Saturday, June 30, 2007

June 30, 2007

Good Saturday morning! Many will have begun the Independence Day holiday as of yesterday evening. Travel, fireworks, picnics, time off from work, and I would hope that we will all spend some quiet time with the Lord. In looking at (and working on) the pond today, it just might be possible that the first batch of cattails will emerge today. A few Wal-mart water plants were planted or tossed into the pond this spring, so far one lily has emerged and one is trying, but the others have not shown any signs of life yet. Planted too deep, not deep enough, too much sun, hungry fish, who knows? The plants will grow or not at God's will, not mine. Some things we cannot do anything about and we leave them in God's capable and powerful hands. In this sin stained world not all plants will grow, and not all of us will thrive and prosper as the world counts such things. However, in Christ we thrive and prosper regardless of the condition of our bank account or health. We may not see the results of this growth until we emerge in heaven. There what seemed barren in this life may prove to be the brightest and most beautiful flower in eternity.

To God be the glory!


Friday, June 29, 2007

June 29, 2007

Good morning! The Good News of Jesus Christ shines through us today. In searching for what Newsweek would have us know about Jesus, it seems that we are to know the artist who painted the most famous of the images of Christ in 1940, but that is it. I don't think that will come as a surprise to anyone; that is about what we have come to expect from the secular news. The better news is that image has been reproduced a billion times. It seems that people, and that means us, want the image of Christ on their walls and I am glad to hear that! For your trivia collection, that image was made from an oil painting by Warner Sallman in 1940, right about then the world needed an image of Christ for its comfort I should think.

The secular world cannot hide the Good News, even when it doesn't realize it! Another fact dug up in the 180 things you need to know; Jesus has never been named in the title of a best seller. I don't think our Lord will lose any sleep over that, and we already know the secular world hates Christ. The Bible, the word of Jesus, still outsells everything else in literature. Let the glory of the Lord shine above this world!

Go forth in Jesus name today!


Thursday, June 28, 2007

June 28, 2007

Good morning! The fish are active this morning; it must be time to feed them. Newsweek features a list of things that they feel we should know. Jesus is pictured on the cover; I haven't yet found the part that tells what we should know about him, but I suspect it won't be quite right. The best source to learn about Jesus is certainly not a news magazine. We find the Truth in his own word, the Bible. Yes, Jesus was a man who lived about 2,000 years ago. The world knows of him and even the world acknowledges that he existed, but we want to know him, not just about him. There is the big difference. We know of George Washington, Adolph Hitler, Roy Rogers, Genghis Kahn, and many other historical or popular people, but we cannot know them for they are gone. Of all those who have passed before us in this world, Jesus stands alone as someone we can know well after his earthly life has ended. Alone of all historical figures that we can read about in dry historical texts, Jesus lives again.

To God be the Glory!


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

June 27, 2007

Good morning! I enjoyed one of those occasional days of physical labor yesterday, now the time has arrived to make payment in the form of sore and stiff muscles. It will be good for me in the end. The son of one of our brothers in Christ had the interesting experience of going through a police investigation a couple of days ago. The police in their uniforms, the ride in the black and white car, and questioning by stern men. I didn't get much of that as a kid, but from that we might imagine the shock of Jonathan Edwards' first congregation to hear "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" He painted a grim picture and we should note well that the title refers to sinners. In Christ, we are no longer sinners, but set free by his blood on the Cross. Like the young son of our friend was found to be not at fault and was set free, we too are set free in Christ. We should feel that same sense of exhilaration, freedom, and responsibility that he probably felt upon his release from the police station.
The responsibility is in not doing what we were accused of before our redemption, and that is not easy. Each of us needs all of the strength of Jesus to avoid or to confront sin and have the victory. We are set free to live for Christ, and not to fall back into our old ways. Freedom is a heavy responsibility, but one that we would not trade for anything.

God grant us the victory in all of our trials!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

June 26, 2007

Good morning, and what a fine morning it is too! I like to sing a verse from a well-known hymn, although one that is from a fairly recent time, "Let the glory of the Lord rise above us." I also like to pray, "Let the glory of the Lord rise above ME!" So often we pray in our little world, we don't ask God for the big things. The glory of the Lord will rise above our petty concerns and small ideas. Yes, we have big problems that we bring to the Lord, but what about those big dreams and ideas? Let's bring our grandest schemes and desires before the Lord, we may find that those big plans are less than what the Lord has in store for us. Go with God, let his glory rise above our small-thinking minds and hearts. A beautiful sunrise awaits this morning, let it remind us of the glory of the Lord.

