Monday, June 18, 2012

"I have had enough, Lord," he said

This partial verse is from I Kings 19:4, where Elijah is dejectedly sitting under a broom tree after running for his life from Jezebel. He had recently been the agent of God's dynamic display over Baal worship on Mt. Carmel. However, he apparently sees it will do little long term good for the spiritual state of the nation, and he is ready to throw in his prophetic towel.

I can identify with him. For some time I have been developing a relationship with a co-worker who has a different church background from mine. By faith and my own wits I have been trying to discern if this person really knows the Lord or not, and respond with whatever I can to encourage the person to get closer to God. I am possibly down to a couple of days before we may become out of touch, and I am ready to tell the Lord that I am too tired to be His agent even for a couple of days. And I also ask the question if I am doing any long term good.  In short, I feel that I have had enough.

Still, I do want to be like the flashlight, making it possible for the person to see the key features of being a real Christian and act on them. I figure that is why I cross paths with some people.

In Elijah's case, he was revived physically, directed to Mt. Horeb, and told there was more for him to do. Restored and encouraged, he went on until he passed his mantle to Elisha.

For all I know, I may have more than a couple of days of contact left, but I feel I can't act as though this will be the case. I hope it is,  because I have a fear of falling short. Maybe there is more to do. You can pray for me.

Written by beanscot's husband, who also lives in the little house under the weeping willow tree.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The unpredictability of God

The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat i the evening, and he drank from the brook. I Kings 17:6

I am Beanscot's husband, again guest writing.

This verse describes God's creative provision for Elijah, after he proclaimed a famine. God was providing food and drink, and I figure also hiding him from Ahab, who ruled Israel at the time, and doubtless was displeased at Elijah's proclamation. After the Brook Kerith dries up, he goes to the widow of Zarephath, and more miracles occur.

No, Elijah wasn't benched, and he wasn't in trouble with God. He had done his job, and now needed to lay low and watch God show that He was in charge, not Baal.

God wants to show that He is the provider. For us, that may mean "outside the box" work on God's part. As long as our needs are met, do we care how God does it? I think that the unusual nature of His provision is a telltale sign that He is behind it. It reminds us that God is providential and in charge. "Normal" means for meeting temporal needs don't always make that point as well. I mean, most of the Israelites were farming and trading, not scanning the sky for some unusual deliveries by birds. And, I suppose, neither should we, but Elijah's experience is a prime example of how limitless God is and unpredictable He can be. After all, He is attentive to our needs.

"God Will Take Care of You" - Plumb

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Let Everything that has Breath Praise the Lord!

I am the husband of Beanscot, a guest blogger.

The title of this is from Psalm 150:6

The context of this verse emphasizes the use of voice and instruments in praising God. However, many people point out, and rightly so, that every aspect of life can serve as such an instrument. This, I think, is a lot more difficult than singing or playing an instrument. One must really be on top of one's game to effect such a result on a daily basis.

This is why engaging in distinctly Christian activity when possible is helpful, simply because most of life can't be overtly Christian activity, but all activity should be directed toward the target of glorifying God. It is likely why I listen to Christian music, simply because it is more likely to be an asset in keeping myself aimed toward this target than regular music is.  If the music I listen to is vertically oriented, I am more likely to be.

It seems to be that this verse could serve as a screen, much like "Seek first the kingdom  of God, etc. is (Matt. 6:33).  Activities and ways of engaging in them should be evaluated as to whether they promote God's kingdom. In like manner, words and actions should be evaluated as to whether they are connected to the praise of God. Those that are not, well, I leave that up to you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Small Things, Big God

Today has been the day of lost things, yes, just things, but replaceable only through effort, paperwork and fees.  It's  irritating, and will threaten my peace if allowed to grow into a bigger calamity than it really is.   Then there's my old computer that's running so slowly that I could write this with more ease with a quill pen, a pot of ink and paper.   Irritating yes, as I imagine a thousand hackers and more big brothers than I could possibly use laboring feverishly in the inner workings of this old laptop, to do me ill will.   Maybe it's good that I write under the cover of the weeping willow tree which hides this little house even from Google Earth.   So I'll upload another image with a verse that reminds me what I should never lose, mercy and truth; and, if I write them on the tablet of my heart, I won't.
A song of encouragement:  All Together Separate, "It Will Be Worth It All"

What I'm Listening To...

