and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My First Sermon

       Back in my Bible College days, we students had to preach at a Sunday morning service.  My turn was near the end of the group.  The week before me, Mark got up and preached on the latter rain (if I recall right) and it was an amazing, encouraging, Spirit charged service.  After I thought, man, how do I ‘compete’ with that?  Everyone will compare me with him.  Those thoughts made me far more nervous.

       Of course it didn’t help that after all my praying the topic the Lord wanted me to speak on was the fear of the Lord.  We had been trained to ‘give the right message to the right people at the right time’ and so that was what I was determined to do.  I stood up behind the pulpit and began to speak for the first time.  Butterflies swarmed in my stomach.  In a few minutes I felt the Spirit of the living God moving in me helping me to speak.  The nervousness left.

       It was very quiet in the service though.  People were looking at me intensely.  There was none of the cheering and exclamations of the week before.  Because of that, I thought it was a complete flop but I didn’t understand why the Spirit seemed so strong when the people didn’t respond.  Later, one friend told me, “It was a hard topic for us to hear- convicting,” but that they’d learned from it. 

And to man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom! And to depart from evil is understanding! Job 28:28

       Now, I am of the opinion that if we saw God in all His glory we would immediately fall on our faces in fear and trembling and cry for mercy.  There are many recordings of men ‘falling on their faces’ in the Bible before God (Isaiah, Ezekiel, John…).  Fearing the Lord doesn’t mean being terrified of Him, but rather, knowing His is completely just (1Jh. 1:9) and holy (1Pt. 1:16) and we are unjust (1Pt. 3:18), sinful (Rm. 3:23), and unclean (Is. 64:6).

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done through the body, according to that which he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men… 2Cr. 5:10,11  (so they don’t face eternal damnation)
And I saw a great white throne, and Him sitting on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. ... And I saw the dead, the small and the great, stand before God. And books were opened, and another book was opened,the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  Rv. 20:11,12

       In the end we will ALL stand before a holy God and be judged for our actions whether we are Christians or not.  We will face the judgment seat of Christ or the great white throne of God.  We would be wise to fear God.  We would be wise to depart from evil.  For we should understand the day of judgment is coming soon and WE WILL all take part in it.

Friday, March 28, 2014


       Had a lady call today seeing if I’d be interested in the local paper.  “Do you enjoy reading the paper at all?” she asked.  “No,” I said, “I make it a point to never read the paper.”  Well that usually starts an interesting conversation about why, but the answer is the same reason I turn my head (if safe) to avoid looking at roadkill.

       This afternoon I had to face one head on, laying in the middle on my side of the road.  Dead.  No life left inside its tiny body.  I cried for the next few minutes- for a world savaged by death, a people who should have lived forever, but to whom sin brought death in our flesh and the world around us.

And Jehovah God said, Behold, the man has become as one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever, therefore Jehovah God sent him out from the garden of Eden… Gn. 3:22,23
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: Rom. 5:12

       But God did not leave us- or the world- stuck in this eternal state of death.  Instead there was a plan for One to come down and redeem the people.  Jesus Christ was born (Lk. 2:5-33), ministered to many people bringing the truth of God and salvation to them (the Gospels), and then was tortured (Mt. 26:67-27:30), and crucified Him on a cross meant for criminals (v.31-50) even though he was innocent*.  Jesus became our Redeemer, bringing eternal life back to the people through Him (Rm. 6:23).

So says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am Jehovah your God who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way that you should go. Is. 48:17
For your Maker is your husband; Jehovah of Hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called. Is. 54:5
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall rise on the earth at the last; Job 19:25

       And that was not the end of the plan for Jesus rose from the dead breaking the bondage of sin and death (Rm. 5:14-21).  The great thing is the plan does not end there.  The final plan is that death will be eliminated from our world for good.  Gone for good!  We will live forever in a perfect world of abounding life.  And death and hell shall be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rv. 20:14).  This world, man, free from death forever.  Praise the Lord God Almighty who reigns forever and returns once more to Redeem us once and for all.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and when this mortal shall put on immortality, then will take place the word that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Cr. 15:53-57

*2Cr. 5:21; 1Pt. 2:22; Hb. 4:15, 9:14

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Christians Are Like Used Vans

       I’ve been spending lots of time online, in ads for vans, on car lots, making phone calls, researching, and doing everything I can to quickly find a good used car in our limited price range- with the help of a friend.  Recently we looked at four more- all 2005 Dodge Grand Caravans yet they were very different.  They were all different colours.

