and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Fabulous Day

       This is one (4 day) weekend of the year that I am very busy, usually lose 5 to 8 pounds, come and go with no schedule and generally overall work hard, especially trying to keep my frustration in check.  Oh yes, did I mention I volunteer at the town festival?  It is actually a quarter to one (a.m.) as I type this but I’m not tired yet so I am doing a load of laundry (no clean t-shirts for tomorrow) and I want to tell you what a fabulous day I had… officially (now) yesterday.

       Woke up late (7am), drove my son to the city bus stop, got home, ran 5 k, stretched, ate, cleaned up, walked with the neighbour and came home to find my husband mysteriously gone.  He’s on midnights so he should have been sleeping.  I did a tiny bit of reading, and was meditating on it a little when the phone rang.  Hubby had brought our newly adopted (in heart) son to get his locks redone for his prom tonight.  He was calling because the van wouldn’t start.  We just bought it ‘new to us’ in April as well as replacing the car, so I thought, thank You Lord that Albert is on midnights and this didn’t happen at work or on a worse shift.

       Called my mechanic friend who was kind enough to go check it out.  Off I went to meet them, they towed the car to the mechanic’s and I picked up hubby and drove the half hour home so he could sleep.  Went back to pick up son getting hair done and needed twenty more minutes, so I went to pick up other son at school- and back to the hair salon again.  Drove them both home got my stuff for the festival ready, did some research about the election today, wrote it down for my daughter to read on her way to her first vote.  Finally I rode my bicycle (had to leave the car at home for hubby to pick up daughter) to the festival two hours late because of all the driving.

       The day was long, the printed schedule was wrong in many places so it was difficult giving out information requested at the info booth.  Yep, that’s my job.  But they don’t give us the information we need to have so I run around finding it all day and take care of my aunt who is a faithful volunteer but can’t get around anymore.  I should have been done at 11pm but couldn’t leave until 11:45 due to hold ups.  But hey, laundry is done and hung up, and I’m starting to get tired.  That’s a good thing!

This is me soon... night, night!
       So the day was busy but the weather was great.  The running around was tiring, but I am so very grateful to have such interesting and bright, healthy kids and a hubby worth running around for.  So glad that only one car is down; there is another one working and just lately we had none and had to pay for a loaner.  REALLY, REALLY glad I didn’t have a 2 ½ hour appointment while someone yanked and pulled my hair to fix the locks.  There were lots of misunderstandings but also lots of laughs.  And I’m happy I will finally have more than one shirt to wear. 

My body is exhausted from the busy day but overall it was fabulous!

This is the day which Jehovah has made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Ps. 118:24

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above
and comes down from the Father of lights,
with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning.
Jm. 1:17

Oh give thanks to Jehovah; for He is good;
for His mercy endures forever.
Ps. 136:1

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Heart Pounding Wake Up

Fake awake won't work
        When the movie for Diary of a Wimpy Kid came out, I thought it would be a complete waste of time, but there was actually one scene I thought was hysterical.  The older brother bends down to yell at the younger brother to hurry up, get up, get dressed or he’ll be late for school.  The younger brother jumps up, grabs his clothes and begins putting them on as he races to get out of the house quickly.  Of course Mom and Dad eventually wake up to see what is going on…

       I’ve done something like that myself a couple of times.  My mind is suddenly alert early in the morning, I check the time and think, ‘Oh no, I’m late for work (or other event)’ and jump out of bed to swiftly get dressed.  Minutes later, with heart pumping fast, I realize it’s the wrong day and I don’t have to go out, but it’s too late to go back to sleep because my heart is racing and my thoughts whirring a hundred miles an hour.  Be assured though, now is the time to wake up!!!

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.  Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Rom. 13:11-14 NKJV

       There are many warnings in the Bible that say to be ready, watch or wake up (Mt. 24:42,44;1Th. 5:6) and they are said to believers.  Paul the apostle lived from about 5 AD to 67 AD said back then, it was high time to awake out of sleep, the night is far spent (almost over) and the day is at hand.  He’s writing of the end times and he considered himself to be living in it.

