and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Is it pouring yet?

       It’s been a bad physically painful week for me in which I was unable to do much of anything.  My son (barely a legal adult) moved into an apartment downtown with his half brother on Monday because he was/ is making very poor choices.  My Mom started calling me at 6:30ish on Friday morning uncertain if she should go to a clinic, the hospital, or just wait it out at home because she had symptoms which were concerning but didn’t seem critical.  I suggested she try for an appointment at 8am when her doctor’s office was open.  Eventually she gets through but her doctor wasn’t available.  I suggested a clinic that has an ecg machine in case.

       On the way to pick her up I heard that gift cards can be exchanged for money at those ‘cash your cheques for fee’ places, but you get only half the worth of the card.  This means there is no way to guarantee the person you give the card too won’t cash it out and spend the money on addictions.  I got angry at man’s greed when I heard a news flash about a house explosion late Thursday on the same block my boys live on.  Ummm…  After I parked at Mom’s I called hubby to call the boys and make sure they were okay- which they were though they slept elsewhere for the night (due to concerns).

       (Signed in at 9:30am-ish.) We spent three hours at the clinic before Mom even saw a doctor, at which point she got a brief check of lungs and heart before she was told to go get a chest x-ray.  The doc said water was shown in her lungs and put her on the ecg.  Not long after she was put on oxygen to calm her heart as it was beating irregularly and fast (120 to 170).  They called the ambulance to pick her up around 1:20pm.  At the hospital, they strapped her to various machines and an intern came in asking questions, but we didn’t see a doctor until after 5pm when he ordered another chest x-ray.

       Then after 8pm the doctor finally spoke to us using the term atrial fibrillation- the top of the heart was in fibrillation causing the bottom of the heart to get mixed signals therefore beating irregularly and fast.  He left after that.  Mom was in good temperament except for being really hungry as neither of us had eaten all day and the hospital wouldn’t allow her to eat or drink.

       They decided not to shock the heart back into normal rhythm but to administer some drugs to calm it down, other drugs to get the water in her lungs out and to admit her until further tests could be done.  She got a room by 9:30pm and was settled in by 10pm- all in all, a long day for us.  My sister had arrived by 8:30 from out of town so I was able to be relieved after Mom was settled in.  We didn’t see another doctor until today at 4pm-ish, who explained more, finally mentioning congestive heart failure*.  Scary words… I guess we will live at the hospital for a few days.

       But God is good and able to strengthen us in times like these.  We actually laughed a lot in the hospital- Mom, three daughters and neighbour patient.  Mom was able to speak face to face over the phone with distant family which is so cool.  Later tonight, a cute male nurse came in giving the two patients something to look forward to!  We’re not sure how long she’ll be in the hospital, but at least until the tests on Monday (if they have time) and when her heart is better in control.
 
       Scary times, scary troubles, and scary words but none of this is scaring me because I walk with the One who brings peace to my heart and soul.  He is always with me, He’ll take care of Mom and only He knows her length of days and state of heart--- and He won’t ever stop working in her life, or mine.  It might be raining or even pouring, but my Lord and Savior is with us.  “My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart, and my part forever.(Ps. 73:26)  I can’t ask for more except that God would not allow Mom to leave this flesh until she is His.

       Life never gets easier but it will surely get better for those who love and serve Jehovah God and Jesus Christ His Son.  One day we will see Him face to face (Rv. 22:3,4) in new immortal bodies (Php. 3:21; 1Cr. 5:42-44) in a place where sin, sickness and corruption will never be, and no one will ever suffer or die ever again (Rv. 20:14; 21:4,27).  There we will live in peace and joy with our Savior and King forever.  What an awesome hope we have…

Is it pouring yet?
   Yes, it is pouring God’s love out into our lives if we will only open up our arms to receive it.


*Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart isn't able to pump blood normally. As a result, there is not enough blood flow to provide the body's organs with oxygen and nutrients. The term "heart failure" does not mean that the heart stops beating completely, but that the heart is not working as efficiently.
-systolic dysfunction occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood to supply all the body's needs
-diastolic dysfunction occurs when the heart cannot accept all the blood being sent to it

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Brokenhearted

       My heart is broken as it lies in my Father’s hands.  Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs we will ever do.  Many children break their parent’s hearts at one time or another and I guess it is my turn- again.  It is painful to have to make tough decisions that force an adult child to confront reality.  It hurts to be accused of things that are untrue and blamed for things that aren’t your fault.  It is agonizing to watch a child go down a treacherous path headed for pain and destruction all while shutting you out.

