Sunday, January 29, 2012

What a day! Reflections regarding Peter.

I read Luke 22 this morning, and my heart went out to Peter.  What a day he had!  I suggest you read Luke 22 before you read this post.  

What a day you had, Peter.  You were happy to obey Jesus and prepare the Feast of the Passover with John.  You felt pretty good about your leadership role at that point, didn't you?  You were given extra responsibility, along with John, the disciple Jesus loved.  I'm sure you reveled in it.

You thought you knew your Master and loved Him well.   Yet when Jesus rose from the table and knelt down before you to wash your feet, you said, "You shall never wash my feet!"  You didn't understand that Jesus was demonstrating servanthood to you.  When Jesus informed you that you'd have no share with Him if you refused to let Him serve you, you wanted more.  "Wash my hands and my head, too," you said.  You wanted to let Him and the others know that you were a wholehearted, devoted disciple.  You were in it with all of your heart.  Or so you thought.

When Jesus informed you all that one of you would betray Him, you protested loudly, knowing within you that it couldn't possibly be you.  You loved Jesus.  No way would you betray Him!

When the discussion turned to who was the greatest among you (and the answer was obvious: Jesus!) I imagine you felt pretty sure, deep inside, that it was you.  Did you puff up a little when Jesus said...

“You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."  (Luke 22:28-30 ESV)

Did you think to yourself, "Yep, I've stuck by the Master through thick and thin.  Some day I'll be sitting on a throne, judging the twelve tribes.  Sweet!"

You simply could not comprehend Jesus' words to you when He warned you that Satan wanted to sift you like wheat.  "Who, me?  I'm a tough guy.  A fisherman.  I put my life on the line when I go out to sea to catch fish.  I'm not afraid of anything.  I'll be fine."

You thought it nice that Jesus said He prayed for you that your faith would not fail, but deep inside you wondered why the Lord was even concerned.  You were ready for anything!

"Lord, I'm ready!"
"I'll never deny You!"
"I've got a sword here!"

When you all went out to the Mount of Olives, Jesus took you and James and John into the garden with Him, while the others waited at the gate.  He told you to pray that you would not enter into temptation.  If you had realized what the rest of the night would bring, you would have prayed, fervently, wholeheartedly, passionately, brokenly.  Instead, you slept.

You likely felt a twinge of guilt when Jesus woke you with the words, "Why are you sleeping?"  Did you make an excuse?  He told you to rise, and again warned you to pray that you would not enter into temptation.  Did you obey?

Then you saw the crowd of soldiers coming.  Maybe, for a fleeting moment, you were relieved to see Judas with them.  But then you heard the Master say, "would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?"  When you heard the word, "Betray", your hand went immediately to the dagger you were carrying, and you cried out, "Lord, shall we strike?"  You were ready for a fight!

You didn't wait for the Lord's reply. You lashed out, cutting off the ear of the servant of the high priest, named Malchus.  

Jesus said, "NO MORE OF THIS!"  He healed Malchus' ear with a touch.  He pointed out to the crowd that they could have arrested Him at any time as He was always in the temple or public places, then allowed the soldiers to lead Him away.

You followed.  At a distance.  Not so brave now, were you?

In the courtyard, you warmed yourself by the fire, listening to the chatter as the people discussed the commotion.  Who was this guy they'd arrested?  What had been going on?  Who'd been with Him?

You noticed a servant girl looking intently at you, but you ignored her.  Did you squirm as she gazed at your face?  When she said, "This man was with him.", you denied it.  

"Woman, I do not know Him."  Oh, Peter.

The talked turned from Jesus to His disciples.  Who were these guys that followed this preacher around?  One of the men pointed at Peter and said, "You also are one of them."

"Man, I am not."  Oh, Peter.

Another hour went by.  The people around the fire got to discussing where Jesus was from.  Wasn't He from Galilee?  Someone piped up, "Certainly this man also was with Him, for he, too, is a Galilean."

"Man, I do not know what you are talking about!"

