Sunday, December 23, 2007
~Arden Mead, copyright 2007 Creative Communications
The beauty of Christmas is that Christ came for them...for their children...for their children's children...for us, our children, and our children's children...for all of us.
Rejoice, my friends! For unto us is born a Savior!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
But in the middle of all this, God spoke something to me so clearly today. That's the point of it all. The world didn't come to a standstill when Christ was born. Yes, there was the angelic announcement and the shepherd's visit. Later, the star led the wisemen to Christ. But those few people are the only ones whose lives paused for His coming. The rest of the world went on with their daily schedules, totally oblivious to the incredible event that had occured in the stable that night, or how that event would eventually change the world. The point is that Christ comes in the midst of our regular lives. He is there in the center of it all--all the craziness and chaos. He is there. IF we allow Him. IF that is what we are truly desirous of, He will indeed make His presence known. Life doesn't have to come to a stop for Him to be present.
I know this is quite an elementary idea, but it struck me as profound. Yes, I do need to take those quiet times to be alone with Him and remember what happened on that night so long ago. But even more important, I need to allow Him to be there in all the times of busyness, allowing Him to make them times of joy and not times of stress.
For that is the beauty of Christmas: Immanuel, "God With Us ".
Sunday, December 16, 2007
There are so many wonders to ponder at Christmas. The story of Christ's birth is a series of miracles: An angel appears to Zechariah. Elizabeth conceives a son in her old age (she who was called "barren"). An angel appears to a virgin and declares that she will give birth. An angel appears to her husband-to-be, and assures him that Mary's pregnancy is of the Holy Spirit--he should continue with his plans to marry her. A warm birthplace is found in the midst of a crowded city. The Savior of all mankind would come to earth, and be found sleeping in a stable. A humble place, yet still a shelter. Angels appear to shepherds. Simple men, yet full of faith and ready to adore this new king.
The Advent season today is no less full of miracles, as we ponder the wonder of what God did over 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem. Do we see the miracles? Or are we too busy to open our hearts and our eyes?
Friday, December 14, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
"If the Prophecy Candle urges us to listen, the message of the Bethlehem Candle is: 'Prepare! Open your eyes; be aware of what's really going on.' What's really going on? The Lord is coming, that's what! Just as surely as Jesus once came to bustling Bethlehem (which was not fully prepared), so surely He is coming again!"
~Arden Mead, Copyright 2007, Creative Communications
The focus of Advent, week 2, is the prophecy of John the Baptist in the wilderness. John knew the time for the Messiah was at hand. He was in their midst. John's message was: "Prepare! Get your hearts ready, for the One you have been looking for is about to make Himself known."
Preparation means drawing closer to God. We cannot do that without taking time to allow the Holy Spirit to examine us. And as He reveals our true "selves" to us, we are drawn to repentance. A heart full of self and sin does not have room for Christ. It is true, too, that a life full of busyness and activity is also a life that is too full of self and the world.
May this season find us emptied of anything that would hinder us from being full of Him!
"The first candle of the Advent wreath is called The Prophecy Candle. It urges us to listen. God has a lot to say to us. In fact, what God has to communicate is so important that finally God has to say it in person. 'The Word became flesh'--a human being, the One whose birth we anticipate in Advent and celebrate at Christmas."
~by Arden Mead, copyright 2007 Creative Communications, www.creativecommunications.com
In the Church calendar, we have begun the season of Advent. Each night at supper, we have our youngest child light the first purple candle in the Advent wreath. We have special scripture readings in church. We sing, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel". But what does it all mean?
The word "advent" means "coming". During this season, we prepare our hearts in a special way as we anticipate the coming of Christmas: Christ's first coming as a babe in a manger, born to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem. Just as the prophets foretold so long ago.
But we also remember that there will be another coming of Christ. We prepare our hearts for that day, and take these four weeks to draw ever closer to Him.
I have really been struggling with it lately. It seems that no matter how hard I try to set aside the time to focus on all that it means, other things come along to distract me and turn me away from the true meaning of Advent. My kids' school teachers seem to have this passion for adding "just one more" project before their Christmas break. Someone needs me to do "just one more" thing to help out with some special event. There needs to be "just one more" batch of cookies for this or that occasion. I have felt quite down and lost in the midst of all this. I am trying so hard to get the perspective back, but it is difficult!