Go in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. Mt. 7:13
(For many are walking, of whom I have told you often and now tell you even weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, those who mind earthly things.) Php. 3:18,19

       The way seems easy, the path seems the way to freedom, but it is the path of slavery and unfortunately one in which we, as parents, have no control.  Often, our children do not listen to us, believing that our knowledge is no longer relevant to their lives- thus opening themselves up to slavery of the world, being caught up in its lusts and desires.  They want full control over their lives yet don’t realize they are submitting that same control to the enemy that wants to destroy them.

The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy... Jh. 10:10
Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1Jh. 2:15-17


       So I stand on the sidelines watching my child continue to make poor, life altering choices, hearing the accusations, shrugging off the blame, while I trust my kids are in God’s hands, and pray, pray, pray, repeat.  When it hurts I fall into the arms of grace of my God knowing He is with me.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; nor shall the flame kindle on you.” (Is. 43:2)  His promises will never fail (Ps. 89:34).

       Lord, I am very sorry for all the accusations I levied at You over the years, the feelings that You weren’t after my good, the blame that all the bad in my life was Your fault and most of all for shutting You out.  Thank You for being patient with me and sticking around.  Thank You for helping me understand that by keeping full control of my own life I was submitting myself to the control of the enemy and going into his slavery.  Thank You very much for the true freedom I have in You when I yoke myself with You.  I’m sorry for all the wrong that I’ve done as Your child.  Please forgive me.

I have set Jehovah always before Me; because He is at My right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore My heart is glad, and My glory rejoices; My flesh also shall rest in hope; Ps. 16:8,9

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Can’t Believe It’s December

       Time doesn’t go any slower- it just seems to keep speeding up.  I imagine life will get easier but it doesn’t.  I think issues will recover but they don’t seem to.  I hope money shortages will improve but they don’t.  I guess I’ll have more time but that never seems to happen.  Funny thing is, most everyone I know says the same thing.  And it feels like yesterday was just May, but it’s already December.  How did that happen?  When on earth am I going to find time to clean so I can decorate…

       While I thing I would have enjoyed the slower pace of the 1800’s there are some things I would hate- outdoor washrooms, fire heat, womanly duties like washing by hand, cleaning and especially cooking, no telephones, no skype to see loved ones- only snail mail…  God knew what He was doing when He dropped me into this generation in one of the best countries- Canada.

In these days where it seems to always be a shortage of time, here are some interesting Scriptures:

But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year." Gn. 17:21
       It’s not our timing but God’s and believe it or not, His timing is perfect.  Our desires are always when we want it, which is usually NOW.  I’m sure God spares us much grief by making us wait.

And the Angel of Jehovah called to Abraham out of the heavens the second time, Gn. 22:15
       When God wants to, He can keep calling us, especially when we miss His voice the first time.  If He wants us to do something for Him, He’ll repeat His will and give us another shot.

At that time Jehovah said to Joshua, Make sharp knives for yourselves and circumcise the sons of Israel again, the second time. Js. 5:2
       Just in to the Promised Land, Joshua knew war was ahead yet God put the soldiers out of commission for a few days.  It was time for the renewal of their covenant as God’s people.  We also need to renew ourselves with God daily, circumcising our hearts because we love Him.

And he waited seven days, according to the set time with Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal. And the people were scattered from him. 1Sm. 13:8
       Saul was not happy he was kept waiting, but janitor or king, no one can change God’s timetable unless He wants to change it.  When all the questions of why come up, we usually just need to wait on God.  There’s a reason He’s delaying and like every good Father, we don’t always need to know why.

And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for a time like this? Es. 4:14
       Esther saved her people because God arranged that position for her.  Maybe it didn’t look good to her, or perhaps she didn’t want to put herself out there, but in the end she did and she saved her people, the Jews.

