and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Backwards Through the Ten Commandments

This will be short and sweet today…

       I wasn’t your typical teenager.  Most of my life people would consider me ‘a good girl’ meaning I didn’t get into trouble for doing the wrong things.  This led to a judgmental attitude against, well, everyone for just about anything I felt was important.  In the confessional I used to lie, confessing to false sins because I really didn’t know any sins I actually did- of course basing these false sins on those which are seen but ignoring those which are hidden in us.

       For the most part I figured- I followed the Ten Commandments, and isn’t that all I needed to go to Heaven?  Little did I know the full extent of what it meant to truly follow them, and what the Lord said about their importance or I would never have claimed to follow them.  So for the next ten posts I will be writing about the Commandments and what they really mean, especially by today’s standards.  For ease I will begin with the last one and work my way up to the first.

Before I begin:

How well do you follow the Ten Commandments?

Does this make you good enough for Heaven?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

26 Days of Death

       It’s been a rough 26 days that ended on the 21st.   Six deaths: two of them under the age of 17.  At first I was very angry, not at God at all, not railing ‘Why?’ but rather angry at the devil whose kingdom of darkness consumes, steals and destroys life.  At each successive death, the anger grew until it turned into resolve: to do anything and everything possible for our Lord and His kingdom of light, to spread His truth and bring people to His life.  While the devil wished to crush me with sorrow and tragedy, the Lord used it to open my eyes to the realities of the life and death choice every man has.

       Who were all these people?  One was a dear sister in the Lord who left this life far too early, but was rejoicing in the end to see the Lord soon.  Another was the parent of my bro-in-law who was a kind, funny man and who at one time housed my daughter and I and drove us to the airport to catch a flight very early the next day.  Next was my good friend’s mom who was always kind to us.  Then a neighbourhood child lost his battle with cancer.  Next, my cousin’s son who went to emerg but never left.  And lastly, an uncle whom I’ve known all my life, even if he was a little annoying…

It’s all blood relatives, really.
     -One related by adoption into God’s family by Jesus’ blood.
     -One related by marriage into my family I was born into.
     -Another related by adoption into God’s family.
     -One related through the blood of mankind- We’re all from Noah after all.
     -Another related by my mother’s bloodline.
     -The last related by my father’s bloodline.

       Sure, death is a part of life, but it wasn’t meant to be that way; it just became that way because of man’s sin.  No matter who the first man and woman were, they would have made the same choice as Adam and Eve.  We can’t even go one day without sinning: active sins and sins of omission.  Either we are doing wrong or failing to do right or both.  God didn’t want Adam and Eve to sin, but He did allow them the choice, and they chose wrong, as would we.

Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed on all men inasmuch as all sinned: Rm. 5:12
For since death is through man, the resurrection of the dead also is through a Man. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive... The last enemy made to cease is death. 1Cr. 15:21,22,26
And death and hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. Rv. 20:14

       This is why God sent His Son to die for our sins (Jh. 3:16), because there was no more perfect way to restore our relationship with Him than through Jesus.  Adam brought sin, therefore death to mankind, but Jesus (a Man) brought new life and resurrection from the dead and so we (those of us who choose to follow Jesus Christ), will be made alive to be forever with Jesus (Jh. 14:3) in the New Heaven and Earth (Rv. 21:1), the place God has prepared (Jh. 14:1-4) for those who trust in Him (Jh. 6:40).

We have the promise…
In the end, the great ‘I AM’ redeems both man and the world from sin and death:

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord Jehovah will wipe away tears from all faces… Is. 25:8; 1Cr. 15:54
And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.  And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away. Rv. 21:4
And he said to me, These sayings are faithful and true. Rv. 22:6

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


       This past month has been a HUGE learning experience for me.  At the end of it all, I have learned three basic things, one of which I will post here: that our lives are full of choice.  It is our choice.  What is?  Pretty well everything.  When we get up, if we shower, if we wear orange or blue, what we eat, how we treat the family, how we get to work, how we react to unexpected things, if we eat that chocolate bar or the salad… etc.  Even if we smile at that stranger.  It’s all a choice.

       God wanted us to have a free will.  He doesn’t force us to love Him or control all our decisions.  Why?  I can only guess.  Who wants someone to love them because they can’t choose not to?  Who wants a programmed robot- there is no pleasure in that?  Imagine a child doing the dishes without being asked to help.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  So much better than forcing the task to be done.

       We choose to love another person or remain angry at them when they hurt us.  We choose to break the law by speeding because we chose to sleep in longer and are late now.  We chose to wear that red hat that flew off and distracted that old man who walked into the road without looking and almost get hit by a car whose driver chose to drink boiling coffee which poured on his lap from breaking to miss the man…  It’s all choice.

