Friday, December 30, 2011

Let's see Jesus

In reading Old Testament prophecy regarding God's promised Messiah, I understand more and more why the nation's leaders did not believe Christ was the promised Messiah. 

They had specific expectations in regard to the Messiah's arrival on the scene.  That he would be king and conqueror were at the top of the list.  This guy Jesus was not acting like a king or conqueror. He clearly had not come to deliver them from the hand of their Roman oppressors.  They could not see him as he was, his life and miracles, because their eyes were blinded by their  expectations.

In contrast, we have the story of David the boy. He was anointed to be king over Israel by the great man of God Samuel.  God didn't kill Saul to make room for his new appointee.  Saul carried on as king, and tried in fact, to destroy David, seeing him as a personal threat.  David never, although anointed, treated Saul with disrespect, or tried to force a kingship coup.  Instead he gave Saul honor.  Moreover, he wrote psalms of praise and glory to God even in the hardest times.

But the real issue now is about me personally.  With what expectations do I view God?  Do my expectations of what he will do  in my own life personally  affect my view of what in fact he is doing?

Also, how much am I influenced in how I see Christ's work in my life, and in the world, by the pressures of the world's philosophy?  Do I okay things God has called sin, 'cuz the world has done so? Do I have an entitlement outlook.  A soppy sentimental faith?

These are questions that are searching my heart. My deepest desire is to see Christ as he is, and live my life according to His will and purpose.  To grow up in him.

                 When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly,
 but then face to face.
Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully,
even as have been fully known.
                                                                                            ( I Corinthians 13:11-12 ESV)

What a day!!!! 


Saturday, December 10, 2011


Nov 25th, Mom's 95th birthday

I was changing
the sheets on Mom's bed this morning.  The grumpy thought that came into my mind was "Does she even notice?" 

But immediately following that I
remembered the verse I'm learning this week. 

      And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord,
     and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall 
     receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve
     the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23, 24 KJV
             (I love other versions to read but still prefer the poetry of  the King James version for memorization.)

I felt reminded that on one level the clean sheets were for my mom, but on the true level it was as though I was making the Lord's bed.   I know, a bit weird but.....

Then I began to remember.  I learned to like clean sheets because that was what my mom did when we were kids.  I can remember her commenting she loved  getting into clean sheets.  And I remembered all the sheets I would take off the clothes line.  I loved winter dried sheets.  They would come off stiff as cardboard and when I laid them down in the house in seconds they would go super soft and oh, even as a child I LOVED that smell of clean sheets off the line.  I do not remember changing the sheets on my bed as a youngster so then I thought - how many times did mom change the sheets on my bed and I never noticed. 

Then I remembered that when I was about 11 or 12 thinking mom spent the whole day just reading and enjoying herself.  I never acknowledged and doubt ever thanked mom for clean clothes, for food cooked and the dresses she made me.  I thought Dick and I did all the work 'cuz on Saturdays I had to wash the floors - on my hands and knees.  Mops were not a part of Mom's viewpoint on house keeping.  I remember doing dishes and hanging out washed clothes and ironing my own dresses.  I seem to have thought I did all the real work.  What I felt as all this flashed through my mind was a deep pain in my heart that I had hurt my mom with my, I realize now, what must have been sullen behavior and lack of love for her. 

This began to break up one terrible night when I was reading and mom told me I needed to get the dishes done.  I cannot believe my words to her.  My mom was not someone  I EVER sassed.  I raged at her, "You only had me to do all the work."  I'm sure I said more but that was the essence of what I said.  Mom just turned away and left me sitting on the couch reading.  It was terrible.  I was waiting for her to 'take me out.'  I realize now she could have justifiably told me my bad attitude was the real problem and other related things. 

Next I heard her doing the dishes.  Truth to tell, I didn't read another word.  I was stricken and started sobbing.  Then after the dishes were finished mom came back and brought me a cup of tea (unheard of) and loved me.  This is the mom I was privileged to have.  Yes, she expected us kids to do work as a part of growing up and she  wasn't a 'singing in the kitchen'  type of person.  But she was straight and true and honorable in the most real sense of the word.