May this season be one of peace...in our world, yes, but also in our hearts!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Some of you may remember my post from Memorial Day, in which I mentioned Luke Emch. Luke was a native of our area, who lost his life in Iraq. My sons and I were privileged to hold a flag in his honor as the funeral procession carried his body to the cemetery.
I was recently contacted by a woman who puts together condolence books for the families of our fallen heroes.
Below is my account of the day we held the flag, as well as the e-mail post from this kind woman--who is also the mom/mother-in-law of military personnel. I have posted this with her permission.
I feel humbled and quite honored!
March 12, 2007
The funeral for Navy Hospitalman Luke Emch, of Tallmadge (Ohio) was held this morning at 10 a.m. He was 21, and was killed in Iraq on March 2nd. The funeral procession was to go past our town, on its way to the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, though a specific time was not given in the paper.
The boys and I walked to the overpass a little before 1 p.m. We took a couple of flags with us. "Harry" held the smaller one (about 8" X 18"). While we were waiting, we had many, many drivers honk, wave, or both. It was so neat! They saw that flag, and responded. We were just about to give up and walk home, when I could see the flashing lights of the motorcade coming toward us.
"Clyde" and I held up the other, larger flag (3' x 5'). As the procession went under the overpass, the faces of all the drivers and passengers turned upward. Almost every person in that procession waved at us. It was something I will never forget.
I'm so glad we took the time to let that family know that, even though we don't know them personally, we honor their son, and that he gave his life for his country.
I just wanted to share our experience with you.
I woke up this morning and thought I would do a web search on Luke's name.
I want to let you know that I am printing up the words and including them
Monday, November 19, 2007
This will most likely be my last post before Thanksgiving. Things are a bit hectic around here, as I'm sure they are in your corner of the world. (Except my Canadian friends, who celebrated Thanksgiving last month!)
Things I am thankful for:
--my wonderful husband of 18 years...the man of my dreams...and even more incredible, the man of my real life! I am such a fortunate woman!
--my two growing boys. Yes, there are days of frustration, but there are more times of laughter and joy. They bless me in so many ways.
--our families (parents, siblings, in-laws, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and, of course, our great nephew!) We are surrounded by so much love, even though miles separate us.
--our church home. I am amazed at how at home I feel there after such a short time. I thank God for bringing us there, and the new friendships and relationships we are building.
--my wonderful friends from all over this country, and in other countries. Whether I know them face-to-face, or only through cyberspace, they are each and every one so dear to me.
--Most of all, for all God has done for me...I cannot even begin to list them all. Thank You for never giving up on me. And for the above-mentioned people who show Your love to me in so many ways.
"Give thanks, with a grateful heart
Give thanks, to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son
And now, let the weak say, 'I am strong'
Let the poor say, 'I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us'
Words and music by Henry Smith, copyright 1978 Integrity's Hosanna! Music
Friday, November 16, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The following essay was written by my cousin's 14 year old daughter. I am posting this on both my blogs, simply because some of you read one blog; others, the other blog...and this is too good for anyone to miss. (The author's name has been withheld by request.)
* * * * *
And to this, I loudly reply, "Amen!"
Thursday, November 08, 2007
The Bible is clear that there will be a day of judgment. It will be the day when our deeds will come under the microscope, and judged for what they truly are: gold...or straw (see I Corinthians 3:5-17).
We will be held accountable for our actions. God will "test by fire" how we built our own lives, and how we are helping build others' lives. (See also Romans 2:1-16)
Yet while this is true, I see another aspect of judgment in the Bible. It is an ongoing, daily "judgment". It is what David wrote about in Psalm 139:
I'm not talking about walking in eternal condemnation. This is actually a life of freedom! Think about it. If we are allowing the Lord to search us, which leads us to repentance, it allows us to draw even nearer to Him--to become more and more like Him each moment of the day. That doesn't sound condemning to me! It sounds like freedom from self and sin!
May we each be able to echo the words of Paul:
(II Timothy 4:6-8)
Let us run worthy of the One who called us on the journey!
*all Scripture quotations from the NKJV
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
However, in the Christian journey, or "race," if you will, there is no way to win if we "cheat". We must follow the rules set up by the Sponsor of the race. To do any less is to be disqualified.