To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens: Ec. 3:1
       There is a time for everything…

We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, but behold, trouble! Jr. 8:15
       We may look forward to a time of peace and health, but for many right now, that future lays in God’s eternity which He is preparing for us.  In other words, life is tough and God doesn’t always choose to bring peace and health in our lives right now.

...Behold, now is the accepted time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.) 2Cr. 6:2
       Now is the time for salvation.  None of us know when we shall die.  It could be two seconds from now or in decades.  So, be prepared.  Be ready.  Now is the day.  Not tomorrow, but now.  There is a glorious future for those who are His children.  Not so for the world.  Be His today and don’t wait any longer.  I want you all to be in Heaven one day full of His peace and joy.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Distraction in the Brokenness

       They call it tough love, but sometimes a parent has to do a difficult thing they really don’t want to.  It breaks a person’s heart and even with the Lord in your life, the pain is still there.  Wednesday was a heart rending day for me, alternating between crying, self pity and staring into space wishing it would all stop; just stop.  Wishing so very much that it could be different.  Not wanting to be without human companionship but knowing only two whose company I would be able to tolerate, neither one available.

       Only an hour later my sister arrived with hugs and comfort.  Then she told me a true life incident happening in her friend’s life, so altering and horrible that it almost completely brought me out of my own troubles.  We took off to get some of her tasks done and that same distraction continues on today.  Life is difficult, for the saved and the unsaved.  Life is full of sorrow and grief.  We aren’t spared because we are born again, we are, however, promised to never be alone without our Savior.

For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Mt. 5:45
I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me. In the world you shall have tribulation... Jh. 16:33


      Looking back on the many ‘darkest hours’ of my life that even when I felt alone, the Lord my God was always with me wanting me to draw near to Him.  How difficult it must have been for Him to watch me distance myself and blame Him, all the while suffering more deeply for it.  The pain of tough love lasts longer than one day and sometimes the end is nowhere in sight… but God will always remain by our side.

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Is. 43:1,2 ESV
He heals the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds. Ps. 147:3
My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart, and my part forever. Ps. 73:26
Jehovah is near to the broken-hearted; and saves those who are of a contrite spirit. Ps. 34:18
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction… 2Cr. 1:3,4 ESV


Thank You precious Lord and Savior for always being with me in all the storms of life, for wrapping Your arms around me in the darkest night, and holding me up as I walk through tough and trying days.  I am so very grateful for Your presence!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Got Anything to Eat?

       What’s the first thing a teenager says upon walking into the house?  Is there anything to eat?  Notorious endless hunger would be the main characteristic of many a teen as their bodies store up for times of growth.  Most parents understand that need even if they resent the grocery bill.  Being hungry after a long day’s work, after fasting for a medical test, or even because we simply didn’t have time to eat are all understandable because we have all felt that hunger.

       Jesus once asked a question (after His resurrection as He met with His disciples) that made me think “What?”.  It’s not some momentous question that stirs their thinking or their faith; it’s not seeking to understand them or to have them understand Him.  At first glance it doesn’t even seem to make sense.

And when He had spoken this, He showed them His hands and feet. And while they still did not believe for joy, and wondered, He said to them, Have you any food here? And they handed to Him a piece of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb. And He took it and ate before them. Lk. 24:40-43 

      Jesus asked His disciples if they had any food and proceeded to eat what they gave Him.  Simple.  Human.  While they were wondering and uncertain, He did a most basic human activity- he ate, right in front of them.  Jesus was in His new resurrected body.  Did He even need to eat?  Did He just have a sudden craving?  What was His purpose?  My thinking is that Jesus wanted to make Himself real to them.  They gave Him food, He chewed it and swallowed it, and they understood- He is real.

 
So when did Jesus become real to me?

       The earliest time in my memory was a vision or dream I had before the age of ten when He appeared and said, “Come to me.”  I can’t say there was a big effect on me back then but I don’t really remember either.  The next time Jesus became real for me was when I heard the real gospel, one that required me to accept that He died for my sins, that I needed His forgiveness and to repent- then I gave my heart to Him.  Jesus was so real to me then that it drastically changed me forever- and I haven’t stopped changing yet- thank You God!

