Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘bible’


Shopping. Some of us love it. Some of us hate it. And, some of us really don’t think about it at all, we just do it.

The shopping experience is an interesting one, especially if you’re on a budget, and you’re trying to stretch every dollar to the Nth degree. Take clothes shopping, sometimes you just need a shirt, it doesn’t matter what color it is or what style it is, you just need it. So, you go looking through the racks and find one, then another, and another and all of them will fit the bill.

But, sometimes you’re looking for something in particular, aren’t you? You need a black shirt to go with whatever, and it has to be in a certain style because otherwise it won’t match. It’s that kind of shopping that is draining because no matter how hard you look, if you can’t find that particular shirt, then the whole thing has been a wash.

Then there are times when the opposite is true. You think you have a lot of shopping options. But, no matter how hard you look, you always come back to the same item, over and over, and, over and over again, until at last you just give up and buy it.

Sometimes I do a little shopping when I pray, and I would imagine that you do too. We keep going back to God with a question, problem or issue, hoping He’s going to give us a different answer from the one He’s already given us, then are surprised when it’s the same.

I don’t really like leadership positions. I try to avoid them as much as possible, preferring to stay in the Shadowlands, and help out behind the scenes. So, when I was first asked to lead a Bible study group, I wasn’t too keen on the idea.

So, I went to God in prayer and got a resounding ‘yes.’ But, I didn’t like that answer, so I let it lay quietly for a couple of days and went back again half hoping He would give me a different answer. He didn’t. It was still a firm ‘yes.’ So, I left it alone for another couple of days, all the while knowing that soon I would be trying to dodge phone calls from the teaching director who needed to know what I was going to do. Again, I went to Him, prayed about it, and again got the same answer. ‘Yes.”

My shopping did me no good, which isn’t surprising at all. After all, God is God, and He doesn’t change His mind. But we would still like Him to wouldn’t we? We all want a god who is going to behave himself, a god who is going to see we don’t want to do something and allow us to dictate what we will or will not do. We want a god who will let us off the hook.

But, He’s not like that. He loves us too much to allow us free rein, and He wants a relationship with us too much to allow us to go shopping for an answer that will please us, instead of one that’s good for us. In short, there are times when we just have to accept that He is God and He knows what He is doing, and no amount of shopping is going to change that.

“But You are the same and Your years will never end.”

Psalm 102:27

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


Our memories are strange things. We get so caught up in our daily living, and our future lives, that a lot of us tend to either bury the past as if it never happened or just conveniently overlook it, treating it as if it didn’t exist because in the present it doesn’t.

Polski: Kamienie pamiątkowe przy grodzisku Bró...

We remember what the Lord has done when we make a memorial.

Although for some people I think this trying to escape the past by forgetting it is just that, escape, for others it’s because we’re just really bad at remembering. It’s like our brains can only hold so much information at one time and everything else past, present and future just falls out if it doesn’t fit with what’s going on right now.

Memories

The other day my son and I had a disagreement over a long past trip to Disneyland. He was only about 3½ years old when he first went and about 4½ years old the second time he went. Even though he has an amazing memory ( he actually remembers things from when  he was 1 and 2) he argued with me that the first time we went was when he was 4. I had to pull out the old photograph albums to show him that yes he had actually gone earlier than he thought.

When he saw the photographs he did remember some parts of that trip. And, it occurred to me that the photographs were a little like small memorials to the trip and every time we saw them we would remember.

Memorials to God

Every once in a while I hear of a book or a teaching about building memorials to God, which is entirely biblical and is a really cool thing, because it does help us to remember what He has done. After all, how many times does He say,  ‘don’t forget’ to His people in the Word? The short answer? A lot. This is because He knows how short our attention spans are, and how we need to remember what He has done or else we just forget about it and start walking around with the delusion that He hasn’t hardly done anything at all.

One of the issues I’ve always had with these memorials is that the people who are advocating them always seem to say they should be outside and usually made of rocks like the ones in scripture. But, I’m just not an outdoor person. The whole point of building a memorial is to remember, but what’s the point if you don’t even notice it? I mean, if I can drive over a blue can and eventually not see it, you can bet money that I’ll walk right past an outdoor memorial to something He’s done and eventually not see it either.

Being a writer, I write things down, but even that necessitates digging through notebooks to find something to remember and doesn’t have that instant impact that takes place when you see a simple thing and are reminded of what He’s done. So, my writing doesn’t actually add up to any sort of memorial either.

