and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Travel Clock

       Lately, there’s been more than one morning the Lord has been gracious enough to wake me up because my alarm didn’t go off.  It took a few times before I noticed the battery was dying, but there was another problem. If the clock dropped (I use a travel clock) then the battery would dislodge and either not work at all which would require me to input all the information again, or it would look like it was working but stop in the middle of the night.  So I switched out the battery and fixed it so that the battery wouldn’t ever dislodge utilizing a piece of cardboard and some duct tape.  My travel clock can’t work without the battery securely in place.

       Now, the fully charged battery is working fine and I don’t have to re-input the numbers- time, calendar and alarm.  So as I was pondering God’s power in our lives, I was thinking about this clock.  See, without the battery or with a dead battery, the clock doesn’t work.  It doesn’t display the time or date, and the alarm won’t go off.  That makes it ineffectual for its purpose.  We try to do the same thing in our lives, try to function as a human or a Christian or both but without the power source securely in place.

       Originally, man was made to closely fellowship with God- they walked in the garden together (Gn. 3).  But the fall into sin happened and keeps man away from God- unless we draw in close to Him.  Often in the Old Testament, God’s Spirit would anoint someone for a purpose or a season but now, since Pentecost, Christians can have the Spirit of God dwell within them.

Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1Cr. 3:16
Or do you think the Scripture means nothing when it says that the Spirit that God caused to live in us jealously yearns for us? Jm. 4:5 ISV
But if the Spirit of the One who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised up Christ from the dead shall also make your mortal bodies alive by His Spirit who dwells in you. Rm. 8:11

       The problem is, we can shut the Spirit out, sort of like the battery of our life dislodging.  It looks like we’re working but then stop.  We wonder why our lives are so tough, why we struggle so much or God doesn’t seem to be here, or working.  Perhaps we need to check out our battery compartment- dig inside to see what’s going on.  Jesus said:

I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides* in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered. And they gather and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you. Jh. 15:5-7

See, if we cut ourselves off from or ignore Him or His Spirit then we will not be nourished from His life anymore and we will become withered and can do nothing.  That’s when life becomes tough.  We can get through many trials and troubles when we abide (*in reference to state or condition: remain, do not depart) in Him.  Once withered, we are good only for the fire.  But if we abide (continually) in Him, then we will produce fruit as He wishes us to: “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control(Gl. 5:22,23)

Don’t these fruit sound like things we want in our lives?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sochi: Women’s Hockey

Way to go team Canada!!!

       These numbers are from a later news source as I came in late to the game.  Hockey is played in three 20 min. periods.  Team USA was ahead by two goals deep into the third period.  With 31/2 min. left, team Canada scored their first goal.  Then with 55 min. left in the period, a second goal to tie the score was achieved.  That sent the game into overtime (10 min. timed) at which point I came home and watched what was left.  At 8:10 in overtime, the Canadian team scored the gold winning goal for a 3-2 victory.

       One teacher turned the tv off about a minute before the first Canadian goal since ‘nothing was happening’.  Many people were giving up hope for the gold while watching the 2-0 score for most of three periods.  But there were 15-20 women that did not give up.  They pushed and pushed, fighting through tiredness, disappointment and pain (one girl had a broken hand) to achieve a worthy victory.

       Though the Savior will rule one day and victory is ahead of us, life is often difficult and we struggle to keep going.  How long do you keep going when it seems like nothing is happening; like all your efforts are in vain; like your dream will just not happen?  Our struggles usually last more than an hour and a bit, but the stress and fight to keep your mind focused and in the game are probably much the same.

God our strength:
Seek Jehovah and His strength… 1Ch. 16:11
Jehovah is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Ps. 27:1
Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ep. 6:10
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Php. 4:13
In the day when I cried You answered me and made me bold with strength in my soul. Ps. 138:3

Stay the course:
I have set Jehovah always before Me; because He is at My right hand, I shall not be moved. Ps. 16:8
But we should not lose heart in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not faint. Gl. 6:9
So that, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not without fruit in the Lord. 1Cr. 15:58
Do you not know that those running in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain. 1Cr. 9:24
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. 2Tm. 4:7

Wait on the Lord:
but those who wait on Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Is. 40:31
Hope in Jehovah; be of good courage, and He shall make your heart strong; yea, hope in Jehovah. Ps. 27:14
Therefore I will look to Jehovah; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me! Mc. 7:7

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oil from Olives

       I’m not a big fan of olives.  Won’t eat them, and since I find their flavour gets into the food it touches, I won’t take them off and eat what’s left (like on pizza).  In fact, my hubby can’t even kiss me if he’s been eating them.  Yuck.  Mind you, I don’t mind olive oil.  I don’t find the flavour as bad- go figure.  Olive oil has been used for millennium, and has been picked and oil produced by various methods.

Command the sons of Israel that they bring to you pure olive oil, beaten, for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually. Aaron shall order it from evening until the morning before Jehovah forever outside the veil of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. Lv. 24:2,3 (also Ex. 27:21)

       It’s interesting that the Lord wants the Jews to use pure olive oil made by the beating method for lighting the lampstand in the tabernacle (later the temple).  This means that the olives are hand picked unripe, then the pulp and flesh is ‘beaten off’ by a mortar and the oil squeezed out.  This pure olive oil will be clean and colourless producing bright light with little smoke.  (The other method would be to crush the flesh, pulp and nut.)

