Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I've come to believe we all seek to establish a personal paradise for ourselves in our lives. We make our decisions and choices on what we desire: health, wealth, fame or better yet, all three.  Not that seeking success is the issue.  God gave us an inborn drive to succeed.  But, when we operate on the belief that  we have the right, and God has the obligation to make us happy and successful, rich, charming or without pain in life.  When the things in our lives don't meet our expectations of what is owed us,  we feel justified to be angry.

It's like there is a memory in humanity of the paradise lost in the garden of Eden.  I've even thought if they hadn't sinned maybe we'd still be in paradise, but in truth, all humanity has faced the same pressure, individually,  to rebel against our creator, and the same lies of the power that rebellion will give us.  That desire to establish the kingdom of "I".

This  truth has come home to me personally in my care for my aging mother who is no longer present mentally. Only her body remains.

I've found a terrible rage in my heart. I examined myself trying to understand why.  This is what came to me as I pondered and prayed for guidance from the LORD in this. I saw, that on a very basic level I am mad at God for allowing me to be so uncomfortable in my own skin. It was also a rage that I was prevented from having my own personal space, peace and contentment: kingdom in fact.
I believe my life is in God's hands. I know He doesn't ever give us the time line for any specific situation, good or bad.  I know it's a walk in trust and faith.

But, what I know in my head is slow to descend into my heart.  I've let anger overwhelm my trust and faith.  I saw that my anger was against God for letting this happen, not to mom, but to ME.  I saw that this was MY kingdom warring against the kingdom of God.   In my anger, I am  embattled against God.
That He has allowed me to care for my mom is God's gift to me. I'm beginning to see that in my mind.  My heart is still working on the gift part. But I do see, when I seek God and His way, that God is in this.  I also see this is hard time is not the worst or the hardest possible situation.
Moreover,  I understand I do not carry the  burden alone.  The Lord is in every situation with me.
God is working on the deeply embedded selfishness in my life because HE loves me. I am "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, in which God has before ordained that I should walk." Ephesians 2:10, (loose translation.)

It seems that gratitude and giving of thanks is one of God's gifts to me in this time.  Also, when the 'feelings' come to turn directly to the Lord and fine His peace and grace. 

Glory to God in the Highest!  I give you thanks for your great glory.  Lord God, heavenly King.  God, the Father Almighty.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The White Horse

I first read this story on a website  A Holy Experience which I read daily and enjoy great inspiration from.  I loved this story as it spoke to me in a very personal way -

The story below really touched me in the area of my "certainty" about life. If what is happening is good or bad in my eyes. The Lord has been challenging me to trust that HE is in control . Boy do I see in me what I have so often 'judged' others for. My spirit of independence that sees all that happens to me in light of my judgment of it. I can only rejoice and give thanks to a Father who forgives and loves me in spite of my best efforts to live my life as though I KNOW the good, the bad and the ugly and what is true and what is false. Not to say Yes to sin, but saying yes to the Lord in my life.

I've had a lot to say, one way or the other about political issues, their being good or bad according to my judgment.  I don't in fact KNOW it from God's point of view.  I can see how certain events harm others, or rejoice others, but I don't know how God is using those events to shape in His people, this nation, my own life personally.   I will never know it all, but if God is in control, which I believe to be true, He knows the whole story  and is involved in it.  It isn't Satan's world any longer.  It was bought back by a supreme price by our Lord and Saviour.

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before—such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.

People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused. “This horse is not a horse to me,” he would tell them. “It is a person. How could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend?” The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.

One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village came to see him.

“You old fool,” they scoffed, “we told you that someone would steal your horse. We warned you that you would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone, and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”

The old man responded, “Don’t speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I’ve been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?”

The people contested, “Don’t make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse.”

The old man spoke again. “All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don’t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?”

The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always thought he was fool; if he wasn’t, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, an old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it.

He lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.

After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest.

Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him. Once again the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. “Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us.”

The man responded, “Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don’t judge. How do you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of a phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase?

“Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you have is a fragment!

Don’t say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don’t.”

Maybe the old man is right,” they said to one another. So they said little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had returned with one horse. With a little bit of work, the animals could be broken and trained and sold for much money.

The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments.

“You were right,” they said. “You proved you were right. The dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer than ever.”

The old man spoke again. “You people are obsessed with judging. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment.

Life comes in fragments.”

It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country.

All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured. Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken. There was little chance that they would return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see their sons again.

“You were right, old man,” they wept. “God knows you were right. This proves it. Yours son’s accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is with you. Our sons are gone forever.”

The old man spoke again. “It is impossible to talk with you. You always draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this: Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows.”
that story of the White Horse. Attribution to book, In The Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado, published by Smith, Nelson 1991

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sin and judgment

We as humans tend to name and grade sin. We, in our minds judge the level of evil in the sins we see and hear about.
So, murder is high on our sin list - actually so bad it’s named evil, even by secular people. But even murder is rated. Killing babies (born already) is at the top of the list, and we all have the levels of evil of murder from there on down, to it was deserved.

Also, most western nations assess rape as bad, but again its classed by VERY EVIL, Evil, Very Bad, bad, Not nice, and, so and so asked for it.

Some Christians, like me, have their own levels of sin, whether they think so or not. Low on my own list is my own bad driving, temper flairs, minor lies and gossip. One might make ‘quality’ judgments of the sins of believers but going on to judge the sins of non- believers as though they were responsible to God the way a believer knows himself to be. The very worse sin in many believers minds is the world rejecting Christians stance on morality. Two problems here - no, three.

1. God didn’t put us in charge of judgment of non-believers. We are challenged to deal with sin within the church but not by sitting in judgment even there. God gave a formula in the New Testament, to seek to bring restoration to the believer in sin, or setting a correction for child of God in the body needing correction. But, this is to be done by God placed leadership, not bench warmers.  It is also to be done with great care and greater love.

2. The world has seen some of the national scandals in the church not dealt with God's way. Our condemning their way of life appears to be an impertinence to non-believers.

3. God is well able to rule his creation - our judgment is a hindrance - never a help. God states over and over in the Bible that HE is the judge, moreover, He has it under control, no matter what it seems like to us.

All this to say, believers are not to judge, or even be the jury over any other human.  We were given judgment only over our own lives. And truth to tell, I don’t do too well on my own life. How often have I brushed it off as my character or I’m having a bad day, or I’m ‘feeling’ a bit irritable.

Yes, there are definite statements in the word about what is Godly before the Lord and what is wrong. This is for each of us individually to sort out with our Lord and Master - not to apply to our neighbor's actions.

There are laws in the land that deal with wrong doing. There is real evil, and the process to stop it was given by God to the nation and it's laws and enforcement. But as individual people, even against real evil, I find a need to bow before the Lord and creator of the world in repentance about the “attitude” in my own heart. How often I fail to pray for God to work in the lives of others, to bring them to Godly repentance. How often do I look down on sinners and spew out my contempt for their sin - as though I was unable to so sin!

Yes, evil needs to be addressed - my own personal sin and evil. In me I see my own self righteousness being top of the list.

In considering sin (as opposed to evil) I believe there are no degrees of sin. It’s either wrong or right for the believer - being aligned with the truth and righteousness of Christ or not. The true and bottom line sin is living my life, as a child of the LORD, independent of Christ.

It is therefore my life work to learn God’s ways, and allow Him His rightful place in my life. And become a vessel where His love can be seen.