Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Contemplating Dust

Why is dust grey? Most of the time when I clean out the lint trap in the dryer, dust the house, clean out the vacuum, or sweep the floor, it seems that the dust is mostly grey. Everything that makes this dirty dust has some color--maybe even mostly brown, but when it is swept up, it shows up just grey. A strange thing to contemplate.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics (entropy): The amount of energy in the universe available for work is running out. In other words, everything is going from order to disorder, complexity to dust.

“Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath; for the sky will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants will die in like manner;” Isaiah 51:6a (NAS)

All this grey dust from our multi-colored world pointedly reminds me of our sins. The blatant sins we commit, the hidden sins, and the sins we may not even notice, are dirty grey in our lives of dust.

“For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 19b (NAS)

“Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” James 4:14 (NAS)

“You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before You. Each man’s life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro; he bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it." Psalm 39:5-6 (NIV)

When we repent and place our faith in Jesus as our Savior, we are washed white as snow.

“Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7 (NAS)

“’Come now let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.’” Isaiah 1:18 (NAS)

When we finally meet in glory there will be no more dust and our lives will no longer be just a breath or a vapor--there will be no more entropy. And there will be no more sin.

“Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath; for the sky will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not wane.” Isaiah 51:6 (NAS)

“You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before You. Each man’s life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro; he bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39:5-7 (NIV)

MARANATHA! Oh, Lord come, quickly!

Friday, April 16, 2010

While I’m Waiting, by John Waller

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My very own geek

It used to be that all I knew about computers was what I had learned on one of the old Star Trek movies years ago. After a time warp to the past (our present) Scottie goes to use the 20th century computer to solve their current problem. After he discovers that you can not just speak with the computer to make it work he uses the keys - very fast. Thus my knowledge of how to use a computer. Speed.

Now this attribute has been my downfall many-a-time with our own computer. When things go wrong it is usually my fault. I am too fast and impatient. When I have questions, problems, or major troubles, I ask my very own computer geek. His first words are usually "you need to slow down" or "you probably hit something wrong."

My computer geek is my beloved husband. He would say that he does not know much about computers either, but over the years he has learned from reading how, asking questions from other geeks, plus trial and error. I have learned much because of his efforts on the computer. So I am kind of computer geeky myself!

The one big problem for me concerning learning new things on the computer is that I really do not care. In learning most of the technical info - my eyes glaze over and I begin to think of the sixty-eleven things I really want to do next. I would rather be doing artistic, creative things than any computer work.

I am so humbled that you, “my gentle readers,” are spending your precious time reading my encouragements. When you come to my posts, it is all because of my very own geek who lovingly listens to my non-technical lingo on what I want and how I want it. Someday, maybe after my one hundredth blog entry, I will actually remember the lessons he gives me each time on publishing. My eyes will clear and I will whip through the steps to post my next blog. Until then I will sit beside him and enjoy my beloved.

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” Song of Solomon 6:3a

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

God’s strength in my weaknesses

I posted Pastor James MacDonald’s “Weekly Walk”, Strength in Weakness, from December 28, 2009 in my last entry. It poignantly reminded me of how the Lord has carried me in His mighty strength these many years.

Although more years have passed now, I have said many times in my own testimony that “the last decade has been the worst years of my life - and yet they have been the very best years of my life.”

I have said that in my own painful tragedy I would literally be hiding in my closet to this very day.

But because of the Lord - He has given me not only the strength to do next things but a desire to do them. In these years I have seen God’s hand in my suffering as He has lifted me up. I have felt His peace even in the chaos, and I have been able to rest in Him even in this horrendous storm that seemingly has no end. I have discovered that the Lord truly does love me, not only because His Word says so but because I have seen it.

Yes, these years have been the worst of my life - but really, they have been the very best. I have drawn near to God and He has drawn near to me. This is the very best place to be.

“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:7-8a

This may sound so very strange to some of you, but if I had known of this tragedy before it had happened, if I had known that these chaotic years would have dragged on for so very long, if I had known of the agony we would carry with us every day - I would have “run away” as Jonah had before the storm; but then I would have missed these very precious years of truly getting to know my God and Savior. I would have missed how He has used my pain to mature me in Him. Yes, because of my Lord these years have been my very best.

Praising You, my Comforter and Counselor - my strength!

"But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works."  Psalm 73:28

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Strength in Weakness

May this entry give you encouragement. It is the December 28, 2009 “Weekly Walk” of Pastor James MacDonald from Walk in the Word Ministries http://www.walkintheword.com/

“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:5-7

How do people do it? How do they withstand the Katrina-like blows that pummel their lives? The wind, the waves, the surges of heartbreak one after the another. How do they survive…and still lift their faces to the Lord? How can they be so strong at their extreme weakest?

Today was an awful day. Some very heavy things hit me off guard. But somewhere in the middle of that storm, God’s voice was telling me that He provides sufficient grace for this trial, and when I am weak His is always and still very strong. So I want to say to the glory of God that if there is anything in this ministry that is powerful, it is from weakness. Trust me on that.

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Well, here I am - present and accounted for. It’s the hard times and the unhealthy times and the hurting times that reveal my weaknesses. And it’s also during those times that God shows up strong.

We often treat suffering like a dodgeball game. Anytime anything painful comes at us, we jump out of the way. We spend our whole lives trying to avoid anything that will hurt or be hard. But there’s a better kind of life - a deeper, more fulfilling kind of life - that isn’t about avoiding every pain. It’s about finding God faithful and powerful in the midst of whatever thorns He allows.

There’s something about our weakness that opens the flow of God’s strength.

When you are in the midst of a trial, there’s a power coming into your life that you’ve never experienced before. When you see a hard thing coming try saying, “I may not want this, but I know I’m going to see Christ working in my life in an incredible way.”

God never allows a thorn but that He provides sufficient grace and strength in our weaknesses. Sufficient grace is not just enough to survive, but enough to have supernatural joy in the midst of anything.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Peace that passes all understanding

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace that passes all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”   Philippians 4:4-9