and the One who walks with me on it.

Friday, October 11, 2013

In Preparation

       Well, I've just spent the majority of the day getting all the final tasks completed for our Thanksgiving supper with my family tomorrow.  My husband is such a blessing because he does the large gathering meals as I'm too chicken.  That leaves much of the last minute cleaning, arranging and buying to me.  So I set about my tasks today with ambivalence since this kind of thing isn't something I truly enjoy, but seeing it finally completed, there is a sense of satisfaction.
       All this just so we can have 20 to 25 guests for a delicious meal and good conversation.  Work, effort, money, time, frustration, planning, and emailing were all employed towards this one day- yep, just one day!  The house has to look nice, the dishes have to be clean with the correct amount, the food prepared in advance with seasonings and cooked to perfection (only hubby does that in this house...).  So much to do, so little time, but all worth it when the guests arrive.
       I'm so excited to finally get to see some of my nephews and nieces because it's been a while, and now some of them have young children.   Another nephew is getting married later this year and it's the first time I see him since he got engaged.  It will be a full house and probably happily noisy, just the way I like it.  Full and fun.
       As I glanced at the clean kitchen for one last check, and I was satisfied it was complete, I thought about how the Lord is preparing a place for us to live with Him and the Father one day. 
Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions*; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that where I am, you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You go, and how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.  Jh. 14:1-6  *residences, abodes.
       Jesus' statement for believers is to 'not let our hearts be troubled' for this reason- we can believe in God and Jesus; and they have prepared a place for us to live with them for all eternity.  One day Jesus will come again to take us home with Him.  But the only way we can live in this abode with them, is through the Way, the Truth and the Life- in other words, only through Jesus.
       Thank You Lord that You have prepared a place for us to live with You forever one day.  I just know You are looking forward to receive us on that day, and there we will have pleasures evermore.  Thank You for salvation through Jesus Christ.  We are eternally grateful!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Awesome Creator!

I love taking pictures of God's amazing creation, and it's intricacies.  It is easy to ponder His greatness when we see the care He has for such small details.

If the God of all the universe has put so much 'effort' into one flower, imagine what great care and effort He wants to 'put' into the lives of His children...

                                                                             into our lives!

Monday, October 07, 2013

A Frustrating Thing

       It seems that lately people hear only part of what I say.  Maybe it's because I'm boring, they don't think what I'm saying is important, or they just have too much already in their minds that they can only retain part of my words.  So what ends up happening is I drive around looking for my son when he is not waiting where I told him we'd meet.  Or the bathmat in the basement gets moldy and ruined because it was not hung out to dry as requested.  Both situations have caused me to have to work harder than I should, cost me in extra gas, time and expenses, and caused me to become frustrated.
       Perhaps I should be angry, but in fact I am not because I am so used to people ignoring some of my words by now.  Plus the fact that I just 'look in the mirror' to see how often I fail to remember what others say.  Then I also think about how often I've done that to God.  He has some believers write a book that tells me how to know Him, how to live, and how to act with others, yet thirty years after starting to read that Book, the Bible, I am still failing to act on many of the things I read.
       Though I feel like I've come thousands of miles in knowing Him, I still feel like there's a million more to go.  It's a step by step process which seems to go sooo slow at times, and truthfully, a big hindrance has been my own mind: my preconceived notions, my perspectives and my stubbornness in wanting God to be the God I want.  What I've discovered is if He was the God I want Him to be, I would not mature very well.
       Of course, there's lots of parts I simply don't like and so avoid working on changing.  Then there's other things I simply don't do because I don't understand how important they are.  As Paul said, "And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  I want to do what is right, but I can’t.  I want to do what is good, but I don’t.  I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." (Rm. 7:18,19 TLT) so even he understood the war inside of us to live in the Spirit or in the flesh.
       Think about the simple words of Jesus, "...that you love one another: just as I have loved you..." (Jh. 13:34 ESV) and how often we fail to do that: such a short command yet so large an act, and often very difficult.  I guess that's why we need to keep reading and applying the things we read to our lives- so that we continue to transform (2Cr. 3:18)- change bit by bit until we are complete and mature ready to be with our Savior and God.  Until then we must have patience- with God because He chooses not to miraculously change us overnight, with others because they fail just as we do, and with ourselves for God is not finished with us yet (Php. 1:6).

THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Prepare for the Worst...

       Have you ever heard that saying, hope for the best but prepare for the worst?  Lately I've started doing an intense Bible study on the Book of Revelation.  One thing we've already discussed is how there are various views on different issues.  To start off, some Christians don't even think Revelation is to be taken literally at all.  Others don't believe in certain parts like the rapture, Armageddon, the Millennium, eternity in the lake of fire for the wicked, etc.  Still, other people argue over certain events and when they occur: pre-trib, mid-trib, post trib, pre-wrath rapture and all the varying hybrids.  
knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture came into being of its own private interpretation. For prophecy was not borne at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke being borne along by the Holy Spirit. 2Pt. 1:20,21
       Well, I do take Revelation literally when possible, as I believe the Bible as a whole is to be taken.  As to my position on the rapture, well, I do have one, but to me it's not completely solid- perhaps that will happen sometime during the study...  Suffice it to say that at this point I'm not completely stuck on one scenario.  But my question is this; if we are positive in pre-trib rapture and the tribulation starts before any Christians are taken, will we lose our faith when we realize what we believed was wrong?
       What if we are sure we will not suffer deadly persecution and then we do, will our faith survive?  And if we're still here when the Anti-Christ is revealed and he comes from Istanbul instead of Italy, is our faith shipwreck?  The point of these questions is to make us think about what's most important, and in my opinion, that is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
1Cr. 2:2
       We should absolutely study the entire Bible (2Tm. 2:15), try to learn as much as possible, including the end time stuff (blessings for those who read, hear and heed Rv. 1:3), but in the end we need to leave a little bit of room for 'I still might be missing some information' or 'this might not be 100% true', because we cannot put our faith in a flawed human, whether it be our pastor, our favorite tv teacher,  a well informed, studied author, our best friend, or ourselves; we are human thus we make mistakes.  Besides, we are also limited in perspective whereas God is perfect (Ps. 18:30), sees everything from beginning to end (Hb. 4:13; Ps. 33:13).
       Finally, we need to focus on knowing the Lord and Him knowing us with that two way communication that is now possible due to His Spirit dwelling in us, and NOT our own beliefs and theories.  We need to trust Him more every day especially as troubles increase and the end comes nearer, for we know He is all knowing and His purpose will be fulfilled.  Since He knows everything that will happen, He can walk with us through it, rescue us from it, or strengthen us in it...  We need to rely on Him.  God is our Creator and He is able to bring us through to His promise of final salvation- being with Him for all eternity!!!
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith... Hb. 2:2
By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us... 2Tm. 1:14
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. Ps. 118:8
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. Pr. 19:21
The LORD of hosts has sworn: "As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand, Is. 14:24
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. Is. 26:4
For everything that has been born of God overcomes the world.
And this is the victory that overcomes the world,
our faith.
1Jh. 5:4