The rooster crowed.

And the Lord turned, and looked at Peter.

And Peter, you remembered what He said.  

Did your heart break?  

You went out and wept bitterly.  

What a day you had.  

But Peter, your life is a lesson for me.  I am like you in many ways.  And I have a few Peters in my life as well.  

What you have taught me is that God chooses foolish, brash, tough people.  And He makes them into a Royal Priesthood, conformed to the image of Christ, fit for the Kingdom of Heaven

One day, when I get there, I'll seek you out, Peter.  I can't wait.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Think. Preach.

When I think about the Lord,
how he saved me,
how he raised me,
how he filled me with the Holy Ghost,
he healed me to the uttermost...

When I think about the Lord,
how he picked me up,
turned me around,
how he set my feet on solid ground...

It makes me want to shout:
Thank you, Jesus.
Lord, You're worthy of all the glory
and all of the honour
and all the the praise. 

Remind yourself of 
your wicked sin,
 God’s forbearing mercy, 
His indescribable grace,
 Our perfect Savior,
 the brutality and success of the cross,
 and the truth of the empty grave.
 This is preaching the gospel to yourself.
~Erik Raymond

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Giveaway - Rafflecopter!

Rafflecopter is celebrating! :D They're giving away an iPad 2, and a couple Kindle Fires. And, it's open to Canadians! Woot! Go ahead and enter. And make sure you tell 'em I sent ya. ;) --> I totally stole this from Adeena! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What she was thinking.

Mark 12:42  And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 

 A penny in Greek was two lepta, which make a kodrantes; a kodrantes (Latin quadrans) was a Roman copper coin worth about 1/64 of a denarius (which was a day's wage for a laborer).  

Luke 21:2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 

Greek two lepta; a lepton was a Jewish bronze or copper coin worth about 1/128 of a denarius (which was a day's wage for a laborer).

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”  ~Luke 21:1-4

Imagine, for a second, that  you are the widow.  The POOR widow.

You have faith in God.  He  has always provided everything you need, according to His riches.

Ephesians 3:16  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Philippians 4:19  And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

You have faith in God, and you know that He supplies everything you need.   Times have been tough lately, though, and you have been having trouble making ends meet.  Rent is due, and the landlord is hassling you, threatening to kick you out if you don't pay by the end of the month.  The cupboards are bare.  Your kids are whining.  "Mommy, we're HUNGRY!'

And what do you do?

You put your trust in the Living God. 

He has always been faithful.

He has always provided EVERYTHING you need.

So you trust Him, and you GIVE those last two coins.  Each of them are worth about an eighth of a cent... together, they amount to a full quarter of a penny.

You give it.

Not out of your abundance, for you have very little.

You give it out of faith.

Faith in the God Who Sees.

Faith in the God Who Knows.

Faith in the God Who provides everything we need, according to His riches in Christ Jesus, Our Lord.

When you find yourself in dire circumstances, do you question the Lord of All?  Or do you remind yourself that He has a purpose and a plan for everything that happens to you?

Yes, God could have blessed that widow with riches. 

Instead, He blessed her with poverty.  He blessed her with two small coins, copper coins, worth 1/8th of a cent each. 

Jesus pointed her out.  Jesus taught a lesson, using the faith and generosity of that widow.  He compared her sacrifice to the offering of the rich, and He told the truth: SHE gave SO MUCH MORE, for she gave out of her poverty, while the rich gave a small portion of their abundance.

Are you poor?  Are you struggling? 

Don't think for a minute that God has abandoned you, that He is unaware of your circumstances.

He could be using your two tiny coins to teach timeless principles of sacrifice.

Trust Him!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Abiding in Christ - day 31 - The Glorified One

I finally am writing my last post on this wonderful little book, Abiding in Christ, by Andrew Murray.  You can find the original online here.  I can tell you that reading and pondering this book and its principles has helped me to remember that I am IN CHRIST, that I am kept there by His power, and that I can live continually with a sense of His presence.  He promised never to leave or forsake those who have been called out of darkness.  Not even for a millisecond.

