becky had grabbed some rice only as a back-up.  She thought about it only briefly and graciously allowed David to have it.  The judges were shocked and stated they thought it was a big mistake, and they would not have done it.  Another competitor said there was no way he would have done it, but Becky was treating him the way she would want to be treated. (Hmmm 2nd commandment...)

       Frank also said he would have done the same and that it was a matter of honour to do the right thing (or something like that).  I was very impressed with the two of them (kudos!), and at the end of the judging (David was in the bottom three) the judges asked how many of them would have given the rice to David, and all but one raised their hands.  At once I felt a pride in humanity for grace given where none was merited.  They could have allowed David what he deserved- to fall because of his own mistake, but instead, grace was given.  It seemed like such a little matter, but to David, it meant the world.

       So we also have been extended grace by the Almighty, though we didn’t deserve it.  We deserved punishment for our sins (Rom. ), but instead, the Father sent His Son to die for our sins (Jh. ).  But God demonstrates his love for us by the fact that Christ died for us while we were still sinners(Rom. 5:8 ISV).  ‘We were still sinners’, we deserved to die for our own sins/ mistakes yet God showed His love for us by sending His beloved Son to pay the price for our sins.  He didn’t have to, but He wanted to, so we could live free from sin and death.  That’s God.  That’s grace.  And that’s what we should extend to others as we have had it given to us.

It means the world to each of us.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Either Or, Both And

       As I was driving home this afternoon, I was pondering how we tend to think one directional.  We are this, or we are that.  We are fine or we are not.  We are happy or we are sad.  The problem with that is that sometimes we are not either one thing or another, but sometimes we are both this AND that.  For instance:

There are days when my spirit and mental parts of me are fantastic though my body may be in great pain so I am both fine and not.
After a long and painful illness of a Christian relative who then dies, I am both sad for our loss and happy for their gain of heaven.
I am both a daughter and a mother (also a sister, aunt, friend, sis-in-law, niece, grand-daughter)  You get the picture.

       Yesterday I was researching “the bride” of Christ and some say it is the church, others the New Jerusalem, yet others the Jews or earthly Jerusalem.  Perhaps it is all of those.  I have not studied it enough to say for certain, but I do think scripturally it is at least two of them.  So I was pondering how some song books changed the lyrics of a great hymn- Amazing Grace.  The problem with this is: it is one directional thinking.

       For instance in the song there is a line that says, “that saved a wretch like me” and it has been changed to, “that saved a soul like me”.  The reason?  We are not wretches: believers are sons of God.  We were created by God and are valuable.  Yada yada.  The truth is, we both sons of God- heirs to His empire- and wretches at the same time. 

Beloved, now are we children of God… 1Jh. 3:2 ASV
For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. Gal. ASV
Wretched man that I am!… Rom. ASV

Wretched defined in Webster’s 1828:
-A miserable person
-A worthless mortal
-A person sunk in vice
-Sometimes used for slight pity or contempt

       So even though we are sons of the Almighty and heirs to all that is His, we are also wretched sinners unworthy of salvation because of our sin.  For we have all sinned and fallen short (Rom. ), have gone astray like sheep (Is. 53:6), and none of us are righteous (Rom. ).  There is also constant war within us, one side wanting to do wrong (Rom. -20). 

       And so for all who like the new lyrics I say- strike a balance in your opinion of yourself lest you think more highly of yourself than you ought, and are told like the lukewarm in Rev. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” and you are spued out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16,17).

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Place of Refuge

       May 27, 1939, 937 Jews from Germany headed for Cuba with valid visas.  They were hoping to be saved from Hitler and his policies.  The Cuban government voided their visas and turned them away, so the ship set sail for the closest shores of the U.S.  There, they were not allowed to disembark, but were escorted out of U.S. shores into Halifax Harbour in Canada.  Upon request for refuge, Frederick Blair, director of the immigration not only refused the refugees entry, but later bragged about keeping Jews out of Canada.  Though the Jews returned to Europe, most of them were killed in Germany’s war.

       These people were looking for refuge from the coming storm and found none.  Expectations were cut down, hopes were dashed, and dreams were shattered.  I can’t imagine how hard that would be- knowing people had not responded for my and my family’s safety needs, so the disillusionment would have been strong.  The Lord God is not the same as flawed mankind, and He does seek to help the people of this earth if we open our hearts to Him.

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.  He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.  In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.  Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah  Ps. 62:5-8 NKJV

       We wait for God alone, because only He is worthy of our complete trust, and that is why we have hope in Him and His good intentions towards us (Jm. ).  We wait silently since trying to help God’s will along usually gets ourselves into trouble that we would have avoided if we just waited quietly.  Only He is our strong place to stand, and our deliverer; His walls, they keep us safe, and we are not moved.  We can trust, rely on, have confidence in Him at all times because of how He looks out for our good.  This is why we can ‘pour out’ our hearts, our feelings, worries, concerns, and thoughts before Him, because in Him we will find refuge, protection, and a safe haven from the storms of life.

Wait on the LORD:
be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the LORD.
Ps. 27:14

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Wedding

       We sat in the church all waiting in anticipation of the ceremony that would join our precious brother and sister in the Lord in holy matrimony.  They were a little late starting, but that was to be the only discernable flaw to an otherwise perfect ceremony.  The groom and his groomsmen, looking handsome in their tuxes, waited at the front of the church.  The bridesmaids began to enter one at a time in striking (metallic) light sage coloured dresses of various styles, and some adorable children came next.  But it was a hush that greeted the beautiful bride just before she started her walk down the aisle on the 2nd most important walk in her life that she would take.

       As she walked, stunning in her pristine white wedding dress, I turned to look at the groom’s face while she walked towards him (one of my favorite things to do).  His eyes told the story of his devotion to her.  He loved and adored her, and this was a great and precious moment for him as he watched his gorgeous bride come to him so the two could become one.  His pleasure was so strong in his whole face, that I continued watching as the bride got closer, and he could not take his eyes off of her.

       His gaze was so intense that I thought, this- THIS is how Jesus will look at us when we, His glorious ‘bride-to-be’ finally take that ‘walk’ down the aisle to become His bride.

For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 2Cor. 11:2  ASV
that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church. Eph ,32  ASV

       We, true believers, are ‘engaged’ to the Lord Jesus and are to be presented to Him a pure (clean, innocent) virgin (imp. undefiled) without spot, wrinkle or blemish.  (Are we?)  In the final days of this earth, we will be united ‘as one’ in holy unity with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev.)  God has always considered Himself to be the husband of His people Israel.  Israel is Abraham’s descendants and we are his seed (see Mar. 23, 2012) therefore He considers Himself our husband as well.

Return, O backsliding children, saith Jehovah; for I am a husband unto you… Jer.   ASV
For thy Maker is thy husbandthe God of the whole earth shall he be called. Is. 54:5 ASV

       One day Jesus will call us home, and we will ‘walk’ the aisle to meet Him.  Like my friend with his bride, He will look at us with love and adoration, and it will be a great and precious moment, not just for us, but for Him as He finally gets to be with us forever in the glory of which He intended.  And there will be great rejoicing in Heaven.

I can’t wait to see the love in His eyes.

How about you?