She taught me so much that I am glad I know.  She imparted the ethics of good workmanship. And,one thing more, that only now am I remembering.  She didn't go around with a bad attitude about how hard life was on her or how she was not getting a fair deal. I don't remember my mom complaining about the hard things.  

I found I had forgotten what a good mom she was in the stress of daily issues.

Mom, thank you for the woman you were, and even now, in a hard place yourself and without the aid of consciousness to direct what you do, you are still a woman of integrity.  How blessed I am.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christ's gift to the world

God veiled in flesh
Flesh veiled in familiarity and tradition.
Tradition, in turn, veiled in cheap and shiny decoration.
The glitz, in turn, veils what is nothing but crass commercial and personal greed.
What on earth are we missing?
Unknown source

Is the tradition more important than the birth of Christ?
Can we not see that the current celebration of  CHRISTmas denegrates the true gift from God.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

For the last 13 years, since we came back to the states, I have battled in my heart about how Christmas is currently celebrated, especially in the western culture.  I've tried to just focus on my own view of Christ's birth but more and more I feel my heart
hurting as I watch the frenzy.

The roots of celebrating Christmas on December 25 was adopted  by the Roman emperor, Constantine.  He took a pagan holiday, celebrated for, the previous 4000 years and declared it to be the birth of Christ.  This was so everyone could go on celebrating their pagan worship and making his subjects more willing to convert to Christianity, which he demanded by law. 

Below is some information I found stating the true origins. 
             But it turns out that Jesus was not born on December 25th. However, a whole bunch of pagan gods were born on that day. In fact, pagans celebrated a festival involving a heroic supernatural figure that visits an evergreen tree and leaves gifts on December 25th long before Jesus was ever born. From its early Babylonian roots, the celebration of the birth or "rebirth" of the sun god on December 25th came to be celebrated under various names all over the ancient world. You see, the winter solstice occurs a few days before December 25th each year. The winter solstice is the day of the year when daylight is the shortest. In ancient times, December 25th was the day each year when the day started to become noticeably longer.     
            Thus it was fitting for the early pagans to designate December 25th as the date of the birth or the "rebirth" of the sun.
            The truth is that thousands of years before there was a "Santa Claus", there was another supernatural figure who would supposedly visit a tree and leave gifts every December 25th.   His name was Nimrod.  The celebration of December 25th goes all the way back to ancient Babylon.
According to ancient Babylonian tradition, Semiramis (who eventually became known as the goddess Astarte/Asherah/Ashtoreth/Isis/Ishtar/Easter in other pagan religions) claimed that after the untimely death of her son/husband Nimrod (yes she was married to her own son), a full grown evergreen tree sprang up overnight from a dead tree stump. Semiramis claimed that Nimrod would visit that evergreen tree and leave gifts each year on the anniversary of his birth, which just happened to be
on December 25th.  This is the true origin of the Christmas tree.  
from Unexplained Mysteries of the world.  There are many resources for this information.  This is just one.

Bible Scholars believe on the basis of their studies that Christ was likely born in September.  It is not known because God didn't tell us, and in the time of the disciples it didn't seem to be important.
I previously have thought if Christ's birth was celebrated at Christmas, then the pagan worship was diminished.  But, in recent years here in the United States the secular world is becoming more adamant about keeping the birth of Christ out of the day, even banning the word Christmas.  Christians are yelling that Christmas is being dishonored, but:
          Is it possible that the celebration on December 25th is 
          returning to it's true format?
          And is it possible that the celebration of December 25th
          in our present time really does not honor  the Lord?

These are the questions in my heart.

I feel grief at how families go into debt for gifts they cannot afford; the mad buying scramble on the day after Thanksgiving. This year  a man fell in the aisle with a heart attack and people just stepping over him and on him in their frenzy to get a deal. 

