Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Remember- 2008

Deut. 8:1 "The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you,testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.

"Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.' You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.

I can't believe this is the last day of 2008.

For many this will be a year that will not soon be forgotten, for reasons like; portfolios crashing, IRA's depleted, home foreclosures, businesses failing and, in the Northwest, a deep, white Christmas.

Some of those reminders I will remember but there are some other unique ones for me personally.

March 22 will be a day that I will remember as a turning point for me and our family. This is not because of something I have done to change my outlook, but it is God who is calling the shots and His reminders can be very vivid. I truly think this is one of the best things that could have happened to our family, though Grant has to live with the reminder the most. God is faithful to teach us things when we are willing to listen. He may continue to teach even when we are not initially unwilling and I hope that He continues to teach me what He wants me to get until I get it.

A stone show in Italy in late Sept. and October is an event that Teresa and I frequent, but this year was certainly unique, even internationally. With elections going on here and people in Europe talking about them as if they were electing their own President, there was a different tone to the show. Much of the rest of the world understood early on the importance of our elections, maybe more than some Americans did. Then in the midst of Presidential talks came the global economic slowdown/meltdown or whatever you want to call it. There was not much on TV in Europe that we could understand except for CNN and all that was on their mind was elections and the economy, so that weighed heavy on my mind while away buying stone for PG.

With all the craziness of the economy there is always the possibility of businesses going under, and PG is not exempt from any of that. God is SOLELY in control of PG's success and He is the One who will direct exactly what we need to keep us going or not. I truly believe this, though there are times when things begin to look good for even a couple of days that I stop relying on Him as much and breathe easier, which is totally foolish.

My prayer for 2009 is that I would remember where God has taken us, how He has so faithfully provided, protected and encouraged us and that He would continue to show me the path that He wants me to take personally, with our family and corporately.

He has been so faithful to get us through all of this and has taught us much. He is Good and He will continue to be good. I want to revel in His majesty in 2009 and prepare for what He has ahead, whether that is in the "Promised Land" or here on earth I want to be found faithful to Him.

Have a blessed New Year and look only to Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Promises, Promises.

This, again, is from Thomas a Kempis. There is nothing I need to add to this, except that I need to read this and listen to Christ's voice more.

"I taught the prophets from the beginning, and even to this day I continue to speak to all men. But many are hardened. Many are deaf to My voice. Most men listen more willingly to the world than to God. They are more ready to follow the appetite of their flesh than the good pleasure of God. The world, which promises small and passing things, is served with great eagerness: I promise great and eternal things and the hearts of men grow dull. Who is there that serves and obeys Me in all things with as great care as that with which the world and its masters are served?

"Be thou ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea speaketh." And if you ask why, listen to the cause: for a small gain they travel far; for eternal life many will scarcely lift a foot from the ground. They seek a petty reward, and sometimes fight shamefully in law courts for a single piece of money. They are not afraid to work day and night for a trifle or an empty promise. But, for an unchanging good, for a reward beyond estimate, for the greatest honor and for glory everlasting, it must be said to their shame that men begrudge even the least fatigue. Be ashamed, then, lazy and complaining servant, that they should be found more eager for perdition than you are for life, that they rejoice more in vanity than you in truth.

Sometimes indeed their expectations fail them, but My promise never deceives, nor does it send away empty-handed him who trusts in Me. What I have promised I will give. What I have said I will fulfill, if only a man remain faithful in My love to the end. I am the rewarder of all the good, the strong approver of all who are devoted to Me.

Write My words in your heart and meditate on them earnestly, for in time of temptation they will be very necessary. What you do not understand when you read, you will learn in the day of visitation. I am wont to visit My elect in two ways -- by temptation and by consolation. To them I read two lessons daily -- one reproving their vices, the other exhorting them to progress in virtue. He who has My words and despises them has that which shall condemn him on the last day."

The Cost of Sin

I have just moved from reading in Exodus to Leviticus and there is much talk about sacrificing.
We obviously don't sacrifice, as the Israelites did, but there is application and wisdom that can be gleaned from these chapters.

Lev. 4:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If anyone sins unintentionally in any of the LORD’s commandments about things not to be done, and does any one of them, if it is the anointed priest who sins, thus bringing guilt on the people, then he shall offer for the sin that he has committed a bull from the herd without blemish to the LORD for a sin offering. He shall bring the bull to the entrance of the tent of meeting before the LORD and lay his hand on the head of the bull and kill the bull before the LORD.

God wants us to understand that sin is not always intentional, but any sin is still sin in His eyes and must be accounted for.
Then God talks about the priest, or leader, sinning and bringing guilt on all the people. WOW, we need to be praying that our leaders are walking uprightly as much as we are praying that we would live upright.
And then God brings right to the front the cost of sin.

I know that Kimmy's small group had talked about this a long time ago. Imagine being an Israelite and having to sacrifice tangible things for your sin. This was obviously set up for them to understand the cost of sin and redemption, but I have often overlooked it as much as they missed the picture for them. So, you have sinned and you go to the Temple, to sacrifice, with your animal. Now there are many people in line to sacrifice and the practice is a very messy one. The priests had to be standing in blood and had blood on their hands much of the time. So you're in line to take care of your first sin and someone that is irritating you in in the line close to you. You are doing fine until they have just pushed the wrong button and now you don't have enough animals to atone for your sin. You have to get out of line and go back home and get another one. Do you really have time for this? And then then actual cost. Every time you sin you deplete your herd, or flock, and there is a real cost associated with this. I wouldn't have very many animals and I would be spending a lot of time in line.

I am thankful to live in the age of grace. I should focus more on the cost for the payment of my sin. "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe." God gives us these stories so that we might remember His faithfulness and provision to His people in every way.

Romans 6: 1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I have read this section of Thomas a Kempis' book numerous times and it hits me hard every time. This addresses a number of topics including working, testing, patience, thankfulness, humility and contrition, pride, grace giving and receiving and sovereignty. "Oh for grace to trust Him more."

Appreciating God's Grace
Thomas a Kempis
WHY do you look for rest when you were born to work? Resign yourself to patience rather than to comfort, to carrying your cross rather than to enjoyment.

What man in the world, if he could always have them, would not readily accept consolation and spiritual joy, benefits which excel all earthly delights and pleasures of the body? The latter, indeed, are either vain or base, while spiritual joys, born of virtue and infused by God into pure minds, are alone truly pleasant and noble.

Now, since the moment of temptation is always nigh, since false freedom of mind and overconfidence in self are serious obstacles to these visitations from heaven, a man can never enjoy them just as he wishes.

God does well in giving the grace of consolation, but man does evil in not returning everything gratefully to God. Thus, the gifts of grace cannot flow in us when we are ungrateful to the Giver, when we do not return them to the Fountainhead. Grace is always given to him who is duly grateful, and what is wont to be given the humble will be taken away from the proud.

I do not desire consolation that robs me of contrition, nor do I care for contemplation that leads to pride, for not all that is high is holy, nor is all that is sweet good, nor every desire pure, nor all that is dear to us pleasing to God. I accept willingly the grace whereby I become more humble and contrite, more willing to renounce self.

The man who has been taught by the gift of grace, and who learns by the lash of its withdrawal, will never dare to attribute any good to himself, but will rather admit his poverty and emptiness. Give to God what is God's and ascribe to yourself what is yours. Give Him thanks, then, for His grace, but place upon yourself alone the blame and the punishment your fault deserves.