A joyous 'hallelujah" to start the new day!


Monday, June 25, 2007

June 25, 2007

Learning, we all do it throughout our lifetimes whether we will admit to it or not. The very learned may be unteachable, but they still learn. In Christ we become learners once more, we are born again with eyes Christ-opened. This morning I finished the main text of the book Into Abba's Arms, by Dr. Sandra D. Wilson, that you know I have been reading for some time now. The appendices contain important information that I will get to soon, but the book was truly a revelation. Not the least of which is the fact that I am not alone in my struggles and neither are you. At times, we get into a self-pitying, arrogant state where we think that our problems are unique and by extension, unsolvable. We, you and I, are unique creations of God, but our problems are more common than we want to think. As I read through the book, it became slow going as I ran into parts that touched directly on my boo-boos as Dr. Wilson calls them in her book. It is difficult when the Bible or another book fingers your hurts directly; for one thing that means that your problem is not unique, else why would a book sold worldwide address it. Did you ever think that, in a Christ-wrought turnaround in your heart, the Bible does not address your problems, it addresses YOU! Praise the Lord for that! After all, why would the Lord want to talk to your problems anyway. He wants to have a relationship with me, and you, and our friends and neighbors. The Bible is addressed to each of us individually, and gains in power as we walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Way is open to come to the Father, our Abba, and to have a close, loving relationship with the almighty creator of Heaven and Earth.

Let the Son rise among us today!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

June 24, 2007

Good morning! Well it seems that I was wrong about the fireworks sales starting yesterday. I can live with that, it made for good sleeping last night. If anyone went running down to the fireworks stand to buy some noise, I do apologize for your inconvenience. If I don't sound very contrite, all I can say is that sometimes that happens too. :-)

Have you ever felt a sudden and unexpected need or desire to pray for someone about whom you had not even been thinking? I have come to see that in Christ this will happen. For some of us it may happen more often than with others, this is a gift of the Holy Spirit and like all such gifts, one to be treasured. The object of the prayer may not even know they needed your prayer, but somehow they will realize that they have been blessed or healed because of the intervention of the Holy Spirit. It is great to know that we are connected and protected in this way through Christ Jesus our Lord. If you feel a sudden need to pray for someone, don't hesitate! Pull over on the highway, stop what you are doing and bow your head in prayer for that person. Their need may not wait and God wants us to focus away from ourselves at that moment. Let the glory of the Lord work within us today.

God loves you so very much this day!


Saturday, June 23, 2007

June 23, 2007

Good morning! We get to enjoy a nice cool Saturday morning, though summer has begun both officially and temperature-wise. Today, if I am not mistaken, will quite likely kick off the fireworks season, not one of my favorite times of the year. Perhaps I will join them this year instead of complaining about them. What happened to my attitude between now and childhood? As a child I wanted nothing more than to spend as much money as I could get my hands on to blow up fireworks, the bigger the better. Now I view them as slightly worse than gambling, throwing money down with no possibility of return and perhaps a headache to go with it. Actually I think older folks tried to explain that to me even back in the day. Each year though I endure the annoying little fire crackers to get to the big show. Yeah, the one where the fire department sets off the big patriotic fireworks display on the 3rd or 4th of July. Now that I still enjoy and perhaps always will. The bursting star shapes remind me of one very startling cosmic display that happened about 2,000 years ago. How the simple-living shepherds and other folk must have stood in awe of the coming of the King.

God is love, love conquers all.


Friday, June 22, 2007

June 22, 2007

Good morning! Nothing shines brighter this morning than the love of Jesus Christ. I met a rather high strung dog this morning when out walking. Of course, upon arriving home I was greeted with some suspicion by the resident feline, "I smell dog!" In the family of Christ, we will not be greeted with suspicion when we arrive in heaven. God doesn't need to inspect us there when he already knows us here. Every little thing that we might think is hidden, and it may be hidden from the world and even those who are close to us, but those things are known to God. The Good News is that he loves us, without reservation or condition. There is no "I love you, but..." Unconditional, undeserved love for all who will believe in the Son. Go forth in the light of Jesus today!

