Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Oracles of a Wise King

Solomon received wisdom from God because he asked for it. He received favor from God because he asked for wisdom instead or riches or fame. He had the three most coveted things of men everywhere; wealth, wisdom, and women. Yet in all of his majesty, he was not satisfied.

8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. 9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:8,9 NIV

Reality shows are the latest craze in television. People are airing their business to the world. Many call the shows entertaining. But what can be so good about exposing all that negativity? Solomon captures the real world and sums it all up as vanity. Entertaining? I think not. If any thing, his words will sober the reader into an objective look at life.

9 Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 10 Whatever exists has already been named, and what man is has been known; no man can contend with one who is stronger than he. 11 The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? 12 For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone. Ecclesiastes 6:9-12 NIV

God is the only one that knows every aspect of the past, present, and future. Our lives are held in His grasp. A Christian's past has been covered by the blood of Jesus, his present is being shaped by the Holy Spirit, and his future is determined by the choices that he makes.

12 Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God. 13 Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow. Ecclesiastes 8:12,13

In the end, it will be truth that will stand the test of time. Truth that can not be refuted or changed. The living Truth within the Christian gives him both strength and hope eternal. Outside of the Truth, there is no life.

10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. Ecclesiastes 12:10,11

Friday, May 23, 2008


You all may have been wondering, "My goodness. Where has she gone? Why hasn't she posted?" You may have even stopped coming by. I don't know. I've been on a break. I've needed time to regroup. To think with some clarity about my future. To take care of business. To tie up loose ends. To effect change. I've been dealing with highly personal issues. Unpleasant. Frustrating. Stressful. Overwhelming. I am in a valley. And the climb back out might get steep. But I will look unto the hills from whence cometh my help. So, while blogging and writing have taken a back burner, they are still simmering. And I can imagine that before long they both will take on a new life. As I will have much to say. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Psalmist & The Preacher

1 I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my prayers. 2 I will call on Him as long as I live, because He has turned His ear to me. 3 The strings of death are all around me. And the fear of the grave came upon me. I suffered with trouble and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: "O Lord, I beg You, save my life!"
5 The Lord is loving and right. Yes, our God is full of loving-kindness. 6 The Lord takes care of the childlike. I was brought down, and He saved me. 7 Return to your rest, O my soul. For the Lord has been good to you. 8 For You, O Lord, have saved my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. 9 I will walk with the Lord in the land of the living.
Psalm 116:1-9 New Life Version

On February 27th, 1859 the REV. C. H. Spurgeon delivered a sermon entitled "Prayer Answered, Love Nourished". The following is a portion of the introductory remarks.

"In the Christian pilgrimage it is well for the most part to be looking forward. Whether it be for hope, for joy, for consolation, or for the inspiring of our love, the future after all must be the grand object of the eye of faith. Looking into the future we see sin cast out, the body of sin and death destroyed, the soul made perfect and fit to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. And looking further yet, the believer's soul can see Death's river passed, the gloomy steam forded; he can behold the hills of light on which standeth the celestial city; he seeth himself enter within the pearly gates, hailed as more than a conqueror—crowned by the hand of Christ, embraced in the arms of Jesus, glorified with him, made to sit together with him on his throne, even as he has overcome and has sat down with the Father upon his throne. The sight of the future may well relieve the darkness of the past, the hopes of the world to come may banish all the doubtings of the present.

Yet nevertheless the Christian may do well sometimes to look backward; he may look back to the hole of the pit and the miry clay whence he was digged—the retrospect will help him to be humble, it will urge him to be faithful. He may look back with satisfaction to the glorious hour when first he saw the Lord, when spiritual life for the first time quickened his dead soul. Then he may look back through all the changes of his life, to his troubles and his joys, to his Pisgahs and to his Engedis, to the land of the Hermonites and the hill Mizar. He must not keep his eye always backward, for the fairest scene dies beyond, it will not benefit him to be always considering the past, for the future is more glorious far; but nevertheless at times a retrospect may be as useful as a prospect; and memory may be as good a teacher as even faith itself. This morning I bid you stand upon the hill-top of your present experience and look back upon the past, and find therein motives for love to God;"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How Would You be Greeted?