Always take the lowest place and the highest will be given you, for the highest cannot exist apart from the lowest. The saints who are greatest before God are those who consider themselves the least, and the more humble they are within themselves, so much the more glorious they are. Since they do not desire vainglory, they are full of truth and heavenly glory. Being established and strengthened in God, they can by no means be proud. They attribute to God whatever good they have received; they seek no glory from one another but only that which comes from God alone. They desire above all things that He be praised in themselves and in all His saints -- this is their constant purpose.

Be grateful, therefore, for the least gift and you will be worthy to receive a greater. Consider the least gift as the greatest, the most contemptible as something special. And, if you but look to the dignity of the Giver, no gift will appear too small or worthless. Even though He give punishments and scourges, accept them, because He acts for our welfare in whatever He allows to befall us.

He who desires to keep the grace of God ought to be grateful when it is given and patient when it is withdrawn. Let him pray that it return; let him be cautious and humble lest he lose it.

God is very Specific

It is interesting to me how specific God is in His directives to His people concerning worship. He gives 3 chapters concerning how they are to live, with the 10 commandments and laws regarding he treatment of others. And then He uses 5 chapters to tell the Israelites exactly how He wants the Tabernacle to be built, situated, overlaid, carved, sewn and treated. It is also interesting that He chose the craftsman He wanted to work on His project because they were very skilled. God wants things done with excellence.

If it was this important for Him to spend so many words on, then it still must be important today. Is our attitude towards worship and His House what it should be?

Work vs. Rest 6 to 1 ratio


In Genesis God gave Adam and Eve the command, and the example to work 6 days and then to rest on the 7th. God didn't need the rest, as we know rest, but He wanted to set the example of 1 day a week being set apart for Him. This is to be a day to remember who He is and what He has done for us.

In Exodus 16 God gives the command and Moses sets the example of resting on the 7th day. It is interesting that God provided for His people's needs in such a tangible way. It is also interesting to me that manna was provided for only a portion of the 6 days, when it got warm the manna melted, but on the 7th day God allowed the manna to last the entire 6th day and into the 7th day without melting.

Even though this is a narrative, God telling us a story as it happened, there is much to be learned from it.

1. God promises to provide for His people, even if that means just the next meal.
2. When God sets the rules, it is best to follow those rules. He can make worms grow in your "abundance".
3. God hears our grumbling, whether it is audible to others or not.
4. God expects us to be a thankful people. We have been given way more than we deserve, and if we complain we should be ashamed.
5. God has written these things down for us that we might remember His care and faithfulness for His children.
6. God is still faithful even when we are not.

It is good for us to be reminded of how ugly it is to be ungrateful for His provision. It is easy for me to read the OT accounts and think, "Those Israelites just didn't get it, God has just delivered them and they are already complaining", and yet He has done the same for me.

Am I thankful for even the smallest of gifts? Am I following God's plan? Am I grumbling about His provision?
Much to consider.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Fear Not, Good News!

The Birth of Jesus Christ

Luke 2:1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

As the Creator of the universe shows His power outside, bringing even more snow, I can't help but think how different Heaven and earth are. Jesus had been in Heaven, dwelling in perfection, and now He came to earth with His fallen creation. I really can't imagine perfection, but no sickness, no pain, no sin and death, perfect harmony within the Godhead, and then exchange that for earth as Jesus experienced it in human form.

How sad it must have been for Jesus to listen to people argue and fight, to watch them sin right in front of Him, to see the wickedness of the people He created and came to save, all the while they would only see a boy growing into a "normal" man.

Today is the day we celebrate Christ coming to earth, though we should celebrate it every day. He left the splendor of Heaven to come to earth, take on human form, with all its limitations, live a sinless life, in the midst of sinful people, took on my sin and bore the shame and disgrace of the cross, though He had no sin of His own, was buried and rose from the grave to conquer sin and death for me and you. Now He is with the Father, where He belongs, and He is preparing a place for those who love Him. Now that is Good News!

I can't imagine why He would go to those great lengths to win me, but He did. He came to earth to purchase my pardon, to pay the debt I owe, yet could never pay, and to have a relationship with His created ones. His steadfast love is our hope of salvation, our comfort in the storms of life and our hope of eternal joy.

Ps. 33:13 The LORD looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
16 The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.

18Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.

20Our soul waits for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Dominator

I'm at work and the phone is not ringing today, which I guess is good, if people are remembering why we actually have this holiday, but I would guess that is not the case for most.

Concerning "dominion taking": If our main "job" on earth is to bear His Image, and He has called us to take dominion over the things He has given us to rule over, then are we really doing that in the best way we can?

What would it look like to be a dishwasher who worked to God's glory and took dominion over the entire arena of washing dishes? There would be no complaining that we had to wash dishes. There would be no "lowly dishwasher position", but rather, with enthusiasm, "I am a dishwasher". And with that exclamation would come the attitude of worship while working to be the best dishwasher you could be.

I remember being a dishwasher, a long time ago, and my attitude was turned around when the waitresses told me that the boss had to wash dishes when I was gone, and he couldn't keep up. That meant they needed me to do a great job, and I was valuable in the position, even if that was just cleaning pots and pans. If I had been a Christian dishwasher, with that attitude, giving the glory to God for why I washed dishes, then the world would be able to see that there is a difference because of Him.

So as you take dominion over your part of the world, in the task that God has for you today, remember that He has ordained all our work for us, He gives us the strength to complete the task, and we are bearing His image as we work, relate, visit, sleep, eat and revel in His goodness.

Revel in Him and the gift of His Son.


Tho other day I heard someone say that they had just witnessed true Christmas Spirit; the true meaning of what Christmas is all about.

There were some grown ups shopping for their families, it had been snowing all day and it was difficult to get around, the economy is in a mess and as they came out of the store one guy stopped, looked at the others, made a snow ball and threw it at one of the other shoppers. He didn't even know them, so the story teller decided that grown ups having fun and being able to forget all the craziness them for the moment is what Christmas is all about.

As I listened to this story and his thoughts of "true meaning", I was sad. Satan has done a masterful job of getting our hearts and minds attached to things that are so small.

So what is Christmas really about?

Christmas is love; John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. The love of a friend who would be willing to die for us. The love of a Father willing to give His only Son for us.

Christmas is Giving; Giving of ourselves for others, even in the form of being a servant. Phil.2 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Christmas is about lights; not some lights, but The Light. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."

So in our giving and receiving, our loving and serving, our family and friendships and our truth-seeking, God has given us the ultimate Gift -Himself- so we can have a relationship with Him. What a Precious Promise He has given us.

Precious Promise
Steven Curtis Chapman
Oh what a precious promise,
Oh what a gift of love;
An angel tells a virgin that
She's gonna have a son.
And though it's a precious promise,
She wonders how can this be;
What will the people say
And what if Joseph can't believe.
And her questions and her fears
Are met with an overwhelming joy
That God has chosen her.
Oh what a precious promise;
Mary waits as heaven comes to earth.

Oh what a precious promise,
Oh what a gift of love;
Joseph makes his choice to do
What few men would have done:
To take Mary as his bride,
When she's already carrying a child
That isn't his own.
Oh what a precious promise;
Mary and the child will have a home.

And shepherds stand on a hillside,
Their hearts racing with the news the angel told them;
A star's light fills up the dark sky,
As the night of precious promise is unfolding.

Oh what a precious promise,
Oh what a gift of love;
The waiting now is over and
The time has finally come.
For the God who made this world
To roll back the curtain
And unveil His passion for the heart of man.
Oh what a precious promise,
Lying in a manger in Bethlehem.
Oh what a precious promise,
Lying in a manger in Bethlehem


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What will it be Like?

