and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Got Nothin’

       It was March of 2011 when I started this blog.  I didn’t know how long it would last nor how much effort it would often require.  I surely never knew how often I’d fall asleep at the computer working on a post!  The surprising thing is that I still find ideas about what to write several times a day- which of course I promptly forget (most times) unless I have the opportunity to immediately write them down.  The thing with writing is you have to feel the flow of the words in order to write about a topic- and today that is… I got nothin’.  Well, maybe just some random thoughts.

       Why don’t we, as Christians, just love?  It seems simple enough but yet our actions betray our words.  There was one time when a particular woman disturbed me every time I saw her.  Eventually I realized the problem was mine and not hers so I prayed for the Lord to help me love her, but there weren’t affectionate loving feelings to start; instead He told me how to show her love in action by listening to her, showing genuine concern, making contact instead of avoiding her, etc.  After a while the affectionate feelings happened.  I need to keep that my priority.  Just love.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. 1Jh. 4:7
let us stop just saying we love people, let us really love them, and show it by our actions. 1Jh. 3:18 TLB
And may the Lord make you to increase and abound in love toward one another and toward all, even as we also toward you, 1Th. 3:12

        Canadian Christians are generally complacent and so bound to the world we don’t even realize it anymore or we’d be on our faces repenting of personal and country-wide sin.  We all want revival, but in the Bible, revival often started with group repentance.  Perhaps instead of revival services, we should hold repentance services.  Ah, forget it!  No one would show up ‘cause we’re still doing all right!  Right?

if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2Ch. 7:14
Truly, then, God overlooking the times of ignorance, now He strictly commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world… Ac. 17:30,31
For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. Ps. 38:18 RV

       Though I enjoy taking photos there is no way I need to utilize my entire SD card when it contains enough space, at my finest quality, for over 4300 pictures.  That’s a lot of photos and I usually download what I have every few days for safety.  Just wondering why we feel the need to have even bigger cards.  Does anyone actually take that many photos or do we just always think bigger is better?  Bigger headaches are worse, bigger houses mean more work, and bigger kids means bigger grocery budgets J.  Sometimes bigger is just unnecessary.

You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Jm. 4:2,3 ESV

       When I was young, I always wanted a tree house.  Of course, we’d have needed a tree to put it in first.  These days, I guess it’s all the rage to stay in a tree house for a romantic getaway.  Check out some of the tree houses online and you’ll probably find one you’d enjoy living in: I did.  Seems to me that living as high as the tree branches would be a view to live for.  God’s glory is often seen in nature.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse proclaims His handiwork. Ps. 19:1
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Rm. 1:20 ESV
then shall all the trees of the forest rejoice Ps. 96:12

       When the Bible speaks about bearing one another’s burden (Gl. 6:2) it probably doesn’t just mean emotionally helping someone with their burdens, but also taking action.  Bear their burden.  Feed the hungry, help find a job for the jobless, clothe the ‘naked’, give to the poor, visit the sick, carry their weight, etc.  Sometimes it’s easy to listen and walk away.  Maybe we even pray a few minutes for the person.  But do we ever spend effort in actually helping with the burden?  Not usually.  Better we don’t ask, then we’re not responsible to help…

For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. Mt. 25:35,36
But whoever has this world's goods and sees his brother having need, and shuts up his bowels from him, how does the love of God dwell in him? 1Jh. 3:17
But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Hb. 13:16

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blessing or a Curse

       I’m guessing that given a choice, most of us would choose to be blessed as opposed to cursed.  The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of curses is an old voodoo witch (like in the movies) calling up a curse for someone with whom she is angry.  Biblically, most of us think of the verse about the tongue when we think of blessing or cursing, “Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.(Jm. 3:10)  Also, we remember how the Jews, upon entering the Promised Land, were commanded to bless (for obedience) and curse (for disobedience) the people. (Dt. 27:12,13; ch. 28 also 11:26-28)  Remember- blessings came from obedience to God’s laws and curses on the disobedient.

       There are some other passages that speak about when God blesses or curses in conjunction with Abraham and his descendants- namely the Jews, or Israel.  Romans 11 shows that God has not given up on His people yet.  Sometimes I think we forget about the Jews, but great blessings lie with those who bless Israel.  “For so says Jehovah of Hosts: He has sent me after glory, to the nations who stripped you; for he who touches you touches the pupil of His eye.” (Zc. 2:8)

And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. Gn. 12:3  (Isaac passes on to Jacob Gn. 27:29)
(Balaam speaks over Israel for God) …Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you. Nm. 24:9
(Joel 2 speaks of end times) For, behold, in those days and in that time, when I will bring again the exiles of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will fight with them there for My people and for My inheritance Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and divided My land. Jl. 3:1,2

       One day God will return His people to Israel and nations that go to war against her will receive God’s judgment.  (That would be those who scatter the Jews and divide their land)  Jehovah God gave them that land as a possession (Gn. 12:7; 17:5-8; 35:12) and will ensure they have all He wanted them to have again and at the same time He will restore their relationship with Him*.  If we want His blessing, we must bless Israel by whatever means we are able, but especially by prayer support.  And we need to stand up for them as a people and a nation.