In the story of Pilgrim's Progress, Christian sees many other travellers who try to make it to the Celestial City their own way. One by one, though, they somehow fall by the wayside. Their way may seem good in their own eyes, but they never make it to the goal. They do not receive the prize.
The joy for those (who continue this Christian journey) is that we have a fan club of sorts. The saints who have gone before are our "great cloud of witnesses," cheering us on as we endeavor to endure and journey on. And the greatest joy of all: at the "finish line" is our Lord.
Monday, November 05, 2007
"Beloved, our condition needs much endurance, and endurance is best produced when doctrines are deeply rooted. For just as there is no wind that is able to tear up an oak tree by its assaults because it sends down its root deep into the earth, so too the soul that is nailed by the fear of God--not just rooted but nailed--will not be able to be overturned...Our Lord wanted to test the faith of those who believed so that it might not be merely superficial, and so he digs deeper into their souls by a more striking word...And so, when he said, "If you continue," he made it clear what was in their hearts. He knew that some believed but would not continue. And he makes them a magnificent promise, that is, that they shall become his disciples indeed. These words are a tacit rebuke to some who had believed and afterwards withdrawn because they could not continue."
There are too many who want to carry the label "Christian" because they think it makes them look good. They want to be grouped with other conservative people who live decent lives. Or they simply want others to think well of them. But is not enough to be baptized. It is not enough to walk to an altar and say a prayer. It is not enough to say we believe. It is not enough to live a "decent" life. It is not enough to be a member of a church. It is not even enough to attend church every week--or more often. We must continue to follow Christ. As Chrysostom noted, we must become deeply rooted, so that we cannot be swayed by the winds of life. Our lives must be "nailed by the fear of God". Anchored so strongly that nothing can move us.
How do we know if we are continuing? It is when our heart continually longs for more of Christ, His ways, and His word. It is when our burning desire is to know that we are drawing ever nearer to Him, and becoming ever more like Him. It is a longing for more of His likeness to be seen in us.
If we say we are going on vacation to, say, Florida...it is not enough to buy the maps, fill the car tank, and sit in the car. Even starting the engine and driving down the street is not enough. We have to get onto the freeway, and go. We can't stop part way, and decide we've had enough. We'll never get to Florida that way! Of course, we could come home and tell all our friends how we prepared for the trip. We could tell them how we drove through several states. But we cannot tell them about Florida and that we actually went there, unless we really made the journey.
And so it is with our life in Christ. We cannot simply begin and prepare. We must keep going! The journey will not truly end until He returns or we die. Those are the only legitimate ends to the journey. Anything else is an aborted trip...and we haven't made a complete journey.
"It is a small thing for a disciple to come to him; it is a much greater thing to continue in him. Therefore he does not say if you 'hear' or 'come' or 'praise' my Word. He says, 'If you continue in my Word.' What do you think, brothers? Is continuing in the Lord hard work or not? If it is hard work, look at the reward. If it is not, you receive the reward for nothing. Let us then continue in him who continues in us."
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
"Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love."
Be watchful: be vigilant, and aware of the devil's schemes. Be alert!
Stand firm in your faith: don't be easily swayed by the tides of change in the world.
Be courageous: don't let Satan or his forces bully you into a corner, cowering in fear.
Be strong: know that you have the mightiest Warrior of all on your side!
Let all that you do be done in love: what are your motives?
"Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord."
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
I received an e-mail today, telling of a recipe book a friend is putting together for people in Greensburg. If you would like to contribute, send recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that she would like to have this ready before Christmas, so needs recipes ASAP.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
A friend recently said she likes to pray through the Psalms. I haven't done that in quite a long time. I do like to read a Psalm, or a portion of one, every day, though. They are really ministering to my spirit.
Today I read this one:
"I will lift up my eyes to the hill--from whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore."
Rest in the peace of these words today, my friends!
*mountain photo by Craig Hiller
Monday, October 08, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
At one point in the ceremony, a group of three people came forward to give prophetic words over the couple. I grew up in a Pentecostal church, and have been involved in many Charismatic services. Still, I have to admit, I am often skeptical of such things. Too often, the "words" are just generic, nice things. Which isn't really wrong, but also isn't prophetic.
