and the One who walks with me on it.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What Good is Worry?

       A couple of days ago I was walking with my neighbour down her lane which is used to run a marina business.  Needless to say, the boaters like their services such as power and water.  One of the boaters mentioned the water wasn’t working, “Is there a water leak or something?”  That was it.  Her mind was now on one thing.  “My basement is probably flooded,” since we didn’t see a leak along the way.  Though we walked quickly back to the house, it is a long lane way and nothing I could say or do would relieve her worry.

       I gave other possibilities.  I told her probabilities.  I reminded her that her worries don’t usually come to pass.  There was no way for me to calm her fears.  When we got back she was told there was an outside leak and the water was turned off until it could be fixed.  There was no flooding in the house.  It really made me think about those few minutes, how they stressed her body and mind, and accomplished nothing good.  “Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop…” (Pr. 12:25)  It didn’t improve her life one bit.  Of course then it reminded me of all the times I worried in the past…

And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.  …  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  Lk. 12:22-25 ESV
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

       We know these verses but they usually don’t seem to help most of us.  Why is that?  In my opinion the problem is when we try to NOT worry it only seems to get worse because then we are thinking of our worries more often.  So what exactly can we do then?  Well, we can look to see what Scriptures say but often the applying of those verses comes down to trust in the Lord- and the more we trust Him, the easier it is to follow them.

So says Jehovah, Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from Jehovah. Jr. 17:5
Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah, and Jehovah is his trust. Jr. 17:7
The righteous shall be glad in Jehovah, and shall trust in Him… Ps. 64:10

We can pray about the issues causing worry remembering that God is a God of peace
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Php. 4:6,7
Continue in prayer and watch in it with thanksgiving Cl. 4:2

We can throw our burdens at the Lord’s feet.  That means we stop carrying them ourselves!
Cast your burden on Jehovah, and He will keep you; He will never allow the righteous to waver. Ps. 55:22
Therefore be humbled under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your anxiety onto Him, for He cares for you. 1Pt. 5:6,7

We can share our worries with a friend.
Bear one another's burdens, and so you will fulfill the Law of Christ. Gl. 6:2

But God will be our Best Help.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills. Where shall my help come from? My help comes from Jehovah, who made Heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Ps. 121:1-3 

We can force our minds to get off the worries ASAP and onto things which fall into these categories (such as God’s past blessings, etc).
Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things.  Php. 4:8

When I am afraid I will trust in You.
Ps. 56:3

And may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always
in every way
2Th. 3:16

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thoughts of Lent- Part 2

(If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, this one won’t make as much sense so you should go back and read it first.)

       Yesterday I mentioned that some Christians give up God for Lent, spending the 40 days on learning other belief/ non-belief systems.  This is a continuation of the reasons why we shouldn’t give up God for ANY reason, EVER. 

The first two:  Love Doesn’t Leave
                        He is our Father, we are His children

The faithful before us didn’t ‘give up God’ even for a moment- even in the face of pressure, suffering or death.  Here are a few: 

Job- terrible suffering (Job)          
Daniel- hungry lions- (Dn. 6) 
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego- fiery furnace (Dn. 3)
Jeremiah- prison   (Jr. 37:16)
Stephen- martyred (Ac. 6:8-7:60)        
James- martyred (Ac. 12:1,2)   
Paul and Silas- prison  (Ac. 16:23,24)    
Jesus was always doing God’s will (Jh. 6:38; 4:34; 5:30) therefore never out of His will.

Hebrews speaks of the Old Testament faithful who didn’t give up on God though they were:
-tortured, mocked, scourged, imprisoned, stoned, sawn in two, slain with sword, destitute, afflicted, tormented  Hb. 11:35-37

Seeking any other than God or after no God would be adultery.

You shall have no other gods before Me. …For I Jehovah your God am a jealous God… Ex. 20:3,5
they have committed adultery with their idols… Ez. 23:37
Should we be looking into atheism, humanism, agnosticism, etc?
The fool has said in his heart, There is no God! They acted corruptly; they have done abominable works, there is none who does good. Ps. 14:1
Let no man deceive you with vain* wordsAnd have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Ep. 5:6,11 *empty, vain, devoid of truth

We are to seek/ draw close to God. (not others.)

Seek Jehovah and His strength; seek His face continually. 1Ch. 16:11
Dt. 4:29; Pr. 8:17; Jr. 29:13; Mt. 7:7,8; Is. 55:6; Mt. 6:33; Hb. 11:6; Ps. 119:2; Ps. 27:8; Am. 5:4; Ps. 14:2; Ac. 17:27; SoS. 3:1 etc. (some other seek God verses)
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, double-minded ones. Jm. 4:8
let us draw near with a true heart… Hb. 10:22
-if you draw away He will not draw near

Man’s Ideas are Usually of the Flesh. We should walk in the Spirit. (Gl. 5:16)

you should not walk from now on as other nations walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Ep. 4:17,18
Because, knowing God, they did not glorify Him as God, neither were thankful. But they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Rm. 1:21
And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Gn. 6:5
Let no one being tempted say, I am tempted* from God. For God is not tempted by evils, and He tempts no one. But each one is tempted ~by his lusts, being drawn away and seduced by them. Jm.1:13,14
*incl. to try whether a thing can be done, make a trial of, for the purpose of learning what he thinks ~lured away by own desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust
But in vain they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man. Mt. 15:9-11

Man’s ways end in death.

