and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Oops, Fell Asleep Again!

       Occasionally I am so tired when I sit down to write for this blog, I actually fall asleep- sitting upright at my computer desk; that’s what happened yesterday.  It usually starts out with an, “I’m just gonna rest my eyes for a minute” then ends an hour and a half later with a neck ache and I crawl into bed for the night.  So while looking up a particular Scripture to write on about sleep, I found this thought provoking one I’d rather write on.
                  *   *   *   *   *
My son, keep your father's commandments, and do not forsake the law of your mother; bind them upon your heart forever, tie them around your neck. When you go, it shall lead you; when you sleep, it shall keep you; and when you awake, it shall talk with you. Pr. 6:20-22

       Here we have the author speaking to his son reminding him to follow the commandments and law of his parents.  Notice, he doesn’t say rules as in household rules to follow, like those a parent normally gives to their children.  Instead, he uses commandments (both of God and man) and law (Decalogue or Pentateuch).  So here he is talking of the Scripture and how we are to tie or bind it to our hearts (feelings, will, intellect- that which makes us who we are) and around our necks, imo like a valued necklace- treasured and kept close to me.

       In the Jewish culture, all the children were to be fully instructed on the sacred Scriptures.  Parents of Jewish faith take their job as instructors in God’s Word and ways very seriously.  Much like Christian parents, they try to instill their faith into their children by teaching the Word and by their daily lives.  Teaching and participation of children is even included in their festivals (Ex. 12:26,27).

And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart. And you shall carefully teach them to your sons, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. Dt. 6:6,7
(King Josiah read to)all the people, from the small even to the great. And he read all the Words of the Book of the covenant… 2Kn. 23:2

       Back to the verses in Pr. 6, we are to bind them -the Word- to us, treasure it, but why, what are the benefits to us?  When we go (walk, travel life’s path…) the Word will lead / guide us in the way we should go.  Obviously, that would take some of the stress and strain off our decision making and because we are trusting God, we would not be worried.  The Word will guard us as we sleep.  I remember one time I was being chased in a dream by someone evil and I turned and said, “In the name of Jesus leave me” and it did.  Instead of waking up in fear, I woke up in peace.

       But the real thought provoking claim is the third part: it will talk to you.  Hmmm. The Word will talk to me?  Talk here means to ponder, converse, commune, declare, meditate, etc.  So, in effect, the Spirit of the Lord that dwells within us (2Tm. 1:14) uses the Word we tie or bind to ourselves to speak to us, cause us to ponder the Lord and His ways, commune with the Word (Jesus- Jh. 1:1,14).  It declares the truth, just and pure ways (like the angel on the shoulder, it’s the Word inside us that speaks for us to do right), it debates within us to help us make righteous choices, and it rises in our minds so that we think on the Lord and His Word.  In other words, the Scriptures transform our hearts, minds and lives: it guides, it guards, it speaks to us…
                    that is if we bind the Word to our hearts and wear it around our necks.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


       What is it they say?  Misery loves company; so I had lots of company the other day.  There was no particular reason for my wretchedness, just a bunch of little stuff, negativity, with a spatter of teen ungratefulness, and I decided to throw myself a pity party, inviting my three favorite people (said facetiously), me, myself and I.

       The whole thing could have been avoided had I done what I felt called to do that morning which was to get into the presence of Almighty God and spend some time with Him.  Instead, I filled my day with lots of little and mostly unimportant (for that day) tasks to do.  If I’m honest (don’t know why I tell on myself this way!) I have to say part of the reason I didn’t spend ‘alone’ ‘quiet’ time with God is I wanted some time off- like a vacation of sorts.  {Boy, that sounds bad.}

       Enoch spent over 365 yrs- a father for at least 300 of them- before God translated him.  And Enoch walked with God, and then he was not, for God took him.(Gn. 2:24)  God translated / transferred Enoch- he didn’t see death- to a different place because he pleased God. (Hb. 11:5)  Did he please God all of those years?  That’s a lot of time considering I’m only mid-forties and don’t always do the right thing.  Perhaps it’s just the average or majority of time God meant?  I somehow doubt Enoch wanted a vacation from God

       Well, only God knows for sure about Enoch, but I know about myself better than anyone except God, and I know I am not capable of being sinfully, fleshly, carnally minded, wanting to control my own life FREE while in this mortal body.  Heck, I can’t even get by a day without sinning.  How can I please God this way?  I think that’s one of the reasons Paul talked about the war he faces.