With all the sparkling snow in the trees and on the ground, God is showing off His ability to decorate for Christmas, and He's really good. But if God created everything for our enjoyment, for all of our senses, and He created us as individuals, then what will it be like in Heaven?

Some love the snow, some don't. Some like it hot, some like it moderate and some like it cool or cold. So what will the temperature be in Heaven? Will there ever be snow? Will there be beaches to rest on? Will we need rest as we know it, or will we just rest like God rested on the 7th day? Will we be able to smell how fresh Heaven is, since there will be no more dieing there should never be a bad odor. Will our eyes be so fixed on Jesus that there is no need for anything else that is beautiful? If so, then why does the Bible talk about the beautiful stones? I like that part. I get to see beautiful stones a lot, but these stones will be perfect. I can't image stones more beautiful than what I get to see, and I know they will be better. Lapis Luzuli is also known as sapphire and there will be beautiful blue and green stones all over, Rev. 21, and the walls will be such pure gold that they will look like glass.

What a day that will be, when we get to see Heaven, but God is so beautiful that will we want to look at Him, more than the glories of Heaven.

So; snow or no snow, smells or no smells, season, beaches, colored leaves, clouds, and everything else we either really like or don't like, God has it planned out and He gets it right every time.

Monday, December 22, 2008

God is Big!!!

Ps. 33:10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.

As I look outside and think about how we are always trying to plan things and make them go our way, I chuckled. God is just so big. The snow is piled up and it just keeps coming. The things that were important a day or 2 ago now are on the back burner because we need to get through this crazy weather and those things really don't look quite as important now. Stock market, sales, profit margins and every other thing we are supposed to be watching, and we are out moving snow around.

Well, I'm off to plow some snow:)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

God Meant it for Good

Gen. 50:19 But Joseph said to them, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones." Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

This is a narrative-meaning we are just being told the story as it was- but there are many things we can glean from this section.

I am amazed at Joseph's attitude. As I have posted previously, he was left for dead by his brothers, who were jealous of his position and yet he apparently viewed his entire life as God's to do with as He chose.

When everyone around you is trying to kill you, slander you, not remember the good things you have done for them and you still have a great attitude about where God has you; you know your focus is right.

Joseph not only had the right focus, he forgave those who tried to harm him and wanted them to know that he was looking out for their best interests. In the last few chapters of Genesis Joseph has to remove himself from the situation, not because he is about to blow up and get mad, but because his heart is so tender towards those who wanted to harm him that he is in tears. What a testament to His Great God working in his heart.

Relatives are often hard to handle, even when they are just being themselves and not trying to harm us, but Joseph's brothers were actually trying to kill him, or have him killed, not for anything that he had really done, though he did talk a little too much, but just because they we not in the position that they thought they should be in. He gives us a great example of how to treat others.

God has given me a new interest and desire for His Word lately. I don't know why that is, but I am thankful for His kindness to me. I have such a long way to go, but I am confident that "He who began a good work in all of us will be faithful to complete it".

I am home this Sunday morning because church is canceled because of God bringing lots of snow here. I do miss the fellowship and good teaching, but it is nice to sit here and watch more snow fall around us and know that God knows where EVERY SINGLE flake will fall and He is in control. That is AMAZING.

Just Look at You!

I have been thinking about this for as long as a few years and as short as the last few minutes. So here is what I have harvested in that time.

Often others do things that we don't agree with, or that we consider wrong. Sometimes those things are just irritants to us and at other times it is sin. Matt. 18 gives us a clear directive if it is sin, but what if it is just not the way that we would want it done?

I have watched many others struggle, and I have struggled, with this. It is really difficult to be forbearing with others. When others are doing something that we think is totally the wrong way to go about it, we want to give our opinion as God's Truth. We may want to make it a sin to do it the way they are doing it, so that we can call them on the carpet and make them change. Well, if it is sin, then we are commanded to say something. BUT if it preference then I/we need to remember that we are only accountable to God for our actions, not the actions and attitudes of others. We will not have to give an account for what they are doing, or saying, but we will have to give an account for our words, actions and attitudes.

I was reading this morning and came upon this section in Thomas a' Kempis' book. It is not difficult to read, but I think it is right on. Have a look.

"WE MUST not rely too much upon ourselves, for grace and understanding are often lacking in us. We have but little inborn light, and this we quickly lose through negligence. Often we are not aware that we are so blind in heart. Meanwhile we do wrong, and then do worse in excusing it. At times we are moved by passion, and we think it zeal. We take others to task for small mistakes, and overlook greater ones in ourselves. We are quick enough to feel and brood over the things we suffer from others, but we think nothing of how much others suffer from us. If a man would weigh his own deeds fully and rightly, he would find little cause to pass severe judgment on others.

The interior man puts the care of himself before all other concerns, and he who attends to himself carefully does not find it hard to hold his tongue about others. You will never be devout of heart unless you are thus silent about the affairs of others and pay particular attention to yourself. If you attend wholly to God and yourself, you will be little disturbed by what you see about you.

Where are your thoughts when they are not upon yourself? And after attending to various things, what have you gained if you have neglected self? If you wish to have true peace of mind and unity of purpose, you must cast all else aside and keep only yourself before your eyes.

You will make great progress if you keep yourself free from all temporal cares, for to value anything that is temporal is a great mistake. Consider nothing great, nothing high, nothing pleasing, nothing acceptable, except God Himself or that which is of God. Consider the consolations of creatures as vanity, for the soul that loves God scorns all things that are inferior to Him. God alone, the eternal and infinite, satisfies all, bringing comfort to the soul and true joy to the body."

True peace and a clear conscience come from looking at ourselves as we truly are and not worrying about what others think of us and what others are doing. I can get wrapped up in what others are doing and saying, but that is not where God wants me to be. He wants me in His Word and to follow it as closely as I can, and let Him take care of the rest.

If you are a leader, you have a much greater responsibility to get this right than others do, because many eyes are watching what we do and are trying to model their lives after ours. This is weighty, but God gives us the position we have and the grace and faith to be in that position. Be humble and receptive to others input in your life. They may be the only eyes that can see what is really going on at this moment.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I am His and He is Mine

George W. Robinson

Loved with everlasting love, led by grace that love to know;
Gracious Spirit from above, Thou hast taught me it is so!
O this full and perfect peace! O this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine.
In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine.

Heav’n above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen;
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine.
Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine.

Things that once were wild alarms cannot now disturb my rest;
Closed in everlasting arms, pillowed on the loving breast.
O to lie forever here, doubt and care and self resign,
While He whispers in my ear, I am His, and He is mine.
While He whispers in my ear, I am His, and He is mine.

His forever, only His; Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee, firstborn light in gloom decline;
But while God and I shall be, I am His, and He is mine.
But while God and I shall be, I am His, and He is mine.

There are many good things to ponder in this song;

We are loved with an everlasting love.
Grace that leads us to know that Love.
His gracious Spirit teaches us.
We can have full and perfect peace in Him.
His love cannot cease.
Through His eyes we can see His creation much differently.
There are no emergencies in Jesus' arms.
We are forever His and we can rest in Him forever.
We can have the sweetest rest as He fills our hearts.
I am His and He is mine.
I am His and He is mine.

In a world of crazy times; when every trusted thing is suspect, we can rest in knowing that He came to earth to save us and call us unto Himself and He loves His children. As a perfect Father, He gives us what is best. Sometimes what is best for our children is discipline and sometimes it is bringing them close to us and whispering that they are loved. Our Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need and when we need it.