       There are many other times that a facet of who He is became real to me so I’ll only write about a few.  One time in the midst of sinning against Him I heard His voice (a loud inner voice) saying, “I love you.”  Immediately I was grieved at my own sinfulness, wondered at His love but for the first time I understood how great was His love for me.  Another time Jesus became real as I stood in the kitchen weaker than I’d ever been body, soul and spirit, as I totally gave up fighting and surrendered my family, my reputation and finally, my control over my life to Him.  Then there was the time He healed me when I didn’t even know I had a problem*.  The fact that He was SO much bigger than the box I continued to put Him in became apparent and He became more real.

       Jesus wants to be real to each and every one of us: as real as our mother, our child, our spouse or our best friend- as real as the person eating right next to us.  He is real.  And He is here.  We must ask ourselves- ‘Is Jesus real to me?’

Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham came into being, I AM! Jh. 8:58
I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. Rv. 1:8



*You can read about it here

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Black Ice

       The thing about black ice is that we often don’t see it until we feel the wheels lose traction on the road.  By then, if we are going too fast or adjusting the steering, it is too late and an accident may occur.  It was the same when I hit that thin sheet of ice on the stairs- by the time my feet touched down, it was too late and I fell (yesterday’s post).  But we don’t have to be unaware of what we are hearing from speakers, pastors, teachers, authors, etc.

       Should we be trusting man to be accurate about the Word without looking into it for ourselves?  Certainly not!  Our beloved pastors are NOT God and therefore make mistakes.  The Bereans searched the Scriptures to make sure Paul was accurate in what he was preaching (Ac. 17:10-12).  All teachers of the Word should encourage us to check up on them.  Besides the Scriptures I gave yesterday, we also need to watch for these signs:

For if, indeed, the one coming proclaims another Jesus, whom we have not proclaimed, or if you receive another spirit, which you did not receive, or another gospel, which you never accepted, you might well endure these . … For such ones are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. Did not even Satan marvelously transform himself into an angel of light? Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works. 2Cr. 11:4,13-15
   -another Jesus- one who was not fully God, was just a good man, good teacher or prophet
                           one who was not fully man, or was Lucifer’s brother
                           one who had a wife, or sinned, or never died for our sins
                           one who never rose again
     -another spirit- by believing in another Jesus we would be receiving another spirit that is
                            not sent by God.
     -another gospel - actual gospel- Jesus came in flesh, died for our sins, rose again
                               He taught self denial as opposed to self fulfillment (Lk. 9:23; Mt. 19:27;
                                                                                                                                 Php. 3:7)
popular counterfeits
The self improvement gospel- Self-esteem or self-help gospels are promoted today in books, pulpits, and on radio, television, and internet. Focus is on self-dignity, self-respect, self-worth, self-esteem as opposed to personal sinfulness, repentance, denying self and living for Christ. “If we follow God's plan as faithfully as we can we will feel good about ourselves.”  Feeling good doesn’t make us saved and bound for Heaven!
The prosperity gospel goes by many names: Word of Faith, Health and Wealth, Name It and Claim It. This other gospel teaches that God provides rewards, including personal happiness, financial wealth and physical health, for believers who have sufficient faith. 
The judgmentless gospel- God is about restoring not judging.  Jesus died for all so all can go to Heaven.
The moralistic gospel- Redemption comes through exercising one’s willpower to be better with God’s help.
The kingdom or activist gospel- We can advance the kingdom through our own efforts to build a new, better, just society.
If anyone preaches a gospel to you beside what you have received,
let him be accursed. Gl. 1:9

But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy (speaking but not following Scriptures themselves), being seared in their own conscience (sin so much they don’t even feel bad about it anymore), 1Tm. 4:1,2
Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor abusers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1Cr. 6:9-11

       Lord, let us take seriously the many warnings You have given us to know You and Your Word so that we cannot fall by giving heed to false doctrines or Christianity.  Open our eyes to see the truth and give us the courage to stand up for that truth.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sliding Down the Stairs

       The cars were driving a normal speed which meant the roads weren’t icy.  The newspaper lay on the snow by the tree but was at risk of getting wet due to melting snow.  Since I decided to be nice and bring it in for hubby, I shoved on my ‘quick run outside’ shoes and stepped out onto the cement stairs.  The second both feet hit the stair, they both slipped off into the air and I went sliding down all five steps on my butt- unable to stop until I hit the ground.  Not embarrassing at all in front of all the cars going by!!!