       Paul is not a liar.  He was right, for after the resurrection of Jesus (the only one who can redeem mankind and the world), time began ticking down.  John agreed for he wrote, “for the time is near.(Rv. 1:3)  He also warned the church- Jesus speaking, “if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you…” (Rv. 3:3)

       Now it is about 2000 years later and we are so much closer.  Jesus says to watch, so if we watch He will not come as a thief.  If we don’t, it’s a different story.  Right now, the night is almost over, the dawn of a new day is closer than ever.  What are we to do?  Cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.  Some of the works of darkness are listed:

revelry- riots of pleasure and debauchery
drunkenness- intoxicated, drunk
lewdness- defiling the bed (as in sex) inside or outside of marriage
lust- unbridled lust, unbridled excess or freedom, contempt of what is just or moral
strife- disagreements, arguments, anger, conflict
envy- discontent or covetous of what another is or has, and acting on it

       There are many more works of darkness listed in various places in the Bible.  But since God is light (1Jh. 1:5) and darkness is Satan’s abode, “turn from darkness to light, and from the authority of Satan to God…” (Ac. 26:18), we are to turn to from the darkness to the light.  God has provided the way through Jesus Christ, His Son, who died for the sins of the world.  Now we are “…called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;(1Pt. 2:9)  Think:

...what fellowship has light with darkness? 2Cr. 6:14 ESV
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (convict, refute, expose, correct, admonish, chasten) them. Ep. 5:11

We should question ourselves daily and often. 
       Am I walking (acting) in darkness or in the light?
       Am I doing things Jesus would be ashamed or appalled by or am I only doing what He 
       approves of?

that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1Jh. 1:5-7

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Oh, What to Do… Decisions, decisions...

       What do I want to wear today; the blue shirt or the red one?  Does God care?  Maybe today He does.  Should I take that job at the store or stay home to raise the kids?  Does God want a say in that decision or is it all on me to make?  What about deciding which church to go to, where to live, what to eat, what to buy to eat, how to serve, who to love, what to watch and all those other decisions we have that fill up our lives. 

       Honestly, I am not a strong decision maker.  One time my sister and I (we are very similar) stood over 20 min. looking at cakes in the store trying to decide which one to buy for my Mom’s birthday.  In the end our brother walked up, asked what was taking so long, and when we told him our concerns, he made the decision for us and we left.

       It is great when we can allow someone else to make decisions for us- like what’s for supper, but most of the time we have to work it out- though we don’t have to do it alone.  The Lord helps us by giving us His Spirit (Jh. 14:16,17), “…when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth….” (Jh. 16:13) and His Word, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.(Ps. 119:105).  With those two things, we have a lot of guidance.  Here are a few steps to consider:

(remember, some decisions should be made as a couple)

Pray on the Decision
   -Seek God first
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness… Mt. 6:33
   -Submit yourself to God and His will
God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit yourselves to God… Jm. 4:6,7
Decisions are an act of the will, and they are always influenced by the mind, the emotions, or both.
Determine: do I choose to please myself, or do I choose to please the Lord?
Be ready to accept and obey His answer

Write out the decision being made (if needed)
   -Most decisions are usually about an action in a moral (revealing or non-revealing shirt) or non-moral area (colour of shirt)
   -moral decisions can easily be found in the Word
Ex.: In the same way also, I desire that women adorn themselves in decent clothing, with modesty and sensibleness… 1Tm. 2:9
   -Or it could be a personal (related to work) or family decision (which church to attend)
   -Other factors involved

Seek direction
   -Use God’s Word
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you, My eye shall be on you. Ps. 32:8;
What man is he who fears Jehovah? He shall teach him in the way that he shall choose. Ps. 25:12
   -Get practical and personal information that relates
Ask questions like: who is involved, what is expected, where it is, when is the timing, why do I want to do this, how will it affect my family
   -Get advice from more experiences counsel
Without wisdom, purposes are defeated, but by many wise men they are established. Pr. 15:22
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who listens to advice is wise. Pr. 12:15

