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Showing posts from December, 2014

Tis The Season

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.-Ecclesiastes 3:1, 1 Cor. 15:8 (NKJV)

I am thinking about seasons.  The author of Ecclesiastes lists fifteen pairs of seasons that are opposites, starting with, "a time to be born and a time to die".  One translator writes, "opportune time", for season.  It's like a season is a window of opportunity.

But what if you miss an opportunity or that opportunity is closed off by others?  What if the plan or the positive, logical, sequence of events, is aborted?  Paul's ministry came in a different or peculiar way.  It was born out of due time; not in season, to the natural eyes.

This is Christmas week.  It is the season to celebrate Jesus birth.  But, there are people who are suffering loss right now.  They are in a sad place.  So, there are two season's going on in their lives, out of harmony.

I believe that God supplies…

Perseverance...

Now we want each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the final realization of your hope, so that you won’t become lazy but will be imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perseverance.
-Hebrews 6:11-12 (HCSB)

Do you have perseverance?  It takes perseverance to inherit the promises.  Perseverance is long-suffering.  It is patience, as in a long temper.  It is a "keeping on, keeping on".  Perseverance also means, "delayed hope" (Prov. 13:12).  

A quick diagramming of Heb. 6:11-12 is this.  I imagine this is not perfect, but this is my attempt, to try to understand it better:

Now we want 
-each of you 
   -to demonstrate
       -the same diligence
       -for the final realization
       -of your hope,
       -so that you won’t become lazy
   -but will be imitators
      -of those who inherit the promises
         -through faith and perseverance.

My focus is on this word, perseverance.  It falls within the "imitators" section.  We w…

My Mourning

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
-Matthew 5:4

If Jesus said God blesses the people who mourn, then mourning is alright.  Even Jesus mourned (John 11:35).  Tears are good.

I was at a lecture, and I suddenly felt very sad, about a loss in my life.  There was a grief, a loss, to mourn.  We call it "grief work".  Many of us have pockets of loss or hurtful memories in our hearts.  More than a few times, a scene in a movie has resonated with my grief or loss; and I am suddenly bursting into tears.

I also had a dream this past week, and in it, I was reciting a disappointment, which was mourning a loss.  It got my attention and I agreed to grieve it.  If we ignore our "grief work", the hurts stay with us and contaminate our lives.

Blessed are those who mourn their losses.

We need to let go of the hurt, so that we can take hold of the new beginnings, the new seasons, and the second chances.  For example, when you suffer a loss; if you stay in the p…

My Anger

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
-Ephesians 4:26-7 (NLT)

A few weeks ago, I was on the way, with my family, to go to a performance of "A Christmas Carol".  I had never been to the theater we were driving to, and was taking directions from the GPS.  We got off the freeway, and I was disoriented about which lane to be in.

I was changing lanes and another man honked at me.  There were four lane choices, and I am not even certain I wanted to get in front of him; but just over, towards him, one or two lanes.

When he honked at me, I honked back.  He honked,  then I hooooooooooooonked.  You get the idea.  It was a, "how dare you honk at me, and now here is a taste of your own medicine", honk.  I think I also upset the panhandler, but he may have already been talking up a storm, before I hooooooonked.

We continued to follow the Magellan's directions, and it was…

He Owns The Cattle On A Thousand Hills -I know He Will Care For Me

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,
The wealth in ev'ry mine;
He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills,
The sun and stars that shine.
Wonderful riches, more than tongue can tell -
He is my Father so they're mine as well;
God owns the cattle on a thousand hills -
I know that He will care for me.


John W. Peterson wrote this song, published in 1948.  He was born in 1921 and died in 2006.  He wrote over 1000 songs, including Heaven Came Down an Glory Filled My Soul, Surely Goodness and Mercy, This Is The Day That The Lord Hath Made.

It is a great reminder that God takes care of us.  Generous is a word that describes God and we live out lives of generosity:
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread …

How Firm A Foundation

I will not, I will not leave thee, I will never, never, never forsake thee.”
-Hebrews 12:5 (1)

Have you ever heard J. Vernon McGee's "Thru The Bible", radio program?  It has been on a number of stations, here in Southern California, for decades.  He passed on in 1988, but his radio ministry has kept going, because it is so popular.  How Firm A Foundation, is the hymn that opens the show.  I decided to look at this amazing hymn.  Here is is:

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled? In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be. Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnip…

Obedience Is From A Life That Has Had His Love Revealed, & Loves Back

Whoever holds to my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me; and whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and reveal myself to him.'

“The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.”
-John 14:21 (NJHB, MSG)

The person who loves Christ, has grasped, has layed ahold of his commands firmly.  That person's mind holds onto Christ's words, which are commands to be obeyed.  The person who loves Christ hears him, takes hold of the commands his gives, and obeys them.

But this does not happen in a vacuum.  It happens through God's love for us first.  It also is able to happen, because we are people who have the Holy Spirit.  We take hold of something that deeply impacts us- God's love in Christ, and become lovers ourselves.  And we express that love through obeying God's son.

The Father has always loved…