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Showing posts from October, 2012

In the Presence of the Father

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My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!” Haggai 2:5
Yesterday morning I enjoyed some fellowship time with a new friend who had been introduced to me through a common friend. It is always so nice to talk with other believers and learn what God has done in them and through them as they seek to live out His will one day at a time. And, although the conversation was very sweet, there was one other aspect of my visit that was even sweeter – watching her 2-year old son.
It has been a while since my kids were that young and they played as hard as this little fellow did as I observed him yesterday. My 8-year old daughter did her best to keep up with this little guy, but as we left she said to me, “I think I need to go home and rest.” Yes, toddlers have a tremendous amount of energy and I have to admit that when both of my boys were that age I barely had the enough get-up-and-go to keep up with them.
In thinking about my visit yesterday and also having in the back of my mind a thought …

Running with Patience

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...let us run with patience the race that is set before us...” Hebrews 12:1c (KJV)
Although I think most of us at times seek to live in a vacuum when we look out on the world and see all of the things we do not want to affect our own lives or the lives of our children, that type of living is not “living in the world”, instead that is “living apart from the world”. Too often I see Christians use the excuse that they do not want to be affected by the world and so they create an optimal nook on the outskirts of this world to live apart from all that is wicked and deceitful so as not allow their faith and fellowship with the Lord to be encumbered by what seems to them is a nuance in dealing with the worldly things around them.
This morning I found various scriptures, relaying the same messages: You must live in the world. You must look beyond the world while your feet are still firmly planted in it. You must keep going in this world while living with your eyes on God and what He as p…

Bridge Restrictions

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Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;
And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.”
Proverbs 26:20

After a very quiet week between another believer and myself, we had a long time to talk and bring out some issues that had been allowed to stir within each of us and were not working their way toward any good. As I came across the above verse from the book of Proverbs, I felt what transpired during our walk was contained in these few short words.
Getting something out into the open, exposing both sides of an issue, and being able to see the full picture of what you have been struggling to see helps you at least start to understand the view point of another person and the intentions behind their actions. Sometimes you can see the other person's point of view, and in that seeing you can either come to an understanding or you can see that there is no ability to bridge an understanding because of lack of commonality between the two of you – that is where is takes even more powe…

Light and Truth

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Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!
Let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your tabernacle.”
Psalm 43:3


The Lord is not just light. And, the Lord is not just truth. Instead, He is a perfect mix of both light and truth. But what are light and truth really? Here are two scripture references that reference first light, and then truth:


Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, You are very great:
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
Who cover Yourself with
light as with a garment,
Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.”
Psalm 104:1-2


Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the
Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His
truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5
Light is a cover, while truth is a legacy. One without the other is not enough – both must be at work in the life a believer in order for that person to be robed in the righteousness of God and to then carry out a rig…

Atonement

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Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29b


About a year ago, my daughter and I had to make a trip to the butcher to schedule the pick up and slaughter of one of our steers. At the moment we opened the door I knew from the smell that an animal had been slaughtered recently (a large one) because of the distinct odor of blood which permeated the entire shop. After watching my daughter turn ghost white and almost buckle over from the strong aroma and then ask to be allowed to go back out to the car, my thoughts went to the Jewish temple and how similar the smell of this butcher shop probably was to the smell the priests and those worshiping in the temple smelled each day.


By the reaction of my daughter and the accosting affect the odor even had upon me, I would venture to guess that everyone within quite a distance of the temple had a constant reminder of their sinful state before the Lord and the gravity upon which God looked at the sins of man from His s…

Caught Praying

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And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”Matthew 6:5-6
As youth group free time was wrapping up on Wednesday evening, and a few of us moms went looking for our teens to hustle them home, we could not find a couple of the young men from the group. Usually they are the ones who do not play basketball or run around the church wildly, but just hang out talking about this or that and sometimes wander outside to do about the same thing. But, after checking all their usual gathering places, we could not find them. Finally, we asked one of the other teens if they had seen our boys and we were told they were in the back room (a small …

Willing to Live in the Low Lands

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Your fierceness has deceived you,
The ride of your heart,
O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock,
Who hold the height of the hill!
Though you make your nest as high as the eagle,
I will bring you down from there,” says the
Lord.” Jeremiah 49:16

Have you ever known someone who seeks so much “holiness” that they seem to put themselves above the every day tasks that this world requires of them? My daughter and I started a book this week called Matilda Bone by Karen Cushman and the main character in this story is one of those sorts. Raised by a priest after the death of her parents and taught piety and self-denial to the point of having no real world experience.  By a sudden change of events right at the beginning of the story, this girl found herself shoved into the real world, needing to live a life of discernment within the context of her piteous learning but unfortunately she found herself very ill equipped.
In reading the story, it is sad but almost comical as to how this young girl…

Nature Verses Nurture in Christian Child Training

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Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother,' which is the first commandment with promise: 'that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.' And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1-4


As my children have been out interacting in public because of the activities they participate in and because of the things I have been called to do which they have been asked to support, I have received some interesting insight into their social development. For each child, I believe, the foundation on which they base their interactions with the world has to do with two things: nature and nurture.


The nature, or in Christian terms, the gifts and talents given a child, is the base from which each child begins life and perceives the world within the context of their own God given boundaries. I did not realize this fact when I had …

Dead to Sin - Alive to God

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For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:10-11
Dead to sin. Alive to God in Christ Jesus. Those are the opposing sides. There is no middle ground. There is no room on the fence to sit. But, what is sin? That seems to be the question of the century. As we watch the emotions rising as election day draws near and people are starting to take sides with their respective candidates, what it all boils down to is what each voter perceives as sin verses what they perceive as righteousness. Voters who see right and wrong within reasonable means of what a particular candidate stand for are the ones they will side with and vote for.
As Christians we are given the law of God so we can see sin and righteousness from the perspective of God. The law of the Lord is not intended to keep us held down by a bunch of rules,…

Psalm 27 - Hiding Away in the Lord

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For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.”
Psalm 27:5



After reading Psalm 27 this morning, and after the events of yesterday as well as knowing that tonight I will have one of the biggest spiritual battles of my life to fight as I take part in a candidate forum as part of my run for office, I have decided that today I will declare my home my hiding place in the Lord – “the secret place of His tabernacle” which I will hide my soul in for a time to rest that only the Lord can provide for me against any enemy who has set themselves to destroy me.


Maybe you have felt the weight of spiritual attack before and know where I am coming from when I talk about hiding out in the Lord as David talks about in Psalm 27. But if you don't I want to let you know that my need to hide in the shelter of the Lord has nothing to do with running away from the pressures of life or the call of the Lord…

Longing for Heaven on the Sabbath

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For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-5
As I end my Sabbath today, I have found that my bible readings have me longing for heaven where “mortality may be swallowed up by life”. I am at a loss for words as to why I am feeling this way, but I have to say that things in life which are manufactured by human hands and human minds and which do not come from God, make a person weary and their soul greatly burdened. When I got up this morning, I was desiring…