and the One who walks with me on it.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dead to Me

       In Jan. of 1995 I lost someone I dearly loved- my Dad.  He wasn't the perfect Dad, in fact, he was hardly ever home, but I knew that he loved me.  I still remember seeing him laying in the casket, wishing he could talk to me again, joke around like he often did, or make that hysterical scrunched up face he would do to make us laugh.  Once, when I was alone at the casket I said some words to him despite knowing he wasn't really there anymore because it was just his dead flesh but his spirit had moved on.
       For several years I would occasionally go to the cemetery and sit talking to him while I cleaned around the tombstone, telling him what was going on and how I felt.  For me it was all part of the healing process; but my Dad was dead to me.  He couldn't talk back, give advice about our new daughter or play with her and make her laugh like he would have if he was still here.  In the hard times he could not comfort me the way I would have liked.  For now, his voice is silent to me.  Human mortality of the flesh is absolute.
       We don't like death.  It is painful for us and reminds us of our own and our loved ones mortality.  We don't want to suffer the loss of their presence, friendship, comfort, love, laughter, etc.  I can't even imagine the grief if I lost someone very close to me.  So it is no surprise to me that we avoid death or anything like it, as much as possible.  But when we give our lives to the Lord we are supposed to die.
       As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Because of that cross my interest in all the attractive things of the world was killed long ago, and the world's interest in me is also long dead.  Gl. 6:14 TLB
       "...the world is crucified to me, and I to the world." (MKJV)  Our interest in the things of the world needs to be dead if we are to live in the freedom of Christ and not in the bondage of the world.  When we try to keep our feet in both, we die spiritually and bondage increases.  No, we don't want to die to the world because there are still things we like there, and want to keep.  It's not that we have to remove ourselves from the world, but that it can no longer speak to us:

       "Vicky, come be like us, think like us, believe what we believe, watch what we watch and listen to what we do, have all the same pleasures..."  If I am dead, I can no longer respond to those voices.  As a matter of fact, I cannot even hear them for my ears no longer work!  Just as when I stop responding to those voices, then suddenly the world is no longer interested in me.  Is it a loss?  Not for me since I found true freedom comes from being "all in, holding nothing back" from God.
       I have not suffered such grievous loss with this death because it comes with such reward as life in the Spirit with God.  Though I have died to the world's evil pleasures, my life is now hidden with Christ in God (Cl. 3:3) and I am alive to God through Jesus my Lord (Rm. 6:11).  It is only when we truly die that we begin to produce much fruit, and isn't that what we want?  "...Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit." (Jh. 12:24)  If we truly belong to Christ, we must crucify the flesh with its passions and lusts (Gl. 5:24) and live for Him. 

To remember: true freedom, joy, love and peace are only found in Him.

Therefore, Christ having suffered for us in the flesh, also you arm yourselves with the same thought, that he suffering in the flesh has been made to rest from sin, in order no longer to live in the lusts of men, but in the will of God the remaining time in the flesh. 1Pt. 4:1,2

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Incredible Journey

        Friday and Saturday brought many moments of wondering how likely I would fail in my quest to drive 12 hours straight by myself in order for my son and his birth brother to meet their sister of whom Nate has no memories.  Usually I can't drive more than 3 to 4 hours before getting drowsy and I still have trouble staying awake during the  day even on the average day.  So it was with trepidation I headed home from my sister's house (3 1/2 hour drive) thinking maybe I had made a mistake.  What if my inability to drive long enough caused the trip to be an epic fail because we only had a possible five days in total in which to go?

       It was about four minutes later that a surge of confidence flowed through me and I believed for the first time that maybe it was possible with God's help.  So it was Monday morning the three of us headed south.  Putting my trust in God, I prayed for our safety.  Though I took an herbal supplement to help me stay awake, they have failed to work before and I was not sure if it would help.  I also consumed food items to help such as SUGAR and NUTS!!!

       The presence of God was with me in a different way than I've felt before- like His strength / energy was surging through me.  The enemy began trying to instill fear in me.  The van sounded different: maybe the engine will blow up- what will you do? What will you do if it breaks down on the way?  What if a tire blows out?  With every fear that came against my mind I just talked to the Lord and trusted Him to help in any circumstance. Five hours into the trip I was still praising God for keeping me awake, focussed, and alert, and I was in awe of His amazing ability to help.  I was still hanging on to Him to get me through every minute. 