Today I want to examine the first sixteen verses of Romans chapter sixteen. The text is lengthy but the observations brief. Here the Apostle Paul is writing to the church at Rome. He begins with a recommendation of Phoebe, a sister in the Lord.

He speaks of her as being a helper to the multitudes. He refers to her as a servant of the church.
Although the word that he uses for servant is the same one that can be rendered as deaconess; we can gather from verse two that he means to accentuate her servanthood rather than an office.

All but one of the following 14 verses, begin with the word, "Greet" followed by a name of a brother or sister in the Roman church. What is interesting to me is the descriptive words that he adds about each person. These descriptions range from extended compliments to just stating his relationship with them. And a few greetings are extended to nameless groups of folks.

How would he have qualified his greetings had he been writing to your pastor? Would you be considered his fellow-worker? Would he have recognized you as the first convert in your area? Would he have expounded on your faithfulness and maturity in Christ? Would he have labeled you a hard worker or just a relative?

Would you be miffed if he greeted you only as motheror sister? Or would you swell with pride at the suffix "chosen of the Lord"? And what if he openly stated his love for you?

It is a lot to think about. There may have been one listening to the letter and wondering if their name would be mentioned and what glowing remarks would be added. Still others may have gotten their feelings hurt when their names were not called. Perhaps some were tempted to be jealous or resentful. It is impossible to know for sure.

One thing is certain, Paul knew his flock. How else would he have had the confidence to instruct them to greet one another with a holy kiss? I'm afraid to contemplate the repercussions of such an act in today's churches. Holiness is considered old-fashioned by today's standards and is near obsolete in many congregations. And kissing in church? I think that there's a lot more than that going on behind some church doors. God have mercy!

I didn't mean to slide into the rants of moral decay, it just somehow came to my mind. Nevertheless, I want my name to have some goodness attached. I want to be remembered as a fellow-laborer in the Kingdom. I want to be able to give and receive holy greetings, salutations, and kisses.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Things You Keep

Ain't this one precious!

Things have been quite stressful since my father-in-law passed away…the business to tend to, the packing up and putting away of both material things and memories, the grieving and acceptance that a precious little man is no longer with us. I say "little" because Dad was about my height (5'5") and weighed around 110 pounds. But he had a big heart. And a wonderful sense of humor. And a laugh that would brighten any room. He was also a packrat, as many of his generation are. So the going through of his belongings is no small task. Especially since his wife's belongings were never put away after her death 10 years ago from leukemia. Fifty years of accumulation of stuff is overwhelming to say the least.
Of course, there are many things his son and daughter will keep—pictures, keepsakes, small treasures. And they have to go somewhere, so this has led to nights of cleaning our own garage. And you've heard the saying, "Like father, like son." My husband inherited the packrat gene.
In going through our garage, we unpacked tubs that had not been touched since our move 4 years ago. Most of it was just things that we had owned for years and hated to part with. But there were a few sweet surprises tucked inside some of the boxes. I ran across some pictures of my son when he was 18 months old asleep in his great Granny's lap. And great Granny asleep with him. Pictures of him kissing his "Nanny" while she slept. Pictures of him in his Papa Carl's boots on the front porch of the old homeplace. I sat in my metal chair and boo-hooed like a baby. If you're going to be a packrat, these are the things you save. I hope they make you smile today.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mile High WW

As some of you may know, I am currently vacationing in the mountains of Colorado. While snow scenes are not my favorite, the snow-capped peaks fill my view with the beauty God's handiwork. I can't help but smile.

Right now I am in an airport cafe getting psyched to fly on the little turbo-prop to Denver. It will be a bumpy ride. Thank God it will only be an hour in duration. Something about flying always reminds me of this little tidbit of scripture: "....lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:20

It is a two-fold reminder. No matter where I am, on the ground or in the air; He is with me. And while I travel, I am to be telling the Good News. It is a great opportunity to leave some tracts here and there.

I just had a scare. They announced that the check in for my flight had been closed. I thought I heard that boarding for my flight was closed. Talk about a jolt. Reminded me of the Rapture Drills we had at church camp. Missing a flight is a real pain. Thank the Lord I was mistaken about the announcement.

Left behind. I just don't want that to happen to me; in this life or the next.

Don't be left behind!