Abundant life belongs to those who Abide in Christ.  

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, E
phesians 2:4-6

Jesus is seated in the heavenly places, in perfect victory and rest.  He triumphed over evil, and lives in the unclouded light of His Father's presence.  Everything is holy there.  Everything is in perfect harmony.  

As we abide in Christ, we get a taste of this glory.  As we die to self and surrender to the will of God, Jesus' glorious life streams through us in works of love and goodness.  Christ, seated on His throne, lovingly dispenses His gifts and watches and works for His people.

Loving Goodness & Activity

Just as a fruit tree bears fruit, and a branch in the vine produces grapes, so a Christian abiding in Christ cannot do so without feeling himself stirred and strengthened to work.  

"The Spirit and the love of Jesus breathe into him the will and the power to be a blessing to others."~p. 187, Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray

Wondrous Expectation & Hope

Jesus waits in expectation until that Great and Terrible day, when all of His enemies are crushed, His glory revealed to all, and His beloved people with Him forever in glory.  He looks forward to that day as a Bridegroom longing for His bride.  The believer who abides in Christ will share in that spirit of expectation.  He will continually hope for the coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Do you long to see Him?

So, the question at the beginning of the book was this:

Can a frail child of dust really dwell in fellowship with the King of Glory?

The answer is YES!

Just as it is Christ's work to save, it is His work to keep.  All the believer has to do is to trust, to rest, to yield, to surrender.  In faith, the soul must abandon itself entirely to the keeping of Christ's almighty power and the merits of His eternal life. 

The Christian life is not a list of rules to keep or things to do.  It is not a burden or an effort, but rather it is the increasing abandonment of self to the Lord, and the increasing faith that God is working, in all circumstances, to conform us to the image of His Son, and to glorify His name.  

And now, 
little children,
abide in Him,
 so that when he appears we may have confidence
 and not shrink from him in shame
 at his coming.
1 John 2:28 

Become What You Are!

This is a quote from John Piper's Book, Exposing the Dark Work of Abortion.   Click on the link and download it.  

First a Call to Conversion, Then to Light-Shining
All of that happens to you when you become a Christian by putting your trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life. 
The rest of the story is: become what you are!
Forgive—out of your forgivenness.
Love—out of your being loved.
Shine—with the light that Christ is in you. 
So the call to Christian pro-life action is first a call to conversion—to new birth—to repentance and faith in Jesus.
Then it is a call to let your light shine in the darkness—to walk as children of the light. This is why in verse 9 Paul says, “For the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true.” Paul calls goodness and justice and truth the fruit of light because it grows naturally out of light. Fruit comes out of a tree because of what the tree is. That is the Christian life: becoming what you are—bearing fruit.
The opposite of the “fruit of light” is “the works of darkness.” Look at verse 11: “Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness.” The opposite of “light” is “darkness” and the opposite of “fruit” is “works.” This is just like Galatians 5 where Paul contrasts the “fruit of the Spirit” and the “works of the flesh.” 
And the point is the same: true Christian living is essentially fruit-bearing, not essentially working. It is essentially letting the fruit show what the tree is like. It is not working to become a tree. We become a tree and stay a sound tree by trusting in the free mercy of God and all that he is for us in Jesus. The Christian life—with all its pro-life action and everything else that is good—is being what we are, God-forgiven, God-adopted, Christ-loved, fruit-bearing trees.

Shine your light, Christian!  Download and read the book.  The following is from the Desiring God site:

 We are children of the light. Abortion is a work of darkness. The apostle Paul said, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11).
God is calling passive, inactive Christians today to engage our minds and hearts and hands in exposing the barren works of darkness. To be the conscience of our culture. To be the light of the world. To live in the great reality of being loved by God and adopted by God and forgiven by Christ (yes—for all the abortions that dozens of you have had), and be made children of the light.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Abiding in Christ - Day 30 - The Guarantee

This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. ~Hebrews 7:22

The Old Covenant did not secure its objective - to unite Israel and God.  The New Covenant would need to secure God's faithfulness to His people, and His people's faithfulness to God.

