and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pressing In

     His name is Garrick, a second year university student, and he lives in my county. He competes as a pro in the triathlon: the Olympic distance, which entails a 1,500 meter swim, 40 kilometer bike ride and 10 km run. When I imagine any one of those things, it seems daunting, but all three seem overwhelming. His training schedule is strict. Every week he hits the pool six to seven times, cycles 10 hours and runs 60 kilometers. Now that is a lot of time, effort and discipline! How many of us have that?

       In speaking about the racing and his competitors, he said, “They are not there to just finish, like in the age group races. You know you are racing someone who is also willing to bleed for the win.” Well, if I’m being honest, I’m not willing to ‘bleed’ just to win a medal or train hard enough to get big money or become famous. But I want to be willing to ‘bleed’ for my Lord. After all, He bled for me.

     How many of us have such discipline in our race on this earth? “…let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus…” (Hb. 12:1,2) First off, are we willing to set everything aside to run the race? Or are we hanging on to the things of the world which weigh us down. Perhaps we’re still holding on tight to everything BUT God.

Do you not know that those running in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain. And everyone who strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Then those truly that they may receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. So then I run, not as if I were uncertain. And so I fight, not as one who beats the air. But I buffet my body, and lead it captive, lest proclaiming to others I myself might be rejected. 1Cr. 9:25-27

     A lot of time, effort and discipline. Are we ready to give it all up and discipline ourselves to the effort and time needed to truly follow Christ and do what He has called us to do? Do we want it bad enough? Are we willing to exert such effort that it causes bleeding?

     Instead, we’re too busy with OUR tasks to take time to care for God’s. Our effort is all spent making money, raising families and having fun until we’re too exhausted to follow hard after Christ. For most of us, discipline isn’t even considered an option. Why is that? And we certainly don’t take the time, effort and discipline to press in to intimacy with God.
Notice the expressions

How else will we ever ‘feel God’s heartbeat' if we never press in?

How else will we finish the course if we don’t push through and press in?

How else will we win the prize?

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. Now there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that Day; and not to me only, but also to all those who love His appearing. 2Tm. 4:7,8

I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God's heavenly call in the Messiah Jesus. Php. 3:14 NIV

Friday, August 28, 2015

Arrogance… not me… somebody else…

     When I think of arrogance, I don’t generally think of myself. It’s not that I don’t have issues with pride occasionally, but not too often in my own opinion. Of course, pride in oneself is considered a positive attribute these days. It’s just another case of good and bad being redefined by today’s morals. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness…” (Is. 5:20) In actuality, the two words used to be synonymous.

Pride: (Webster’s 1828) 1. Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others. 2. Insolence; rude treatment of others; insolent exultation.
2015: a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people. a feeling that you are more important or better than other people. a feeling of happiness that you get when you or someone you know does something good, difficult, etc.

     Out of all the different Bible words for pride (7 Hebrew, 3 Greek- not counting ‘proud’ or arrogance) not one verse I read used pride as a positive attribute. “The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil; I hate pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the wicked mouth.(Pr. 8:13)Everyone proud in heart is hateful to Jehovah; though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.(Pr. 16:5) In fact, pride is listed in two lists of the ungodly: Rm. 1:30 and 2Tm. 3:2. So pride is not good in God’s eyes.

     At heart, all of us have arrogant/ proud hearts exalting themselves above God. This is my reasoning. We all want to be God. “What? No! Not me!” Do we not all want to direct our lives the way WE want, fulfill our OWN dreams or have God fulfill them, have all our prayers answered the way WE want them answered- especially in OUR timing? Do we not act sullen or get upset with God when we don’t get what we want? Do we not want to dictate what is good or bad for us to do or think? The world says we should believe this last bit!

     It is the same lie the Devil told Adam and Eve- ‘Come on, eat the fruit- determine your own way…’ We will be like God determining what is good and evil in our own lives… This tv show is my guilty pleasure. I’m buying this. I’m just going to speed enough the cops won’t stop me. Downloading is okay because artists already make too much money. I’ll wear what makes me feel good. Etc.

Are we children of God, or not?