      Now, in the States, the speeds are often 112.5 km/h which is uncomfortable for me, but necessary with our time restrictions.  The enemy tried to come at me with fear over that as well, but his major attacks were in the area of the hills in Tennessee.  Sure the highway was good, but the speeds were high and the edge of the road bordered on the edge of deep valleys and I've often struggled with heights.  Every mile- no every minute I was praying, trusting God, taking breaths (He reminded me) and focussing on the road instead of the drop offs.  It was His strength that kept me going.

       Anyway, by the time we went through Atlanta in the dark I was pondering once again the miraculous power of God in the journeys- short and long- being taken around me.  Hundreds of people driving hundreds of miles over 100 km/h relying on four rubber tires, good steering, solid brakes, and a bit of trust in the other drivers who don't want to die either.  How is it there aren't more fatalities than there already are?  It is God that sustains the world around us, and we are blessed to wake breathing another day given the craziness of our ordinary lives.

       At 9:30pm we arrived at the motel.  I still had energy, felt good physically, and more importantly, God had shown me what is possible if I just minute by minute rely upon Him.  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Php. 4:13)  This world is like a war zone in the physical and spiritual realm, and we weren't meant to make the journey driving solo.

       Though I started the trip with reserved thinking and though the enemy tried to attack me along the way, the lesson I learned was vital for the path I am being lead on- trust in Him with everything even minute by minute when necessary- and He will get you through whatever you need to get through.  I hope to always remember the 12 hour drive in which the Lord made His power strong in me sufficient for the task at hand (2Cor. 12;9,10).

Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, forever. Amen. Eph. 3:20,21
Do not fear; for I am with you; be not dismayed; for I am your God. I will make you strong; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness. Is. 41:10
My flesh and my heart fail;
but God is the strength of my heart,
and my part forever.
Ps. 73:26


       I just wanted to let my faithful readers know that I attempted to post yesterday for a couple of hours but the keyboard was messed up and wouldn't type the correct characters.  I finally figured it out but was too tired to continue the post, so here it is today.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Okay, so I've got about 5 minutes to post something profound.

Guess you're out of luck, cause I'm not that good! :D

       So I had my 25th anniversary, and I got to thinking after that long, what are the important things I know about my husband?  Here are some of them:

He is kind.
He thinks about family and others and tries to do good for them.

He is generous.
He looks towards helping others with his time, attention and finances.

He is funny.
At unexpected times his humour shouts out.

He is interesting.
25 years later and I'm still learning more.  Yes, he can still surprise me.

He is open hearted.
He doesn't look down on others for race, religion, status, looks, colour etc.
He cares for me.
He provides for my needs, understands my pain and grief, helps when I am sick- and cooks for me A LOT.

He loves me.
I may not always feel it from him, but he's stuck it out through good and bad times with me and didn't walk away even when I acted stinky.

       I guess as I think about it, Albert shows Jesus to me everyday in all his best qualities.  He isn't perfect though. (Gasp, NO!!!)  So not matter how great he is, he cannot take the place of my first and forever love, Jesus Christ.  Note the differences:

He is always kind (Tt. 3:4).
He thinks about all of us and tries to do good for us- me too! For He is good (Ps. 107:1; Tt. 3:4).

He is always generous (Jm. 1:5).
He helps us with time, attention, healing, finances, support, perfect advice, etc.

He is funny.
At unexpected times His humour shows up (for a good bit with scriptures on God's humour read here.

He is very interesting.
30 years later and I'm still learning more- and He amazes me more every day.  Yes, He can still surprise me.

He is open hearted.
He is no respecter of persons (Ac. 10:34).  He doesn't look down on others for any reason only dislikes their evil / unloving actions.
He always cares for me (1Pt. 5:7).
He provides for my needs, understands my pain and grief, helps when I am sick- sometimes heals me, comforts me, encourages me, stays with me, gives me peace and joy, mercy and grace, hope and freedom, and much much more.
He protects me and no one can take my life and in His hands I am eternally safe.

He always loves me.  For He is love (1Jh. 4:8).
I always feel it from him, and he's stuck it out through good and bad times with me and didn't walk away even when I acted stinky.
He died for me on the cross of death that I deserved for my sins, and He did it for joy of my salvation.
He never leaves or forsakes me, and is a gentle Father who disciplines in ways that are appropriate.
He speaks to me, teaches me, leads me in the way I should go.
There is no limit to His love for me- it is perfect for He is love.

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rm. 8:38,39