       We can choose to say hi to God when we wake up, say genuine grace instead of rush through, spend our coffee time reading the Word instead of the news, choose a Christian movie instead of the comedy that has some inappropriate humour or teaches us worldly attitudes. We can choose to allow that driver that cut us off to ruin our mood or bless him instead believing he misjudged the distance.  We can choose to live within the light in God’s kingdom or in the dark, lifeless kingdom of the devil.  It is our choice.

       Remember, Eve was deceived but Adam choose to eat fully aware it was wrong (1Tm. 2:4).  Some kings of the Bible chose to do evil while others chose to do right.  The Pharisees chose to hate Jesus, but He chose to love them, fighting to open their eyes that they might see the truth.  We make hundreds of choices a day.  Are they choices that feed our flesh, our earthly pleasures, or ones that feed our spirit and store up treasures in heaven (Mt. 6:20)?

(Moses) choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a time, Hb. 11:25
Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, Pr. 3:31
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days… Dt. 30:19,20
...choose this day whom you will serve... Js. 24:15

       God allows us to make the choices we do (turn right or go straight through).  Most of the time, it is not important for Him to redirect us.  But if God told us to go left, would we do it?  What if He told us to eat better, would we still eat that chocolate bar?  If He said to spend more time with our daughter would we- even if she’s being nasty?  Do we try to follow His ways for living and speaking that are in the Word or do we not even know the Word because we chose everything else to read and watch instead of the Word?

       In 2Sm. 24:12, God gives David three choices for punishment after His adultery and murder.  David chooses the one that is all in God’s hand.  Notice that our choices can affect other people negatively.  David’s choice to commit adultery then to murder killed other people.  How are our choices in the way we act affecting other people?  Every time we choose something that feeds our flesh, we are feeding the enemy’s kingdom, giving them (albeit) a little victory.  Every time we choose God, love, the Word, to do right, we are choosing to love God more than ourselves.  We are choosing life.

Therefore choose life!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sochi- Going for the Gold

       No one wants to win silver or bronze.  Most athletes go to the Olympics with the gold medal in mind, doing the very best they can do to achieve that goal.  It’s what they work so hard to do all year, in fact, for four years until they get there.  Meanwhile, we watch with national pride hoping our athletes win the gold for our country.  We especially want it when we are up against a rival country like the USA, especially when it comes to hockey.

        The men’s hockey game for the gold happened this morning.  It was still going when we left for church.  Albert and I sat and talked over coffee, then went over to the youth room where the game was being broadcast over the three screens and a crowd was gathered.  There was only two minutes to go and Canada was up 3-0.  Though it didn’t seem likely, there was still a chance for the Americans to score (like the Canadian women’s team did), so I waited cautiously breathing.

The clock ticked down to zero, the bell rang, a roar went up in the stadium and cheers in the church.
       As we walked back to go into the sanctuary I noticed a lot of Canadian clothing: flag ties, different jerseys, t-shirts, gloves, hats; I seemed to be surrounded by it but really it was only about a quarter of the people.  What struck me is how comfortable they looked expressing their pride in being Canadian, and I wondered…

       Where are the God ties, jerseys, t-shirts, gloves and other wearables?  Where are the cheers for God and our proud display of His team on our clothing?  Why don’t we walk around with our devices absorbed in things of His kingdom?  Why aren’t we wearing items with expressions of belonging to Jehovah God?  In the public...

Why aren’t we “going for the gold” with God or celebrating His victory (Cl. 2:15)? 

       The Olympic gold medal is made from at least 92.5% silver, and must contain a minimum of 6 grams of gold.  They aren’t even pure gold!  All the work and effort by the athlete, all the pride and celebrating of the spectators, all for an impure plated lump of metal with an actual worth of about $600 (one man figured 76,000 if it was pure gold), recognition and bragging rights. 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 1Cr. 9:24,25 ESV
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Mt. 6:19-21 ESV

       Only the winner receives the gold.  It is perishable metal, but the prize we will receive is eternal life in a new imperishable body in the presence of Almighty God forever (1Th. 4:17; Ps. 23:6).  That is why we should not consider earthly treasures of value, for they break down, rust, are destroyed or stolen, but our eternal prizes will never lose value, break down, rust, be destroyed or stolen away from us.  They are eternally ours!

       So instead of being so excited for a perishable prize, let’s go for the gold in God, the pure gold in Him, and our faith tried as pure gold so that we might live proudly in His name and for His glory- celebrating Him!  And unlike a $600 or even $76,000 plated lump of metal, the Almighty God who created the heavens and earth is priceless, and worth more than anything we can ever possess in this life.

so that the trial of your faith (being much more precious than that of gold that perishes, but being proven through fire) might be found to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 1Pt. 1:7
I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire, so that you may be rich… Rv. 3:18

Only with Christ Jesus, the Father and Holy Spirit are we made rich!