       The only lesson I can conclude from this mishap is that looks can be deceiving.  It looked like the stairs were just wet, but in reality they had a thin sheet of ice on them which caused me to slip.  So maybe I’ll have a few bruises and be a little sore, but I think that’s easier to get over than current deception slipping into the church.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits to see if they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1Jh. 4:1
Know this also, that in the last days grievous times will be at hand. 2Tm. 3:1

       Who are false prophets?  For some reason the first thing that always comes to my mind is those who predict future things that turn out to be false.  The Bible indicates it is more anyone who says they are speaking for God when they are not.  There are many pastors, teachers, know it all Christians, television personalities that claim to speak God’s Word to us, but it is twisted, taken out of context, full of worldly values/ beliefs/ wisdom, or completely off.  We must know the Word and know the God of the Word so that we will not be deceived.

Here are some things to watch for so that we don’t slip on that black ice and get hurt:

every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God… (v.3)  (Jesus- He was human  Christ- He is God  Jesus came born of woman)

For men will be self-lovers, money-lovers, boasters (empty pretenders), proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection (hard hearted, unsociable, unloving), unyielding (stubborn), false accusers (slanderer), without self-control, savage, despisers of good (oppose goodness or good men),

traitors, reckless (rash, reckless), puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having (the appearance) of godliness, but denying the power of it; even turn away from these. For of these are those who creep into houses and lead captive silly women loaded with sins, led away with different kinds of lusts, ever learning and never able to come to the full knowledge of the truth. (v.2-7)

these also resist the truth, men of corrupt mind, reprobate (unproven) concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further. For their foolishness shall be plain to all, as theirs also became.Yea, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and seducers will go forward to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (v.8-13)

       Lord, open our eyes to see and know that which is of You and that which isn’t.  Let us not be deceived out of lack of knowing the Word or too much trust in man.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Greatest Day

       For the past year and a half, I have been in an intensive Bible study of the book of Revelation- in four parts with one repeated.  They include related Scriptures from all over the Bible on numerous topics found in John’s book.  As a result I have read many of the applicable verses over and over again; so it is with wonder that the Holy Spirit took this very controversial passage and brought out something that imo is far more remarkable.

For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we watch or sleep we should live together with Him. 1Th. 5:9,10

       The terminology here is interesting.  Sleep usually implies death- sleeping in the grave.  It does not contrast life with death, but rather watch or death.  Still, it is what comes after that made me think for a long time.  So whether we Christians (Paul wrote this book and was writing to Christians) are watching or sleeping, we should live together one day with Jesus.

       Do you get how amazing that statement is?  One day we shall live with the God of all creation, the One who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the One who gave up where He was to dwell as a helpless, mortal baby that could do nothing for Himself.  All powerful to least powerful.  For us.  So that He could redeem us by taking our sins on Him as He died on the cross for us.  So that we could be forgiven.

He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree… 1Pt. 2:24
For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us… 2Cr. 5:21
looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify to Himself a special people, zealous of good works. Tt. 2:13,14

       Jesus came to redeem our lives and the world.  One day when the work of redemption is complete, all those who intimately know Him and are intimately known by Him will live together in unity with peace and joy in a world where sin, sickness and moral filth will never be again.  Best of all is that the greatest Love of our lives will be there and we will gaze into His eyes, be held in His tender but strong arms, and feel the warmth of His love as we dwell with Him forever.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth… … And there shall in no way enter into it anything that defiles, or any making an abomination or a lie; but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Rv. 21:21,27
One thing I have desired from Jehovah, that I will seek after: that I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of Jehovah… Ps. 27:4

Forever!!!

       THAT will be the greatest day!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Comfort over Blessings

       It doesn’t seem like any of us would choose to lose out on blessings, but I think we choose it simply by remaining in our comfort zone.  We are comfortable going to church if we can sit in the same seat speaking only to the people we know.  We are comfortable being a Christian as long as we don’t have to tell others about the Jesus we love.  We are comfortable helping out on Sundays, just don’t ask us to help during the week- I mean, we work too, don’t you know?