God bless you,


Thursday, June 21, 2007

June 21, 2007

Good morning! The love of the Lord leads us to gather this morning with our Bible, the Word of God. Suppose you wanted to adopt a child. The orphanage showed you all of the children at play from behind a mirrored surface. Over in a corner sits an eight-year old child. Now this child is obviously precocious as they say, but not in the way a doting parent might expect. He sits dealing cards, with the largest stack of chips on his side, smoking a cigarette, and holding a bottle of beer. Perhaps a bit of five o-clock shadow is beginning to show on his young face. As you watch, it is also obvious that he is the bully of the playground. Would this child be your first choice for adoption? Probably not.

Yet, all of us were, metaphorically speaking, just like that when Jesus found us. If some of you ladies did not have five o'clock shadows at the age of eight, don't worry, I'm sure a beard is not required of everyone. The wonderful thing is that Jesus not only adopted us in our worst and most sinful state, he also gave his life to pay the sin debt that we owed to the justice of God. Would you or I have given our lives for the little card playing bully mentioned above? We would have to think about that one for a while, simply sharing a home would be quite the burden to be sure. Jesus didn't think twice about giving his life for us, and then he told us that he was going to prepare a new home for us! Great is the love of Christ!

God's great love goes with you this day!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June 20, 2007

Good morning and good day! Praise the Lord for the wonder of his grace and majesty! Why do we need to become as children to enter the Kingdom of God? There are several reasons, trust being one, but I like the way a child runs to the embrace of his or her father. That is what Jesus wants of us, to run into his embrace like a child. Enthusiasm, joy, love, and worship are all part of this running to the embrace of our Father, our Abba. Let the glory of the Lord shine on us today. You may feel set apart or set aside by the world. A tragedy in your life, a condition of your health, or emotional problems may lead to a feeling of loneliness or not belonging. Well praise God that we don't belong to the world, for it is headed for destruction. In time we will arrive at the point where we can thank and glorify God for our trials in this world. Some trials are quite intense; losing a spouse, friend, or particularly, a child, can be terrible experiences as we have seen from our friends in Christ. However, the Lord will bear us up and we will rejoice with him in heaven on that glorious day!
In those experiences of loss and pain, we also have the opportunity to experience the love of those Christ has given to us in this world. That is not to say that any of us should seek out pain or injury, only that in the times of deepest sorrow or pain our Lord truly shines brightly in our life and in those who love as Jesus did.

Let it rise...


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

June 19, 2007

Good morning, it is the start of a new day in the Lord! The clouds are rolling in this morning, perhaps we will get some rain today. Praise the Lord for rain on Tuesday. Today also starts the final week of yet another class for me; time to put another one to bed and move on. That is not to say that the final week is easy, often it is quite difficult, but it is still the end. Sometimes we do that in our Christian life here on earth; we tend to look to heaven and perhaps forget just a tad too much about our duties and mission here on earth. I want to go there too! However, we need to grow in the love of Jesus and in love for our fellow humans so that we can spread the Good News to them before it is too late.

Love one another in Jesus name!


Monday, June 18, 2007

June 18, 2007

Good morning! What a nice cool morning this is, and after a night of storms too! The outside cat, Samantha, had her lunch money taken last night, so to speak. She is a small cat and the larger cat from across the street was beating her soundly. She ran home, but the other cat followed closely and finally a neighbor lady called to let me know that my cat might not survive this one. It seems that she no longer has a place outside in the world. That sounds so familiar does it not?
At times it seems like the world chases us back home to lick our wounds and find comfort in the Master. The world is bigger than we are and sometimes we may be soundly beaten down, by overwork, cares, trials, and possibly even physical wounds or bruises. We can always find comfort and healing in Christ. One day all tears will be dried and we can go out into the new world without fear.
All of nature groans to be released from the burden of sin, and last night it was not only groaning, but yowling as well. The conflict in this life will give way to the peace of Christ Jesus when he returns. As for this life, I may need to keep the little yowler in at night, although the firecracker season should help with that this week.

God loves you and so do I!


Sunday, June 17, 2007

June 17, 2007

Good morning, and God's morning to you. It didn't cool off last night, that is usually the first sign of the summer season. Listen to me go on! In many areas it can be 95 in the daytime and 93 at night because of the humidity. Out here we have a very short humid season when if it is 95 in the day, it may only cool down to 70 at night. That is the extent of our suffering! I know many areas, Camp Lejeune was one, where if someone has an air conditioner it runs day and night. The mornings do not have the coolness that we experience out here and the dew point is almost always high. If there is one thing that I can take from my time at Camp Lejeune it is an appreciation of a cool morning during the hot time of the year... and not having sweat running down all over my body just from standing outside. The funny thing is that you might think that we would have said, "it doesn't get any worse than this" at that time, and we did. However, then we got to go to Grenada.