       If we are to be a light to the world (Mt. 5:14), then we should be from pure oil, not from ripe fruit that is fallen and bruised, but carefully picked by our Lord’s hand and crushed by Him in a way to keep the impurities out so that we can produce the brightest light possible with the least smoke (symbolic of judgment, desolation, destruction).  As the start of the day began in the evening, fresh oil was poured into the lamps which were then lit at the beginning of the day.  So we also need to be filled by the Spirit at the beginning of our day in order that our light should shine.

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power… Ac. 10:38
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. Because of this He anointed Me… Lk. 4:18 also Is. 61:1
It is like the precious oil on the head that ran down on the beard, Aaron's beard, going down to the mouth of his garments; Ps. 133:2

       As high priest, Aaron was to be anointed with oil (Lv. 8:12) for service in the Lord’s tabernacle/ temple.  Ex. 30:24,25 says how the oil was made (with a base of olive oil and spices) and was poured on Aaron’s head; flowing down his beard and onto his clothing.  This is no little dab, but a pouring on.  So we should also not be satisfied with a dab of the Spirit, but should want the oil to fill all the cracks and crevices of our lives with His presence. 

Of interest- Oil is used in healing.
      Lk. 10:34- a man uses oil and wine to help heal a man.
      Jm. 5:14- anointing oil for the sick.
      Lk. 4:18- Jesus’ anointing allowed Him to heal, emotionally and physically.

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Rock and Inheritance

       When I find a song that I think fits my relationship with the Lord, it becomes one of our songs- regardless of whether or not it is a Christian song or even a moral artist singing.  As far as I’m concerned, music and singing originated in God.  So there is a particular love song of Miley Cyrus’ that hits the chords just right.  If you read all the words you could see there is no way a human could ever fulfill them- only God could.  Here’s the part my heart is crying out today, from “I Look at You”:

When the world is falling apart
When there is no light to break up the dark
That’s when I (I, I) I look at You
When the waves are flooding the shore
And I can’t find my way home anymore
That’s when I (I, I) I look at You

       Since Jan. 23 I have had four people I know die.  Today a 16 year blood relative died, misdiagnosed from hospital.  I had to go upstairs, hug my 17 and 18 year old, inform them they can’t die on me, and then go downstairs, furious at the enemy that kills and destroys.  I politely asked God to send a scud missile up the devil’s backside… okay, maybe not completely polite…  But I’ve never been such a deeply intense mixture of sad and angry before that I couldn’t do anything but look to the Author and Finisher of my faith (Hb. 12:2).

There isn’t any more I can say today other than I continue to repeat the last line from these Scriptures which brings me comfort:

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Ps. 73:25, 26

strength- rock, boulder
portion- allotment, inheritance, share, possession,

Thank You Lord for being my Rock in these times and my Portion- forever.
Oh what a comfort You are!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tired of the Façade

       ‘How are you?’  ‘Good. Wonderful. Blessed. Great.’  Trite sayings many say far too often when the truth is nowhere near what we speak.  Maybe we’re saying it by faith? Hmmm.  Would God ever want us to lie as part of our faith?  That is hard to believe.  We can make all kinds of excuses for why we answer dishonestly including believing the person doesn’t really want to know or we don’t want to bother them with our troubles, but the truth is, it is deception, and deception is a part of the enemy’s kingdom, not God’s.

The Devil is a liar and the father of it. Jh. 8:44
Do notdeceive with your lips. Pr. 24:28

       Today I saw a man that holds a ‘higher’ position in the Christian realm who was trying very hard to be the happy, friendly, open, welcoming man people expect him to be- and kudos for even trying to meet people’s expectations, but I felt sad that he couldn’t just be himself.  I believe he is a welcoming and friendly person, but it was like he was putting on this façade that was covering his true self. 

       This is one of the things that bothers me most in Christian circles; the need to cover up who we really are.  So what if I’m a girl who likes shopping for power tools but not clothes, hates cooking but likes fixing things, would rather be up to my armpits in engine oil than primping, I am who I am and God made me with the personality I have.  Some people like it, others don’t.  I’m okay with that.  Overall, I just wish we could accept people for who they are.  (No, we don’t have to accept bad behaviour though.)

       Let us all rip off the masks and start being ourselves in all settings within God’s standard of love.  ‘How are you?’ ‘Shitty,  How are you?’  Imagine the genuine care and concern we can show when we know how someone is really doing.  I wish we could all ‘just be ourselves’.  Jesus didn’t have to wear a mask, He was real, genuine, truly loving, and aren’t we supposed to try to be like Him?

       Understand this about me:  I will love you always.  If you are born again, I will love you as my family.  If you aren’t born again I will love you because you are created by my Father and therefore worthy of love and respect.  If you are funny, happy, spunky, friendly, loving, bighearted, kind and integrious, I will love you, and if you are boring, miserable, never engaging, cold, untrusting, grumpy, unreceptive and disintegrious I will love you.  Whether you are these often or rarely, I will love you.  Just as you are.

Just be yourself because that is the person I want to know.

To the pure all things are pure… Tt. 1:15
The integrity of the upright shall guide them… Pr. 11:3
Do not lie to one another, having put off the old man with his deeds Cl. 3:9
Therefore putting away lying, let each man speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Ep. 4:25