Prioritize God’s priorities for your life
   -Do you want God’s will above your own, your own desires or the will of others? Jesus did.
(Jesus said) …not My will, but Yours be done. Lk. 22:42
For I came down from Heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent Me. Jh. 6:38
   -Will the outcome of your decision draw you closer to God? Will it glorify him in your life? How will it impact those around you? Is your intention to please God?
There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end of it is the ways of death. Pr. 14:12
(Jesus said) For whoever shall do the will of My Father in Heaven, the same is My brother and sister and mother. Mt. 12:50

Weigh it out
   -pros, cons on all the information gathered
If anything in the list violates the Word of God it is NOT His will.
   -your spiritual priorities

Pray on it again with all the information available
   -Heed the applicable Word, to the Spirit and reconsider all the information.
   -Ask the Lord to direct your paths and wait quietly before Him.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Pr. 3:6
Rest in Jehovah, and wait patiently for Him… Ps. 37:7
   -Make the decision

Sometimes there is more than one good action to take according to all the above.  In that case, God is likely allowing you the freedom to choose for yourself. 

Make the decision and act on it
   -After all this, trust God in His help with your decision and that He is working in and through you for His purpose in life.
Delight yourself also in Jehovah, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Ps. 37:4
For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Php. 2:13

Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do all to the glory of God.
1Cr. 10:31

Monday, June 02, 2014

You Can’t Eat Just One

(Once again I am fighting a cold or something, so here is an updated post to fill in.)

       Have you ever tried eating just one chip especially if it is a flavour that you really enjoy?  I have, and it is near impossible.  Perhaps if you lock them away or can’t get back to them, but one chip makes you want one more, then another and another until you are satisfied.  Or have you ever tried just one bite of sweet, delicious fudge.  As it’s melting in your mouth and you savour the flavour, it makes you want ‘just one more bite’.  Oops, the whole slice is gone!  How about your favorite cookies sitting in front of you calling out your name?  Maybe you’ll just take one…   whoa, the plate’s almost empty…   perhaps you should stop?

       That first taste of a food we enjoy gives us just enough of a tease and makes us want to have more.  “Come on, just another bite,” it whispers!  It is part of our human nature to want more of a good thing.  That is why it is difficult to stop at just one piece or one bite.  The desire to have more of that good taste is too strong to resist.  Here is a scripture that I haven’t thought of for a while:

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good*; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Ps. 34:8 NKJV 

       Since we know we are not literally taking a chunk out of the Lord to eat, the figurative meaning of taste is to perceive.  (Webster’s: To know; to understand; to observe. To be affected by; to receive impressions from.)  Basically, a little knowledge, understanding or time in the Lord’s presence is like having just a taste of Him.  When we do that we ‘see’ that He is good, ‘tasty’, sweet, ‘flavourful’, and it makes us want more and more of Him until we are satisfied.  I’m not quite sure that can ever happen here on earth; at least that is my personal experience.  I am always left wanting more.

       I like what one writer said about Ps. 34:8.  He said we are not trying the food to determine if we like or dislike it.  We are trying it to find out just how good it really is and see- realize we want more of it.  The Lord is always waiting for us to be with Him, to spend time with Him.  That can mean reading His Word, praying, worshiping, talking to Him and listening to Him throughout our day.  Taste and see the Lord is good.

The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lm. 3:25 ESV
And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? None is good except One, God. Lk. 18:19
For the LORD is good; his mercy endureth for ever; and his faithfulness unto all generations. Ps. 100:5 RV

       Okay, now let’s be practical.  We all have limited time and, well, we are tired with all the other things we have to do in life so generally we vegetate in down times.  So practically speaking, how do we increase time, ‘tasting’ the Lord? 