Some would think that Hell cannot be any worse than some of the things, suffering, or conditions, that they have seen on earth, but they simply are refusing to believe what God says in his word. Believing in Jesus means that you believe what it says in his word, and his word says that Hell does exist and that you do not want to go there! I think one of the greatest examples, and he is always the greatest example, is when Jesus cried out on the cross. I believe that the separation from our Father is what made our Lord cry out. He didn't cry out from the scourging, the torture on the cross, or any other human punishment, but he did cry out from the separation as he bore our sins upon himself. That is what Hell is, and why we should fear the one who can send us there. We do not want to experience that separation! The Good News is that the way to avoid that and gain eternal life is in Jesus. The one who can destroy both body and soul in Hell is the one who took it upon himself to redeem us from that end. What an amazing thing! All we need to do is believe and everything flows from there. When we come to Jesus to confess our sins and receive his forgiveness and love, we already believe that he can do it. Yes, some of the things in the Bible are incredible and difficult to believe, but when we believe, the truth is revealed to us at the pace we can understand.

Each day as I read a little more in the Bible, often covering passages that I have read several times before, new insights come and what a blessing they are. Now some days do pass where it seems that nothing new is coming and that I am simply re-reading old verses. To me that is like a review of basic lessons in school or work, sometimes the steps upward must come after a review of where I have been in the Word.

Some days the devotional just seems to come to me. It can seem that I am writing down a stream that bounces from rock to rock in a twisting, turning course. I know the stream leads to Jesus, and that is all that I need to know.

God bless you!


Friday, June 15, 2007

June 15, 2007

Good morning and g'day! What was your stress buster yesterday? I followed the instructions from Pastor Rogers and asked for a stress buster. God threw me a life jacket yesterday and what a blessing it was! I am still laughing about it. Humor, what a great way to bust that stress. It went something like this: As I arrived at work, I was still in the funk so to speak, having a pity party with myself, probably suffering the pangs of depression. After taking care of the e-mails and the morning network checks, I wandered to the dock area of the basement and met the maintenance supervisor, Don. It turns out that someone upstairs had asked him to dispose of something, but there was something hazardous about this object and they had asked him to take care of it. This object had a pressurized gas cylinder on it that would explode if disposed of in a fire, such as the city landfill might do. Don did not feel comfortable and asked for my help. The object was one of those life jackets that you jerk the cord to inflate. I asked for a stress buster and God, quite literally, sent a life jacket! The problem that Don may have had is that too many people use the phrase "blow up" to describe the action of this life jacket, which is true, but has other connotations... like "explode". A life jacket would not be designed to cause harm, so I had no fear and jerked the cord. Those things do get quite cold when they first inflate!

That little incident gave me the relief I needed to take my problem to the big boss; as you might expect, he was not concerned and simply wanted to be kept informed. Sometimes, perhaps too often, we make problems bigger than they are with worry and dread. I thank you all for the verses and stories (and prayers!) to help me through a tough moment yesterday. I will certainly return the favor and pray for each of you. Let the glory of the Lord rise among us!

What a day of rejoicing is soon to come!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

June 14, 2007

Good morning! Do you ever wonder why you didn't get something done on time? In a discussion with a counselor yesterday, it was mentioned how children who do not receive enough attention from their parents or siblings will "act up" or do something wrong to get the attention they crave. I wondered this morning whether I have been overworked to the point where things are slipping so badly that I am made to feel like a constant "screw-up" or if I am seeking attention in the wrong way as a child might. Now this is very forthcoming and may make you feel uncomfortable; perhaps you didn't expect a personal confession in this morning's devotion! I do not know the answer to the question yet, but I do know that I feel almost constantly like a failure at work. You may feel the same way. What is the cure for it? As we take our problems to the Lord in prayer, we come to realize that He is the answer for us. As Paul told the Philippians, "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice!" That was not idle advice, I believe that Paul felt like we do at times, depressed, anxious, powerful, loved by God, abandoned by those close to him, and many other often conflicting feelings. Paul did not want to take John Mark with him after he had left them on a prior journey. I don't think that was due to not liking the young man, but due to Paul wanting to avoid that terrible hurt that he felt at the first abandonment.