       One had 110 kms, rear climate controls, clean interior, a dvd player but one mismatched tire that was bald at the edge, some chipped paint off the bumper, some rust on the rocker panels…. Another had stow n go (very cool), good tires, less wear and tear on the body but no rear climate control, modified lights at the back, no dvd, ….  Another one had 137 kms, a hitch, remote starter, okay tires but is dirty inside from use, wasn’t taken care of as well, a dented bumper, no rear climate control.… The last one had stow n go seating, very clean interior, 150 kms, really clean fluids but patched damage on both bumpers, some unattached parts inside, didn’t look as nice outwardly, had no rear climate control…

       So, which vehicle is better, which is worse?  What features are more important: low kms, less rust, special items, ability to stow seats, a hitch (which we want, but could buy later), better interior, etc?  We all have our personal preferences and hubby and I will decide which are more important for our needs.

       In the same way as Christians, we have different gifts, talents, personalities, mental and intellectual abilities, ‘damage’ from our pasts, strengths, weaknesses, etc.  For some reason, we often compare ourselves to other Christians, but are we better or worse than them, or is that just our own perception or preference as to what is better or worse?  Sometimes we think our special features are more special (or important) than someone else’s- or not as special (or important).  Do you compare your life, your gifts, your abilities, your kids - even your spirituality - to other people’s? 

For we do not dare to rank or compare ourselves with some of the ones commending themselves. But they, measuring themselves among themselves, and comparing themselves to themselves, are not perceptive. 2Cr. 10:12

       What if vans spoke:  I don’t like that van because it’s overused (kms).  That van’s no good because it has a mucked up interior.  Ew, that one’s got rust on the outside.  That other one’s not special enough.  That one’s too damaged on the inside; the other’s too damaged on the outside.  That van is all used up or too worn out.  The other’s flashier on the outside but has less substance.  Sounds pretty dumb, doesn’t it, yet we often compare ourselves to other believers that way.  We either elevate ourselves as better than others or devalue ourselves as worse than others.  Both actions are ungodly.

Am I now trying to win the approval of people or of God?... Gl. 1:10 ISV
all members do not have the same function, Rm. 12:4
having gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us… (v.6)
for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gl. 3:28
(the Spirit) …distributing separately to each one as He desires. 1Cr. 12:11
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 1Cr. 12:15
But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him. (v.18)

       So it doesn’t really matter what we perceive or prefer, it’s what God wants that’s important.  Why?  Because God knows best and what He considers best, will in the end, be what satisfies our soul.  No pastor is greater, no toilet scrubber the lesser.  In Christ Jesus we are ALL one (v.20).  

All glory to God who knows us better than we know ourselves.

Peace to you in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Still Laughing

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work I go...
       I don't think anyone laughs as much as children.  When mine were 7ish we went on a trip to the east coast.  One evening we went to a comedic performance in a square theatre with three floors of seating.  We were on the main floor with the two kids who thought the actors were so funny, they laughed hysterically most of the first act.  It wasn't annoying anyone but was actually making people laugh more.  Knowing the kids needed to get some energy out at intermission, we walked through the three floors and people were staring and pointing at the kids saying, "That's them! There they are!" and such.  A few commented to us on how it was such a joy and pleasure to hear them laughing and many said it made them laugh all the more.

       Why is it we don't laugh so much as adults.  Too stressed out?  Too busy?  Too worried?  In some parts of the world they have laughing groups that get together just to laugh.  We are too refined for that here in North America...  Life isn't easy.  I get that.  Read my last post and you'll see I have tough times too.  But I love to laugh.  I try to make others smile and laugh every day.  I try to find humour in all kinds of places.  And because the joy and peace of the Lord are with me even in the difficult times, I still laugh today.

       Anyway, so I'll need a few days off to work and hopefully find one vehicle so we can look for the second one.  I'll be like one of the 7 dwarves that brought me smiles and laughter as a child.  So I will return Thursday and hope that my faithful readers will stick with me.  God bless you all and who knows what tomorrow will bring...

       More joy and peace... and laughter!!!

...for the joy of Jehovah is your strength. Nh. 8:10
...count it all joy when you fall into different kinds of temptations ... so that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing. Jm. 1:2,4
And may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Rm. 15:13
For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Ps. 33:21
I have spoken these things to you so that My joy might remain in you and your joy might be full. pJh. 15:11