Friday, June 02, 2006
Now commonly known as PATIENCE...but I think LONGSUFFERING is a better word. One suffers for a long time...endures pain for a long time...and yet can be kind, through the love of God shed abroad in our hearts. The trial of suffering is also capable of making us bitter - we have a choice as to how we shall respond to suffering. Bitterness cries out "why me?" as though we deserve better (when He who deserved best suffered most!) but faith declares that "God is for me" even in the midst of the suffering. By faith we can know that He can use even this for our good and His glory. Longsuffering is one of the fires God uses to purify the gold of our faith. In time as we mature, we can say like the Psalmist "It is good that I have been afflicted". We are His, He is love, He is good...we can trust Him . And we are also created in His image, and He is the epitome of Longsuffering. In Hebrew, literally "erech afim" "long nostrils". One would think I would have learned that when I took Hebrew, but not so. There was a wonderful Baptist pastor, Earl Cook, in my early years in Christ, who taught about that...(I DID correct his pronunciation) he gave the illustration of how when we are trying to be patient, we let out a long breath through our nostrils...and our very patient God has VERY long nostrils indeed, as He sighs and waits for us to respond with maturity!
He suffers long on our behalf, waiting for us to learn our lessons.If He can be patient with US...shall we ot also be patient with others...AND ourselves?
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Specifically, a heavenly life after this...that what we experience here and now is only a part, the SMALLEST part, of what is to come. Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us, and that if it weren't so, He would have told us.
The surety of this releases me from so many fears. Fears of losing my son when he was in Bagdhad...fears of the deaths of other loved ones through disease or age...fear of flying, of traveling in a foreign land...Christ has opened heaven up to me, and I'm ready to go when in His wisdom it is time. So I can enjoy the time I have here, and take some risks along the way.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Time is one of the things we must steward."Manage" is the term we usually use, but it IS a matter of stewardship. I NEED to have time with the Lord - He is my Life, my reason for being, my purpose. If I neglect my relationship with HIm, all else suffers.
Rest is necessary. I slept fitfully the other night so I went almost immediately to bed on homecoming last night rather than reading and posting to the message boards. I probably could have slept more had I not had to wake for school.
When I went home for lunch today, after eating I did 10 minutes on the cycle rather than getting on Spark - knowing it's Wed, a "short" day, and I could get online after classes let out.And being sleepy prior to lunch, I figured - correctly - that the pedaling would energize me so that I wouldn't be too bleary eyed the last class.
I should nap well...and tonight I'll do the strengthening, perhaps after a little warmup (WARM UP? in THIS heat?) on the bike. The numbers coax me to go beyond myself..."just so many more seconds to get an even number of calories...so many more to get an even 2 miles..." The gauges on the bike are wonderful incentive!
Lord, help me to be a GOOD steward...of Time, talent, and money...like the Missionette statement, right?
Monday, May 29, 2006
It's amazing to consider, this piece of literature can be read in so many ways. But best of all is its veracity and applicability to our lives, and how ETERNAL it is - How God can quicken a scripture to you, to speak directly to you for a particular situation.
Today I went to Sonia's for lunch, and she shared a scripture the Lord gave her from Ezra, how he went to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem,and was given favor so that many contributed to the work, even the king of his captivity. She said the Lord indicated it applied to our going to Peru, so we were considering how so. She'd invited a couple of other sisters over, and shared it with them, and one sister said how Esther, Nehemiah, and Ezra were similar books, and how Nehemiah had gone to rebuild the walls. That quickened something to ME - how 2 years ago, when I went, I was with Pastor Hugo, and he had begun the work of trying to unite various pastors and churches and ministries...like rebuilding spiritual walls around the spiritual city of God ; and now Sonia and I going with Pr. Jorge to address even more churches, speaking about unity, worship, and intercession - rebuilding as it were the spiritual temple by encouraging even greater unity among even more churches.
Christ cannot return for HIs Bride, if the Body is still disjointed rather than working in coordination and harmony.
Well, anyway...that's just one small example. But how marvelous is the Word!
Sunday, May 28, 2006
I took my granddaughter Lakeiah to church with me today. She enjoys the opportunity to dance and to wave a flag. But occasionally she forgets WHY, and I have to remind her, it is not PLAY time, and it is certainly not time to be focusing on Josiah (whom she seems to really like) by trying to run around and chase with him. While I want her to find that church is an enjoyable experience, I also want to instill in her the understanding that we come here for GOD, to worship HIM, to give HIM our expressions of worship, whether it be singging, dancing, carrying a banner or flag, drawing - it's GOD time with the rest of the BOdy.
And I think sometimes as adults we lose sight of this. We "grade" the service by what WE get out of it - when, as the song goes, the heart of worship is all about "YOU, Jesus". And as Jeremy preached today, based on Leviticus, WE should be giving God OUR best - our whole hearted attention and honor.
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