If today you're unsettled about something, you can rest in the fact that you are His and He is yours. What an amazing treasure we have in Him. What else could we ask for or desire than the perfect gift of Heaven? When everything else is falling around us, we can rest in knowing that He is our inheritance and we are His children.

Ps 107 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I am the Encourager:)

Teresa just told me that she thinks she has all-timers. I think she says that because she often forgets things. Since I am such an encourager I told her that I think she just has some-timers.
See; I can be funny when I work really hard at it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

God's Gracious Provision

I just read the story of Joseph again this morning. What an amazing story. Really think about God's gracious provision for His people in a way that we could never dream up- no pun intended.

There is so much of God in this line that it is hard to comprehend.

Joseph talking too much, like a little brother does, the older brothers not forbearing with Joseph and eventually selling him into slavery, lying to Jacob, Joseph working hard in Pharaoh's house, being honored for the hard work, resisting the temptation of an evil woman, being slandered by an evil woman, working hard again in prison, being forgotten about in prison but still having a good attitude, and finally being raised back up into a position of leadership.

All those things and then God brings the family back together again with Joseph still having a tender heart towards his brothers.

God writes the best stories and it is His-story for us to read again and again so we will remember His faithfulness in times we need comforting. He is such a good God!

He is the same yesterday, today and forever. What a great thought.

Hey, Whatcha thinkin' 'bout?

I know this is a long post, but there is some really good stuff in here. If we are always consumed with the world, which is not our home, and always thinking on created things, rather than the Creator, we will finish our lives no more sanctified than when we started. We must train our hearts, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to have our eyes, and hearts, fixed on Christ and the joys of Heaven. Then when we have completed the race we will hear from our Savior "Well done faithful servant". Oh that we might live with elevated hearts.

This is not easy to do, as Satan has done a masterful job of distracting us with so many "good" things. But the Power within us is much greater than he who is in the world.

MEDITATION- Thomas a Kempis

Turn, then, to God with all your heart. Forsake this wretched world and your soul shall find rest. Learn to despise external things, to devote yourself to those that are within, and you will see the kingdom of God come unto you, that kingdom which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, gifts not given to the impious.

Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within. His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great, and His intimacy wonderful indeed.

Therefore, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this Bridegroom that He may come and dwell within you; He Himself says: "If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him."

Give place, then, to Christ, but deny entrance to all others, for when you have Christ you are rich and He is sufficient for you. He will provide for you. He will supply your every desire, so that you need not trust in frail, changeable men. Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.

Do not place much confidence in weak and mortal man, helpful and friendly though he be; and do not grieve too much if he sometimes opposes and contradicts you. Those who are with us today may be against us tomorrow, and vice versa, for men change with the wind. Place all your trust in God; let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you; He will do what is best for you.

You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be, and you shall have no rest until you are wholly united with Christ.

Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose? Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away, and you together with them. Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.

If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ's passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds. If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata(1)of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men, and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.

When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends to the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to complain of anything? He had enemies and defamers; do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor? How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it? How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship? Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.

Had you but once entered into perfect communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you would care nothing at all for your own comfort or discomfort but would rejoice in the reproach you suffer; for love of Him makes a man despise himself.

A man who is a lover of Jesus and of truth, a truly interior man who is free from uncontrolled affections, can turn to God at will and rise above himself to enjoy spiritual peace.

He who tastes life as it really is, not as men say or think it is, is indeed wise with the wisdom of God rather than of men.

He who learns to live the interior life and to take little account of outward things, does not seek special places or times to perform devout exercises. A spiritual man quickly recollects himself because he has never wasted his attention upon externals. No outside work, no business that cannot wait stands in his way. He adjusts himself to things as they happen. He whose disposition is well ordered cares nothing about the strange, perverse behavior of others, for a man is upset and distracted only in proportion as he engrosses himself in externals.

If all were well with you, therefore, and if you were purified from all sin, everything would tend to your good and be to your profit. But because you are as yet neither entirely dead to self nor free from all earthly affection, there is much that often displeases and disturbs you. Nothing so mars and defiles the heart of man as impure attachment to created things. But if you refuse external consolation, you will be able to contemplate heavenly things and often to experience interior joy.

1.Stigmata are bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus. The term originates from the line at the end of Saint Paul's Letter to the Galatians where he says, "I bear on my body the marks of Jesus," stigmata is the plural of the Greek word stigma meaning a mark or brand such as might have been used for identification of an animal or slave.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still the ONE after 25 Years

25 years ago today a girl who had lived within a 2 mile radius said "I Do" to me. I'm not sure she really knew what she was getting into then, but she has been to a lot of places now and moved more than her share.
I can't believe Teresa is old enough to have been married 25 years. It has really gone fast.

When we first met she was pretty quiet. For those of you who know her that seems crazy. Over the years she has gotten more comfortable with who she is and is consequently a lot more fun.
We have moved from Chehalis to Tacoma then to Hood River Or. then to Arlington and now we live in Lake Stevens. We have traveled to Tokyo Japan, Sao Paulo, Rio, and Salvador, Brazil, Paris and others cities in France, and many cities in Italy. For a girl who was excited about stepping into Idaho, well it seems ironic. When we travel she often says, "Can you believe we are in...?"
She is a great traveler, though not a great navigator. She eats almost anything and doesn't mind the heated pace I set when going abroad for business. She a great traveling companion.

She has been a friend to many, a great mom, the fastest weeder I know. She can clean a room up so fast it will make your head spin, but she can also get so distracted that she has 10 things going at once and doesn't have time to finish any of them. She often says, "I can't believe it's this late already". She likes to weed in the evening, so I got her a head lamp a few years ago, because she complained it got dark before she was finished.

She has really grown in her relationship with the Lord. We both are pretty confident that God has brought us through Grant's event so we would be more prepared for the future.

I love this girl I'm married to. Happy 25th Anniversary Teresa

You GO Girl, and do what God wants you to do!

I think the Bible is clear about the primary responsibility of both the man and the woman.
Men are to provide, by working outside the home, in most cases. They could work from home to provide, but this is not so that the wife is freed up to go and work outside the home. So, telecommuting would fall under this category. His primary role is to provide and protect.

The wife's primary role, as lined out in Titus 2 and Col. 3 is to be a worker at home. This means she is to be a helper to her husband in any way she can be. Whether it is doing things she is more skilled at then he is, encouraging him, respecting him, liking him, loving and training her children, and discipling other younger women. All of which John has covered in his last couple months sermons.

I am no expert on this subject, but the Bible gives us directives and models to see. If we completely ignore what God has given for us to model, then we are going to be in trouble. If we were still a "single income nation" I don't know that we would be in the mess we are in currently, in the entire world. We have changed the roles around, wanted more things and generally followed our own ambitions rather than following God's plan for us and now we are in a serious mess.

Proverbs 31 gives great insight into what a woman of godly character looks like. She works hard, is industrious, cares for her family, is hospitable, kind and caring, is good with her hands, thinks about things before she does and says them, knows a good deal when she sees it, speaks wisdom to those around her, is not as concerned with outward beauty as she is inward beauty- but I think a case can be made that this woman is outwardly beautiful as well, is not idle, and everyone who speaks of her knows she is an amazing woman.

OK, that's a lot to do/be. Every believing woman has the Holy Spirit to help her and transform her into this woman. This does not come over night and it doesn't come without much work and prayer on her part. BUT, God is faithful to complete the work that He has started in each one of us, and so we must all pray that He would give us the grace and faith to do, and be, what He has called us to.