God remembers

Because I thought I was someone who didn’t make any sort of memorials, I settled back into the camp of when God wants me to remember something He’ll let me know. This seems to be working, but what I didn’t realize is that He had me building memorials to Himself so I would remember what He’s been doing without my even realizing that He was building them.

I mark my Bible, but not in a way that I’ve ever seen anyone else do it. I’ve tried highlighting scripture only to find that the colors irritated me and I’ve tried underlying scripture that I thought was meaningful but it got too messy for me. But, about 2 years ago I started drawing lines in the margin of my bible next to scripture that caught my eye. After that, I found myself, writing the date next to my line in the margin, but only if God had given me the verse either by making it go 3-D on me, speaking into my spirit or giving it to me through someone else.

This resulted in a combination of those little lines, some just plain and some with dates next to them. What I didn’t realize when I started doing this was that those with the dates are my memorials to the Lord, and just because they aren’t a pile of rocks or outside doesn’t make than any less than what they are, remembrances of Him and what He’s given me and in just the right way for me to remember what He has done.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

Deuteronomy 4:9

Read Full Post »


My Necktie -- 1/7/5

Image by bjohnson via Flickr

Odd things come up when you’re a two person, mother-son household. Things you don’t even expect to think to know, you find out you don’t know by running into them face first, like tying a tie for instance.

 My son was going to his first cotillion and we were down to the wire with getting him out of the house, when he walked up to me with his tie and asked me to help him with it.

 I looked at the lavender silk tie hanging innocently from his hand, and, I realized I had no idea how to tie a tie and neither did he.

 In preparation for the event I had thought of everything else, I had even bought the tie, but I had not even given a second thought to how it was going to end up around his neck.

 We just looked at each other for split second, both of us realizing about the same time that neither of us knew how to perform the miracle of folds that would turn a slim tailored piece of silk into a passable approximation of a necktie. 

 This was a new experience for my son, coming to me and my not knowing how to do something. I could see his tension level rise as we looked at one another as my mind began to frantically think of solutions to the problem. As I went through all the possible men who could have helped if there was enough time, the realization that there was not enough time even if I got in touch with any of them made the situation even more weighty.

 The prime suspect of tie tying is actually my dad who lives over 1,500 miles away. Even if we had the time to call, he may or may not  have remembered how to do what so easily came to him not too long ago. He even showed my son how to tie a tie less than a year earlier, but the details were promptly forgotten by my then ‘tween son. And, of course, I didn’t pay attention either.

 So, after a moment of frantic thinking, I did what any mother would do in such a situation, I turned to YouTube for the solution to our problem.

 And, after a moment or two of searching I found a short video that showed us the basics of tie tying, and, we were able to get the job done without too much fuss about how big or small the knot was.

 How many times does that happen in life? We don’t even know we don’t know something we need to know, until we’re faced with it point-blank. It’s at those times that we realize that even if we don’t know how to do something, we do need to know where to go for the answers and solutions to our problem, and why it’s so important to not only know where to go, but to be able to search through it effectively as well.

 The reason why I was able to find the right video quickly is because I spend a fair amount of time on YouTube. In the same way, any of us who turn to the Word of God to find answers to our problems, need to spend a lot of time in the Bible when we aren’t in need, so we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, quickly find answers to our questions when we are.

 “I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.”

Psalm 119:16

Read Full Post »


Gold

The largest crystalline gold speciman in the world at Ironstone Vineyards.

It’s funny what happens when warm weather and the promise of spring come around.

Today, as I was driving along the rural highway where I live, I couldn’t help but notice the vibrant green that had sprung up virtually overnight. It’s like a day or two of sunshine, and all things that love the sun have come out. And, when I say everything, I mean everything, weeds included. Even dandelions look bright and festive when the winter has been long and unpredictable.

As I looked at the oak trees that dotted the meadows and rolling hills, along with the flowers that are starting to try to come out in all their purple, pink and yellow glory, I was amazed that God keeps it all going and it all belongs to Him.

In short, He not only made everything, but He owns it.

Since He owns it, I wonder why those of us who believe in Him do fret and worry about where the next dollar is coming from, where the next meal is coming from, where the money to pay the next bill is coming from, because it’s all His and he can provide for us any way that He chooses.