 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,  when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel  and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant,  and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel  after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds,  and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God,  and they shall be my people. ~Hebrews 8:7-10  


To man,

 " He became the guarantee that God would faithfully fulfill His part, so that man could confidently depend on God to pardon, accept , and never again forsake them." (p. 181)

To God

"He likewise became the guarantee that man would faithfully fulfill his part, so that God would bestow on him the blessing of the covenant."

Jeremiah 32:40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.

I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and YOU WILL KEEP My judgments and do them (Ezekiel 36:27)

It is God Who keeps the covenant! God stands for Good for both parts!

Jesus is our Melchizedek (He ever lives to make intercession for His people)!  He takes no breaks.  There is never a moment's interruption.  Jesus lives to pray for us and to bless us.  He cannot be unfaithful!

To abide moment by moment is easy, even simple.

"Each moment of CONSCIOUS COMMUNION with Him let us say, "Jesus, our guarantor, keeper, ever-living Saviour, in whose life I live, I abide in You."

"Each moment of need, darkness, or fear, we still say, Great High Priest, in the power of an endless, unchangeable life, I abide in You.

"And for the moments when direct and distinct communion with Him must give way to necessary earthly activities, we can TRUST HIM to be our GUARANTEE!" (p.185)

Lord Jesus, my Great High Priest, what joy and awe is mine when I consider that Your work in heaven is to continually intercede for Your people. You cannot be unfaithful, yet You love and pray for and bless a fickle lot. We ought to be strong and courageous, to never waver, to go forth boldly and to serve You without fear all the days of our lives - yet we 

     mumble and grumble     we are lazy and apathetic     we are self-indulgent and greedy     and we want our own way. 

We are fearful and worried
          and we refuse to open our mouths to sing Your praises, to shout it to the housetops
          that You are the Covenant Keeper - that You never fail. 

Thank You for keeping me
     for praying for me     for blessing me with good things     for blessing me with trials. 

Thank You for ordering my steps           and giving me work to do that matters, in time and for eternity.

Keep me, O Guarantor!
Keep me safe      and pure     and holy.

I am Yours, and I am grateful.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I was tagged. Sigh.

And Linda knows I'll answer her.  But DO NOT think I want to do this again.  Harrumph.

Here goes...

1. Describe yourself in seven words.

Passionate, articulate, redeemed, poetic, creative, wretched, contented.

2. What keeps you up at night?

Rick the night owl.  And pain. 

3. Whom would you like to be?

Elisabeth Elliot.  Or Joni Eareckson Tada.  A Woman of Faith and Wisdom.

4. What are you wearing now?

My comfy pajama bottoms and one of Rick's T-shirts that fits over the cast easily.

5. What scares you?

Loss - of loved ones, pets, home, etc.  But I remind myself of God's Sovereignty and no longer fear.  I am more afraid of not finishing well.

6. What are the best and worst things about blogging?

Best things:  Sharing what I have learned with others who might benefit; expressing myself in writing.  I love to get feedback but don't often get it. 

Worst thing:  Insignificance.  That what I write may not matter in the scheme of things.

7. What was the last website you looked at?

8. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

I'd like to be slower to speak.

9. Slankets – yes or no?  Can you say 'claustrophobic'?  Ewwww… NO!

10. Tell us something about the person who tagged you.

Linda I love.  She is my muse.

Whom are you going to tag to join the quiz?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Abiding in Christ - Day 29 - It is not in Ourselves

In me, (that is, in my flesh), 
 ~ Romans 7:18

It is hard for us humans to really get that.  To really understand that in us, there is nothing good.  

We like to think of ourselves as accomplished, talented, brilliant, capable, organized, lovely and loving people.  We like to think of ourselves as spiritually-minded, moral, and good.  

