and the One who walks with me on it.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Swimming in a Drought

       My sister is living on an island in the Caribbean which I will not name for privacy reasons.  Anyway, they are experiencing a severe drought and this has affected the water supply and the people who rely on water for their needs.  Today she told me about an unexpected side effect of drought that I’ve never heard of before.  Dangerous water and food. 

       She was speaking to a doctor about a party she threw and telling the doctor how they all went swimming in this local area and the doctor looked at her like she was a moron- her words not mine.  “Don’t you know how bad the water is in these drought conditions?  It is filled with contaminants which could make you sick.”  A friend of hers is in the hospital after his liver shut down possibly because he ate some bad salad or drank bad water.  Now, I haven’t read up on any of this, but if it’s true, how scary to think you could get hepatitis, organ failure or other problems, as if the drought itself wasn’t bad enough.  Some droughts and famines are spiritual:

not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: Am. 8:11 (all KJV)
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; Ps. 63:1

       So that issue got me thinking about how Christians sometimes see themselves in dry times, like a drought of spirituality.  Nothing seems to be happening…  Most Christians I’ve talked to agree they’ve been in dry times.  Now, I don’t want to write about why they happen, but God has allowed physical droughts in the past for His reasons “And I called for a drought upon the land…” (Hg. 1:11) so could He not allow spiritual ones?  What I want us to consider is being careful of the toxicity of food and water that is around us.  And remember, He is still there even when we don’t feel Him near.

(God said) I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. Hs. 13:5

       It’s not an intentional thing.  None of us would drink, eat or play in something we knew was dangerous, but in a drought where the Word seems to not revitalize, we don’t hear the Lord’s voice, we are distant from Him for whatever reason, then we may not realize the dangers.  It is then we must take extra care.  The waters may feel good, refreshing, but they could bring infections.  That salad may look good and taste good, but could contain contaminants that harm us.

       Go only to the source of all fulfillments of our appetites.  Check all other sources against these.  Don’t assume what you hear or read is true based on who the speaker or writer is because they ARE human and all humans make mistakes.  Check it out for yourself.  Make sure it lines up with all of Scripture, not just the verses they give you.  God the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit are the only source that never errs so their Word can be counted on to verify all things.

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Jh. 4:14
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Jh. 7:37, 38
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Mt. 4:4
For the bread of God is he (Jesus) which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. Jh. 6:33,35

       So take care if you are in a dry time right now.  Remember He who is trustworthy and who always has your best interests at heart.  Trust Him.  Know He is the One who can bring water out of rock (Ex. 17:6) and in dry places (Is. 41:18; 44:3).  He is the only One who can satisfy our soul, and help us grow strong, with strong roots that will withstand in dry times.

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jr. 17:7,8
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. Is. 58:11

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


       There are so many things in this life that can bring sadness into our lives.  As parents, there are times our children are hurting and we can’t help them, they are making poor choices but won’t listen, their health is out of our hands as we stand by powerless, or they are going the wrong way- a path of hard knocks filled with pain.

       For me, one of the saddest times of my life was after my Dad died.  I was 28, it had been a bad year, and I had many regrets in that we never had much time together and I really didn’t know him well.  For days the tears came easy.  Everything that reminded me of him made my heart sorrowful.  Two months later I told my husband he needed to forget my birthday- I didn’t want any spoken or gifted reminder that my Dad wouldn’t be there to see me turn 29.

       It was a very distressing time.  I would go to his grave site and weep for what could have and should have been, pouring out my anger at him for allowing his continual absence due to work.  Was it really more important than me?  Why was it other people knew my Dad better than me?  Why was it I only heard a couple stories before he died?  “…by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.(Pr. 15:13)  What do we do when it feels like we are trapped in an isolating sadness that permeates our being?

Cry to the Lord for He is near:
Jehovah is near all those who call on Him, all those who call on Him in truth. Ps. 145:18
Jehovah is near to the broken-hearted; and saves those who are of a contrite spirit. Ps. 34:18
In my distress I called on Jehovah, and I cried to my God; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, into His ears. Ps. 18:6

Draw close to Him:
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you… Jm. 4:8
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the watersBow down your ear, and come to Me; hear, and your soul shall liveSeek Jehovah while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Is. 55:1,3,6
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith… Hb. 10:22

Give our burdens to Him:
Cast your burden on Jehovah, and He will keep you… Ps. 55:22
Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. Mt. 11:28-30
casting all your anxiety onto Him, for He cares for you. 1Pt. 5:7