As one "word" was given over them, I got this spiritual sense of God saying something so powerful, though. I can't remember the exact words, but the essence of it was that they were to be a Kingdom couple. A couple to show God's Kingdom to the world, and to spread His Kingdom. Even as the words were being spoken, I looked up above the gazebo. And there, fluttering its wings ever so gracefully, was a beautiful symbol of God's royalty: a monarch butterfly. It flew back and forth over the gazebo several times, then fluttered away.
You can call it what you will. I saw it simply as God confirming the spoken word. God's Kingdom being lived out through this young couple, who were devoting themselves to each other, and to God, as man and wife.
I'm not sure what God has for Kim and Randall. I just know it's going to be a fulfillment of those very words. I'll never look at a monarch butterfly the same again...
Isn't God amazing???
Monday, October 01, 2007
Hubby was sick a couple of weeks ago. After a couple of days of waiting it out, he asked me to call the doctor and make an appointment. Turns out our dr. isn't in the office past noon on Fridays. And he was going to be gone all week the next week. We called a local "quick clinic", and got him in there. He was examined, given a strep test, and handed a couple of prescriptions to have filled. Later, when we were discussing it, he told me how much they charged him at the clinic, and handed me the receipt. When I went to record it in our checkbook, I mentioned that the receipt was for $20 less than what he had said he was charged. He found the printout he was given, and the amount on there was the higher amount, too. I called today to straighten it out. Between our original phone call, the message she left on the machine, and another return call, the gal at the clinic thanked me no less than 7-9 times (I stopped counting!) for calling them to point out the error and make it right. I could tell she was surprised that someone would do this.
I've had similar experiences when I've handed a clerk back an extra dime when I was given too much change. Or when I've offered to pay for something I inadvertently knocked off a store shelf. They are amazed that someone would do such a thing.
Why is that??? I'm saddened as I realize how far downhill society has gone when store clerks are shocked at my honesty.
Any thoughts from blog land?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
For instance, one time when I made stew, in addition to the crackers, I thought it would be nice if we each had a slice of cheese (mild cheddar or Monterrey jack!) and a few slices of apple. Ever since then, that is the way our soup must be served each and every time! I recently served chicken noodle soup (good for what ails you), and I put peaches on the side instead of apples. All my guys noticed it and mentioned that we were "making a change" this time. Isn't it funny how we are creatures of habit?
What's sad is that we do this to God, too. Don't get me wrong. I know that He is the unchanging God of the universe. He will never stop being all-loving, all-merciful, all-powerful, all-knowing, etc. And He has set ways that He wants us to do things, too.
But I think we get the idea that God has to answer every prayer the same every time. Or work in our lives the same way every day. Look at creation, though. In the beauty of it all, there is a pattern, and yet a uniqueness to each thing He created. (Take snowflakes, for instance!) Or even better, walk through a busy mall or store, and do some people watching. God was definitely showing off His creative genius when He made each of us!
So why do we expect Him to work in our lives the same way each and every time? Wouldn't that get a little boring? I think we like to hope it's that way, because it gives us a sense of "knowing" and stability.
"Well, I prayed for this same thing a few weeks ago, and this is how He answered. So that's what He is going to do this time."
"I prayed for Him to provide money once, and I got this check in the mail. I'm in a tight spot again, and watching the mailbox daily for the next check!"
I think God answers in different ways for a few reasons. Not the least of which is to keep us on our toes (kind of like a surprise ending each time). Or maybe just to show us a new way He cares for us. Or to allow a different person to be blessed by the way He uses them to minister to us.
I like a schedule. I like things to be on an even keel, and unchanged. But isn't it fun to see how God will provide (or answer, or bless us) each and every time? In other words: let God be God!
Maybe I'll take a slice of orange with my soup next time!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
My sweet niece took me to her home, gave me a snack, and sent me off to bed. I didn't sleep for long, but did feel much better. Due to the 2-hour time difference, I felt hungry almost all the time. My stomach couldn't figure out why I was eating at these odd times!
The reception was wonderful, though I probably missed some important moments (cutting the cake, etc.). I sat outside with my two older sisters and their families, as it was quite warm and crowded inside. The hardest part of the day? Saying goodbye to my parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces, and nephew...the visit was just too short.
The mom and the bride
Thursday, September 13, 2007
"I Surrender All"
I have wrestled in the darkness of this lonely pilgrim land
Raising strong and mighty fortresses that I alone command
But these castles I've constructed by the strength of my own hand
Are just temporary kingdoms on foundations made of sand
In the middle of the battle I believe I've finally found
I'll never know the thrill of victory 'til I'm willing to lay down
All my weapons of defense and earthly strategies of war
So I'm laying down my arms and running helplessly to Yours
I surrender all my silent hopes and dreams
Though the price to follow costs me everything
I surrender all my human soul desires
If sacrifice requires
That all my kingdoms fall
I surrender all
If the source of my ambitions is the treasure I obtain
If I measure my successes on a scale of earthly gain
If the focus of my vision is the status I attain
My accomplishments are worthless and my efforts are in vain
So I lay aside my trophies to pursue a higher crown
And should You choose somehow to use the life I willingly lay down
I surrender all the triumph for it's only by Your grace
I relinquish all the glory, I surrender all the praise
Everything I am, all I've done, and all I've known
Now belongs to You, the life I live is not my own
Just as Abraham laid Isaac on the sacrificial fire
If all I have is all that you desire
I surrender all...
Copyright 1992 Magnolia Hill Music Words and music by David Moffitt and Regie Hamm
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Hold that thought.
A few years ago, my brother-in-law preached a sermon entitled, "God Is Bigger". I can't tell you how many times I have replayed the words of that message in my mind. The basic gist of the message was this: It doesn't matter what you are facing or going through. God is bigger! If it seems small in your eyes, God is bigger. If it seems insurmountably big in your eyes, God is still bigger. Whatever it is, God is bigger!
I have seen two camps of people. One group thinks that God is only concerned about the big things in our lives: disasters, cancers, hurricanes, tornadoes, wars, etc. Large-scale stuff.
Then there's the other side that thinks God is concerned with those things, yes, but is even more concerned with every tiny, minute detail of their lives. These are the people that pray for parking spots, ask God if they should really buy that brand of toothpaste, etc.
The truth is, though, both camps are right! God does care about the big stuff and the little stuff. And the beauty is, He is bigger than all of it. Nothing catches Him by surprise. Nothing is too big for Him to handle. Nothing is too insignificant. He sees the "big picture", too, which is beyond our scope. He knows what we will face the next minute, the next hour, the next day, the next decade...
There are those who will say, "Well, if He's bigger than it all and knows what will happen, why doesn't He stop the wars, disasters, etc.? Why doesn't He heal everyone? Why doesn't He..." The list goes on and on. I believe man brought all the "bad stuff" on himself. The bad stuff is the result of our sin. The world was perfect before all that. Sin marred it. I don't want to get into a deep theological discussion here. I just know we can't blame all the "stuff" on God.
What I do know is this: God walks through all the "stuff" with us. And I would much rather face it all in His grace and strength than try to go it alone. I'm thankful He is bigger. I'm thankful I can put it all in His hands, and know He will take me through.
"He's got the whole world in His hands
He's got the whole world in His hands
He's got the whole world in His hands
He's got the whole world in His hands."
Why did I go ahead and repeat every line? Because I think we all need to hear it over and over again! You will probably remember that each verse singles us out: He's got you and me sister. He's got the mamas and the daddies. He's got the little bitty babies. And on and on. He's got it all in His hands.
Because God is BIGGER!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."
Thank you for passing on the award to me, Paula! I feel very honored. These are the seven people I'm awarding:
A special thanks to each of these ladies for the ways they share their love of God and family, and for being great blogging friends!
Monday, August 27, 2007
I'm thinking today about what an awesome responsibility it is to have "Christ in me." How do I live out that reality? Yesterday, our parish priest spoke of not leaving Christ there (at the church) every week, but taking Him with you...out into the world. He exhorted us to take the life of Christ with us and share it with all around us. How do we flesh that out? How do we diffuse the fragrance of Christ to those around us?
I look forward to your thoughts on this...
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The first day was a little emotional (mostly for me!). The boys were excited and nervous. It was a hot, humid day. By the time they came home, they were worn out from the heat, and happy to have made it through their first day.
However, that night, #1 son was not happy about having to return again the next day. After five years of being home schooled, that seemed like an awfully long time to be away from home! Much talking and much prayer, and he was back to bed.
Yesterday seems to have gone well for them, for which I am truly grateful. #1 son hasn't mentioned anything more about not returning.
I'm doing pretty well, all things considered. The first day was pretty rough. Second day was a little easier. It's definitely nice to have them home for the weekend!
Thank you, dear readers, for your prayers and encouraging thoughts. We'll make it through, one day at a time!
Additional note: I am adding comment moderation to my blog. I found that I sometimes miss comments left on older posts. I'll check in frequently for new comments, though!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
But then it begins. If they don't gain quick access to a "position" of some type, they grumble: I was always asked to sing/teach/lead at my old church! If the pastor/priest/deacon/other leader-type person doesn't pay them special attention, they are being "ignored". If there is something in a sermon/homily that doesn't stroke their ego or support their own private theological positions, then they begin speaking against whoever preached/taught. They become disgruntled if the music isn't as lively as they want it (or as slow and worshipful, or whatever!).
But the final word before they make their grand exit is usually something like this: "I just don't feel the moving of the Holy Spirit here," or "God's presence just isn't that real to me here." Usually followed by an accusation against the pastor/priest/deacon/leader-type person...and then they're gone. Off to another place to see if they can find some more "super spiritual" folks just like themselves!
If you think I'm exaggerating, remember that my husband was a pastor for awhile. I am actually playing it down a bit!
The main issue is that too many church-goers see the whole Christian experience in a very me-centered (well, not ME...them...) way. You know what I mean. It's all about their feelings, their spirituality, and what they can get out of a service. If it isn't giving them chills, tingles, or filling them with the urge to have a "whoopee!" experience, then it just cannot be of God.
The problem with this attitude is that it is all focused on man! For some reason, I don't think that's how it was meant to be. Do you?
Anyone who wants to sit in a pew or chair (or even on the floor!) and just receive is just dead wrong!
It may sound really simplistic, but the words to the song are true: It really is all about Jesus! It really is all about His death and resurrection. It really is all about Him receiving praise and glory and honor as we gather, read His word, and receive of His body and blood. It really is about serving the poor in His name. It really is about showing the world we are Christians by our love. Because the One to whom we give our worship gave the example of being a servant as the way to show the world His love in us.
It's time to settle in and do the work, my friends, as we follow the One whose name we take when we call ourselves "Christian".
I know this is pretty heavy for a Monday. I look forward to your thoughts on this, too.
"We fall down, we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus.
The greatness of mercy and love at the feet of Jesus.
And we cry, 'Holy, holy, holy'
We cry 'holy, holy, holy'
We cry 'holy, holy, holy is the Lamb' "*
*Words and music by Chris Tomlin copyright 1998 worshiptogether.com
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
We're in the midst of many!
In the midst of it all, new things starting at church. Preparing my mind for going on a trip in about three weeks. (Flying alone?!)
Much in need of God's peace.......
"Saranac Lake, Morning," by Homer Dodge Martin, 1857
Monday, August 13, 2007
As humans, we really don't like the term "Lord," since it means Someone has authority over us. Americans especially don't like the idea of bowing to anyone. We are individualists, living in our free nation, and we want to be our own "lords."
But then again, we don't like to see ourselves as weak, in need of Someone to save us. We're self-sufficient in this country! We don't really need anyone! As long as we're pretty good overall, don't murder, lie, cheat, or steal, then we've got it all under control.
Well, it's a theory, anyway.
Actually, I find great freedom in calling Him both Lord and Savior. As my Lord, He looks out for my best interests: what He knows is the very best for me. Yes, it means submitting my will to His, and letting Him be in charge. But since He has my best interests in mind, I can't lose!
As for calling Him Savior...whew. There's more to that word than I could express in hundreds of blog posts. The bottom line is: it's a relief to know I don't have to try to save myself! That sure takes a burden off my shoulders! Don't get me wrong, I do have a part in all this. But the work Christ did on the cross paid for the sins of the world. That includes me! (And you!) In response to that great gift, of course I will live out a life of serving others. Jesus said as much at the Last Supper, as He washed the disciples' feet. He was teaching them how He could be both Lord and Savior: Master and Servant of all. The crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension again show the beauty of Him being Savior and Lord.
There's no debate to it at all. The One who loves me most is the One I long to serve and submit to, as well as recognize the amazing gift of His saving grace.
How great is Your love, O Lord!