Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lessons from a Girl- who isn't even 2 years old

Being a grandpa is awesome and it's even better when you get to see the grand kids every day in person. That happens when everyone lives under the same roof. That's on purpose.

We have 3 babies, Job will be 3 Aug 5th, Ruthie will be 2 Sept 17th and EllaBeth is just over a month. There are some busy people in this house and the noise level is pretty high at times. 

Each of the little people have their own personality and character traits. While there is overlap there is also uniqueness a-plenty.

Ruthie is the subject of my lesson this past few weeks. How can someone who is not yet 2 years old teach an old guy like me things about God? Add to that the fact that she can barely talk and this gets even more poignant. 

You see Ruthie is the sweetest, bright-eyed, steal-your-heart-with-a-smile kind of girl. She is full of life, busy all the time and very decisive. She knows what she wants and is very happy to tell you repeatedly what that is. She is also happy to tell you what she doesn't want and if she doesn't get that pretty quickly you'll definitely hear about it. 

As my first grand daughter she has stolen my heart. That's the way it's supposed to be. So what's the lesson.

More often than not she wants her mama or "Gigi", who is grandma. Apparently when I am not near by she is asking about me all the time and seems to be very interested in knowing what I am doing, but when I am around she often is not interested in any advances of affection from me. She just walks off and says "no". 

You might say, "Get over it, she's not even 2" and that would be understood but there is a lesson here she is teaching and she'd like for me and you to get it. 

She's teaching me how I often related to my Heavenly Father. He lavishes all good things on me without reservation, longs for the closest of relationships with me and yet often I am too busy doing my own thing. He is constantly showing His love and affection to me and yet I am looking the other way, thinking I know what I need while He is offering what I truly need. 

I am not trying to give Ruthie bad things or things that will make her sick and yet she is not that interested in what I am offering but instead thinks she knows what's best. 

Hmmm, I am often "Ruthie" in my relationship with The Father. 

When she turns the corner and is once again kind and sweet, I of course am excited to continue the relationship and lavish all my love onto her, which she then happily accepts: for the moment. It's my delight to get to show my love to her. 

The Father's unconditional love looks the same way when we have been doing our own thing, going our own way and seeking our own pleasure. When we return He is excited to start anew. He doesn't push us away or make us go "think about it" for a while. He lavishes His kindness and love on us once again, just like I am so excited to be loved and needed by Ruthie.

Just something to consider. 

“The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chosen Children- Faithful Father

Do you have children or grand children? Have you ever heard one of your children crying, without having them in a direct line of sight, and known that it was them? When your kids are in the backyard you are often watching them out of the corner of your eye to make sure they are ok, but as they grow up we don't need to watch them every second because they can fend for themselves. While they are learning to walk we are watching them VERY closely, hovering over every step.
With that in mind, read the following verses. 

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.

The Father doesn't have a capacity issue with having to stop watching His kids that are grown so He can focus on the "ones who need it". We all need it no matter our age. 

 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.

Can you imagine the joy He recieves when He blesses His :righteous ones"? Read that again, He is "ATTENTIVE" to their cry. He delivers them out of ALL their troubles.

Do you ever get into a place where you think that the trouble you are in is over yoru head? I know I do. We are to cry out for then he hears and delivers. 

The Psalmist then goes on to say that He protects all the bones of the righteous and not one is broken. We are unbreakable until He allows the break. We are immortal until He decides we are not. 

What a passage Psalm 34 is for those who are suffering in so many ways: and people are suffering.

Oh you His chosen child, are you suffering some affliction that seems too great for you to overcome? The righteous WILL have affliction, so if that's your lot at this moment then be thankful. The affliction is exact what we each need for Him to bring us closer to Himself. 

I'll let the Psalmist close with these couple of verses. Pretty powerful stuff here. Blessings and lacking no good things are what are in store for those who take refuge in Him. 

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Weight is Heavy, Knees are Weak


Weight is heavy, knees are weak
Work day and night, wallet springs a leak
Two steps forward, 3 steps back
Makes one wonder, "am I on the right track?"

Is this the way, it's gonna be?
Will we once again, ever run free?
Life is hard and then you die
Need is great, where's the supply?

Cattle on hills, a picture tells
Current existence, kind of smells
Life as we know it, looking bleak
Weight is heavy, knees are weak 

Ever wonder where God is taking you? Ever wonder if you really are doing what He has intended for you to do and if this is what He "best" is for you then why does it seems so futile? 

Do you sometimes feel that you are in a limbo contest and God is holding the stick and you believe you have just passed under the lowest possible measure and then you see the stick go down another notch?

"When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."

Singing this song has previously been easy and then I am realizing that the fire, the same one that I have said "God controls the degree and duration of the flame", is still fire and the gold is not excited about being in the fire and the flame is doing its job, but when will the fire subside?

"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;" 

Ever read these verses and wonder how much closer one can get to the edge without falling over?

I'll leave you with this from Tim Challies "Crushing Weight of Glory"

"Christian, do you know that morning is coming? Do you believe it? 
In all the pain and weariness and suffering and trauma, in a world of so many trials, it is so easy to be full of despair and to give up. Paul himself was sometimes close to giving up. When he wrote the church at Corinth he spoke of a time where he experienced some kind of trial in Asia. He wrote, 'We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. We felt that we had received the sentence of death.' He was fragile. He was afflicted, he was perplexed, he was persecuted and he was struck down. But hold on.

Why? Because he trusted in what Christ had done and he kept his gaze fixed on what Christ had promised to do. Even the heaviest blow would some day be deemed a light and momentary affliction when he experienced the crushing weight of God’s glory in the presence of God. He had no greater hope than that. You and I have no greater hope than that. Hold on to that hope, hold on to God who gives you that hope, and you will endure." 

Monday, March 10, 2014

One, to Be and See His Glory

John 17:20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

As I read these verses my heart is full that Jesus would be praying these words for us; His Bride in the future.

He knew that in moments His betrayal would move to full swing and He also knew where all this would lead His disciples. He knew much better than they what was about to take place and His shepherd's heart is on display.

You can feel His compassion for His sheep as He says "Father", "given me", "perfectly one" and again "O righteous Father". His desire is that His sheep will know the Father as He knows the Father and He knows this will happen through His word and through the unity that the Spirit will bring to His people. 

Imagine leaving your kids and grandkids for the last time- what words would you use? Jesus' desire was for the reunion to take place so that His sheep could see the glory that His Father had given Him. 

He knows how good it's going to be in Heaven and He is excited for ALL those whom the Father has given Him to be there with Him forever. 

the unity that we have as believers is one of the things that the Spirit uses to bring others to Christ and Jesus knows this; He's praying to the Father that each one of us would know this and desire to have unity with the Body. This is important enough that it's some of the last words we hear Jesus say before He goes to the cross.

Read the short paragraph again with the understanding of how close the cross is and with the idea that it's you leaving those you love. 

God placed us in this exact spot for a purpose and a major part of that purpose is to show the world we are one.