Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: February 2017

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ponderings & Prayers

Lord, I’m thankful for the times I can sit.
To look out at my life and make sense of it.
My mind is quite feeble, yet Lord, you are True.
Life only makes sense, when life is in You.

At the end of it all, it’s just You and I.
That’s all that will matter once life passes by.
Help me with strength so my days are not wasted.
To not forfeit the race, or forget what your grace did.

I see You in Glory right next to The Father.
Providing new mercies to help me go farther.
In sincere anticipation for that glorious day,
When the distance between us, is vanished away.

So now, guide my choices and help me to love.
With a passion that provoked you to come from above.
To spend what I have in pursuit of their good,
To point them towards you, and do all I could.

This life is so short, what better a blessing,
Than truth clothed in love; than guessing and stressing.
There’s no other option, though we toil and slave.
And by no other name, by which man can be saved.

In the wee waking hours let my heart seek you first.
Fulfill ye my joy, and quench ye my thirst.
Let your love quicken my spirit, and truth be my guide,
As you abide in me, and in you, I abide.

Thank you for worship, for the song my heart sings.
There’s no amount of riches, no want for things.
Just the promises of closeness, eternally with You.
The promise of faith perfected and all things made new.

Here’s The Word:

Psalms 63:3 - 8 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.

In Him,

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lessons From Women

It’s no secret that one of our biggest downfalls comes from attempts to elevate ourselves. As a man, I’m keenly aware of just how men make much of themselves: Not always in overly unhealthy ways, but often enough in ways that reflect easily on perceptions of our own importance.
Here's a quick example; most times, if a man sees a group of women talking, and he's not particularly interested in any of them romantically, he really couldn't care less about their conversation.
Not that he's assessed that their discussion doesn't apply to him, but that mentally, he's lessened the value of their discussion as wholly unimportant.... I also realize that it's highly possible that women don't ascribe high appreciation for what men talk about amongst themselves as well....but I'm not a woman to know.

As men, we could learn much in realizing our differences with women. We not only focus on different things, but we focus on different things, differently. We need to do better at valuing one another. I believe that God put deeper understanding of Himself in each gender that has to be drawn can't be dismissed, disregarded or achieved any other way other than seeking truth past our issues.

When we were children, for both boys and girls, the idea of being received came easier to both genders. However, it's harder to delve deeper into the psychological mechanics of those emotions at that age. Sadly, when we get older, boys begin to replace those emotions with those of a more dominant character. We become more focused on becoming a receiver and being less needy becomes more of what it means to be a boy.
Not in a negative way but women, historically continue their social development as being the received.
I believe that the relevance and impact of this lesson is just as near and dear to the heart of God as that of men being receivers. It’s important to apply comprehensive and critical thinking to how we look at Scripture. The danger in disregarding this is made evident when we downplay something based on feeling or the challenge of societal shifts rather than what’s really presented in God’s Word.

Matthew, chapter 25 recounts the parable of the 10 virgins. These 10 women took lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of the women were somehow more serious about their commitment to being received and were better prepared in that they took extra oil for their lamps. All 10 women fell asleep as the bridegroom didn't show up early like they probably anticipated. When the announcement was made, the five foolish virgins asked for oil from the others. The prepared virgins said "No", as there was no way to give away what they'd had and still be properly prepared to be received. These other virgins went to try and buy oil and missed their opportunity. The story ends with "Keep watch (be prepared), you have no idea when the announcement will be made".

Sadly, our "shifted" society would have a LOT to say regarding a situation like this. The idea of ‘being received’ would be lessened to some sort of proclamation of a need based in weakness. The message of the world would not only discourage women from NEEDing to be received, but it would also point any answer of fulfilment to some, inward, phantasmic source.