The question remains and here is what I do know. The busy time that to me seems like forever actually began around the middle of last year. It is not just me, the entire department has been swamped, and if any of them are not then that person or group truly has something to feel guilty about! With all that going on and priorities placed on some areas at the expense of others, I am probably wrong in assuming guilt by thinking that I want attention in the wrong way. Maybe that is part of it, maybe not, but I do know that everyone in my group has been very busy for, well, almost a year now. The end does not really seem to be in sight and I also suspect that all of us are self-medicating in some way or another to cope. So while I am feeling sorry for myself at times, it is then that the Holy Spirit will turn my attention to others. Is anyone in danger of alcoholism, drugs, or mental health problems? If I feel this much stress at work, I am sure that others do also, and how are they coping? I need to get ready for work now, but stand by for Dr. Rogers' devotional today, and note once again how it relates very closely to what is bothering me today.

God loves you, please don't forget that today.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

June 13, 2007

Good morning! Questions will arise in our walk with the Lord, and most often that question is "why me?" or "why is this happening?", or something of that sort. Recently, actually yesterday, that question occurred to me and the answer I received was a Bible verse. Now this answer is not a yes or a no, and as we often see in the Bible stories, gives an answer that only God would give. The verse is Psalms 29:2 and goes like this:

"Give honor to the Lord for the glory of his name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness." (NLT)

In our trials we often forget who we should be looking to and who is larger than our problems. We may not receive a yes/no or "this is why" response from God, we may not be able to understand why from our limited point of view. If you or I are letting problems overwhelm us, making them first in our life when we know they should not be, the Lord may, in his mercy, remind us of who is to come first in all things.

Some might say that "hearing" a verse in your mind is strange or funny, I once thought just like that and looking back I would call the condition unbelief. Now, I don't think that to be strange at all, and in fact I expect it as an answer to voiced or unvoiced questions that I ask of our Lord. The Lord has already given us 66 volumes of answers; what we discover in life are the questions.

May God grant us wisdom in this,


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

June 12, 2007

Good morning and welcome to another day in Christ! Do you know what proselytizing is? "You bet", one might say, "It's when you try to spread the word and someone is afraid to hear it." Yes, proselytizing is an ugly looking and sounding word that is applied to any group or sect trying to convert someone to their belief. The world levels it like a cannon at believers of any group, especially in the workplace. Although the meaning, the connotation, of this word can be good or bad depending upon the group trying to win converts, the look and sound of it would tend to repulse. That plays easily into the hands of those who would use ignorance as a weapon against us, or more properly, against Jesus.

We must be prepared in the world, Jesus warned us of the hatred that would come. The world will react when shown its guilt and sin, and like a wounded animal it may turn on you with fangs bared and claws out. Spread the Good News without shame or hesitation. Though in the case of the workplace, we must remember that in accepting a paycheck we are agreeing to submit during the work hours. Some employers may tell you not to mention Jesus in the course of your duties and you may have to keep quiet or move on to another employer. That can cause some controversy even among the family of God, and it can be one of those tough situational problems. Trust in the Lord and bring it to him in prayer. I don't have all the answers for every situation, but I do know that we are not to feel ashamed of Jesus.

Let the glory of the Lord shine out from us!


Monday, June 11, 2007

June 11, 2007

Good morning! Do you ever feel apart or not close to God? I suspect we all do at some time in our lives, perhaps more often than we would wish. Every time I feel that way, I wish that I would never feel that way again! Prayer is the answer and not just any prayer, but a prayer for forgiveness and for searching out and doing away with any sin in my life. Yes, Jesus did pay once and for all the price for any sin of ours, but the act of asking for forgiveness serves to humble us, to help rid our minds of the pride that so easily comes upon us. We have a need to submit before the Lord, especially when we have sinned.

It's Monday again and time to go back to work, I cannot end this with our condemnation from sin. The Lord did pay for our sins and we do not need to dwell on them once forgiveness has been asked. God loves us with an everlasting love. He will be with us always, even if or when friends fall away or in the case of persecution, run away as fast as they can. In the darkest moments, God is there, and in the lightest moments God is there too. Some Christians would say that every time it seems that things are going so well, the rug gets pulled out from under their feet. That may seem to be the case in our lives, but God gives both the rest and the struggle against trials. Why not notice that every time it looks dark in our lives, a light shines through and we move on to a time of rest and glorifying God? Is it any wonder that David stated in that famous psalm "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death." He was ready to traverse that dread valley as long as God was with him, and we should have that same comfort in the companionship of our Lord.