I wonder, how many children mostly are thinking of what they want and hope to get.  Do they have a heart to give without thought of what they will receive in this season of gifts? And, then there are the disgruntled receivers of gifts who flood the stores the very next day to return unwanted gifts and get themselves what they want.

In how many homes is the birth of Christ truly remembered, honored and celebrated? Yes, his birth is celebrated in many believing homes.  I've spent 63 Christmas's so far.  In my family we always read the Christmas story from the Bible, Luke 2, and as a family prayed with thanks giving for God's gift to us on Christmas morning.  We went to services at church and sang the old carols - which I love deeply.  But many kids, myself included, really only were eager for the hand out of candy bags after the service.

In our family in those years Dick and I, only ones at home at that time, each got one present.  We were glad for that.  More for us, was the fact mom and dad set aside other things and spent the day playing games with us.  But you know what.  My dad's sister and family started to show up regularly.  She had a very hard life but did I see that maybe she was lonely? Or that we could minister to her and her family as a gift to the Lord?  NO!  I just resented her spoiling MY Christmas.

This is not tell anyone how to celebrate.  Nor it it a condemnation of those who love the holiday.  I sing the songs of Christ's birth with joy and in our service we do remember the gift of Jesus, given us from our Father. 

I am no warrior in this, trying to start a revolution. But, I wish with all my heart that the whole body of Christ would rise up and say - No, Christ was not born on December 25th and so it truly is just a time to give gifts and enjoy the season's celebrations.  If a day is wanted to celebrate the birth of Christ set a day of remembrance.  And not a day to fill the coffers of the world for self gratification.  Seek God's way of celebrating his gift to us. 

Ann  Voskamp in the entry below shares how they as a family celebrate the birth of Christ.  Choosing gifts for those in need, and giving not receiving.   It is to my mind far closer to what honors the birth of God's son, who was born to become our Salvation.

I personally would love a quiet Godly remembrance and celebration, honoring the greatest gift the world has ever received.  Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 28, 2011

To Life!

 We are enticed by our own desires - it looks so good, fun, satisfying.  It promises to make our lives richer and more fulfilled.  And the enemy of our soul says "yessssss, go for it my pretty".  Sometimes we know it is not for the good of others and will hurt them.  Sometimes we don't see  how this we do will hurt anyone. 

We often try to not yield, but the more we refuse ourselves the more enticing our desired 'thing' becomes - and our enemy says 'you will losssssssse out if you delay my pretty."

And we yield.  We act on this burning desire.  Only shockingly when we come too, after a time of wallowing we find - "hay, that wasn't all I thought it would be."  Instead of  concluding that it wasn't something to satisfy, we  hear that whisper that tells us the desire was unmet 'cuz we didn't go far enough.    We conclude that we  have to do more - take a bigger risk,  or act with greater or wilder abandon.  Kick it up a notch.  And so we do, only to find the entrapment is that it only satisfies at the point of action - never longer.  The minute that thing is done, the craving returns, only stronger.  It seems our lusts are an unrelenting merry-go-round.  There is truly NO lasting  satisfaction.

Maybe if I live within the very desire - selling all the rest of my life to buy that high - that is the next whispered suggestion.  But along with it, at every step I find I cannot get what my soul is desiring. And, moreover there comes  self loathing, and depression as we recognize that striving for this desire is destructive.  It  can even lead to lost of control. 

I have thought that this is the road with drugs and sexual things.  Today it occurred to me it can also be found in less obvious desires - like the desire to eat.  The desire for improvements in the home.  Seeking for meaning in  travel, music, beauty, acclaim from others, money. Things not in and of themselves evil - but can they become evil when it is becoming the coin of the realm of ones own life?  The thing that drives us?

How do we recognize what is a temptation or lust?  For me it's that pounding in my heart -That drive that says " I've  got to do it/have it  NOW." 