There’s an old story around the Mother Lode that there was a miner during the Gold Rush who was a highly religious man. He staked his claim next to all his wild living friends, but didn’t indulge in their lifestyle. He read his Bible many times everyday. He dug for gold and was convinced that the Lord would provide that gold for him.

Everyday before he dug he prayed out loud that the Lord would help him to find gold on his claim until those nearby were just a little sick of hearing him. They dubbed him ‘the Preacher’ because he was always telling them about the Lord. After a while, they decided to play a trick on him.

In the dead of the night, they each contributed their gold to the cause until they had quite a tidy amount of it. Then they snuck out to his claim and seeded his mining claim with it, just so they could have a big laugh when they told him that God didn’t provide the gold for him, they did.

You can imagine the next day how they were waiting with held breath for him to go to his claim and find the gold. They were not disappointed with his reaction, he was ecstatic with his find, praising the Lord who had provided for him on the claim that he just knew his God had led him to. When he told the other miners about the claim, they fessed up to their trickery and his face fell.

The story goes he was so disappointed in the Lord, that he hardly dug anymore after that and soon left the area because he was so despondent.

Which is how we get when the Lord provides something that we know He’s promised us but it’s delivered in a way we didn’t expect. Like through another person and not with some miraculous flair like we all would prefer, then we can point at it and say without a shadow of a doubt look at how the Lord provided for me in this miraculous way.

Somehow though it doesn’t matter who He works through, or what, because it all belongs to Him anyway because it’s His choice to provide for us the way He provides for us. And, quite frankly there are times when I think the fact that He provides for us through others is amazing, because let’s face it, working through failed humans and getting them to do what you want them to do  may be the most miraculous thing of all.

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:11

Read Full Post »


The site of Henry David Thoreau's cabin marked...

Image via Wikipedia

Our memories are strange things. We get so caught up in our daily living, and our future lives, that a lot of us tend to either bury the past as if it never happened or just conveniently overlook it, treating it as if it didn’t exist because in the present it doesn’t.

Although for some people I think this trying to escape the past by forgetting it is just that, escape, for others it’s because we’re just really bad at remembering. It’s like our brains can only hold so much information at one time and everything else past, present and future just falls out if it doesn’t fit with what’s going on right now.

The other day my son and I had a disagreement over a long past trip to Disneyland. He was only about 3½ years old when he first went and about 4½ years old the second time he went. Even though he has an amazing memory ( he actually remembers things from when  he was 1 and 2) he argued with me that the first time we went was when he was 4. I had to pull out the old photograph albums to show him that yes he had actually gone earlier than he thought.

When he saw the photographs he did remember some parts of that trip. And, it occurred to me that the photographs were a little like small memorials to the trip and every time we saw them we would remember.

Every once in a while I hear of a book or a teaching about building memorials to God, which is entirely biblical and is a really cool thing, because it does help us to remember what He has done. After all how many times does He say,  ‘don’t forget’ to His people in the Word? The short answer? A lot. This is because He knows how short our attention spans are, and how we need to remember what He has done or else we just forget about it and start walking around with the delusion that He hasn’t hardly done anything at all.

One of the issues I’ve always had with these memorials is that the people who are advocating them always seem to say they should be outside and usually made of rocks like the ones in scripture. But, I’m just not an outdoor person. The whole point of building a memorial is to remember, but what’s the point if you don’t even notice it? I mean, if I can drive over a blue can and eventually not see it, you can bet money that I’ll walk right past an outdoor memorial to something He’s done and eventually not see it either.

Being a writer, I write things down, but even that necessitates digging through notebooks to find something to remember and doesn’t have that instant impact that takes place when you see a simple thing and are reminded of what He’s done. So, my writing doesn’t actually add up to any sort of memorial either.

Because I thought I was someone who didn’t make any sort of memorials, I settled back into the camp of when God wants me to remember something He’ll let me know. This seems to be working, but what I didn’t realize is that He had me building memorials to Himself so I would remember what He’s been doing without my even realizing that He was building them.

I mark my Bible, but not in a way that I’ve ever seen anyone else do it. I’ve tried highlighting scripture only to find that the colors irritated me and I’ve tried underlying scripture that I thought was meaningful but it got too messy for me. But, about 2 years ago I started drawing lines in the margin of my bible next to scripture that caught my eye. After that, I found myself, writing the date next to my line in the margin, but only if God had given me the verse either by making it go 3-D on me, speaking into my spirit or giving it to me through someone else.