I really don't want anyone to think that I think I have all this covered. God is faithful to change our hearts and minds if we are following Him. If we are stubborn and proud He is not going to use us.

Can a woman work outside the home? Sure, women do it all the time. Is this God's best for a woman? He has answered that for us in His Word. I want what is best for my "girls" and sometimes there is heat from that, but Jesus didn't call us to some weak, easy ministry. We are here to change the world for His glory. We are privileged to be in ministry with Him, so we need to follow the leader who DOES have all the answers.

As Bekah commented previously, "it is freeing to only have to follow". Well the same is true for the men. If we just follow what God has told us to do, and to encourage others to do the same, then our lives are much more freed up, our brains are less taxed and our hearts are more open to what He has called us to be.

I don't need more bricks in my back pack. God wants to carry our load and I am really happy to let Him carry it for me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

To answer the questions from "Fathers"

I will try to answer as best I can, without giving my opinion.

Humbly and carefully I say that I see God's Word giving no directive for wives to work outside the home. My wife is to be my helper and completer, and that may mean she is able to help me in our business. That can take on many different forms; from going to functions representing our family business, to general helping any way she is gifted. She is great to have at the home shows, as everyone loves her and her heart for people shines when she is there, but I work around her schedule at home as much as I can. BUT I do think the family business issue could be hard for some.

I don't have Teresa work very much for PG, because I think she is better able to help me at home. I also want her to be available to help and serve others and if she is required to work that limits her ability to do that.

As for the dad side of my responsibility; I truly believe that it is my responsibility to give Kimmy the best education possible to establish her for the years to come, whatever that may entail. She is a unique individual, as is every other young lady, and it is our job as dad's to get them ready for what lies ahead.

Is college as sin? I don't think so. Is it the best choice for every young lady? No.
In Kimmy's case she has dreamed and worked towards being a wife and a mom her entire life. I don't think God would give her the intense desire to be something and then take it away, but He may have other plans. If He does not have marriage in her future then she will need to learn contentment to an entirely different level. God is good and He will bring to her what is best for her.

So, is there something that she can get at college that she couldn't get right here in the local church? Not if we are doing our job as a body.

Discipleship, both pouring into her and being poured out, can certainly happen here and probably better than at college where the relationships are shortened by school years. Here the relationships should continue as long as people are together.

Training, both her training others and her being trained, can happen here, though different, this can happen as much as in a college setting. BUT, the opportunities have to be optimized. Just like everything else in our lives, we can either minimize or maximize just about anything.

If there is a service opportunity and I let her take it on fully, then she will get the most from the situation, whether it is hard or easy. She has to learn to deal with people, both older and younger, she has to learn to submit to authority, to lead, follow or come along side of another. She will learn the art of budgeting, managing expenses, critiquing an event at its conclusion with a goal toward excellence and just generally working with people in a way that she can enjoy the process. Does that mean this happens every time? No, but it is the goal. Does every thing she does turn out with excellence? No, but that is also the goal, like perfection is the goal of our Christian walk.

Her opportunities from NOT being at college have been many and diverse. She has been able to go to Berlin multiple times to help the Green family. This has given her even more of a desire to be a wife and a mom. This has helped her see submission, support, love for children, selflessness and so many other things. If she would have been on a college schedule this opportunity would not have been available.

She has been able to work at PG for the last few months and has a really close relationship with our receptionist. This would not have been available if she was in college.

She has had the opportunity to stay and help many of the younger moms in our church who have young children. She has learned many things in this time as well. How in the world do you get those kids out of bed, do the laundry, feed the 2 that aren't sick while nursing the sick one back to health, be the helper to her husband, shop for groceries and teach the kids, whether in a home school setting, or just generally teach and train them? You can't get that in college. Home-ec, yes, real life, no.

And then there is ministry in general. She has been able to help Sean plan events, prepare for snow retreat and whatever else he needs help with. She is like his extended TA. Our church could not afford to pay him to have help in this way, yet she is available to come along side him and help him with whatever he needs. She has an amazing friend in his wife, Mo, who helps her understand what it is like to be a pastor's wife, something that Kimmy also would like to be.

So, in not so short form, I do think college is a preference. I think that every case is different. I think that boys are different than girls, in this area. Again, another preference. And I am pretty sure that there is no verse that tells me that my wife should work OUTSIDE the home.

I am truly receptive to listen to any verses any may have on this subject, but please keep them in context.

Lastly, God has been so good to me and blessed me with a great wife and kids who also want to follow His directing. We must do what we know He has called us to do and be before He will give us more responsibilities. Uphold one another in prayer as you wrestle with these issues. If you are praying for someone, it will make it much easier to be forbearing with them.

If this is the biggest issue that you have to deal with in your life, you have a great life:)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What's BEST for me

I hope you all know that all this talk about worrying is mainly directed first at me, with the hope that you may in someway be encouraged along the process.

As the snow gently falls outside, adding to the existing white layer covering everything I can see, I wonder what it must be like for God to know, and do, what is best for everyone on earth. I can't even figure out what is the one best way for me to go, and yet God somehow knows that snow is best for me and PG right now, with all of the busy schedule we are trying to get installed to help cash flow...Yet in His sovereignty He KNOWS it is best for us to be right here, right now.

I am reminded that either Moses had an incredible amount of faith or he would have been thinking much the same way as I do. Imagine finally getting Pharaoh to let His people go and then knowing that you are being chased by the ones who just had let you go, after all the crazy things that had happened to the Egyptians you would have thought that they wouldn't want anything at all to do with them, and Moses comes up to the deep water of the Red Sea, with Pharaoh's army behind him. OK, that is bigger than what I am looking at right now. I think that God wants us in the "impossible situation", so He can show us, and then later on remind us, of the fact that He can do the "impossible".

Though this is taken out of context, Matt. 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." The context is of being born again, but it is true that there are many places in our lives where there is no way for us to get through, BUT with God ALL things are possible.

SO the people who really need the snow right now are, the ski resorts, the tire guys, the people running the snow plows, apparel and board sport companies. These people and I'm sure many others are looking outside and thanking God for bringing the snow, if they are praising rightly. Those of us who would like to be able to drive more easily are potentially wondering why it has to snow right now. The answer is, it is best for me right now. God knows best for everyone of us, and He does not withhold any good thing, Ps. 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

So think about that. Everyone on earth has an entirely different need and yet God is wise enough, kind enough and powerful enough to make sure that everyone gets exactly what they really need, when they need it. So when the snow falls and the EMS people can't get the ambulance through, to get someone back to the hospital quickly, and they either don't make it, or the outcome is not as "good" as it would have been with clear roads; God knows and He gives what is best.

SO back to Moses and the children of God; knowing they were headed right for the water, knowing the army was right behind them, knowing if he didn't do the right thing more than a million people were going to die, and yet he led them right to the impossible place. Because of Moses' faith and obedience, thousands of years later I can look back on the impossible and know that God can, and does, do the impossible.

What's your "impossible situation" today? What is God trying to show you in this circumstance? If you are worried, are you looking at Who He is and what He's done for you and others in the past, or are you looking at the circumstance? Take heart, for if you are in the impossible place, then you are exactly where He wants you to be and He know exactly what you need. Make sure when you come out the other side that you praise Him rightly.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Don't worry pt 3

Ps 73:23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.

Oh that I might live "near to God" every minute of every day.

I read this today, from Matthew Henry's commentary on Matt 6
"Thoughtful for our soul is the most effective cure for thoughtfulness of the world".