I have found that the temptation we feel  we cannot resist, when we seriously resist, will end.  It seems that it is  exactly when it seems the hardest is the point where victory is found if we choose to not yield.  The enemy of our souls tries to make us believe it will be an unbearable lose, but his words are the lie. 

Christ doesn't seek to spoil our lives with Spartan rules or being a spoil sport.  He knows the truth of life and I'm finding it's in Him alone there is peace and joy and contentment.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Caterpillar wisdom

Light in the forest
 If a Caterpillar getting tired of crawling on the ground chooses to end it's life -

If it resists being wrapped up and held in a cocoon for an unknown period of time and refuses to be cocooned -

Or is torn by the hand of another from that  cacoon - and so is crippled-

Then it will never know and experience the joy of being able to fly.
It's beauty will never be seen.
And the world will be a poorer place.

                                                                                                                            Thoughts by Galilee

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Choose ye this day.

Now these are the nations that the LORD left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before. These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.  (Judges 3:1-4 ESV)
I was startled to find that it was part of God's plan - that some of the nations in the "promised land" were not overcome totally.  I'd always thought it was lack of faith to do what God called  the Israelites to do when they went into the land.    But I see here it was in His plan.  The factor for Israel was worshiping the one true God and obeying him or choosing their own way.  Each generation had to face this choice.  It wasn't a given. 
In a way,  it seems to me to be a bit like the tree in the garden of Eden all over.  The tree was not put there to make us partakers in sin but God giving us the freedom to choose. He wants our love and worship because we want to.  The fact is God wants a people who love him and joy in his love and his gift of life.
There are consequences for our choices.  It's not just a matter of God saying, " Choose me or I'll wipe you out.  It's "I am life and in choosing me you will have life".  If you chose yourself, you are under the kingdom of self and that kingdom is ruled by another, and has it's own results.
Every generation has to face these choices for themselves.  The blessing beyond our imagination is that at any point in your life you can turn to and choose God. 
Yes, there will be battles.  But those are written into the fabric of living and faced by all.  And our part is  whether we are living for the Kingdom of self or for the Kingdom of God.  The glorious truth is that God's offer is not, in our life time ever removed.  And even in our failures he has healing and forgiveness.  He makes himself available at all times and will even make beautiful our worst failure and sin if we turn to him.

One of my favorite passages in literature is in The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien.  It's the first chapter and it is to me a wonderful picture of how God makes  ".........all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Rom 8:28  (KJV)  I love the KJV language in those verses I learned while using that version.

The truth is, there is always, in our life choice, hope, joy and to be loved by the LORD God Almighty, savior and creator.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mom even made clothes to match for my dolls

I KNOW being present and cognisant  it's not within mom's control - and I KNOW my anger and impatience is not loving, or honoring. Sometimes I feel I'm doing pretty good and then something triggers the ugly in me.
I am now seeing it somewhat as fear.  But also somewhat annoyance at my life being disturbed.

All my life I've been avoiding situations I cannot control.  I'm realizing  it's 'cuz I am  a control freak.  With my own children  I was at peace as long as I could make them conform to my rules (Praise the LORD they still love me) And I've spent a lifetime of avoiding people or things I've  perceived as irrational or erratic in behavior (in my judgment - such a revealing statement of me).

But, what does one do if a situation or person cannot be avoided?  If a person in aging is becoming more and more  like a baby, regressing and nothing I do or say will cause a change in their behavior.  If you say don't do that, they just look at you and carry on doing it.  Or say, after doing something the minute before, I didn't do that'.

This is the stress - Mom's irrational behavior.  I know that I don't have control over "LIFE" as such, but I have so sought to keep my home a place in which to relax and be comfortable.  I am not comfortable when mom bursts into my bedroom in the middle of the night.  I'm not comfortable when she keeps poking through everything, and then takes whatever she wants off to her room.  I'm not comfortable with her opening mail even though she has just read the name on the front and it's not her name.  I'm not comfortable with that blank look of incomprehension when I talk to her.