Remember He already paid the price for our brokenness
       -He went through a lot Himself:
As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— Is. 52:14 ESV
Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him… Is. 53:4,5
Healing is found in the Savior
and with His stripes we ourselves are healed. Is. 53:5
He heals the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds. Ps. 147:3
Bless Jehovah, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; He who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with kindness and tender mercies; who satisfies your desire with good; your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Ps. 103:2-5
"The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because of this He has anointed Me to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and new sight to the blind, to set at liberty those having been crushed, Lk 4:18 (also Is. 61:1)

Monday, July 28, 2014


       Albert and I have been collecting movies since we were first married.  VHS to DVD and now BD if we want.  Many years ago, when the collection started to get too big to manage and find what we wanted, I made a searchable database which has now grown quite large.  But all those movies and tv series wouldn’t mean anything to me if we couldn’t share them with friends and family.  I love to bring other people pleasure by loaning them out, and we don’t charge late fees, or any fees!

       For me, all the things we have are to be shared.  Disks, books, car rides, talents, wisdom, insight, food (maybe not my cooking though J ) bicycles, tools are far more enjoyable when used to help others.  My favourite thing of all to share with others is a four letter word.  Love.  I’ve been so blessed by those who have loved me and I am overwhelmed by the Father’s love.  There is so much love in my life that I can’t possibly keep it inside—I just want to share it with everyone.  However, it is the unconditional love of the Father that amazes me the most.

       As we forgive because the Father forgives us (Mr. 11:25,26) so we should love because the Father loves us.  “If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And we have this commandment from Him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.(1Jh. 4:20,21) 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love. In this the love of God was revealed in us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.And we have known and believed the love that God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1Jh. 4:7-12,16

       Who are we to love?  Everyone: “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself…” (Mr. 12:31)  Fellow followers of Jesus: “By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another.(Jh. 13:35)  Even your enemies: “…Love your enemies…” (Mt. 5:44)  Is it tough?  Some days, with some people it is especially difficult, but always possible, all because of the love of God that He poured in us: “…the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit given to us.(Rm. 5:5)

       Just how do we share the Father’s love?  We love in words and deeds.  Love can be shown in smiles at shoppers, giving a surprise birthday gift, listening ears with troubled co-workers, giving food to the hungry, sharing God’s Word in humility, leaving the last seat for the hurting, welcoming a stranger, helping a neighbour, carrying groceries, etc.  There are as many ways of saying and showing God’s love through our love to others as there are hairs on our heads.  God loved us just as we were before we even knew Him (Rm. 5:8) and so we should love others even when they don’t or can’t love us back.

God has shared His great love with us, so we ought to share that love with others!
(Lord, please help us with this!!!)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Prayer of Repentance

       Sometimes it is difficult for me to write.  Today is one of those days but only because of what’s been on my mind the past few months: how much Christians in prosperous developed countries, (in general) are caught up in idolatry and worldliness, both of which are condemned by Elohim.

Do not love the world*, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1Jh. 2:15,16
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever desires to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Jm. 4:4
We know that we are of God, and all the world lies in evil.Little children, guard yourselves from idols. 1Jh. 5:19,21
the works of the flesh are clearly revealledidolatry

When we fail to give God the highest devotion He deserves but rather replace that devotion with pleasures, desires and material things of this earth, then we are guilty of worldliness.

The greatest commandment (Mt. 22.36)
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

   Father God, I come before you knowing that You see our sin and how caught up we are in the world yet still neglect You.  Forgive us oh Lord… forgive me for every time I ignored you over insignificant things like watching tv.  Forgive us as your children for making money, possessions, power and status more important than You (idolatry).  We constantly spend much effort on these things but have no time for You.  Oh Lord, forgive us and have mercy on us.  Do not give up on us but use whatever means necessary to return us to You, our first love.  Forgive us for failing to follow the one greatest command- to love You more than anyone or anything.

   But what is repentance** without change.  We need to resolve to love You first and foremost and to expend the most effort on You and not on the fleshly pleasure of this world that entice us away from You.  We need Your help to do this Lord because we are weak and the temptations are strong and frequent.  Help us Lord, we need Your strength, and remind us daily that we cannot be passive in this fight.  Thank You for Your abiding love.

*Thayer on meaning of ‘the world’
6) the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ
7) world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly
the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ
**The word basically means a change of mind followed by a change in conduct.