"When The Stars Burn Down (Blessing and Honor) by Phillips, Craig & Dean from their Breathe In album.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Class of 2012

Galatians 6:14
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Tonight's broadcast of "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" introduced me to a remarkable commencement address made by the educator David McCoullough Jr. to the 2012 Class of Wellesley High School.   It's so good that I thought I'd upload it here.   This is a man who truly loves his students. The only thing that would have made it better if God could have been acknowledged in the speech.  Jesus is the only Man who could have truly laid claim to being special, yet He willingly became the atoning sacrifice for mankind.  Hallelujah!  What A Savior!

"What A Savior" - Laura Story

What I'm Listening To...

"Jesus Take the Wheel" sung by Carrie Underwood on her Some Hearts album and played this morning on Praise 106.5fm.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Set Apart Child of God

Galatians 1:15(NIV)
But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased

I've been thinking about a precious sister who is celebrating a milestone birthday today.  She came right in the middle of my group of siblings, never the oldest and only a brief reign as the youngest.  We girls were assigned to two bedrooms in the big Victorian house of our childhood.   One bedroom, very large, always held three and the small bedroom held two.   We would take turns with the small bedroom, sometimes the two oldest girls would take it over and other times the two youngest.   My middle sister never moved, always assigned to the large room.   Was that strange never changing your bed but often your identity, sometimes old and other times young?  What was that like fixed in place while the others orbited around you?  Were you the proud center of your universe or afraid of being downsized like Pluto to minor planet status?   It's no wonder you fell out of orbit at times blazing like a shooting star.   Still God was pleased, with His wild child, set apart from birth and called by HIs grace.

It may be my favorite memory of this sister, the day we got the hand-me-down prom dresses from our beautiful, older cousin.   We were being raised in a strict denomination that taught dancing was wrong. Still the dresses got pulled out of their box and tried on, by the older girls.   Right now I can't remember who the older girls were, save for this sister.   It may have been friends as well as siblings.   I do remember, however, girls twirling around that big bedroom in those frothy, glorious dresses, even if bodices did have to be stuffed with rolled socks, even if the dresses would never be worn outside of that room.  And I do remember how lovely this sister was as she enjoyed the dance, and I have to smile.

Dancing - Joanne Hogg

What I'm Listening To...

The penguins from Happy Feet singing "Happy Birthday" because someone I love is celebrating today.

Let This God's Child Say Amen

2 Corinthians 1:10
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Jesus keeps bringing me back to the word, Amen, probably because I find it so easy to say but so hard to live.  He challenges me to agree with what I find disagreeable.   I want to be comfortable when God never promised my comfort.  With a petulant spirit, I tell God that He can have things His way; when, of course, He can have it His way.   He is God!   He doesn't need my approval or agreement, but my genuine, heartfelt, "Amen!" is to His glory; and giving God glory, fulfills His purpose for me.  So I shall say, Amen and Amen and Amen.
"Amen" - Matt Papa

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What I'm Listening To...

"It Must Be You (Moses)"  Bart Miller of Mercy Me, Films and Music Inspired By The Story

Friday, June 8, 2012

My God, My Personal Planner

Isaiah 40:14(NIV)
Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?

Just when I start thinking I've got God figured out, He confounds me, and I'm back to the drawing board, or rather to the Bible, His Word, His plans, His blueprint for my life.  I found myself thanking God for a mercy today to have it turn out, at least to me, to be a trial.   So now I must again curtail my time at my computer because my hands are again suffering from overuse. God knows why, even if I don't.   Yet, will I praise Him.
Romans 11:33-36
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[a] knowledge of God! 
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out! 
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”[b] 
35 “Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay them?”[c] 
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. 
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Mark Hall and Megan Garrett - "Who But You(Abraham and Sarah)" from Music Inspired By The Story

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My God, My Daddy

Psalm 103:13
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

It occurred to me today that I've been living as if God has quit being my Dad, He's still a Dad to everyone else, but He's given up on me.  He's  closed my account, locked up his storehouses, and removed my picture from his wallet.  One day someone will probably put a name to this feeling, probably Post-Foreclosure Syndrome; but, for now, it feels like child abandonment.   
But that's not my God!   My God is good!   He is truly good to me!  
He's my Daddy and always will be.
I must stop listening to the devil, the father of lies.
The late Whitney Houston sings the song she knew in part then but knows in full now, "Yes, Jesus Loves Me."

What I'm Listening To...