But more, I am angry with my anger or impatience when I KNOW it's not within her control.

I love the LORD. I believe he is in control.  I realize my belief in the LORD  being in control was strongest during the years I felt pretty confident about my ability to handle my life.  Now, with no  income I've brought in, and a mom whose behavior is incomprehensible, I have become aware how personally I am struggling to trust, and more be thankful in the LORD in the here and now.

It is a steep learning curve - not one that is solved the minute I face it, but an ongoing facing of this situation on a daily basis and taking it to the LORD for His way.   I must trust in the LORD to enable me to behave with love and honor.  Talk about one's life being shaken. 

In the scheme of things I also know what I am facing is not the hardest thing in life.  I just have to look around and see how blessed I am.  The truth is I am more blessed than otherwise.  I  need to count and diligently give thanks for my blessings.  I am most certainly blessed.

Thank you LORD.  Please in me and through me, enable  me to bless my mom.

Friday, November 4, 2011

In thinking about Revelation 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with me.

I imagined several scenes.

1.  Open door.  Okay, I say, come in.  I'm busy right now but if you can find something you like in the kitchen, knock yourself out.  You can join me and see what I'm doing if you want or just make yourself at home.  I don't have time right now  but when I have a minute I'll be glad to chat.  But, I tell you now, it's all on my terms or nothing.  I'm not giving you any rights  in my house.

2. " Oh, oh, oh.  Someones knocking at the door."  Sound of scurrying about.  "Gotta put this away.  Oh, this place is such a terrible mess.  Well, I'll stuff this all in the closet and run a duster over the visible places.  Can't invite anyone in to such a mess.  There, nobody will note the fuzz balls under the couch.  Okay"
Open the door and smiling brightly invite your guest in.  You are so glad to be able to feel confident that you only need this guest for the big things - like moving mountains.  You can handle the small stuff.

3. Open door.   "Hello.  Come in.  Hope you brought your mop and pail.  I am busy but you only came to clean up after me so have at it. But work quietly.  I don't like the sound of careless cleaners.  When it's done fix me a bite to eat.  Oh, while your at it make yourself something too.  I have a room up in the attic you can make your own. Just shove my stuff to the side and make yourself at home."

4.  Open door.  "Oh Jesus.  Welcome.  Come in  Come in." You throw your arms around him and find yourself crying into his chest.  "Thank you for coming.  I  don't even know where to begin but I want you here.  Make this home yours.  Please forgive me for the big mess I've made.  I need you to change me into a child whose life reflects you.  Thank you for coming.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Yes Lord

It hurt so much - to be told that the new music I'm introducing in the service is not what the congregation likes.  That the fact after several weeks of having it in the song list, they have not entered into singing is because they don't like it. 

It made me "feel" that what I am bringing to the worship is worthless.  My immediate response was "Okay, then find someone else to  play the music and bring what is acceptable".  A huge feel sorry for myself attitude erupting like a toxic volcano.

But in the midst of the hurt and growing bad attitude I hear a still small voice - almost unheard  in my rant of self pity 

"Who cares?" 
Then I hear   "I care.  You have my love.  Your value isn't in the praise of others,  Your value is because I love you.  Know that whatever you give out of a heart of praise and worship is my delight."

"But" that quiet voice in my heart continues, "If it is important to you to be "exalted" in your service to me, that is service to your kingdom.  I love you no matter what, but look in your heart.  Is your service in the body to me or about yourself.   If the new songs you love doesn't resonate in their hearts, then make the music about songs the body can respond to joyfully.    The real purpose of this time set aside to sing is to lift up your hearts in corporate praise to rejoice and worship me."

"I love your songs and worship.  Thank you.  But in the body - cherish the body worship.  All the specific songs sung in a service my be forgotten, but where worship of me is present, that will be where the congregation finds their strength throughout the ongoing days."

So, I ask you Galilee, will my love for your offering of worship be sufficient?  I accept your time playing and singing on your own with joy.  Will you be a vessel in the body, not of your own importance, but being available to play the music of praise and worship that  the congregation will enter  into with a full heart.

