Get out your favorite version of the Holy Scriptures and turn to 2 Chronicles 7:14

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Share with me some of your New Year's resolutions! Anything unusual?

As for me . . . I'm going with the old standbys . . . lose the five pounds I gained during the holidays, spend more time with the grand-children, finish the quilt I started early in 2012, keep my blog current, get more organized, and spend more time in the Word.

But I'm also going to deviate a little from the old standbys. In 2013, and every year thereafter, I resolve to do a better job of keeping the Ten Commandments.

Quite frankly, until recently, I thought I was doing a fine job of keeping them . . . now, anyway . . . I haven't always.

But several Sundays ago, while I was pounding away on my keyboard, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit. A reminder, if you will, that it was Sunday. The day our church celebrates the Sabbath. And I was working. As I had the Sunday before that, and the one before that, and the one before . . . well, you get the picture.

I'd gotten in the habit of Sunday afternoons being my "make up" time. The time I gathered the little tidbits undone during the previous week (and the week before) and attempted to get caught up. (Never quite reaching that lofty goal, I might add.) I didn't consider it "real work." I mean, it was only catch-up, right?

But a trip to my Bible to double-check revealed the third commandment to be pretty clear about things: Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God, in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.

Well, I plead not guilty regarding making others work . . . but I consistantly (for the last 20 or 30 years) have used the excuse provided by the Lord, Himself. "My ox is in the ditch." Truth be told, my ox stays in the ditch. It's way past time to shoot the poor creature and put it out of it's misery.

I find it hard to relax. In fact, I feel guilty if I take the time to relax. But clearly, the Lord knew what He was doing when He commanded us to relax one day a week. The human body is not designed for unceasing labor (even if it's only sitting at a desk.) Good health demands we have a time of rest.  And isn't it weird that a commandment that requires us to do nothing should be so hard for some to follow?

This is even more weird. In the few short weeks I've been consciously aware of this commandment, I seem to have gotten almost caught up. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. And my list of things to do is getting shorter, instead of longer.

God does indeed work in mysterious ways!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Amazing Grace

I've believed in a Higher Power for as long as I can remember. Although I didn't begin enjoying a relationship with that Power until middle age.

I've believed every word I've read in the Bible since I owned my first one.

But never in a thousand years did I think I'd be here to see Bible prophesy happening right before our eyes. Because until a few years ago, I wasn't able to see the dark side. There was the world, and there was God. I didn't know the spots of darkness I detected in the world from time to time were actually growing. Like a fungus.

We did "naughty" things in high school. Skipped a class. Stayed out past curfew. Perhaps experimented with a bad word or two. But I, for one, suffered tremendous guilt afterward anytime I broke a rule.

A mere two generations ago . . . 

As a young woman I heard in church that Christians were the light in a dark world. It all sounded rather righteous and unnecessary. The world wasn't all that bad. Then.

But look around us now. The world is that bad. Naughty has grown up. And been replaced by evil. And many people in positions of great influence - add fuel to the flame for the sake of wealth and fame. Greed trumps decency.

Doris Day has been replaced by . . . well, I was going to name a name, but I think I'll pass. It doesn't take too much imagination to insert a name. Innocent love stories as portrayed by Doris Day, June Allison, and other actresses of that era have evolved into sordid tales of sex and sin. Except they're presented as "the norm."

You can't go to a movie, or watch a TV show that doesn't give equal time to "alternate life-styles." The world has grown weary of laboring and, one-by-one, is succumbing to the evil one's desires.

Phillippians 2:15 says " . . .  that you may prove yourselves to be blamesless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst  of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world."

I can turn on the TV, walk down the street, or overhear a conversation . . . and realize I AM in the midst of a perverse generation. We've been told it would be like this. Why are we surprised?  Jesus said we'd be hated because we love Him.  Just never thought I'd see the day when Christian were hated. It's kind of sneaked up on us, hasn't it?

Satan is alive and well, and growing stronger. It's up to us to shine a bright light on his deeds. (2 Corinthians 2:11 "in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his scemes.")

The town where I attended high school . . . innocent and safe . . . is now a hotbed of crime and drugs. But for the grace of God, I would be a part of this perverse generation. But as His children, we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.

When you were in high school, wouldn't it have thrilled you out of your gourd if the captain of the football team (or cheerleading team) told you he/she liked you?" Well, try this on for size . . . The God of all creation, King of kings, Lord or lords, the Lion of Judah, the Prince of Peace loves you!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Safe in the Arms of God

The events of recent weeks have been enough to send a sensitive person off the deep end. It's only by the grace of God I'm able to position my fingers over the keyboard and let thoughts pour forth.

I have in mind a couple of subjects I'd like to broach. But not today. Not while the memory of Friday is still so fresh in my mind. Today, I think I'd like to pay tribute to the fallen students and teachers, by recognizing them by name. As I recorded these, I read each name and let it register in my mind, that this is a real person, mourned by a real family . . . not just some gruesome headline.

The childred,all six or seven years old, were:
Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Anna Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockly, Madeleine Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonald, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler, and Allison Wyatt.

The adults were:
Rachel Davino - 29, Dawn Hochsprung - 47, Anne Marie Murphy - 52, Lauren Rousseau - 30, Mary Sherlock - 56, and Victoria Soto - 27.

I won't belabor it any longer. Lord knows the press has kept it ever on our minds. Perhaps that's good. Perhaps we need to have it drummed into us that Satan does not love any of us. Not even the innocent children.

My grandchildren (five and seven) asked me about it. They didn't seem too traumatized by it, so I simply told them the slain children and teachers were happy in the arms of God. But we needed to pray for their families. Because they were going to miss their loved ones very much.

Faith will pull us all through. For some it will take longer than others.

Do something kind for someone . . . today. And every day.