       Some people online pair up natural disasters with specific governmental pressure on Israel to give up land.  True or not, it is worth thinking about.  God’s Word will not return void (Is. 55:11) and if He says there are blessings and curses tied to the way we treat Israel, then I think we need to seriously consider our stand on the issue.  I, for one, want to live within God’s blessing.

May God continue to bless Israel and give her government wisdom in all decisions.

*Ez. 36:26-28; 37:12-14; Jr. 31:33; Rm. 11:26,27

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Flying Our Flags

       It’s like a parade of flags out there on the streets, everyone displaying their favourite World Cup team flag proudly from their cars.  I’m not a big sports fan to begin with because I only like watching games in person, but generally I do root for the Canadians in the Olympics.  From what I can see, it looks like the games last about a month… that seems like a long time.  Then at the end, one team is proclaimed the best in the world, until the next event anyway.  So the flags are flying high from cars and from poles; some people even paint up their faces.  A cool new addition I noticed this year is side mirror covers in flag colours.  Gotta be proud, right?

       Not to be a kill joy, but I’m just wondering why we are so enthusiastic to root for different sports, visually showing off our pride for specific teams with flags, shirts, face paint, detailed fingernails, hats, and even kibitzing about the teams, but we don’t have the same enthusiasm for the Lord.  We spend hours watching the various teams play, consuming quantities of snack foods and drinks, cheering and joking with friends or family, yet don’t have time to spend with the Lord.

Do we ever fly our Father’s flag?
Jehovah My Banner. Ex. 17:15

Worshipping the win???
       If our favorite team wins this year, will the prize be eternal life?  God will award that to His children! (1Jh. 2:25)  Will the winning team’s glory last more than four years?  God’s glory is eternal! (1Tm. 1:17)  Is eleven pounds of gold and fourteen and a bit inches of statue as majestic as God, Creator of the Universe? (Job 37:22)  Do we worship a win more than the One who gives victory? (2Sm. 23:10)  Do we brag about our team to many people but never mention our God?  Are our hearts more for our teams than they are for our Heavenly Father? 

For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Lk. 12:34

Enjoy the games everyone…

               Just enjoy Jehovah God more!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father’s Day 2014

Always seek one another...
       It took until I was working at 19yrs before my Dad stopped working two fulltime-ish jobs.  As a result, I hardly knew him.  Then I moved to college and still did not have the opportunity to know this man that helped bring me into being.  The few moments I got with him were enough to know he loved me, that he was funny and generally liked people.  In ’88 I was married and seven years later, when I was 28, my Dad passed away.  Sometime in between, my jealousy was stirred when a co-worker of mine told me things about my Dad that I never knew. 

       See, there were only two stories he told me about his life- both in the year before he died, and one precious moment that I remember as a child but most of what I have are vague wisps of memories like fleeing shadows.  Looking at him lying in that casket, the only regrets I had were for lost time that should have been used to get to know each other.  He wasn’t a perfect Dad, but he was mine.

       Regrets should be avoided when possible.  I can’t change the situation with my Dad, but when I was sixteen I was adopted into the family of Jehovah, who became my Father.  The one whom I always thought of as a distant and angry God turned out to be a loving and caring Dad to me.  It was mostly a one sided relationship as I still wanted to be my independent self and just include Him now and then in my life.  I never realized how I was treating Him like my relationship with my earthly Dad.
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. So that you are no longer a slave, but a son… Gl. 4:6,7
you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father! Rm. 8:15
Behold what manner of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God… 1Jh. 3:1

       There was a lot of backsliding in the first couple of decades; months of time that I ignored the Lord, and yet He took me back when I’d return to Him after realizing my foolishness.  As I look back, I was still fitting Him into bits and pieces of my life, but was never fully surrendered.  Eventually I realized how my Father God always wanted to be involved in all my life, every day, every hour, being with me, sharing my life, loving me…

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind… Lk.. 10:27  (Notice the word ALL)

Father and daughter hanging out.
       My regrets are now the time I lost in getting to know my heavenly Father, and even though I recognize all my past helped bring me to this great place I am now, I sometimes wonder how much better I would know Him if I hadn’t wasted all that time.  That was time I lost because of ME.  So I don’t want to do that any more.  I refuse to live without Him.  Nothing and no one is as important to me as my Lord, my Father.  Finally, living life with Him without regrets.  And that life with Him is the most amazing, exciting, crazy, fun, joyful, peaceful, awesome, inspiring- abundant life I have ever experienced.

one thing I do, forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Php. 3:13,14

To You my True, Everlasting Father,
I thank You for never giving up on me.
I am grateful You graciously accepted me home every time I strayed.
                                                                    very grateful!
And it’s not for what You can do for me, but for who You are that I love You now 
                                  more than ever before.

Happy Father’s Day!!!