We can have confidence in our Great God to take care of our every NEED, but we must be looking to Him for direction and seeking first His Kingdom, then our minds will be off of our cares in this world and we will be focused on the next life, the one that actually matters.
When we seek first His Kingdom that means that it outweighs every other thing we seek. This take first place over work, pleasures, food, clothing and children. This is to be our main seeking that every other endeavor fall under. This defines our treasures well for us. If we seek first His Kingdom then when we work, we will work toward the goal of the Kingdom's advance, for us and others. When we SFTK we will see our pleasure with an eternal perspective. Our food will be for nourishment unless He provides a feast, then we will feast on His gracious, abundant provision. Clothes will be what keeps us warm and dry (this one is hard for me). Actually maybe all of these are hard for me. And children will be the legacy we leave to propel the Kingdom forward when we have gone to the Kingdom.

Is Heaven your highest prize? Do you wish for Heaven more than anything else. Are you spending yourself to attain Heaven's reward? Are the riches of Heaven on your mind as much as the cares of this world? When your mind is idle are your thoughts on being Home- in Heaven? "Nothing so mars and defiles the heart of man as impure attachment to created things." Thomas a Kempis.

I am confident that God is allowing me to go through this current economic down turn to change my focus from "how good I have it here", to a growing appetite and longing for the rest and joys of Heaven.

Don't Worry Pt. 2

Matt. 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Jesus gives us a couple of reasons, over and above that He commands it, not to worry. The first one is that we are to consider our life. Is our life less important that what we do for our livelihood? No, our livelihood, as one commentator says "Is the oil in the lamp, and our life is the lamp". Jesus is telling us to consider our lives first and then remember that God will provide the oil to keep our lamps burning. Maybe not many extra gallons of oil, but He WILL provide the oil.

Next Jesus turns to birds so that we could bolster our faith. Birds don't plant, harvest or store up and yet everyday birds get up, sing a song, and go out and collect their food. They don't consider any of the things we worry about, they know that their food will arrive from somewhere, and they go out and get it. Most of the time humans don't feed the birds, but the birds are still fed.

Then Jesus turns to the flowers in the field. I really like some flowers, but not so much the ones you have to work with all the time; like roses. Think about wild flowers growing up on some mountain that have not been seen by humans in the past month, or maybe even for their entire growing cycle; who cares for them and who is making sure they look perfect when we walk up to look at them? It is God who cares for them, every one of them, and He has created them for our enjoyment, and they are here today and gone tomorrow. We are to consider that we are here much longer than they, we are more precious in His sight than they and they were created for us, not the other way around. So when we do consider that as amazing as any person, no matter how many surgeries they have, no matter how much makeup they wear, not matter how expensive their clothes are, do not look as amazing as a flower that is here today and gone tomorrow, what am I worrying about?

Teresa and I were talking last night and she was reminded of Micah's teaching on faith; how we have to fight for faith everyday. This is so true. For sure my faith is much stronger than it was when I started this blog and I know that one of the reasons Grant had to go through his event was so that my strength would be stronger today, as I look back on where God has brought Grant and our family. BUT that doesn't mean that every moment of every day my faith is strong. It is irritating to me that my faith diminishes when I know He is faithful. When I read His Word and I can see all that He has done for generations of His people, and He always keeps His promises, and yet there are still times when my faith is weak.

We must be reading His Word to be encouraged by it. We must pray that He would strengthen our faith and help our unbelief. We must encourage others when their faith is small and remind them, and us, of all the good that God has already done for us, and that He has promised to give us our daily bread. We must remind ourselves and others that God has always and will always keep His promises. We must know what His promises are and then revel in those promises that allow us to live in a way that honors His goodness to us.

For whatever reason, yesterday was an especially hard day for me and so I hopefully am encouraging you as I remind myself of the goodness of God and His providential care for His children.

Don't let worry take the song out of your heart.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Disciplined Christian

The Practices of a Good Christian
Thomas a' Kempis

THE life of a good Christian ought to abound in every virtue so that he is interiorly what to others he appears to be. With good reason there ought to be much more within than appears on the outside, for He who sees within is God, Whom we ought to reverence most highly wherever we are and in Whose sight we ought to walk pure as the angels.

Each day we ought to renew our resolutions and arouse ourselves to fervor as though it were the first day of our religious life.

As our intention is, so will be our progress; and he who desires perfection must be very diligent. If the strong-willed man fails frequently, what of the man who makes up his mind seldom or half-heartedly? Many are the ways of failing in our resolutions.

Just men depend on the grace of God rather than on their own wisdom in keeping their resolutions. In Him they confide every undertaking, for man, indeed, proposes but God disposes, and God's way is not man's. If a habitual exercise is sometimes omitted out of piety or in the interests of another, it can easily be resumed later. But if it be abandoned carelessly, through weariness or neglect, then the fault is great and will prove hurtful. Much as we try, we still fail too easily in many things. Yet we must always have some fixed purpose, especially against things which beset us the most. Our outward and inward lives alike must be closely watched and well ordered, for both are important to perfection.

Now I'm having fun!

For those of you who know me you will not think this is strange. For those of you who don't know me, you will think I am strange; which is probably true.

I got to do something really fun yesterday. I had a really crazy day, going from work to Bellevue, to Everett, to Lynnwood, to Seattle and then back to Marysville. When I went to Lynnwood I wanted to stop by Nordstrom and see a couple of my friends in the men's furnishing department, just to say "Hi" and to see how they are doing. When I got there Jose, who is 71 and still working selling clothes, I like that for more than 1 reason, was out to lunch. Jason the dept. manager told me he would be back shortly, so I figured I would wait.

While I was waiting, looking at the ties and generally just making sure everything was in order, I was standing in front of this table and a man was standing across the table looking at the ties and our eyes met, so I asked how he was doing. He told me he had an event to attend that evening and he needed a tie to go with a black suit and a white shirt. Now I'm having fun:)

I asked him a few stylistic questions, and told him I was confident we could find something that would work great.

We continued to visit for a couple of minutes while I was doing some selecting, and then I told him, "Just so you know, I am more than happy to help you with this, but I actually don't work here". He was pretty surprised since I had a full suit on and pretty much looked like I did work there. He said that as long as it was ok with me, he was fine with that.

I picked out a few tie and then I told him I needed to get a white shirt and black jacket on the lay out table so we could see how they looked and he could make his selection. We narrowed it down to the best one and then I asked him, for the 3rd or 4th time, "does the price really matter"? He assured me that it didn't so I told him I wanted him to look at one other tie I had seen but didn't bring out. I brought it over and told him I liked this particular one best, but it was expensive. He said, "That's ok, I like it the most too". I had Jason bill him out, we exchanged info and talked just a little more and he left.
Jason said, "I thought you knew that guy". I said, "I do now".

There are so many opportunities to be a light to this world, we just need to do it. I am confident that God will bring Mike Smith from Edmonds back into my life somewhere down the road.

You also have opportunities to be a light to someone, so just smile, have fun and see what doors God opens up for you to share your light with someone who is in darkness.

I didn't share the Gospel with Mike yesterday, but all the people at Nordstrom know I am a Christian and have read this blog, and you just never know what small thing will have someone ask you just the right question.

Don't hide your light under a bushel. Don't run right past your divine appointments. And, coming from a guy who is known for being fun(NOT) have fun.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


John 10:7 So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

I heard this description of God the other day and I can't seem to stop thinking about it. Even though they often go together, they are certainly not the similar.

A pasture is where livestock go to be sustained. If the pasture is lush and green the feeding is good, the livestock doesn't have to be moved around much to be fed and a small amount of pasture will sustain a large herd. But if the pasture land has only sparse vegetation then much work would be involved to sustain the herd.

A Shepherd is one who tends, feeds and guards sheep. This would have been a really tough, lonely and lowly job in Bible times. You are out in the boonies with a bunch of less than scholarly animals, in every season of the year, from hottest to coldest, in the rain, sun, snow and wind, all just to make sure that these animal didn't hurt themselves and get hurt, or eaten, by others. The Shepherd had to make sure the sheep had enough food and water to sustain them; they had to be both the vet and the farm hand all in one person. They were everything to the sheep.

But how can both a place and a person be one? How can God be both our Pasture and our Shepherd? There are many references to pasture and pasture land in the Bible, and often we are called the sheep of His pasture, I had just never really stopped to think that He is the pasture. He is what sustains us, He is our food, and is our life. Because He is Life, because He is the greenest of pastures, we are assured a feast every morning. The Feast is not food in the sense we think of, but in the sense that He is our spiritual feast. He is also the sustainer of our physical needs as well. Just like a real sheep would not get up in the morning and be worried where the next blade of grass would come from, or if they would actually have water to drink, we are not to worry about anything. We are to feast in the pasture of Who God is.

There, of course, are many references to shepherds in the Bible as well. In Bible times, and probably today, there were good shepherds and bad shepherds. Good shepherds were those who understood ownership of the things entrusted to them. They would do whatever was necessary to ensure the safety and nourishment of the flock. Bad shepherds were ones who were in it for the pay, and would do almost anything to get out of work. The Good Shepherd is more than a good shepherd. He is the Best Shepherd. He knows exactly where the lushest feeding is; in Him. He knows exactly what each and every sheep needs every minute of every day. That may mean a broken leg, or loving strokes. A good shepherd could get some of those things right some of the time, but certainly not all of them right all the time. He is our Sustainer, Protector, Provider, Healer, Comforter, Helper, Encourager, Feast, Thirst Quencher, Rain, Sun, Shelter and so many other things.

I imagine there are also other things that seem very different, like shepherd/pasture, that He is. I would like you to share those with me.

I know you are all busy, but if nothing else, post 2 words for me to think about.

Are you resting in all that He is? Are you feasting in all that He is, or starving because you are looking for the feast somewhere other than Him?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Thomas a Kempis

"CONSIDER the lively examples set us by the saints, who possessed the light of true perfection and religion, and you will see how little, how nearly nothing, we do. What, alas, is our life, compared with theirs? The saints and friends of Christ served the Lord in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, in work and fatigue, in vigils and fasts, in prayers and holy meditations, in persecutions and many afflictions. How many and severe were the trials they suffered -- the Apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, and all the rest who willed to follow in the footsteps of Christ! They hated their lives on earth that they might have life in eternity.

How strict and detached were the lives the holy hermits led in the desert! What long and grave temptations they suffered! How often were they beset by the enemy! What frequent and ardent prayers they offered to God! What rigorous fasts they observed! How great their zeal and their love for spiritual perfection! How brave the fight they waged to master their evil habits! What pure and straightforward purpose they showed toward God! By day they labored and by night they spent themselves in long prayers. Even at work they did not cease from mental prayer. They used all their time profitably; every hour seemed too short for serving God, and in the great sweetness of contemplation, they forgot even their bodily needs.

They renounced all riches, dignities, honors, friends, and associates. They desired nothing of the world. They scarcely allowed themselves the necessities of life, and the service of the body, even when necessary, was irksome to them. They were poor in earthly things but rich in grace and virtue. Outwardly destitute, inwardly they were full of grace and divine consolation. Strangers to the world, they were close and intimate friends of God. To themselves they seemed as nothing, and they were despised by the world, but in the eyes of God they were precious and beloved. They lived in true humility and simple obedience; they walked in charity and patience, making progress daily on the pathway of spiritual life and obtaining great favor with God.

They were given as an example for all religious, and their power to stimulate us to perfection ought to be greater than that of the lukewarm to tempt us to laxity.

How great was the fervor of all religious in the beginning of their holy institution! How great their devotion in prayer and their rivalry for virtue! What splendid discipline flourished among them! What great reverence and obedience in all things under the rule of a superior! The footsteps they left behind still bear witness that they indeed were holy and perfect men who fought bravely and conquered the world.

Today, he who is not a transgressor and who can bear patiently the duties which he has taken upon himself is considered great. How lukewarm and negligent we are! We lose our original fervor very quickly and we even become weary of life from laziness! Do not you, who have seen so many examples of the devout, fall asleep in the pursuit of virtue!"

If you have the ability to read this blog, you have the ability to find this book on line. I would highly recommend it to you. Short little chapters that really help you consider.

Don't Worry

Matt. 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

It is interesting that Jesus, The Word made flesh here teaching His created ones, tells us all "Don't be anxious", 3 times in just these few verses. He certainly knew that we all would struggle with worry when He said this. There is no vain repetition with God, and so Jesus would not have used this command 3 times if He didn't know that we needed it hear it 3 times. And it is a command.

Anxious means; Full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried. Matthew Henry says "this is the sin of disquieting, distracting, distrustful cares about the things of this life, which are a bad sign that both the treasure and the heart are on the earth". If we are so concerned with this life that we worry all the time, then are we really thinking about where our true home is or where our true reward is? "The thought is a disturbing thought that hurries the mind back and forth, and hangs it in suspense, which disturbs our joy in God, is damp upon our hope in Him, breaks the sleep, hinders the enjoyment of ourselves, of our friends and of what God has given us".
Jesus never promised we would be feasting, but that we would be fed and that we would have everything that we need for life and godliness, and He keeps His promises. When we trust Him to keep His promises, then we are able to rest, truly rest, in Him. We are not thinking about all the things He has promised to provide, but we are resting and trusting in Him to do what He has promised He would do.

Jesus starts with the most basic and most worried about topic for man; life. MH- "All that a man has he will give for his life- yet take no thought of it.
Not the length of it- if God chooses to shorten or lengthen it- He is good.
Not the comforts of it- If God chooses to make it bitter or sweet- He is good.
Though many good people have the prospect of having little, yet few have present support."
Not only are we not to be worried about our lives, but we are not to worry about tomorrow. We are not to be concerned about what will happen tomorrow, where we will live tomorrow, what we will eat tomorrow, or even what will happen to us when we're old, because today has enough trouble on its own, so trust that God will care for us tomorrow, just as He has today.
When we truly trust Him, like children trust their parents, then we can "sleep like a baby" in His arms, because we have confidence that He will give to us what is best for us today and tomorrow.

"'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
just to take Him at His Word,
just to REST upon His promise,
just to know thus sayeth the Lord,

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him
How I've proved Him 'ore and 'ore
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
Oh for grace to trust Him more.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008



"It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men.

When a man of good will is afflicted, tempted, and tormented by evil thoughts, he realizes clearly that his greatest need is God, without Whom he can do no good. Saddened by his miseries and sufferings, he laments and prays. He wearies of living longer and wishes for death that he might be dissolved and be with Christ. Then he understands fully that perfect security and complete peace cannot be found on earth."

Thomas a' Kempis
The Imitation of Christ

The Imitation of Christ- How are you doing?

The Imitation of Christ
Thomas à Kempis

"He who follows Me, walks not in darkness," says the Lord. By these words of Christ we are advised to imitate His life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of heart. Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ.

The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of the saints, and he who has His spirit will find in it a hidden manna. Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often but care little for it because they have not the spirit of Christ. Yet whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.