     Maybe instead of asking what would Jesus do, we should ask ourselves “If Jesus was physically, in the flesh beside me, would I feel okay: watching this, buying that, being here, doing this, saying that…” He’s right here. Would I watch that tv couple making out? Would I be looking at those half naked photos? Would I be bad mouthing the pastor? Or would I be embarrassed at my words and actions?

But we continue on determining what is right and wrong for us often ignoring the Book that tells us what is right and wrong. Instead we think with fist raised- who are You God to determine my steps?

Ah, what arrogance…

(context- end times when the Lord is physically ruling the earth)
The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be bowed down, and Jehovah alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of Jehovah of Hosts shall be on every proud and lofty one, and on every lifted up one;
and he shall be brought low,
Is. 2:11,12

P.S. We should also reconsider ‘provoking God’ for His presence, ordering Him to let His anointing flow, telling Him we will move to the next level by our praise, insisting He must heal so and so, insist He give us wealth because we tithe. One doesn’t order a parent around. Who is the Father? Who is the child?

God have mercy on our souls.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Another Day, Another Try

     Here I am to try and be committed to this blog again. (The thought has crossed my mind that maybe it is time to give up considering...) We went on vacation on the ninth assuming that when the website said there was wifi we wouldn’t have such harsh restrictions, but two of our family needed to work from the cottage so the rest of us needed to restrict our access. It was a bit disappointing considering how much my Mom paid for the place.

     Then, on the last evening there, I decided to leave the place with a bang, literally- me into a wooden dock. (Not explaining that one!) Yes, it was my own fault, but bruised/ fractured ribs later, it has been a week for the pain to settle down enough to think straight. Did you know doctors don’t do anything for that? My memories of the accident are few, but the worst one is hearing my Mom being so afraid for me. I am grateful to have a Mom who loves me and mostly regret frightening her.

     After this week I have a new answer for people that want to see or have proof miracles exist/ happen. I would tell them, “I’m looking at one.” Yes, every person is a miracle from God. From the act of conception, through the rapid growth over 20 years, to the reforming of skin, bones, muscles, etc. after trauma, and the ability to heal, our human bodies continually perform the miracle of sustaining life. Why do my lungs know to breathe, my heart know to beat, my stomach know how to break down food, etc.? We can say it is science, but the probability of all this science being formed exactly right and functioning exactly right is a miracle.

     We have approx. 37.2 trillion cells.* Each cell has approx. 100 trillion atoms.* Multiply the two together and we get an enormous number of atoms* in our bodies that must perform their tasks properly just to ensure our survival. (FYI- there are at least 800 billion more cells in your body than there are galaxies in the known universe.) There are also more prokaryotes (bacteria) growing on our body and in the digestive system than we have cells in our body. That part kind of grosses me out!

I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are marvelous and my soul knows it very well. Ps. 139:14
(the Son) And, "You, Lord, have laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the works of Your hands. Hb. 1:10
For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. Hb. 3:4

     Now, I’m no mathematician (though I wish I had a friend who was) but that number of atoms, cells and bacteria doing what they are supposed to do is a miracle. We are living miracles for it was God who breathed life into man and it is Jesus who sustains this universe and all in it. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (Jh. 14:6) Without Him there is no life.

The Spirit of God made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Jb. 33:4
And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gn. 2:7
(the Son) For all things were created in Him, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, the visible and the invisible,all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist*. Col. 1:16,17
*G4921- sunist…- set, bring together, establish, put together
(the Son) who being the shining splendor of His glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding* all things by the word of His power,… Hb. 1:3
*G5342- phero- bear up, preserve, bring forth
yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. 1Cr. 8:6 ESV

Thank You Lord God for continuing to heal my ribs. Thank You very much for the miracle of life You have given all of us. It is beyond my comprehension!

*an estimate made by engineers at Washington University:
There are 100 trillion atoms in each cell. 
(This makes 3.72 octillion atoms in the average body. short scale or N. American)
How did these researchers come up with 37.2 trillion? They actually broke down the number of cells by organs and cell types, going through the literature available to come up with a detailed list of volumes and densities in everything from intestines to knees. So, for example, there are 50 billion fat cells in the average body, and 2 billion heart muscle cells. Adding all those up, they got 37.2 million.
This is one cell: