Friday, May 26, 2006
I love my earthly family. Dad's gone, but I have some fond memories, and I knew he loved me. Mom remains, and she's also a believer, as are my 3 sisters, Pam, Leigh, and Gwyn - and we're all getting together this weekend with Mom! I don't know if Rochester can take it! Leigh and Gwyn are supposed to arrive tonight.
But when I first met Christ our relationship faltered. Leigh had been my friend and confidante, but now I knew a greater and more intimate Friend. Pam mocked my praying. Gwyn was a clueless little sister at the time. Mom was long backslidden and bemoaned my falling into the religious trap.
Jesus SAID He would bring division within a family. In some families - moslem, orthodox Jew, hindu - the new convert often faces total ostracism. But to make up for it, "God sets the lonely in families". I have found a far deeper intimacy of relationship within the family of God through Christ whose blood bought our adoption as children. But when you can combine blood and spirit, it's a grand thing!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Time is a resource that needs managing. One has to have so much sleep, and there are so many things to do during a day...Most important is to spend - INVEST - time in our relationship with the Lord. ANY relationship suffers when we don't spend time with a person, even if it's only over the phone/internet/or mail. I have to balance my minutes - I need to be able to do the tracking and such to get my body in submission to the spirit ( ie build good health habits to be honorable to God with the flesh) I also WANT to do the posts, because it is a form of accountabiltiy, but also it is an outlet for ministry. But I have to be careful not to spend a whole LOT of time on the boards (I'll focus on end-of-day review) because I also have to be able to put in time to exercise.
The first part of my day I turn to the Lord, but that's not to say I turn away later during the day. The connection is open, as I meet with situations ("Lord, how should I respond here? How can I comfort/counsel/show your love?" - praying for th epeople I work with, young and old alike.Lord, grant me wisdom and help me to steward the time YOu place inmy hands, to know when to say NO, when to refrain from one thing in favor of another.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Civic Pride is a form of stewardship. We're given dominion over the created world, but alas, many take that and abuse it by being careless with natural resources, or by literally abusing other creatures or even plants. F'rinstance, the vandalizing of people's gardens. I was greatly influenced by a Disney cartoon with a forest ranger and a bunch of funny bears, and a song about "litter bug, litter bug, shame on you". It angers me to see litter, to see people littering, especially when there is a waste receptacle nearby. My front yard is a frequent recipient of bits of trash left by students who finish their snacks just around our house. Even my own kids have been careless at times. I HOPE as adults they're more conscientious! God made the natural world so beautiful...shame upon us if we do not take care of it!
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
"God is in control" as Twila Paris sings - when my own plans seem to come to naught, I can rest assured that HIS are still in place. And while I do try to seek to know His will and move therein, I may misstep, get the timing wrong. But He gives us examples like Jonah. I'll never forget the devotional given by Rick Fineout,the principal at New Covenant shcool while I was there, about Jonah. He pointed out that if God was able to accomplish His purposes through Jonah even when the prophet was doing his utmost to AVOID doing HIs will, how much more can He accomplish His will through us when we DESIRE and SEEK to obey? He understands our frame, that we are finite, we are dust. But He has a better vantage point, and can direct things quite well even DESPITE us. And so I can say when things fall through, GOD IS SOVEREIGN - He reigns! Thank God for that!
Monday, May 22, 2006
Jesus taught us not only to pray asking for foregiveness but exhorted us to forgive, giving us examples in the parable of the wicked servant who did not forgive his fellow who owed him little after he had been forgiven an unpayable debt by his master.
"I owed a debt I could not pay, He paid a debt He did not owe". If I, with all my shortcomings (euphemism for sin!) can expect that my Pather will forgive me because of the precious blood of Jesus, shall I not also extend forgiveness to those who've inconvenienced me?
Self forgiveness is also necessary. We need to value and believe God's word that He HAS forgiven us in Christ. If by Christ's death on the cross my sins were atoned, when I was not even born to commit them, how can I think that the future ones are not under the blood? While in this earthly tent I'll be struggling against the issues of the flesh. I may lose an occasional battle - but the war itself has already been won thru the cross. Halleluiah!
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