and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


       Well, I don’t know how many people attempt to fix their computers when things go wrong, but I do, simply because it’s so expensive to get a professional.  Perhaps the time for self-fixing is over though because it seems to take longer and longer to find answers (online mostly) and fix the issues.  As a result, I’ve been working at it for hours and it still isn’t quite right, but it is usable, so I’m taking this opportunity to post.

       The internet seems the biggest and quickest source of information that is available to mostly everyone.  At the same time, not all the information is accurate: some is based on opinions, others unintentional misinformation, and yet others are intentional and out to deceive, often to make a sale; and so we must frequently wade through copious amounts of information to find what we are looking for.

       It would be a completely different world if we could trust everyone to be honest with their information!  But there is one who has never lied: “God is not a man that He should lie…” (Nm. 23:19).  He doesn’t need to lie since He knows everything, sees everything, made everything and is the most powerful person in the universe.  He can basically do as He pleases.  “Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.(Ps. 135:6 ESV; also Ps. 115:3)

       Still, there is a place we can go, filled with information that is helpful in all the areas of our lives- the Bible.  Those are God’s words written by man for our benefit. “All Scripture is God-breathed…” (2Tm. 3:16) Sure, it is thousands of years old, yet to all who read, heed and apply, it is fresh and new everyday and is able to transform our lives (Jm. 1:21; Rm. 12:2).  All the information in the world (which they claim as their own) can’t do that!

       Some people insist it was just written by men.  Others insist it is only stories, myths, symbols and metaphors.  Many think it simply isn’t applicable to their lives- especially this century.  There are many proofs against these allegations, but my own story is one that can not easily be refuted for I know what the Word of God has done in my life.  It has changed me in ways that I never thought possible.

       My childhood was filled with emotional turmoil.  I was shy, unable to come out of my shell, even midway into high-school.  Then I was born again, and the Lord began to do a work in me, primarily through His Word, but also through solid teaching of others.  Almost immediately He took away most of the shyness, but it would take years for a most of the emotional healing to take place.

       From later teen years to mid twenties, I was very judgmental, never seeing myself as such, of course.  I thought very highly of my own faith in the Lord and how much I knew Him and His Word… (yep, that’s pride)  Anyway, most of the garbage in my life was inward and hidden from the world, but of course I judged others for their outward sins- never really seeing my own.  But one by one, the Lord used His Word to hack away at them, revealing my own heart to me time and time again.  He also showed me more than once how my faith was wishy washy, quickly disappearing in difficult times- in other words, not true faith.

       Today I am transformed inwardly in so many ways that I barely recognize my inside self.  Oh, I don’t kid myself, for I know I still have a looooong way to go as some recent posts indicate, but I fully know beyond knowing it was the Lord’s doing through His Word and words in my life.  Other books have impacted me a little here or there, but nothing has transformed me (yes, for the better) as much as the Word of God.

For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart
                                                Hb. 4:12

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Behaviour Should Change or It Means Little

       Tommy hit Bobby again for about the tenth time that week.  "Sorry," said Tommy.  Each time Bobby believed him because Tommy looked sorry; but Tommy never stopped.  One year later, Tommy was still hitting Bobby, saying sorry, and not changing his behaviour.  Years later it was still going on.  How long do you think it took for Bobby to stop believing Tommy meant what he said?  Maybe he never did believe because when someone doesn't change their behaviour or at least make good effort towards that end, then their actions are not lining up with their words.
       I can't imagine what it's like to have a spouse cheat on you.  I do know there are some that continue cheating time after time, apologizing to great extents when caught, but then resuming the behaviour soon after.  It would be extremely difficult for me to believe my spouse loved me if he behaved that way.  Of course, that line of thinking always brings me back to my own heart and how I behave towards the Lord.
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not continue to sin, but the one born of God guards himself, and the evil one does not touch him. 1Jh. 5:18
       According to this Scripture, if we have been born again then we do not continue to sin.  Can you take that to mean we never sin again?  Actually some people do but the reality is as long as we are human we will sin- unfortunately.  So never sinning again is not the logical conclusion (at least until we get to Heaven).  Instead the Greek indicates the verb sin is present active indicative, which means “does not keep on sinning.”  So, like the examples above, the unchanged behaviour without good personal effort* (with divine assistance) towards change, is not acceptable for a born again believer.
       We must also guard, keep, carefully attend to ourselves.  Not that we can do this by our own might or strength, but with divine power and strength, in Christ, we can do all things (Php. 4:13), and in this way the wicked one will not touch us.  Hmmmm... well, he still comes at me so what is this really saying.  In actuality the word "one" is not in that passage but it's put in there to help us understand.  Evil means evil or wicked.  Touch means lay hold of or grasp with a modifying influence to harm, overcome or devour.

