and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Recharging Devices

        Lately it seems like most of my family and friends have one big complaint about all the technology they are using: the power drains too quickly.  Most of them need to recharge their devices at least once if not twice a day.  While it seems we can do all things faster and better, it also seems we can’t or don’t care to work on the problem of quick power consumption.

       We also can’t recharge our power over wifi.  It requires a hardwire connection of some kind- even if the device is just touching the power source.  Simply put, if you want to use your device often then it needs to be recharged daily using a cable/ cord of some kind.  And you can’t just plug it in, give it five minutes and unplug it again, or the power will not last very long.

       Sounds a lot like us in our daily living.  We need food and drink to keep our bodies going, mental stimulus to keep our brains active and God’s Word and presence to keep our spirits charged.  Junk food might seem like a quick solution to high energy needs, but it soon fades unlike ‘solid’ food which keeps a more stable source of energy in us. 

I have fed you with milk and not with solid food, for you were not yet able to bear it; nor are you able even now. 1Cr. 3:2
you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again what are the first principles of the oracles of God. And you have become in need of milk, and not of solid food. For everyone partaking of milk is unskillful in the Word of Righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, even those who because of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  Heb. 5:12-14

       Our brains continue to learn and improve by reading of the Word.  It is there we find understanding, wisdom, and knowledge.  “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding. For the profit from it is better than the gain from silver, and its produce more than fine gold;(Pr. 3:13,14)  Notice there is more profit from wisdom and understanding than gold, money which is our livelihood.

Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as Jehovah my God commanded me, so that you should do so in the land where you go to possess it. And you shall keep and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.  Dt. 4:5,6
The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; to know wisdom and instruction; to recognize the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and uprightness; to give sense to the simple, knowledge and judgment to the young man;  Pr. 1:1-4

       As we can see, the Word of God is essential in feeding our minds, but it is also necessary in ‘feeding’ our spirit, or recharging that part of us that serves the living God.  Spend a little time hooked into the Word and the ‘charge’ will last a little bit but more time will mean more charge.  All devices have a maximum charge at which point no more energy can be added unless the device is used and drained some.  So we need to use what we are given for this day to help others and then recharge once again in the Word and in His presence.

This book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it by day and by night… Js. 1:8
God; I will seek You earnestly (seek or seek early); my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs when I remember You on my bed and think of You in the night watches.  Ps. 63:1,6

Yes, we all need to recharge daily.  We may survive bodily without food daily, but we need the Word and God’s presence or we will be weak and unable to fully function for Christ. 

(Peter to Jesus)
Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the Words of eternal life.
Jh. 6:68

Friday, August 22, 2014

Two Hours

       For the past two hours I have sat in front of this blank Word document trying to decide what to write about.  Of course I have a list of many topics from which I could choose, and the easiest way to make a decision is to ask the Lord, but the reality is there are a thousand things running through my mind and I can’t focus my attention into one direction.  No topic seems the right one.  No thought stands out.  Truth be told, I’d rather forget it today and just go to sleep.  It is just too much to think right now.

       So right into the midst of this ‘not knowing which way to go’ the Lord chooses to speak a word to me, His Word which directs me to a verse.  It is one I’ve known for years, understood deep down more than once, but this time it is fresh again, and the meaning hits home.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  Jh. 14:27

       Before Jesus left the disciples he made a three chapter speech to his friends (Jh. 15:15) finishing with one chapter of prayer (18).  It was after telling them that He was leaving that He made one of the best verses for us to remember as we walk this journey called life.  Peace He leaves with us.  With us.  Not with someone else, but with us.  It’s a statement, not just a maybe.

       When that isn’t enough, He gives His peace to us.  That is the peace in the face of temptation, when mocked by family, during the storms of life, while being abandoned, persecuted, falsely accused, beaten, tortured and as He hung on the cross dying.  Jesus had true peace.  His peace He gives to us.

       In contrast, the world gives temporary peace, but to me, a better word is respite.  It is only ever a break of peace before troubles assaults us again; just long enough to make us remember that things can go right, just before the rug is pulled out from under our feet again.  Jesus promises true peace, peace that goes beyond man’s understanding and peace unlike the transitory peace of the world.  “And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  (Php. 4:7)

       Let not your heart be agitated, troubled, inwardly disordered, uncalm, disquieted, anxious, distressed or perplexed.  Neither let it be timid or fearful.  Well, that first part about sums up my mind today.  Now I get why I can’t focus or think straight.  There is a lack of peace inside.  That lack of peace stems from lack of time in the presence of God wherein His peace resides- through Christ Jesus.  Not through the world, not through ourselves, not through the tv or relationships or books or technology or games or anything- only through Jesus.  Only His peace is true, lasing peace deep down so that even as our lives seem to be falling apart around our ears, we still have peace.

Peace beyond all understanding!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dreams, Lions and the Power of His Name

       Even as a young child my dreams have always seemed vivid and imaginative.  One of the weirdest involved everything in the world being made of stretched elephant skin… enough said.  Anyway, most of my bad dreams involved high stress and fear, but only one that I remember involved a human looking person that was chasing me.  In the dream I was exhausted, unable to keep going so I turned and loudly said, “In the name of Jesus, go away!” and he did.  I woke up right after amazed at how God had shown me the power in the name of Jesus.  There is no greater name.

Therefore God has highly exalted Him, and has given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of heavenly ones, and of earthly ones, and of ones under the earth; Php. 2:9,10
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us through Your name.  Lk. 10:17

       There is another being who preys on us, and that is our enemy, also the enemy of our Lord.  Be not afraid, for Christ has the victory, but we must be obedient to what God says if we are to survive the threats of this ‘beast’.  In one well known passage, he is said to be like a roaring lion.

Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour; whom firmly resist in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions in the world are being completed in your brotherhood.  1Pt. 5:8,9  
(*for word definitions)

       Think about these facts in context of the Christian life.  The lion signifies strength as it has concentrated power in all its muscles.  It cares little for the number of its foes, or the weapons with which they are armed.  A lion often attacks those who are alone or away from the flock.  He stalks and is patient with his prey.  His claws are not critical as the weight of its blow is sufficient to kill.

       The lion can roar up to 114 decibels and it emanates power (pain begins at 125db).  On a still quiet night, the sound can reach 7 to 8km away.  The roar establishes his presence, his territory and communicates to others.  He stoops his head to roar which causes the sound to roll like thunder and reverberate, thus it can be heard at great distances without giving away its location thereby allowing it to better ensnare its prey. 

       So all of this is to say, take care, be vigilant for the devil seeks to destroy us and he’ll use any tools he can: relationships, the world, power, jobs, human nature, electronics, pride, lust, greed, addictions, desires, etc.  But we don’t have to fear because “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.(1Jh. 4:4) and we CAN firmly resist him because of what Jesus did for us: at the cross, with His resurrection and by sending His Spirit to dwell with us (Rm. 8:11).  For at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, and even the demons are subject to us through His name. 



Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Jm. 4:7
Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Ep. 6:10

sensible-nepho- sober, calm in spirit, circumspect
vigilant- gregoreuo- to watch, take heed, give strict attention to, be cautious
adversary-antidikos- opponent, enemy
walks about- peripateo- to walk, progress, make use of opportunities
devour- katapino- to drink or swallow down, destroy
firmly- atereos- strong, immovable, rigid, steadfast
resist- antihistemi- set one’s self against, to withstand, resist, oppose
afflictions- pathema- that which one suffers, misfortune, calamity, evil
world- kosmos- world, universe, human family
being completed- epiteleo- accomplish, execute, complete, to appoint to, impose upon

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On the Road

Pictures are not mine- I was enjoying the views too much to photograph!
       Wish all of you could be here.  As I type, we are traveling through northern Canada where the lakes are plentiful, the trees stand tall over colourful rocky ledges and the sky is blue with clouds only along the horizon. God's creation left somewhat untouched.  Of course, I have developed a slight annoyance towards the little piles of rocks built up like they are Inuksuits or something.  They kind of mar the pristine smooth bumpiness of the rocky ledges.  Putting that aside, this is a great journey.

       Right now I am looking at several little islands in a lake, each with a house and I have to wonder how they managed to buy such beautiful pieces of creation.  Anyway, we are no where near wifi, so I don't even know when I'll be able to post this, but hopefully sometime through the day, probably late.  Funny how things don't often work out the way we plan, but I have learned that enjoyment can be found in the unexpected.

       It is interesting how traveling distances by car from one place to another mimics our journey as humans.  Every town or area seems to have a personality all of its own.  There are some places that seem so boring to drive through (sorry Saskatchewan!), others that evoke glorious thoughts of Heaven, but each place is distinctive in one way or another.  Ah, the simple beauty of a farm on a hill with cattle grazing in the fields.  It's all here.  With that in mind, I have some thoughts about our personal journeys. 

The pace.
       Have you ever considered the varying traffic patterns on a trip?  Sometimes traffic is heavy or frustrating with inconsiderate drivers or a hectic pace as when going through cities, or a light flow like in the outlying towns.  My personal favourite is the country drive with little or no traffic but us...  Of course, no matter where we are there are numerous areas under construction along the way.  That's not anyone's favourite.  Then, occasionally we're the only car on the road and we get wondering if we're still headed in the right direction.  Life in the twenty first century is nothing but fast paced, so fast we forget to take pleasure in ‘the scenery’ along the way, stopping to take in fresh sites and enjoy the food.

Behold that which I have seen. it is good and right for one to eat and to drink, and to see good in all his labor that he labors under the sun all the days of his life, which God gives him; for it is his portion.  Ec. 5:18
And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Gen. 1:31

It's all about how you look at it.
       One time on a trip with my Mom to Texas, we headed to Big Bend National Park.  Of course it was a long ride that day and Mom was tired but she hated the area.  To her, it was dry ugliness and to me it was distinctive beauty.  We were two people seeing the same environment but with different eyes.  I find beauty in different types of terrain, but my Mom's idea of beauty is specific terrain.  Neither is wrong, but it certainly didn't lend to her enjoying any part of that journey.  I think she lost out on a lot that day.

To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose* under the heavens: Ec. 3:1 (*Note: purpose- H2656- chefets- delight or pleasure)

A choice to enjoy.
       Many years ago Albert and I noticed campgrounds had changed.  People were not enjoying the outdoors as much, but you could see tvs going in campers and hear video games being played.  We wondered, 'why bother camping?'  Driving excursions are much the same these days: texting, video games, dvds, internet surfing over cell phones and perhaps even some reading.  We've forgotten how to enjoy or participate in the journey we have to take getting from one place to another.  We either want it done fast (fly in) or waste the time away in pursuits we think are more fun, but later find out they were the waste.

Charge the rich in this world that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, He offering to us richly all things to enjoy, 1Tm. 6:17

Getting to the destination.
       When times get tough it seems like we just want to get to our destination (Heaven) now, without the hassles and troubles of continuing on the journey.  I've been there.  I go there often when I see or hear about the pain and suffering of so many people.  Yes, there is a lot of ‘ugliness’ in this world, but there is also great beauty and humans rising above our base natures in acts of greatness even in the midst of the mess.  So I think life is a trip worth staying on, enjoying the journey as much as possible within God’s will right up until the day He takes us home.  Being present body, mind and spirit in every moment… no longer allowing the enemy to steal any part of the journey which the Lord God Almighty has set before us. 

The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  Jh. 10:10