Praise God for his loving walk with us daily!


Friday, June 08, 2007

June 8, 2007

Good morning to you! I sit here huddled in a hooded sweatshirt and trying to warm up. You see I left a few windows cracked last night to cool the house down, after all it is almost summer. Well, that did the trick, the house is quite cool this morning. My thermometer read a nice 35° this morning. This is along the lines of what you might expect somewhat farther north or higher in the mountains at this time of the year.

At times I feel compelled to read more of the Bible each morning and evening, and at other times to read less, but to study more in depth. Like many of you, I have a study Bible with commentary on many of the verses and references to other verses. Tonight I begin an in-depth study of Romans, which is a good book to study at some length. There is no set regimen of how much to read in the Bible each day. That is between you and God. However, I would like to share with you what I discover or more accurately, what is shown to me over the next several weeks. Some nights it may only be one verse, I will go at whatever pace the Holy Spirit would have me to go.

I notice in the cloud patterns that there is a strong northern flow up high today, I think that by now most of us have got up and shut some windows and realize the effects of that! It did bring a nice rain yesterday, praise God for that too!

Enjoy God's peace and joy this day!


Thursday, June 07, 2007

June 7, 2007

Good morning on this very windy morning. I do believe in Jesus! Is there a deeper meaning to gratitude? Can we feel it more each day as we grow closer to Jesus? I think so and I am not sure that it is something that we can work to achieve. It would seem to be different than something we strive for; it seems more like something we grow into as we realize more of the boundless love of Jesus. Like a child who tries on his father's shoes, we do not have the capacity at a young stage of our Christian growth to wear all of the gratitude that we will come to know later. It is the same in many aspects of Christian life; at first we do not love all Christians, or give thanks to God enough, or perform many other things that will come as we grow in the love of Jesus. This is not something to despair about, or to be impatient with, but something to fall into the loving arms of our Abba Father. He will bring us up in his love at just the right pace and only give us what we can handle at whatever stage we are now growing.

Thank you for the notes of support, I enjoy writing the daily devotional and appreciate the time you take to write to me. May God bless you as he raises you up in the Way.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

June 6, 2007

Good morning, and welcome to another fine day! Let the glory of the Lord shine among us. Have you ever wondered why it is that we work five days per week and not seven or three? The Bible gives us the answer to that, "six days shalt thou labor." That doesn't mean that we must work for our present employer for six days each week, nor does it stop us from taking the courageous step of working part time or half time to spend more time with children. Keeping house is a labor, especially for a large family. There are many forms of labor, but one thing is clear; we are not to spend the days goofing off. I wondered yesterday morning while coming in to work why did not work 3.5 days and have 3.5 days off. There is nothing wrong with working out a deal with your employer to do just that if God would have you to do so. However, that is not license to spend the extra days away from work of any kind. God may call some to volunteer more time at a charity, or more time spreading the Good News, or more time in prayer and fasting. Praying for four hours can certainly take some effort; note the effort Jesus put into prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane before his trial.

There are times when we would take a perpetual vacation, but we know from the Bible that God would have us to work six days. This doesn't prohibit vacations, which can require more patience and physical effort than our normal work! What I am trying to get across is that we should not equate work with work, that activity where we go to an employer and spend time laboring to earn money. Certainly we do not want to fall into working harder and longer because we covet too much. I have been there, and still fight it. This also does not mean that we forsake the Sabbath, that one day of rest commanded by God!

Find peace in Christ Jesus.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

June 5, 2007

Good morning! It was quiet last night; my new friend didn't make his usual racket. A bull toad has moved into my little pond and that little thing can make a noise! In this relationship, I am learning to take the bad with the good, probably a lesson for me on human relationships. The toad makes an ear-splitting racket some nights, but he also eats a lot of bugs; not unlike a human child. In our human relationships we don't seek a friend or spouse that eats a lot of bugs, but we often fall into seeking the "perfect" spouse: Princess Grace, Sleeping Beauty, Prince Charming, King Arthur; we are conditioned from childhood to seek perfection in a mate, while we grow to learn that such perfection does not exist. It is no wonder that relationships are so stressful!