       Here are a few ideas:  Keep a Bible/ devotional/ Daily Bread in the washroom, at the table where you sip your coffee and by the couch where you watch tv.  (Commercials are boring anyway).  Drives to work or shopping can become times of worship, listening to the Word on cd, or prayer and listening for His voice.  Have more conversations with others about the Lord. Start by saying, “so what’s new with the Lord in your life these days…”  (Ever think of the percentage of time we actually speak with others about Him as opposed to other topics?)  Enter His presence wherever and whenever you can.

O taste and see that the Lord is good.

He is VERY good!

*Webster’s 1828 very condensed (from 4 pages), applicable to ‘man’ meaning of good.

Valid; legally firm; not weak or defective; not weak, false or fallacious;
Kind; benevolent; affectionate, faithful, favorable, merciful, gracious, pleasant
Having moral qualities best adapted to its design and use, virtuous; pious; religious;
Sound; perfect; uncorrupted; undamaged. Full; complete.
Useful; valuable; having qualities or a tendency to produce a good effect.
Well qualified; able; skillful; or performing duties with skill and fidelity; good tempered
Honorable; fair; unblemished; unimpeached; as a man of good fame or report.
Genuine, earnest, commendable, proper
Complete or sufficiently perfect in its kind; 

Sunday, June 01, 2014

It was a long, COLD, harsh winter

       Temperatures were colder than normal, staying that low for longer, and we reached record amounts of snow in this area over the winter.  Now, when I was growing up here, the snow used to go high enough to make tunnels under it to play in, but I don’t remember that extreme cold.  And now that I’m older and own a house, there is the shoveling of the driveway that makes you reconsider that 400+ ft U shaped driveway around the house.

       It isn’t the extremeness of the weather that was terrible (to me anyway), but the length of time we had to endure it.  It seemed to go on forever without breaks: frigid cold, dreary skies, snow dump, repeat again and again, day after day...  Finally, it subsided and for the past few weeks we have achieved normal temperatures- with blue skies!  I almost forgot what that was like.

       In our Christian walk it seems like we hit times of ‘walking in the wilderness’ or ‘living in the cold dreariness’.  A few days of it would be unpleasant, and survivable, but when the time drags on day after day, that is when it becomes difficult.  We start out strong but feel ourselves weakening little by little when the harshness never seems to end.  Why is that?

My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day, Where is your God? Ps. 42:3
Deep calls to deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and Your billows have gone over me. (v.7)
I will say to God my rock, Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the cruelty of the enemy? (v.9)
As with a sword in my bones, my enemies shame me; while they say daily to me, Where is your God? (v.10)
       The author here, probably David, was going through a harsh time in his life.  Sadness, doubt, in deep with endless afflictions like waterfalls/ waves were washing over him, feeling forgotten by God, mourning, torment and shame besetting him, a believer in the Almighty God.  It seemed to never end.  Why was God allowing this in his life?  Why was He not rescuing His servant from these long, harsh times?  Why didn’t He rescue me?

I’m thinking, He wanted me to learn/ develop something:
patient endurance*-
And not only so, but we glory also in afflictions, knowing that affliction works out patience*, Rm. 5:3 LITV
Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. Pr. 3:5
who we are-
I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am powerful. (in Him) 2Cr. 12:10
who He is-
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Ps. 46:1
what He does-
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. For I am Jehovah your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior… Is. 43:2,3
and patience works out proven character; and proven character, hope. Rm. 5:4 LITV

Dn. 3:25- God walks in fire with three faithful followers

       When we walk through the dry wilderness or the cold dreariness of life and it goes on too long; when we feel like giving up, that’s when we’ve got to hold on tight, even if it’s at the end of our rope and let Jesus grab hold of us.  We need to throw ourselves on His mercy and actively choose to trust Him no matter how bad it looks or how long it goes on.  We may be weak but He is surely strong.  His strength and His presence in our lives (whether we feel His presence or not) will get us through when we trust in Him and continue to move forward step by step.  His Word certainly helps…

You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:9,10

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why do you moan within me? Hope in God; for I still praise Him, the salvation of my face, and my God. Ps. 42:11