This resulted in a combination of those little lines, some just plain and some with dates next to them. What I didn’t realize when I started doing this was that those with the dates are my memorials to the Lord, and just because they aren’t a pile of rocks or outside doesn’t make than any less than what they are, remembrances of Him and what He’s given me and in just the right way for me to remember what He has done.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

Deuteronomy 4:9

Read Full Post »


Description unavailable

Image by alison scarpulla via Flickr

It’s funny the songs you get stuck in your head.

The lyrics, “our God is an awesome God” have been running around my head all day, from the time I woke up until now, whispery trails of it have left their mark as I’ve thought about, and done, a lot of different things today.

The word “awesome” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In my formative years, it was an everyday part of my speech. I still find myself falling back on its usage when I want to express how cool something is, adding the occasional “totally” when extra emphasis is needed.

Because of the lyrics weaving their way through my mind, I started thinking about this  awesome God that not only created the entire Universe but is sovereign over it as well.

He understands the fluidity of time in a way that makes most of our brains melt when we even touch on considering it, because He created it.

He gives us the air we breath, even though we don’t even really understand why our atmosphere clings to this little ball on the edge of the Universe we live on. Yes, we understand the how, but the why, that’s another question.

He understands the why’s even though they are beyond our comprehension.

He sees everything, has created everything ( including a way that we can have a relationship with Him through His own redemptive plan ), knows what makes us tick because He made us and cares about how many hairs are on our heads enough to count them.

He cares about details beyond what makes this vast Universe run. He cares about the little details, the inner workings of the cells that are the building blocks of everything we see; where the birds can go to get out of the rain; how much snow will fall and how much water will run off; whether there will be a drought that will affect the crops and the food supply.

This is the God who cares about His chosen people, telling them through the Prophets and across the ages that they would come back to the Promised Land no matter what it looked like. Amazingly He brought them back to their Promised Land of Israel over 2,000 years after they were dispersed.

He is  the God who keeps His promises, and mind-bendingly He sees people. All of them, individually.

He sees each broken heart and feels the pain. He sees each loss and each grief , caring about each one and catching every tear we shed in a bottle and grieving along with us. He sees the outsider, the unpopular, the beaten down and wants to let them know they aren’t alone.

He knows what it’s like to be us and meets us there.

He loves us in a way we can’t fathom because our puny little minds can’t wrap themselves around that kind of love.

An awesome God? No. He’s a totally awesome God.

“Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you–majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? ”

Exodus 15:12

Read Full Post »


Aging is a funny old thing as my grandmother used to say. And really, it is. What’s even stranger is seeing people you love age.

During the summer holidays my parents usually come out for my son’s birthday and stay for an open-ended visit. This could mean four weeks to three months. The length of their visit depends on what’s going on in all of our lives and how long we can live in my little shoebox together.

Because I only see them once or twice a year, the changes that they are going through as they age are very noticable. They don’t creep up on me like they would if I saw them often, instead they hit me over the head like a 2×4.

The funny thing about parents and a child’s memory of them – at least my memory of  them – is that they sit in the photo frame of my mind at their very best stage of life.

My mom has always been a fun-loving, laughing woman who didn’t let you get away with much. Yet, at times gave my brother and I a really long rope. My memories of her swirl around a small blond woman with laughing grey/green eyes who twinkled when she talked and could get up to mischief in a second.

My dad was a sterner figure who always reminded me of someone who would have done well in the Victorian era. He could do anything and my memories of him are chock full of him fixing and making pretty much everything and anything from the car, to the yard – pouring cement ( with my Mom laughing next to him as they worked the cement mixer together) to putting in the yard. He could do just about anything.

Now they are a little older, they aren’t pouring cement or getting up to so much mischief. They are changing just like I am. Sometimes these changes are difficult to see, while other are a joy.

Just the other morning I saw something that I don’t remember seeing before, my mom sitting quietly, her large print Bible open in front of her as she read God’s Word. She does this everyday now. I remember that she did Bible studies when I was young, but I don’t recall seeing her read His Word everyday, not like she does now.

This could be my own faulty memory starting to fitz out with age, or it could be a very concrete reminder that no matter what our age or circumstance, God is always with us. We just need to take the time to remember He’s there.

“I will be the same until your old age, and I will bear you up when you turn gray.”

Isaiah 46:4a

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »