and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Grave Goods

       Around the world in many different ancient cultures, items buried with the dead have been found; Egypt is a notable example.  These items were buried to appease the dead (ex. money for the ferryman who transports you), sacrifice to the gods or things for the deceased to use in the afterlife- tools, money, possessions with servants and wives for the rich.  We still do it today but in North America it is usually things the person loved such as a Bible, baseball cap or things you always wore like a wedding ring or glasses.

       The other day I finally realized why possessions in this world are, well, nothing important.  We can’t take them with us.  Even if we bury every single one of our possessions with us, they remain behind, but even if they could physically come with us- they really couldn’t.  (Not even these dilapidated bodies get into Heaven.)  Every single man made thing is imperfect, flawed, corrodes, rusts, weakens, breaks down, gets ruined, stolen, broken, etc.

       In trying to make a comparison, the things we have here are like poop compared to the glorious vitality and excellence of Heaven.  We won’t want such ugliness when we are there.  Even the newest, fancy car here is like garbage to what will be in Heaven.  In Heaven, there is no rot, death, sickness, basically nothing anti-life exists (death is anti-life) “for the former things are passed away(Rev. 21:4 KJV).  One time God blessed me with a vision of what I will look like in Heaven and the most predominant thing is best described as ‘exuding life’, every cell, every feature, everywhere.

Do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  Mt. 6:19-21

       We work hard to buy ourselves treasures in this life, those things that bring us pleasure or comfort.  We sacrifice to be able to surround ourselves with what makes us feel good about life or things we think will make our lives easier, but all those things eventually end up as waste in some way.  So we spend all this time and effort on things that won’t last.  That does not sound wise to me.

       There is nothing wrong with owning things as long as the need for things does not control you.  For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.(2Pt. 2:19 ESV) Possessions can be useful for our own lives and for others, but the problem is that we tend toward idolatry with possessions.  We want more, better, faster, fancier

       We sacrifice family, friends and our own health at the altar of goods and wealth.  they worshiped and served the created thing more than the Creator(Rom. 1:25) We’ll buy our child their third new ipod (upgrade) when the person in the pew beside us is struggling to buy food, and we don’t even consider that, after all, if we don’t see their lack or ask about their lives than our unawareness of it makes it easier to ignore their needs.  But things are only worth something if they further the kingdom of God.  But seek first the kingdom of God(Mt. 6:33) 

       Now I look around and see all these things as insignificant.  If they aren’t going to do the most important thing, help people to know and follow the Lord Jesus Christ so that they can one day experience blessed eternal life, then I don’t need them.  Better to spend the money on something that can help people find the Lord.  So I think my life has changed again, and all I can say is I am so grateful to God that He doesn’t give up teaching us the things we need to know, and He is with us step by step every day while we learn.

Our God is such a great God!

Friday, May 10, 2013


       It seems to me we have become a people of excess.  Nothing seems worse (to me) than prom time in high school (yep, there right now).  You would think a royal wedding is being planned.  For those of you who remember days of old this is what it has become, here anyway, for a couple (very bad not to be a couple these days!!!).
             girl                                                                  boy
     $60 prom ticket                                                 $60 prom ticket
     $20 after prom party ticket                                 $20 after prom party ticket
     $200- $400 dress                                              $100 tux rental (shoes incl.)
     $20 new jewelry to match dress                           $400 limo rental for 4 hours
     $30 alterations on dress (shortening)                    $15 haircut
     $40 shoes                                                        $15 corsage (guessing)
     $40 hair styled by professional                             $610 total approximately
     $30 manicure
     $20 beauty supplies
     $480 total approximately

       So we have a grand total of $1100 for a few hours of celebrating your last year of high school.  Now, not everyone spends this much, but I’d say most do.  One girl said to me she’s sick of hearing, ‘Where are you getting your hair done’ and when she says she’s doing her own, they look down at her like she’s stupid.  Those who can’t afford or don’t want all the excess are snubbed.  Oh how I miss the days of cheap new dress or borrowed dress, get mom to do the hair and go have fun.

       Prom isn’t society’s only excess.  Three to six tv’s in a house, six or more computers/ laptops and tablets, two or three game systems, one cellphone per person, ipods and mp3’s, and that’s just technology.  Closets full of clothes, shelves full of shoes and purses, ten coats or jackets per person- check it out, it’s true.  $200 dollar appliance to cook fries with very little oil, $80 coffee machine to brew by the cup, $800 new counter top, $1400 washer and dryer (and they still don’t fold your clothes!), etc.  Restaurants or take out 2 or 3 times a week, Timmie’s every work day, dessert every night

None of this excess has made us any happier.

       Do we really need it?  No, but we want for it.  What we don’t see is that in the end excess serves to keep us in the bondage of our passions instead of living in the true freedom with peace and joy in Christ.  We must work more to buy more, increase cleaning time for all the stuff, find storage for it all, buy more accessories for it all, build more room to fit more in, buy bigger pants to eat more  it never ends; it’s a vicious cycle and our lives are no better for it.


       Did Jesus ever live in excess such as this or did He ever encourage it?  There is no place I have read it, for whether or not He was poor, He didn’t live in excess.  If we are to follow His example, He showed us how to live a humble and selfless life while seeking the Father’s will first. 

(colours, bold, underline are mine for emphasis)

money, food:

I have shown you all things, that working in this way we ought to help the weak*, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (*feeble, sick)  Ac. 20:35
Do not labor to be rich; cease from your own understanding.  Pr. 23:4
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their belly, and their glory is in their shame. Their minds are set on worldly things.  Php. 3:19
"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.  "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Mt. 6:24,25  ESV
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.  Mt. 6:33

Do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  Mt. 6:19-21
Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world, the lust* of the flesh, and the lust* of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  1Jh. 2:15,16  (*desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust)

how to live:
I say, then, Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.  Gal. 5:16
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts*, we should live discreetly, righteously and godly, in this present world, Tt. 2:11,12
Dearly beloved, I exhort you as temporary residents and pilgrims to abstain from fleshly lusts* which war against the soul,  1Pt. 2:11 (*see note 1Jh 2:16 above)

Know this also, that in the last days grievous times will be at hand. For men* will be self-lovers, money-lovers, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unyielding, false accusers, without self-control, savage, despisers of good, traitors, reckless, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it; even turn away from these.  2Tm 3:1-5 (*human beings- believers OR not!)

For whatever overcomes a person,
to that he is enslaved.
2Pt. 2:19

Everything is permissible for me,
but not everything is helpful.
Everything is permissible for me,
but I will not allow anything to control me.
1Cor. 6:12 ISV

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Do I exist?

       Perhaps this post is enough to convince you that I exist, but perhaps not, since some of you have never met me.  Most people would not argue with me about my existence as they would be able to see, hear, possibly smell me if I’ve been running or eating wheat (always repercussions there), and touch me to know I exist.  But it is funny how people try to deny the things they can’t see as if not seeing it right now makes it untrue- even when there are witnesses they can question.

       My grandpa immigrated to Canada at a very young age with his rather large family.  Though I only remember grandpa, I know he had a dad that came with them and my grandpa verified it was the man in the photo with them- so I have no reason to doubt him.  Lately I’ve been doing a bit of a study on the kings of Israel/ Judah, their prophets and the kings of nations surrounding them.  What I didn’t expect is to find out how many people discount the Bible completely when it comes to history- like it can’t possibly be true just because it is written in THAT book.

       Still, archaeology is confirming Biblical history more and more.  There are 36 OT and 25 NT names of people recorded in the Bible that have been referred to in the writings of other cultures.  The Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians and Persians recorded much that has been found.  (There are another possible 25 names but there is uncertainty for a variety of reasons.)  King Rehoboam’s name was found on the Pharoah Shoshenq I relief and stelae, yet some question whether Solomon existed.  Well, if Rehoboam was Solomon’s son then it follows that Solomon existed- whether or not proof is ever found!  Likewise, my grandpa’s grandpa existed even though there is no proof.

King Hezekiah's bulla
       It all comes down to if you are willing to change your preconceived beliefs about something, because some people see the proof and still find ways to doubt.  They fight and argue over dating, debris fields, clay findings, ‘it could be someone else with that name’, and such.  Some people today deny such things as the lunar landing, the holocaust, various famines, genocides and oppression of their own countrymen.  In the end no amount of proof can change an unwilling mind.

       Do I exist?  Yes.  If you have no proof, that fact will not change.  One thousand years from now if no record of me is left anywhere, my DNA is not passed on in my children, none of my blog posts survive, and no oral mention of me carries on, I still existed in this time in this place.  It’s not logical to deny existence based on lack of proof, and I despise illogic.  I exist, proof or not.  No proof does NOT prove non-existence! 
For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because the thing which may be known of God is clearly revealed within them, for God revealed it to them. For the unseen things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being realized by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, for them to be without excuse. Rom. 1:18-20
they did not glorify Him as God… (v.21)
Professing to be wise, they became fools (v.22)
For they changed the truth of God into a lie (v.25)
And even as they did not think fit to have God in their knowledge (v.28)
The fool has said in his heart, There is no God!... 
(Ps. 14:1; 53:1)

Oh Lord, forgive our ignorance...

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Dunes of Pinery Provincial Park

       Late in the night while others were drifting off to sleep, I went for a short walk up a sandy dune to sit on the deserted peak.  The warm breeze caressed my skin, the quiet enveloped my soul and I gazed up into the crystal clear sky to see more stars than I’d seen in a very long time.  (Living close to a city will do that!)  It became my favorite nightly pastime as I felt so close to God.

       Time seemed to move unhurriedly and I looked up to count the stars: one, two twenty seventy eight oops, lost track again  It seems impossible to count them all, and that’s just the ones we can see but what about the ones we can’t see?  They are beyond human count-ability.  Rough estimates are about 30-70 billion trillion stars with just 200-400 billion in our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

       Genesis says about stars, “And let them be for signs*, and for seasons, and for days and years.(v.14)  So, if you are into astronomy (study of stars, NOT astrology) you can know time frames using the stars, but they are also for signs.  There are many Biblical signs that come from them, but here’s one we don’t often consider: they are signs/ give evidence of His omniscience- all knowingness and omnipotence- all powerfulness. (*signal, flag, beacon, monument, evidence…)
For what can be known about God is plain to them*, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.  Rom. 1:19,20 ESV  *man

       How do they show God’s attributes?  The following Scriptures say He created all the host of the heavens and He calls them all by their names- all 30-70 billion trillion of them.  That’s a memory bigger than I can imagine!!!  He is able to count them all- and remember them.  All of nature praises Him for power and majesty, and so should we.  The Lord our God is beyond our complete comprehension…  Whereas we can’t even count the stars, He knows them each by their name.  How remarkable is that!

To whom then will you compare Me, or am I equaled? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold, who has created these, who brings out their host by number? He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for He is strong in power; not one is lacking.  Is. 40:25,26
He appoints the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names.  Ps. 147:4
Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all stars of light.
Let them praise the name of Jehovah; for He commanded, and they were created.  Ps. 148:3,5

Monday, May 06, 2013

Why I Like Thursdays

       I look forward to checking the newspapers Wed, Thurs and Friday.  It is not because I read the paper, although I do some of the puzzles to try and improve my brain (hasn’t helped yet lol), but because I enjoy looking through the flyers.  Not much interests me on Wed, and Fri has only a couple decent ones, but Thurs has the largest amount of flyers: grocery and other.  It also has one of my favorites- Canadian Tire.  On the front of all my flyers I write the stuff that I may want to get at that store, then copy them to my grocery list under the store name and do price matching when possible, all to conserve money.

       When we were laid off it was critical to go through the grocery flyers to find the sales- since I am usually around most of the stores sometime through the week.  But my favorite part was still the CT flyer, because I could imagine all the things I would get if I could afford it, plus, I really, really like tools- especially power tools!  Usually I read it last so I can thoroughly enjoy it; first with a quick ‘once over’ and then slower to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  I’m like a little kid excited to see all the cool stuff in it- potential for all kinds of adventures!  Only the Wish Book we get every winter thrills me more!

       At church last Wed the presence of the Lord was so strong that it actually felt good to be there worshiping Him.  He is so much more enjoyable to be with- dare I say, most of the time.  Yes, there are those times of chastisement that are not pleasant, and times He is working hard things out of my life, but overall, being in His presence tops all the other pleasures in life.  That same excitement when I get my flyer or Wish Book was there, only on a way bigger scale.  I wanted to shout.  I wanted to let go and praise the Lord loudly for being our victorious Redeemer!

You will make Me know the way of life; in Your presence is fullness of joys. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Ps. 16:11 (joy= glee, exceeding gladness, joy, mirth, pleasure, rejoice)
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1Cor. 15:57
My soul longs, yea, even faints for the courts of Jehovah; my heart and my flesh shout for joy to the living God.  Ps. 84:2
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.  Ps. 98:4 KJV
Clap your hand, all you peoples; shout to God with the voice of triumph.  Ps. 47:1

       Some might say it is strange for me to shout or want to shout, but that’s what I want to do when I’m really excited about something- and it builds up until I can express it.  What I find interesting is that many Christians try to follow what the Bible says in many ways, but shouting to God is not one of them.  We’ll shout during our favorite sports games, when our kids do something great, when we’re trying to get someone’s attention, when we’re proud of someone’s accomplishment etc., but not to the One who set aside His God attributes to come in human flesh, torturously die for our sins and redeem us from eternal damnation.

To me, that’s strange.

Lord, please help us all be more excited about You.
Maybe that excitement will draw others to find out what You’re all about!