I think that’s why God does certain things that simply can’t be erased no matter how hard we try. Certain things will continue to happen the way they have for eons simply because they’re rooted in the divine order.
I noticed a young lady at church who had recently become engaged to be married. Her and her new beau were getting involved in a ministry and you could just see her doubly-glowing: I’m sure her love for the ministry and being part of what the local church provides was evident but I’m also sure I saw more of her joy of being received as she responded to her soon to be husband. I thought, “What a real and wonderful truth.” This ‘giddiness wasn’t girlie, it was Godly - and even as a man, I hoped that I would tear down worldly misconceptions and that I would be proud to set my preparations and affections on the Bridegroom for that day that I am received by Him.

Here’s The Word;

Colossians 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,

Hebrews 10:6 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

2 Peter 1:10 - 11 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Companionship and singleness both have their place in representing God's love and working righteousness in us here in this fallen world. Marriage is symbol of Christ and His body which will give way to its eternal fullness just as marriage,(as experienced here) will dissolve away just like the very idea of relational singleness. But as believers, we can strive now, in anticipation; reflecting on our need to be received and the Darling of Heaven who will, one day, call to receive us.

In Him,

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

People, people

One of the biggest reasons that I enjoy writing was inescapably apparent in getting this post together: Especially in the midst of noisy media, and the daily blow-by-blow, it would seem easy to just keep talking about what everybody is talking about, but no.
After a few false starts, I had to keep coming back and asking myself; Is this where my heart is? That wrestling, to shake away frivolous ideas and finally come away with something Biblically true, applicable and hopefully ‘connecting’ is a process that continues to challenge my thinking and well worth it if it produces help and encouragement for anyone who reads these posts.

Although I don’t spend much time watching the news or involving myself in many of the cultures’ debates, it’s obvious that there’s a lot going on. Well, a whole lot of talking, but there doesn’t seem to be as much listening.
It reminds me of a quote by the late Stephen R. Covey, Author of the best-selling ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. He said - “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

How often do we consider the motivations for our approach? And along that same line, how often do we justify our choice as being the right one?

It doesn’t take much to realize how ‘bothered’ we’ve become with people lately? People are no longer seen as people, they’re seen as labels: Liberal, Conservative, Bigot, Intolerant, Fascists, Socialists, etc. Seeing people as labels means seeing them as problems that we’d rather not deal with – unless it’s in the vein of forcefully trying to argue and convert them from their distorted views, or then as little as possible, if at all.

Here’s the Word;

Matthew 4:18 – 20 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow Me, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” And at once they left their nets and followed Him

Here’s where we switch gears a bit:

Jesus picked fishermen to start the idea of discipling to spread the message of The Kingdom of God. He knew how to use what they were comfortable with, to take them places they would’ve never gone on their own. We all have the same journey before us: To look to Christ to help us leave our comfort zones, give us understanding and use our testimonies to the advantage of His Kingdom.

Tying these two ideas together in our current situation, we first have to realize a very important truth: Labels are labels, but people are people. You can’t let a label remove someone’s personhood. They’re still considered to be a creation in the very image of God, just as we all are. We have to be conscious and protective of the value intrinsically deserved by people. Remember, God is in the people business and what He's called us to can easily be described as customer service, even to the point of praying and providing for people who mistreat us. I’m glad that the KJV doesn’t use the word love in explaining this effort, because words tend to get abused, so hopefully going back to this, contextually rare usage, will shed some light.

Here’s The Word;

1 Corinthians 8:1(b) we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

It’s easy these days to be puffed up about what we believe – even if we’re correct and our belief is true, charity still goes one better and seeks for the other’s benefit rather than being dismissive or calling attention to your own ‘rightness’.

2 Timothy 2:24 – 26 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

I like writing. The idea of having a voice is somehow liberating, but I also like it because rather than treat it as my own soapbox, I’m constantly brought face to face with a poignant question, “Seekest thou great things for thyself? (Jeremiah 45:5). I’m reminded and settled into the simplicity of the job description. We may all have very different professional occupations, but at the end of the day, The Lord, Who will eventually bring every rioting debate to a screeching halt, calls to be people, people.

Seek truth In Him,