       It’s more comfortable for us to sit back or give to others to do the ministry work instead of stepping out of our comfortable, safe lifestyle to do a new thing for God.  It’s easier for us to just give God a little of our time than to press in and exert more effort to know Him.  Or perhaps subconsciously we don’t want to know Him more than we do because then He might expect more from us than we want to give.  Obedience to His will would require uncomfortable forward motion.

       We tend to see the Hebrews coming out of Egypt with judgmental eyes, after all, if they saw such great miracles, how could they lose faith, not believe, complain, or want to go back to Egypt.  I am as guilty as many who do that.  And yet, I am a few weeks late doing what the Lord wants me to, of course with valid excuses!  Comfort, safety, not venturing into the unknown…  missed blessings for me and others. L  We NEED to step out of our comfort zones.

comfortable safety
And they said to Moses, Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt this way with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Did we not tell you this word in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. Ex. 14:11,12

comfortable supplies
And the sons of Israel said to them, O that we had died by the hand of Jehovah in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger. Then Jehovah said to Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from the heavens… Ex. 16:3,4
And the mixed multitude in their midst lusted with great lust. And the sons of Israel also turned and wept, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic. Nm. 11:4,5
Take the rod, and gather the assembly, you and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes. And it shall give forth its water, and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock. So you shall give the congregation and their animals drink. Nm. 20:8

comfortable consistency
And they pulled up stakes from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the soul of the people was very discouraged because of the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water. And our soul hates this light bread. Nm. 21:4,5

comfortable religious devotion
They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made them a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, These are your gods, O Israel, who have brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Ex. 32:8

Their continued complaining and lack of faith caused negativity toward the God who freed/ saved them.
And you murmured in your tents and said, Because Jehovah hates us, He has brought us forth out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. Where shall we go up? Dt. 1:27,28
(even after seeing promised land)
And all the sons of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron. And the whole congregation said to them, Oh that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or, Oh that we had died in the wilderness! And they said to one another, Let us make a leader, and let us return to Egypt. Nm. 14:2,4

“Why did you allow this to happen God?”  “Why don’t You fix this?”  “If You loved me…”

Blessings abounded but went unappreciated.
   -miracles and salvation from bondage (Ex. 3- 15:19)
   -manna from heaven and quails from the air (Ex. 16)
   -water from rock (Ex. 17:6; Nm. 20:11)
   -defeat of the Amalekites at Rephidim (Ex. 17:8+)
   -shoes, clothes that didn’t wear out or feet that didn’t swell (Dt. 8:4; 29:5; Nh. 9:21)

       Perhaps the Hebrews never meant to displease God but were just uncomfortable with their new reality.  It is easier, after all, to continue doing what is always done.  But oh, the blessings they lost that way.  Our comfort can cost us blessings too.  Lord, give us the boldness and faith to step out of our comfortable lives…

You are always with us.  We can do it!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Php. 4:13

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Slowly into Slavery


       Are we free?  We have so much and can do so much in this country.  Think of all our freedoms: what we believe, eat, drink, buy- where we work, worship, live, go to school- how we live, transport ourselves, spend our free time- who we marry and how many children we have…  There once was a man named Jacob who brought his family- all 66- to live in a foreign country where his son was living (Gn. 46).  They were given a fertile land on which to feed their herds, lived a prosperous life and grew into a nation (Ex. 1).



And there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are many and mightier than we. Come, let us deal slyly* with them, lest they multiply… Ex. 1:8-10

       All was going well for Jacob’s descendents when a new king/ pharaoh came who didn’t acknowledge Joseph or what he had done for Egypt.  Since the people were multiplying so much, the new king feared the Israelites would try to take over the country and this fear lead him to bring the people into bondage using ‘worldly’ wisdom, slyness or deception which began with forced labour under overseers to keep them occupied and humbled and ended with the murder of male babies and harsh slavery.

       I often wonder if we are truly free, or if we can keep our freedoms only if we live within the confines of socially acceptable morals, values, beliefs and actions.  We must buy this, we must act this way, we must watch this…  We are in bondage to our possessions (need more- fix more- more to clean- replace), cell phones and constant connection but only surface relationally, the need to be more and do more, succeed as society deems success, etc.  So we haven’t truly left our bondage behind.