There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end of it is the ways of death. Pr. 16:25 also 14:12
They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Mt. 15:14
As we said before, and now I say again, If anyone preaches a gospel to you beside what you have received, let him be accursed.  Gl. 1:9
contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. Jude 1:3
Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole of man. Ec. 12:13

Jesus therefore said
If ye abide in my word, ye are truly my disciples;
and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
Jh. 8:31,32

Monday, September 15, 2014

Thoughts of Lent

       This year my husband and I celebrated our 26th year of marriage.  I love him dearly- even when he drives me crazy ;)  He’s the right man for me.  We accept each other’s differences and are committed to working through the difficulties of life together.  I heard something that got me thinking about Lent the other day.  As a good Catholic I tried to give up something during my early teen years such as chocolate, tv and so on.  Now, stay with me as I go into a weird place with this post- it will be resolved.

       This year coming, for Lent which I haven’t ‘celebrated’ for years, I think I am going to give up my husband.  It’s only 40 days.  Perhaps I’ll learn to appreciate him better.  So for that time I won’t live with him, think about him, talk to him, look at him, spend time with him or do anything with or for him.  Also, during that time I am going to think about other men, talk to other men, look at other men, spend time with other men and do anything with or for other men.  Altogether, I think it will be an enlightening experience and perhaps I will open my mind to understand better who Albert is.  So I have a few questions for you to answer before you continue reading this post.

    -Do you think this is a good or bad idea and why?  For 
    this answer think about this on the basis of the marriage
    and not what God would think about it.
    -Do you think Albert will mind?
    -Would Albert consider it good for me to experience this?
    -Is this a good way to improve Albert’s and my
    -Is this unfaithfulness or adultery against Albert or just an
    -Would God approve of this?
    -Is there a chance this could ruin our marriage and my
    heart could be lost to Albert?

       Now that you’ve answered these questions (if you haven’t go back and do so) I want you to substitute Albert in my scenario for God because apparently some ‘Christians’ think it’s cool to give up God for Lent*.  When I heard this my first thought was “Huh, I’d no more give up air to breathe than I would God”.  (Then while giving up God they learn about other belief systems.  This is how it was explained to us.)  My second thought was, “Would a genuine Christian ever do this?” and I had to conclude “No” based on many factors.

       Now answer the above questions again putting God’s name in for Albert’s.  Did you answer anything differently?  Probably not because most of us wouldn’t think it was loving to set aside our spouse for any amount of time especially in search of others.  I certainly wouldn’t want Albert to put me aside for this purpose.  If we wouldn’t do this to a spouse, why would we ever do it to God, our Creator and sustainer of life?  So, please don’t ‘give up God’ for Lent or any other reason.  Here are my first two reasons- the rest will come tomorrow.

Love doesn’t leave.

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, and your neighbor as yourself. Lk. 10:27 (also Dt. 6:5)
Love endures* all things 1Cr. 13:7   *remains, abides, not recede or flee (paraphrased)
Love never fails* 1Cr. 13:8   *falls out of or away from
   If God never leaves us and we are to behave as He behaves then we should never leave.
(God said) …"Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you, never!" Hb. 13:5
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked. 1Jh. 2:6

He is our Father, we are His children.  Children need to stay with their parent/s.

But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God… Jh. 1:12
But now, O Jehovah, You are our Father… Is. 64:8
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Gl. 3:26

*Lent is (supposed to be) a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Stagnant Water

       There has been an unpleasant smell in the basement bathroom since our return from holidays- after 2½ weeks of not being cleaned by the kids.  Since I was rarely in the basement, it wasn’t a priority.  Once I caught up on the more important work and after taking a short camping trip, then seriously cleaning up some
other areas, I finally got to cleaning the bathroom today.

       Shower done √  walls √  ceiling √  sink √  cabinet √  toilet √  ¾ of the floor √  After all that, the smell was not completely gone and I couldn’t figure it out.  I grabbed the plunger to move it and clean the other part of the floor and as I raised it up smelly water (more than you’d think) came splashing out on the floor and at me.  Yuck!

       Not only was it smelly, but slimy inside the plunger, a sure sign of stagnant water- toilet water at that.  I cleaned the plunger, the rest of the floor and finally the smell is gone.  The one place I would have never thought to look!  Stagnant water is something I truly don’t like.  Besides it looking bad, it is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and I am a mosquito magnet.  The word stagnant is used of water or ‘air in confinement’ having no current or flow and often having an unpleasant smell as a consequence; also showing no activity; dull and sluggish.

        I think sometimes we get stagnant dull, sluggish and therefore smelly, in our Christian walk, and I’m not talking about eating too much garlic and onion or beans!  Just like the longer we go without a bath the smellier we get so the longer we go without the Word, prayer, God’s presence, etc, the smellier we get spiritually.  Pretty soon our nasty, smelly selves are easily frustrated and splashing out harshly to other’s words we don’t like.  It’s so difficult to keep our peace and joy when we haven’t spent time with the Lord.

(God and Jesus) according as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue, through which He has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
But also in this very thing, bringing in all diligence, filling out your faith with virtue, and with virtue, knowledge; and with knowledge self-control, and with self-control, patience, and with patience, godliness, and with godliness, brotherly kindness, and with brotherly kindness, love. For if these things are in you and abound, they make you to be neither idle nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Pt. 1:3-8 

 (Ps. 121:4) and He gives us all things to life and godliness we can reach the glory and virtue He desires of us because of His righteousness imputed onto us (2Cr. 5:21; Php. 3:9), His Spirit dwelling in us (Rm. 8:11) and His strength (Ps. 28:7) to get through journey.  With eager haste we are to fill our faith with good things as listed so that we will be fruitful and active or diligent. 
      If God does not slumber or sleep

Lord, help us to neither be idle nor unfruitful in knowing You
     (which requires time with You)