Have you ever met someone and immediately started cataloging what is wrong with them? He is too this, she is not enough that, and the list goes on. One good change in us would be to start cataloging what is right with a person we meet and even those whom we already know. However, the way to right relationships may be the Way himself, Jesus. I am reading in a wonderful book about how to seek God in my heart, and not just know him from an intellectual standpoint in my head. It is going slowly, the book gives me much to think about and practice, but it is good to know that Christ still has many things to teach me in this life.

May we all be learners in Christ Jesus!


Monday, June 04, 2007

June 4, 2007

Good morning, the time has arrived to return to work once more. The temperature yesterday looked to be warmer, but the clouds came and shaded us. That just goes to show how much I know about the weather! I am glad that all of us are sharing the Good News about grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. The glory of the Lord shines on us this day!

The classwork that hangs over me on the weekends can at times seem to prevent me from enjoying the break from work. That is an attitude the Lord is working to change in my life. A productive weekend is a break too, and the fact I didn't spend the weekend watching TV doesn't mean that it was wasted, quite the opposite in fact. I heard from another student this weekend who has 6 classes to finish after this one that we are attending now (I have 7) and she said that she is looking forward to a long break after finishing, much as I have said before. Sometimes we like to think that our suffering or trial is unique, that we are put on harder than others. At times that may be true, but most of the time we only like to think so and it isn't true at all. God gives us the strength to complete the difficult tasks and to endure the trials that come our way. I often hear that we should stop whining about how big our problems are, and tell our problems how big our God is.

God bless you on this wonderful day!


June 3, 2007

Good Sunday morning! It looks to be quite a bit warmer today than it has been of late. I must admit to some little work today; I was out trying to find a sprinkler zone that is not functioning. I failed to find a single sprinkler head, it's like they have vanished into the earth. The world would like to believe that Jesus vanished into the earth about 2,000 years ago. However, we believe differently. Do I know as the world defines knowing? No, I cannot prove that he is not buried, nor can the world prove that he is. The difference is that I believe that he is not, based on his own holy word, and the world chooses not to believe. The world would have us believe the Bible is metaphor, or worse outright fiction. We must remain strong in our faith that Jesus told us the truth and is the truth. The world is not going to help us in this. In this we must trust in the Holy Spirit; he will show us in God's word, in the words of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and even in the wisdom of children, that he is indeed active in our hearts and in spreading the Good News. Trust in Jesus, our hope and our salvation!

God bless you this fine day!


Saturday, June 02, 2007

June 2, 2007

Good morning! I greet the morning with exuberance, and so does the cat. His exuberance is simply much more obvious than mine. We grow older more slowly than cats and the excitement of a five year old cat is easier to see than mine. Now the other cat, her exuberance shows like mine does this morning, sort of a slow warming up. Ain't Saturday mornings great?

What do you say when someone says that they cannot be a Christian because they smoke (drink, overeat, lie, et al.)? As a Christ-one, we are followers of the Way. Which perhaps should be followers of the Way, the Truth, and the Life, if we are to reference the verse in the Bible. We are followers of Jesus, but while we strive to become more like him, and not in our own strength do we strive, we will leave behind the bad habits of sin. However, you cannot tell a Christ-one simply because they do not have a vice or vices. Many of us, perhaps all of us struggle with one vice or many. We cannot say that he or she is not a Christian because they are smoking a cigarette, or are drunk, or happen to be committing a sin at any particular time. We come to Christ to confess our sins and ask forgiveness often in this life. If we have been given victory over the physical sin, we probably still struggle with the thought life.

It is a testament to the power of the Holy Spirit that the world does perceive Christ-ones as they perceive Christ, without sin in every way. We know that we are not quite up to His holy standard in this life, but praise God that it does show as we move closer to Him.

Have a wonderful weekend in Christ!


Friday, June 01, 2007

June 1, 2007

Good morning! The sky is very interesting today, with pink and deep blue clouds and the sun coming up well to the north of east. May the Lord and God of Heaven and Earth lay his peace on your heart today. Another month has past us as June 1 dawns today. We cannot grasp time or hold on to the days. Each new month is a reminder that we are that much closer to Jesus. Praise the name of Jesus! I pray that everyone has a wonderful weekend in Christ Jesus!