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do, I know not. For what I desire, that I do not do; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I do not desire, I consent to the law that it is good. But now it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing. For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I do not find. For I do not do the good that I desire; but the evil which I do not will, that I do. But if I do what I do not desire, it is no more I working it out, but sin dwelling in me. I find then a law: when I will to do the right, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man; but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin being in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then with the mind I myself serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. Rm. 7:14-25

       Paul is saying the body is carnal and sold to sin.  We don’t do as we know we should, we do what we shouldn’t and so sin dwells in us.  In our humanity, there is no good in any of us (Rm. 3:10) and so the law condemns us.  Our body fights with our mind and Paul says what I often think of myself, “O wretched man that I am!”  There is a war that wages in me.  Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, but ultimately the victory is mine through Christ Jesus for He has overcome the world (Jh. 16:33)!

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law.
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Cr. 15:56,57

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Baked on Filth

       My head was in the oven, but no, I wasn’t trying to do myself in!  I was actually trying to clean it because it had gotten disgusting looking over time (no, I’m not divulging how much time) and had caught fire- just a little of course (oops).  Anyway, this was my first attempt at cleaning an oven, and I quickly surmised that a scrubby with soap did not do the job, neither did the ‘harsher’ scrubby, neither did letting it soak.  Looking at the baked on mess I considered knives, paint scrapers, chisels, blowtorches, jackhammers, okay, not the last two, but I realized the best thing to do is call someone who’d dealt with the problem before.

       Oven cleaner? Well, I’d never heard of the stuff before, but it really did work despite my fears of blowing up the kitchen.  The job was done and the stove didn’t catch fire again for a while anyway!  The oven looked shiny and clean for weeks and I wished I wouldn’t have tried for so long to clean it with the scrubbies because it was a huge waste of time and energy as it was not effective.

       Kind of like the Old Testament sacrifices.  They were not effective for cleaning man of sin; they were only good for covering it up.  The ‘dirt’ was still there, it just couldn’t be ‘seen’.  That’s why sacrificing was a task that needed to be done repetitively. 

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.  Hb. 10:1-4 ESV

       There is no forgiveness without shedding blood (Hb. 9:22) but the sacrificed animals could never make a man perfect, or man wouldn’t have needed to continue sacrificing.  Like the burnt on mess in the stove, our sins stick to us and no amount of scrubbing by our own means can clean us up.  Only the blood of Jesus Christ, the sinless (Hb. 4:15; 1Pt. 2:22) Savior who died for our sins (1Cr. 15:3), For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.(2Cr. 5:21)

the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1Jh. 1:7
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, Rv. 1:6
But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hb. 9:26 ESV

       Thanks to what Jesus did in His sacrificial death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, we can have right standing with God!  Halleluiah!  His blood didn’t just cover up the sin in our lives, but washed it clean (shiny and clean) so the Holy Spirit can dwell in us (1Cr. 6:19).  We are blessed that Jesus’ sacrifice is complete for it provided forgiveness for ALL our sin.  Yes, we still need to confess and repent of daily sins, but no other sacrifice is needed.  Jesus’ blood meets all the requirements of the law for the forgiveness of our sin, and in Him alone we can be made clean.  Thank You Jesus; we are forever grateful.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Jh. 1:29

Sunday, July 07, 2013


       There’s only so much time you can take staring at an empty page with absolutely nothing coming to mind about what to write.  So here I am thinking- I just need to go to bed.  In fact, I think I will do just that.  But first I want to say that I am so glad to be a part of the greatest family on Earth- known as the body of Christ.  We all look different, we like different things in life and local churches, styles of worship and clothes we wear, but we have the most important thing in common.  We love the Lord Jesus Christ.

       Like earthly families we don’t always get along, we sometimes fight and don’t appreciate each other’s actions.  Sometimes we take advantage of one another, ignore one another, or speak words that were better left unspoken but we are still family.  And God is our Father.  So when our Father says to love one another (Jh. 13:34; Rom. 12:10; 13:8; 1Jh. 4:11;  1Pt. 4:8; Mt. 22:39- and these are just some!)

we ought to love one another.

Live it
    just don’t forgeddaboutdit!

But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who believe on His name, who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God. Jh. 1:12,13

For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named, Eph. 3:14,15