So putting it all together, if we are born of God we do not keep on sinning, but guard, keep and carefully attend to ourselves with God's power and strength (Ps. 121:7), and evil / wicked will not lay hold, grasp, harm, overcome or devour us.
Lord, thank You that You have overcome the world (Jh. 16:33; 1Jh. 5:4^); that You guard us (2Th. 3:3), shield us (2Sm. 3:3), help us (Is. 41:10), provide refuge (Ps. 46:1), and You preserve us for your heavenly kingdom (2Tm. 4:18).  Praise and glory to Your name!

*he voluntarily and earnestly endeavours to avoid sin and to practice righteousness; he steadily and energetically sets himself in opposition to the temptations by which he is beset
^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

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Letter to My Lord, My Love

   (or why I love the Lord...)
       You are my first true love and You will be my last.  There isn't anyone I want to be with more than You.  When I think about why that is, the only thing I can think of is that You exceed in all ways all the characteristics I want in the One I love.  There is no fault in You.  I have been angry at You, ignored You, been snotty, and sometimes just acted stupid or childish, yet Your love for me remains.
        There is a chorus to a song (by Avril Lavigne) that conveys an important part of how I feel when it comes to You:
You're so beautiful
But that's not why I love you
I'm not sure you know (okay, He does...)
That the reason I love you is you
Being you
Just you
Yeah the reason I love you
is all that we've been through
And that's why I love you

       To me, You are the most beautiful 'thing' to behold in all the universe, and the reason I love You is because of who You are.  Sure, it used to be more for what You did for me but that seems a thousand years ago; now it is because You are good, and only good.  You are honest, caring, compassionate, fair, just, righteous, holy, love what is pure and true, etc.  You are full of light, and life and love, and You go far beyond what our finite minds can comprehend.  You are an awesome and mighty God!
       And I am so very honoured that You choose to connect with me in terms of intimate family relations: brother, Father, husband, friend.  I am so very grateful that You choose to spend time with me, that You not only listen to me, but You, Lord, speak to me as well- in a variety of ways.  Incredible that the living, holy God that created the universe offers two-way communication with faith 'insignificant' challenged me.
       Just like many of my human relationships, You and I have been through a lot together, and though I didn't always believe it, You were there every step of every struggle and grief.  You helped me keep it together long enough to survive, and these last few years You have shown me the way of 'perfect peace' (Is. 26:3), fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11), and You even helped me trust You again.  You are all I want and all I need. 
       Thank You.
       Forever Yours,
Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence;
strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary.
1Ch. 16:27 AMP

Sunday, November 24, 2013


       I've been a parent over 16 years now.  Over the years I've had countless conversations about child-rearing and many on the topic of shame.  There isn't one parent I knew who thought shame was anything a child should feel or should be made to feel, including myself.  For some reason, it seemed that shame was one of the worst things for a child.  Looking back, I think it was mostly that we didn't think shaming our children was acceptable.
       Being ashamed is sort of different.  It means: embarrassed or guilty because of one's actions, characteristics, or associations.  This morning I was reminded of that feeling.  See, God has blessed me in so many ways.  He's given me gifts of the Spirit, allowed me to have dreams and visions, yet this morning when He gave me a word to write out for someone, I got another look in that mirror I don't like.
       There was a sentence in it that was so beautiful and powerful that I just started to cry- I thought for its beauty.  Then the Lord showed a mirror on my heart and I saw the truth.  It was such an amazing thing He said to this other person, and I was jealous that He didn't say it to me.  Imagine that.  I don't remember ever feeling jealous before.  It didn't matter that it wasn't intense jealousy but that it was there at all made me ashamed.  How could I, after all God's blessings to me, be so- petty I guess might be a good word.
       Though I repented, I still felt ashamed that such a thing was found in my heart 30 yrs into my salvation. I try to live a godly life and typically I am very excited for others when the Lord does something special for them...  The sorrow I felt, for what was found in my heart, was still there during worship when through the words of the song, God reminded me that He is sovereign: He will bless who He blesses and not bless those He chooses not to; it has nothing to do with me.
The heart is deceitful (sly, insidious) above all things, and desperately wicked (sick, incurable); who can know it? Jr. 17:9
But the things which come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile the man.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts... Mt. 15:18,19
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing... Rm. 7:18
...Yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil... Ec. 9:3
        Knowing this, it is good that we have the mercy and grace of Almighty God who through salvation has made it possible to be forgiven and made "a new creature" (2Cr. 5:17).  Not only are we new, but His Spirit comes to live in us (2Cr. 6:16).  "And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you..."
(Ez. 36:26,27)
       Because of this new life, God gives us strength to mortify the 'evil' deeds (and desires) of the flesh  (Rm. 8:13).  We will have to do this as long as we remain in these mortal bodies.  Our work of contending against sin in mortifying and crucifying the flesh (Gl. 5:24) will not end until we go to be with the Lord forever when sin, death and the enemy are gone.  At that time there will 'be no more' a reason to be ashamed.
For now, we need to remember our hearts may still have remnants of the old man pop up that need be uprooted now and then...
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts,
and see if any wicked way is in me; and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps. 139:23,24
And when You find any wicked way in me Lord,
       please reveal it to me and rip it out at the roots...
                                                   no matter how much it hurts.