Don’t let the world slyly keep us there through deception, flesh and lethargy.

Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever practices sin is the slave of sin. Jh. 8:34
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? Rm. 6:16 ESV

       Then we became born again, a new man (2Cr. 5:17; Ep. 4:24; Cl. 3:10) and yet we continue to act the same: spend our money, keep attitudes and values, watch same shows, play same games, same sluggish morality, etc.  In fact, ‘the world’ can’t see much of a difference between us and them- except for the judgmental attitudes we often display.  Oops!  But as the Israelites were called out of Egypt into God’s promise, so we are called out* of the sinful world and its bondage. (*church- ekklesia- a gathering of those called out)

We are called out of the bondage of our old lives, but into the new life given by Jesus Christ through His blood.  Buried with Him.  Alive to God through Him.

Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; even so we also should walk in newness of life. Rm. 6:4 (Dead people can’t sin)
knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin. Rm. 6:6
Likewise count yourselves also to be truly dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rm. 6:11

True freedom only comes through giving up our present bondage and completely surrendering ourselves to Almighty God, trusting in Him to do right by it.  Only then can we be completely free.

Therefore if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
Jh. 8:36


*many translations read wisely, but the word chakam here is in the hithpael form which in the BDB dictionary means: to show oneself wise, deceive

Friday, November 14, 2014

“That’s Disgusting”


       My title these days is mostly chauffeur.  Down to one vehicle for a while, I was the one to drive three people to work at their various times.  So it was this morning after picking up Nate at 5am that we were in the kitchen talking while he put away his things.  There’s no delicate way to say this, but I farted.  It was ‘short and sweet’ but I was shocked to hear Nate say, “That’s disgusting. Can’t you go to the bathroom to do that?”

       “Really,” I thought.  I’ve seen some of the new, ‘socially acceptable’ sexually suggestive things you’ve watched, heard some of the songs you listen to and foul conversations you’ve had with friends and yet a simple physical function is not acceptable in the presence of others?  After giving him my short opinion on the matter, I walked away thinking about how corrupt this society has become.

       We (as in the majority of society) despise a simple fart but laugh or find acceptable: filthy and perverse conversation, murder or sex scenes (on tv) often including perverse behaviour, lyrics involving rape, murder and degrading of others, moving on from one sexual partner to another, stealing from netflix, musicians or work, blatant disobeying of rules, perverse humour, rudeness, etc.  I remember growing up that you couldn’t even see people kissing on tv, to now, nothing being held back including full nudity on prime time tv.  Oh how far we have fallen.

But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, being seared in their own conscience, 1Tm. 4:2
For the unseen things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being realized by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, for them to be without excuse. Because, knowing God, they did not glorify Him as God, neither were thankful. But they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Rm. 1:20,21
stage 1: claiming wisdom, man goes into idolatry
stage 2: man becomes unclean, lustful, dishonouring their bodies
For they changed the truth of God into a lie, and they worshiped and served the created thing more than the Creator… Rm. 1:25
stage 3: dishonourable affections- man with man; woman with woman, man abandons the knowledge of things ethical and divine
stage 4: man has reprobate mind, doing unbecoming things, being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, evil habits, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, insolent, proud, braggarts, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, perfidious, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful;
who, knowing the righteous order of God, that those practicing such things are worthy of death, not only do them, but have pleasure in those practicing them. Rm. 1:32

       This world has become absurd, but as new creations, we don’t have to be.  We can choose a better way- God’s way, righteousness through Jesus Christ, be a new man (2Cr. 5:17; Ep. 4:24; Cl. 3:10), with a clean heart and right spirit (Ps. 51:10), leading a holy life (1Pt. 1:14+; Lv. 19:2).  At least we can try our best.  It would surely show God how much we love Him and are grateful for all He has done to redeem us.

as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance, but according to the Holy One who has called you, you also become holy in all conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." 1Pt. 1:14-16

For those who don’t:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those wise in their own eyes, and bright in their own sight! Is. 5:20,21 (verses continue with judgment)