Yes Lord. Thank you for the joy of allowing me to be a part of the body worshiping you.  

And so, I step out of the quick sand of self pity onto the Rock,  and find myself in the Fortress of his love.  A fortress that surrounds me completely and keeps me secure, delivered, and strengthened. Psalms 18:2a

Friday, October 21, 2011

Illegal Immigration can be solved.

I have been very vocal about illegal immigration - my main mantra being what about ILLEGAL don't they understand.  However, I have come to a slightly different perspective.  This started with an article I read in WORLD magazine about a young 18 year old now feeling very vulnerable.  He'd been brought here as a boy, and attended school, and thinks of himself as an American.

The real wrong is with US elected officials deciding not to act on already established laws.  They also decided to not fix the border so it wasn't so easy to cross, and they decided to prohibit individual state governments from enforcing the law.  Thus, our Government officials implied that to enter the USA  illegally was acceptable. 

The temptation would be great.  When the low wages offered for hard work in USA was more than they could manage to earn in their own home town or country it seemed the answer.  One political  party wanted it and the other wanted the rule of law to be kept.  So the nice, kind party that encouraged the rule breaking would be the party the illegals would want to vote for and keep in power. 

But not being within the law left the illegal immigrants vulnerable to abuse of their labor and only safe if they didn't run counter to the party that winked at their law breaking. 

And then I I have seen that many, maybe most of the families who came into the USA without papers were just people wanting a better chance in life and better education and health care available for their children.  Those children had no choice in the matter.  Children go where their parents go.  Children are not able to even decide if what they are doing is right or wrong if they have no teaching.  Children have to learn what they know, and that primarily from their parents when very young.

So, as our government is  responsible our government needs to move toward the right solution. 

First - close the border effectively.  If a nation can build a 23 mile bridge into the ocean then surely something effective could be built on land.

Second - find the people in the USA who are here without papers.  Where they are living peaceably, working, acting within the laws of the country make a deal with them.  Not instant citizenship  but  given papers to stay and the option to become a US citizen like other non-citizens have to do.  I believe they should pay for their citizenship as those who enter but make a plan for them pay over time.  That would be nice in fact for all coming in.

Make available classes to learn English, some of the US laws and some history.  Make all legal documents in English.  This is not a bilingual nation. It is good to carry on with ones home language, and teach it to the children but make those coming into the country viable citizens by being able to speak the national language.

We need to quit being easy on illegal law breakers once in the borders of the country.  If they have to serve a prison sentence, when you release them take them back to their own country and release them to the authorities in that country and have them in the police system to note if they show up again.  Get them out with no pampering.

And Third - I personally think everyone living in the US needs to carry ID - with their name, picture  and their thumb print , and their status within the country.  We require a driver's licence already.  This is no different.   This would help to diminish  fraud. 

Many American citizens are so afraid they may loose some freedom, they fight the idea.  I've heard them, but I think that over all they would have more freedom because it would be more difficult to steal their identity.  And you  wouldn't have people voting more than one time if their thumb print was a part of the system and they were identified as those who have the right to vote.

Maybe this sounds too simplistic but in the long run a nation who make laws and then chooses who can break the laws and who has to keep them is going down a very slippery slope to being lawless in every way.  It is in lack of integrity that a nation will fall to some worse form of government.  I see Cuba as a nearby example.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

All I am He has given

II Peter 1:1 (ESV)
     Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
         To those who have obtained a faith of equal
         standing with ours by the righteousness of our God
         and Savior Jesus Christ:

I love how Peter speaks of fellow believers, as having equal standing  in their faith, with the apostles. 

And, understanding that faith is obtained, given to us by the righteousness of Christ, and not faith drummed up by our efforts,  gives me hope.  It is  totally NOT my work.

We often describe our own salvation today as though we felt a need, and were looking for the LORD, and we finally ran him down and it was all a result of our faith. 