"You Are My King (Amazing Love) by the Newsboys from their Adoration: The Worship Album and played this morning on Praise 106.5 fm.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Deliverance Day

Revelation 21:4(NIV)
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Matthew 25:21(AKJV)
His lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.
Revelation 21:11 (AKJV)
He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

It's the 68th anniversary of D-Day, but that's no longer part of your history, is it, in Heaven?   I'd like to think that D-Day for you was actually your Deliverance Day, the day you were delivered into the arms of Jesus, your Savior and heard the words, "Well done."
You finished your battle and entered into a place where there are no more wars and likely no more memories of war, because such things don't belong in Heaven.   Missing limbs and shattered minds have been restored in this place where the Great Healer and Prince of Peace reigns.  I'd love to see you and Grandpa running and skipping like calves let out of the stall.  One day I will.  Oh, Glorious Day!
This is a hymn by Doc Watson, who's now singing in Heaven's choir,  and David Holt, "Stand By Me."

What I'm Listening To...

"Turn Around" by Matt Maher from his The Love In Between album.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

What If?

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.   

It's an unfortunate truth that sometimes things will get worse before they get better.   Pain, loss, sorrow, grief are all part of the human existence; but, so is joy, so is hope.  For those call Jesus, Lord, there is great love, compassion, mercy and grace.   Even if we stumble, even if we fall, Jesus doesn't.   He will always uphold us in our times of ease or of direst need.   Child of God, your light will yet shine, even if your hands are shaking and your heart is trembling.  He is beside you on the ledge, ever watching over you.  He can be trusted.
We have a great God.  

"What If I Stumble" - DC Talk

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."

Is this one for the people? Is this one for the Lord?
Or do I simply serenade for things I must afford?
You can jumble them together, my conflict still remains
Holiness is calling, in the midst of courting fame
Cause I see the trust in their eyes
Though the sky is falling
They need Your love in their lives
Compromise is calling

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You never turn in the heat of it all
What if I stumble, what if I fall?

Father please forgive me for I can not compose
The fear that lives within me
Or the rate at which it grows
If struggle has a purpose on the narrow road you've carved
Why do I dread my trespasses will leave a deadly scar
Do they see the fear in my eyes? Are they so revealing?
This time I cannot disguise all the doubt I'm feeling

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

What if I stumble?
Everyone's got to crawl when you know that
You're up against a wall, it's about to fall
Everyone's got to crawl when you know that

I hear You whispering my name [You say]
"My love for You will never change" [never change]

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You never turn in the heat of it all
What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You are my comfort, and my God

Is this one for the people, is this one for the Lord? 

What I'm Listening To...

"Healing Hand of God" by Jeremy Camp on his Speaking Louder Than Before album.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Seattle Song

View From the Top of the Space Needle

2 Corinthians 2:14(NIV)
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Our Seattle outing is still much on my mind, and the physical pain that flares under a strenuous outing remains.  Still, it was a good day.   I don't like the way fibromyalgia and other physical issues limit me, but it teaches me accept small victories.   The needle was my Everest, as I discovered that a courtesy pass to avoid the lines going up didn't mean a pass on the lines going down, and I don't do well standing in lines.  The wait was excruciating, allowing me another  chance to share in the sufferings of Christ.  This is a good thing, I have to tell myself, when I think I've done more than my share.  My Jesus understands, though, and loves even the whiny me.    The pain he bore on the way to Calvary was nothing compared with my ascent of the Needle, still he bore it for me.
God is good.  He never left my side.
I like this Seattle Song by Jewel.  I was especially pleased with her reference to the Woodland Park Zoo as it invokes many pleasant memories.

He Never Lets Go

A Youtube viewer requested this image from the Youtube video, "Never Let Go" by the David Crowder band.   I am so glad that my Jesus never let's go of me.   I am always safe in His hands.  It is a reason to lift our hands in praise.

A Special Day

Leaving Seattle on the Washington State "Tacoma" Ferry

It was a long but very special day today, a day to celebrate a man.   This is just a short video of the elevator ride up the Seattle Space Needle.   We are heading to bed in this little house under the weeping willow tree.   God bless.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Moment to Reflect

My hands are still asking for a break from the computer.   It's a good time to reflect on the Father's Love.

Friday, June 1, 2012

What I'm Listening To...

"When Love Sees You (Jesus)" by Mac Powell  from the Music Inspired By the Story album.