and the One who walks with me on it.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Donating Blood

       I’m a big proponent of donation; in fact, I try to exert firm but gentle pressure on my 17 year olds to give at least three times before deciding if they want to continue.  Am I a good example?  Not really.  When I was younger, I had low iron, and then I had cancer so now I am not able to give, but Albert was a faithful donor up until he became diabetic.  Still, the thought of how many lives could be saved makes me wish I could, I mean, one day it could be someone I love.

       Sometimes people have rare blood, and they are really needed in the donor pool.  Occasionally they will be called in special if there is a need and they’ve done it before.  One man with rare blood was asked to donate for platelets which is far more intensive and requires (if I remember right) three donations close together.  They say one donation could save three lives, or help at least- doesn’t that make it worthwhile?

       Imagine if your blood could potentially save everyone in the world.  Would you do it then even if it meant painful torture, humiliation and abandonment by everyone you loved?  Would you do it if you knew people would murder or starve others in your name, or perhaps just reject what you did for them?  Jesus was the greatest blood donor in the history of mankind because His blood does have the potential to save everyone in the world.  It’s a shame that some reject the blood and die in their sins.  There is no need for any to die in their sin because the Lord left the choice up to us as individuals.

But God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Rm. 5:8
He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed. 1Pt. 2:24
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
looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross… Hb. 12:2

Do we accept His blood to wash our sins, accept Him as Lord of our lives and follow Him with the reward of living forever with Him one day?
     Or do we reject the blood and lose our lives to spend eternity in torment?

               Jesus didn’t just donate a pint 
                            it fell from all his major parts and poured out of His side 
                                                 ...for love of us.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Make-up and Masks

       A swirl of particulates dances before my eyes as I drive Amy to work in the morning.  “Open the window please,” I say thinking she should remember by now, or better yet, wake up early enough to put her make-up on in the house instead of the car.  I glance over at her face and think to myself, ‘Why does she bother?  To the rest of us her skin is flawless with an attractive tone and colour.  If I had her beauty, I’d never use make-up!’ (Okay, so I don’t anyway! :D )

       By the time she’s done, her face doesn’t look real anymore- at least up close.  Such a shame since she looks naturally beautiful without it!  Many people would like to look as good as her, me being one of them… but alas, I have a unique beauty all my own!  Anyway, there is much the same thing going on in the church today and I think it is such a shame.

       Instead of showing our genuine faces, we put on masks where ever we go.  Probably the most prominent face is the “I’m good, my life is all good” face because we don’t want anyone to see how much we struggle--- far more spiritual to act like we have it all together, right?  “How you doing?”  “Fine.  Good.  Great.  Blessed…”  Sure, sometimes the reason we answer this way is because we think there is no time to get into a big discussion, but is it honest?  Are we not called to be honest and genuine?

Lying lips are hateful to Jehovah… Pr. 12:22
Do not lie to one another, having put off the old man with his deeds Cl. 3:9
Pray for us; for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. Hb. 13:18
for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man. 2Cr. 8:21 ESV

       And just what do our dishonest words do?  It makes others feel bad about their own lives/ journeys as if they are the only ones struggling, it leaves us alone in our struggles unable to share, and we open ourselves up to the enemy, because lying is hated by God and therefore part of the domain of the Devil.  It also goes against God’s Word in bearing one another’s burdens to fulfill Christ’s law (Gl. 6:2).  Which law? The one where we are supposed to love one another.

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you should also love one another. By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another. Jh. 13:34,35

       I remember once when a friend walked by she asked “How are you?” and I wasn’t quite sure she really wanted to know but it had been a BAD couple of weeks so I said, “crappy actually” and she replied, “Oh, I guess we’re being honest.”  Shouldn’t we always?  We shouldn’t have to put on fake faces just because we are Christians.  In fact, I believe it should make us more genuine about our lives and when we are more genuine, then our true beauty shows up as we learn to rely more and more on God our Father. 

And being honest about our struggles and messed up lives keeps us humble too, and God likes humility.  (2Ch. 7:14; Mt. 23:12; Php. 2:3; Jm. 4:6; 1Pt. 5:6)

Here I am Lord, ‘warts and all’ asking that You help me be honest with all my struggles… help us all to love each other with pure hearts and genuine compassion, honestly, just like You!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

       Well, in case any of you are wondering how my drive back from Georgia went yesterday, it ended with me getting home at 1:45 am this morning.  Again, the Lord miraculously helped me stay awake, alert and able to drive the 12 hours needed to get home.  (Did I tell you He's amazing!!!)  Why did we leave so late as 12 hours start us at 1:30 in the afternoon?  Ahhh.  Wise question.

       You see, I had smelled what I thought was antifreeze in my engine compartment.  As I looked on Friday, there was no fluid left in the overflow.  I thought, it's probably a small leak because I kinda didn't check, um, ever (didn't Albert? oops), and it was probably low to start with; so I filled it up and off we went for the day in Atlanta.  Late Friday night I checked and there was no fluid left again.  Obviously a much bigger leak than I thought.  So early Saturday I found a place to look at it and behold, I had a cracked radiator and broken water pump.

       The good news is I was able to get it fixed; the bad news was it took four hours because of the type of vehicle we drive.  Of course, the cost didn't make it into the best memorable moments book either, but we did get home!  It's making me think about us in terms of being like car parts.  Time, weather, road salt, poor maintenance and such all impact the life and strength of the car parts.  They wear down, need fixing, greasing, replacing, etc.  

For my life is ending with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones have wasted away. Ps. 31:10

       Time, weathering of troubles, caustic situations, poor maintenance of our bodies /  minds and such impact us in ways we notice, AND in ways we don't.  Because of this, we wear down, need fixing, greasing, replacing, loose strength, etc.  It's not surprising considering these bodies are mortal and will perish, as well as our frail and degrading brains.  Here's some Scriptures on the Lord Almighty who helps us with our maintenance:

My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart, and my part forever. Ps. 73:26
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Ps. 51:10
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind... Rm. 12:2
I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit. Jh. 15:1,2 give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness; so that they might be called trees of righteousness... Is. 61:3
So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  2Cr. 5:17