But, I'm seeing more and more clearly he made salvation available to us. He died for our sin, which separates us from the Father. Then he sought us.  He knocks on our door saying, I'm here,  won't you open the door and invite me in. (Revelation 3:20), and then he gives us the faith we need to open the door.  IT is ALL of him. 

God originally created mankind for fellowship, and for our worship.  We chose to be independent and do our own thing.  But he, knowing there was NO way for us to reconnect with him, made an way - bought for us by God's only begotten son accepting His Father's will and making the payment for our sin.  That sin killed the only begotten son of God.  But because the sin could not get any grip on the sinless son of God, it couldn't hold him in death.   As the sin of the world was paid for it was thrown off,  and Christ overcame death.  

Then, after making a way for us to come to him,  God sought us out. 

He had made a way for us to enter his presence, as adopted children. More, he gave us the faith we needed  to  accept his gift. And when we opened the door to him, he dressed us in His robes of Righteousness so we were able to be His - a loved child in the family. 

So we see God's original plan being fulfilled.  WOW! 

Just so, all his plans and purposes are being and will be fulfilled. 

What hope; what glory; what unending joy; what safety is ours in him.


Thursday, October 13, 2011


In our media charged world of radio, TV, videos, movies, magazines, music, games, computers and now extremely smart cell phones (have I missed anything?) we are being bombarded almost all our waking hours with NOISE.  Much of it mechanical .  Even in our sleep there is the hum of refrigerators or fans, and the ticking of clocks.  On top of this,  we experience very little of what I think of as velvety darkness.  I love moon and star light, and of course, sun light.  But we are surrounded with artificial images and artificial light that seems to bombard our very souls. 

As I read in II Peter about our coming residency with our Lord, and thought on our hope in him, an incorruptible treasure, an inheritance in heaven, a crown of glory, I wondered of there were others like me who have become not so eager for God's promises and even presence - not because we don't care but because it's being drowned out, overwhelmed by the offerings of the world. 

Have I ceased to notice that much in today's world mocks the righteousness and holiness of God?  Am I becoming careless in speech and actions as I dive into the offered pleasures, my self gratification.  Maybe not in the BIG sins, but the little careless and selfish acts.

When was the last time, when something came to my attention as inappropriate to indulge in did I ignore the choice to put that thing aside because it was not the best path or action for my life.

Deuteronomy 32:6  Do you thus repay the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?

This was a part of Moses's exhortation to the children of Israel just before he handed the reins over to Joshua.  It is as true today as it was then - for me right now, as I seek the face of God - to find my focus, joy and peace in him, and begin to discern those areas in my life that tune him out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Father God - Every day with you is a day I am not alone, not forsaken, not unloved, not abandoned.  Rather it is a day filled with hope, joy unspeakable and full of glory.  Filled also with knowledge that whatever today brings, you walk in it and when needed, even carry me through.  I give you all my worship

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Global issues

As I've been reading in Deuteronomy the clear message is God calling for the Israelites to love Him. 

Yes, he asks for obedience, and implied in that is our praise and worship,  but for me the stronger message is He desires our love.
Obedience is an outcome of love.  Our desire to please the loved one.

God's blessings were upon the promised land.  It was fertile.  It almost seemed like Eden in it's rich land, with plenty rain, the early rain, and the latter rain. 

A contrast is drawn with Egypt.  Hard work and irrigation was necessary to grow life giving food there.

We see today that now Israel has to irrigate their land to make it green and productive.  Today, much of Israel is barren if the pictures are anything to go by.  What I see in this is that truly we are having global issues.  Not global warming as some believe, but global evil.  Man's sin has polluted the land - not our animals' manure, not our burning of Oil and gas.  It is our murder, and immorality, and worship of anything but God.