There is nothing farther from the truth.

The truth is that everything we do, everything we say, and everything we think is TAINTED.  We do a lot of bad things, and it's fairly easy for us to acknowledge that.  We think bad thoughts.  We are selfish (did you ever try to beat someone to the empty checkout line at the grocery store?), proud (did you ever think you are better, more talented, more accomplished at _____________ than someone else?).  We do not honour our parents or anyone above us in rank or position.  We do bad things, we think bad things, every single day.

But here's the rub: EVEN OUR GOOD THINGS are tainted.

Even our prayers are not as fervent or God-centered as they should be.  Even our service to others is not as pure and other-centered as it ought to be.  Even our worship and praise to God fails to measure up to His holiness.  ALL OF OUR RIGHTEOUSNESSES ARE AS FILTHY RAGS.

So how do sinful, God-loving, elect human beings ever hope to Abide in Christ, and to do so continually?

The only path to true life is to follow the path our Lord took before us:  DEATH.

Do you long to abide in Christ?  To be kept from sinning?  To be in the closest possible fellowship with the Beautiful One?  

Then know this: Your greatest enemy is SELF.  Your greatest enemy is self-will, doing it in your own power, living the Christian life by your own flesh.  

You cannot do it.

SELF must DIE.

Andrew Murray has a question for you to ask yourself:

Am I prepared to say that my old self will no longer have a word to say; that it will not be allowed to have a single thought, however natural, not a single feeling, however gratifying, not a single wish or work, however right?

Are you prepared to  DIE?  

I can hear you asking, "What about our natural talents?  Can't I use my God-given talents for the glory of God?"

YES, but...

Our natural powers, our God-given abilities, our talents and accomplishments CAN be sanctified and used of God, but only if they are taken out from under the power of self and brought under the power of the life of Christ.

Yield yourself.

Yield your talents, your gifts, your possessions. 

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. Romans 6:13 ESV

 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. ~Romans 12:1 ESV

Through complete surrender, offer EVERYTHING to be used by Him.

Allow Jesus to live in you
                      to inspire all your thinking
                      to control every action.


Realize - you are dead to self, but alive to Christ.

Self is still strong and alive, but it has no power over you.  The only time it has any power at all is when you carelessly or faithlessly consent to yield to self's usurped authority.

Realize: you were ransomed from a tyrant and made a conqueror.  Self was nailed to the cross, but struggles to be free.  It seeks to allure you into giving it some little liberty, or to deceive you by professing to do some service for Christ.  It is a dangerous, defeated enemy.  It seeks to 'serve' and look 'good' and BE SOMEONE, but nothing good dwells in it.  Do not give self any quarter.  

Hide in Christ!

Bring to Jesus:

  • every interest
  • every power
  • every thought
  • every will
  • every feeling

Hide in Jesus! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Don't Call it Love

Don’t Call it Love
I’m tempted to sit back in my overstuffed chair
with a gavel in hand and a tired-eye stare that says
I’m not surprised you’ve messed it up again
I’m tempted to sigh, I’m tempted to yawn
if you’d only do life the way I’ve told you all along
It could be so easy
If you would only be more like me
But oh, that’s the beast that brings us down
It’s the devil in a satin gown
So don’t, don’t call it love (don’t call it love)
love wraps herself around the wound
and weeps while she speaks truth
So don’t call this love
Too much to say, not enough time
you’ve got so much to learn it’ll hurt for a while
but you know that I’m only concerned
I- only want to help
You got what you gave
I said that you would
I guess it must be really hard to be so unsure,
but it could be so easy if you would only be more like me
Oh oh
oh oh oh oh oh
oh oh
oh oh oh
oh oh
oh oh oh oh
Come along beside me
I’ll come along beside you
and I will wash your hands in my tears
I’ll take your boots to the river
and we can sing
where love makes music
love makes music
Oh oh
oh oh oh oh oh
oh oh
oh oh oh
oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
(Repeat x3)