What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone.

This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. It is vanity, therefore, to seek and trust in riches that perish. It is vanity also to court honor and to be puffed up with pride. It is vanity to follow the lusts of the body and to desire things for which severe punishment later must come. It is vanity to wish for long life and to care little about a well-spent life. It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come. It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides.

Often recall the proverb: "The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the ear filled with hearing."[2] Try, moreover, to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God."

Much to think about in a few paragraphs.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fathers be good to your daughters

I haven't addressed this topic before on the blog, but recent events have made it clear that I need to speak out.
What is it that daughters are to do when they are done with high school? Are daughters supposed to follow the way of the world and go to college to gain more education so they can become "better"? Are they supposed to be ready to not be married, or are we/fathers supposed to train them the way that God has lined out in Scripture?
I can find no verse that directs me to send my daughter to ANY college. Though this is counter cultural, women are to be workers at home, Titus 2.
So what is the best way for a young woman to be trained in being a woman at home? The older women are to train the younger women. If this was truly taking place in the church there would be absolutely no need for our girls to go to college and run up a gigantic school bill to hand to their husbands and a wedding present.

If the older women were training them here, at home and at church, then "home-ec" would be taking place right in front of us everyday, without them leaving the local church. But sadly, this is not taking place. The older women are buying into the idea that they need to be working outside the home and consequently there is no time for them to disciple the younger women. If they are to have the gift of singleness, then can't they be trained in disciple-making in the local church?

Yes, there are lots of things a young woman can learn away from home, but not all of them are good and none of them are directed in Scripture. Discipleship, working at home, loving children, being respectful, submitting to authority and everything else that they are to do and be are all best able to be done right here at home and in the local church.

My job is to train Kimmy the way that God has instructed, and try to keep my own opinions out of the mix. If we do precisely what God lines out for us to do, and don't try to throw our interpretation into the mix, He will bless us. If we add to the text then we will find ourselves in a generation of very mixed up individuals.

For those of you who may disagree with me, please respond with a verse from the Bible that says something contrary to what I have posted. I am only interested in following God's directives on this subject.

By the way, I also am not concerned if others think I am crazy, because I am the one responsible to God for the direction that I lead my kids. I also have no issue if you want to do something different, because in the end, I am not required to give an answer for other's children, only my own.

God is good and He is proving Himself faithful even in issues like this. Follow His Word and He will make your way prosperous.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Creating some spacing

The ONLY reason I am posting this is so coupon saving, miserly Marysville, money saving, Betty bargain shopper, "I buy 90 boxes of cereal for a penny" woman wouldn't have every post on the 128 site for the week:)
Way to go you shopper girls, maintain the maximum ROI on your "gate keeping" husband's dollars. God is honored when we are good stewards of His money. I am learning from you all.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

God's hand in mine.

Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God's hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed, in
awe of the mystery of his perfect ways

All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me

I can't remember a trial or a pain he did
not recycle to bring me gain. I can't
remember one single regret in serving
God only and trusting his hand

This is my anthem, this is my song, the
theme of the stories I've heard for so long.
God has been faithful, he will be again.
His loving compassion, it knows no end.

I was thinking and praying this morning about matters of today and yesterday and was reminded of God's faithfulness. Yesterday I had prayed that God would take care of some PG financial things, which more often than not is just about the timing of when a payment comes in and when other payments are due. He of course handled it in a creative way. We didn't receive our payment any faster than I had expected, but the date that we had originally thought our payment was due was a couple of days too early, so He worked it all out. He is so faithful.

The topic of my recent posts has been much more "child-centered" lately. Part of that is from reading in Matthew where Jesus is talking to His disciples about being like a child and then meditating on what He is trying to get us to understand, the other side of it is that I am realizing how total dependence on Him I really am. He is not more in control now than before, I am just finally seeing how dependent I am on Him.

So, I was thinking about this song, and of a little boy/girl holding their daddy's hand, and the comfort and security that this brings. The dads are in no more control of the situation around the child, while holding their hand, but the nearness of dad is so personal and intimate. How sweet it is to know that God does hold our hand/carry us through life. We just need to realize that He is right there, and trust Him.

God is good and we have many opportunities RIGHT NOW to share His goodness with others, don't miss those times to tell others How Really good our God is. They need the encouragement and we need to give Him the praise that is due Him.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hang on loosely.

Gen.22:1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." 2He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you." 6And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7And Isaac said to his father Abraham, "My father!" And he said, "Here am I, my son." He said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" 8Abraham said, "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they went both of them together.

9When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." 12He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." 13And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called the name of that place, "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."

15And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16and said, "By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice." 19So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.

WOW! When I read this I am reminded that God doesn't want some of what I have, He doesn't need any of it because it's all His anyway. But He does want me to be willing to give everything I have up, if He asks.
When we finally realize that He is all we really need, that He is our ultimate treasure, that He is the prize, then we can finally let go of all that crowds our lives. "Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also".
I am finally realize that this world is not so great and that it does get much better than this. I have a nice life but God is starting to give me a real longing for Heaven. Until lately I have been concentrating much more on the things right in front of me, rather than focusing on the prize that is waiting. There is no rest here that compares to the rest of Heaven. No joy, no strength, no peace and no worship like what will be in Heaven.
So until God takes me home, He wants me to make available everything He has given and He will decide if He actually wants to take it back or continue to let me borrow it.
Abraham was a good example of hanging on loosely.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What am I reflecting?

Gen. 1:26Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
27So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

We are studying Genesis in 128, our youth ministry, and we are already through the 1st chapter. It is interesting to me that God created ONLY humans in His image. Then He also gave us a limited amount of instruction for our time here on earth.
We are to bear His image, be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth. As I look at the list some of these things seem harder than others. "Be fruitful and multiply" and "subdue the earth" seem much easier than bearing the image of Creator God. How can I be a reflection of God? If the only way for people to see God is by looking at me, what should I do or be?
I am looking out my window at the snow crested mountains, the backdrop of the blue sky, a few wispy clouds, dark green trees on the foothills around the higher peaks and they look so much more majestic than I, BUT I am the one made in His image, not any of the rest of creation.
If I had to do this reflecting on my own, I would be in serious trouble. I would only reflect the sinfulness of fallen man, not the pure radiance of who God really is. But we are not in this on our own. God sent His Son to take away the sinfulness and then sent His Helper to live inside of us, that we might really reflect who He is to the world.
On my own I can't have any of the fruit of the Spirit, that makes me look more like the Image, but with His Spirit I can look like the One who is the Creator and Sustainer.
Gal. 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

I can't love on my own, have joy or peace on my own, be patient or kind, have any goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self control. The only way I can reflect those attributes of God is with His help. W/o His help I am only going to reflect the ugliness of a fallen, sinful man; me.
It seems strange that God would pick me/us to reflect Himself to the world. This is both humbling and exhilarating. To think that God picks us to represent Himself to the world. What a responsibility and privilege. What freedom (He chose us) and weight.
What I do with my time is reflective of the importance of who God is to me.
My community thankfulness towards God is reflective of what He has done for me.
My testimony to others about what God has done, and is doing, in my life is a direct reflection on how they may view God.
If I truly believe that God will keep His promises, then will I worry about tomorrow? If I am not worrying about tomorrow, when so many others are, how much different will that reflection be?
I don't want to be a cloudy reflection. I don't want to be opaque or etched. I want to be a pure reflection of How Good our God REALLY is. I've a long way to go, but He who began a good work, will be faithful to complete it.