There are global consequences of sin, and in that aspect it is a human issue.  God is calling for repentance - first in the lives of His own children - that we might again become salt and light to the world.  The work must first begin in me. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

God's child

In pondering my place in
the household of the
Creator/Originator /
Lord God Almighty
I saw how for me, and for all mankind, it was not our
hunt for and finding him but:

He  loved me - fallen, sinful, rebellious, unworthy, needy:
He pursued me - giving me shafts of light and great joy, showing Himself to my heart:
He created in my heart a longing I could not fill with all my efforts:
He then began to show me He was the only shape to fill that  longing:
He gave me the option to open the door to Him:  But know, He made that door between us and Him.
His love is breathtaking.  Yet he has offered me a way to walk intimately with Him, to approach him as ABBA or in modern language - DADDY.   I love my father, my home, my family - all His gift.


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.

Monday, July 4, 2011

I heard by R. C. Sproul this week speak on guilt in the world today. Something came clear for me.

God has built into all mankind a base line knowledge of right and wrong. It’s called our conscience. We all come into the world on an equal basis. Even when children have been actively taught otherwise, or evilly abused, their initial response to wrong is, “That's not fair.” or “That's not right.”

We see Satan at work, seeking to kill our conscience. He entices us with pleasures that are ultimately detrimental to us. He plays on our weaknesses and shows us things that promise pleasure and immediate gratification.

When we yield to these enticements, we experience real guilt. We think of this as a feeling. In fact it is not a feeling but God truth in us, given to protect us and give us fullness of life in this life.

 We set about trying to make the ‘feeling’ of guilt go away. We call the guilt an outmoded restraint put onto us by fellow humans who don’t think we are behaving right. We say it’s just them projecting their standards on us.

One of our ways to try and get rid of the feeling is to seek out like minded people as friends and companions.

When that doesn’t work we work the legal system, suing to make what we do legal. If it’s declared legal it cannot be questioned.

Yet we find the guilt remains. We might have muffled it, or dulled the ’feeling’ but we find it takes more and more effort to silence that inward cry of our heart after God.

 We next seek to discredit the voice of opposition as old fashioned, out-of-date, childish, simple or what ever we want to name it.  We need to denigrate the power of the guilt

When we find that doesn’t work, the final step in our desperate attempt to silence the guilt is to seek to kill those we blame for making us feel this way. If there is no one to say it’s wrong then the guilt will surely go away.

In recent history we have seen that progression very clearly several times It happened under the rule of Hitler, under Stalin, and under Mao Tse-tung. It is evident in the stated Muslim intent to destroy all Jews and all Christians.

However, the place where we need to be most alert, is when we find ourselves, in our own lives seeking to justify our own acts of rebellion against our God, Father and Creator. This can be found in the heart of all people. Those who love the Lord as well as one who has no interest in Him.

 As believers we need to be alert to what wisdom we are acting upon. Are we being led by the Spirit of the Lord, or by the spirit of the world.

Moreover, there is no place for believers to judge any other person.  God clearly states all judgment is His. As children of the Light, we are not commissioned to go out and condemn anyone. Our responsibility is for our own lives alone.
The issues is, that when a believer comes into the room, the presence of God is there, as we walk in His light.  This alone brings that feeling of guilt to the surface of anyone seeking to quiet guilt.  It's not our words but Christ in us working.
 Christ said in Matthew 5:13-16 (ESV) 13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

Dear Lord, keep us salty.

14 “You are the light of the world.. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

This is the Lord’s commission to the believers.

 The believer’s options are prayer and our personal walk. In churches where the Word of God is preached, righteousness will follow. We don‘t have to name the right or wrong. It is written in our hearts.

 God has also not commissioned any church to set ‘rules’ of behavior. Keeping rules do not make us righteous. God desires our love. In love we let Him have access in our lives. Light will be the result.
I believe the verses below clearly speak of Satan’s intent, and God‘s work. Both of these forces are at war in us. As His children, he enables us to walk in his ways. As a part of his creation, God desires our love and worship.

Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV)
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

Isaiah 2:11-12 (ESV)
11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
12 For the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low;