Purpose Statement

My holy ambition is to bring glory to God through the study of His Word. I am passionate about the observation, interpretation and application of God's Word in our lives.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Biblical Gratitude

I have begun reading a book called "Choosing Gratitude..Your Journey to Joy."  I struggle with an ungrateful heart.  Romans 1 speaks of what happens to the ungrateful. It's not a good ending.  Nancy Leigh DeMoss wrote it with an introduction by Joni Eareckson Tada.  Both said something very interesting.  Throughout my Christian walk I've heard Bible teachers that we should be thankful in a given circumstance and not for it.  These ladies both disagree.

To quote Joni:
"And so I've been giving thanks for most of my paralyzed life. Not only giving thanks "in everything" as one part of the Bible tells us, but "always giving thanks to God the Father for everything" as another part commands (I Thessalonians 5: 18; Ephesians 5: 19-20  NIV). Most of us are able to thank God for His grace, comfort, and sustaining power in a trial, but we don't think Him for the problem, just finding Him in it."
Joni then writes that not only is she grateful for the wheelchair but her quadriplegia as well. She calls it a blessing. To quote her it is: "a gift wrapped in black." She says that the Savior is not separate from the suffering He allows. She and Nancy are deeply committed to the idea that gratitude pushes you to the Lord and thus the place of joy.

I don't know about you but my life isn't overabundant with joy. Nancy says:
I've discovered that gratitude truly is my life preserver. Even in the most turbulent waters, choosing gratitude has rescued me from myself and my runaway emotions.  It buoys me on the grace of God and keeps me from drowning in what otherwise would be my natural bent toward doubt, negativity, discouragement, and anxiety. Over time choosing gratitude means choosing joy."

I am hopeful that the Lord uses this book in my life to convict of the lack of gratitude and joy.  The author calls gratitude a spiritual discipline. I'm learning a lot about the disciplines of the Christian life these days. It's been a very good thing...and one for which I am truly grateful.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Tonight in Bible Study we talked about changes in our lives.  There are times we dread change and times we welcome it.  During this past year there have been many changes for me and some of them very dramatic.  I've done things I've never done before and been places I'd never been.  God saw me through them all.  Two people in my to whom I very close talk about taking God's hand when they get afraid. He is that personal to them. I've tried it. It does help me focus on the living God. Change is usually very difficult for me and even more so as I age. 

God tells us often not to fear in the Bible. Unfortunately it is a sin with which I am well familiar.  God is sovereign and good. He has all things in His hands.  When we face the unknown we face it with a loving God orchestrating every event.  There are hard times to be sure.  When change comes, we must cry out to God and He promises us to answer. It may not be the expected or even desired answer but God will respond. We also need to throw ourselves on His mercy and embrace His grace. God is a Father to all who call on the name of Jesus Christ. He cares, provides and guides. We also need to stand on all the applicable promises in the Word of God.  Gratefully He hasn't left us alone to figure things out. He is working to bring all things together for our good. We need to go where God sends once we know what He requires of us.  He is with us and for us. Nothing can separate us from His love. Change will come as long as we live here. But we don't need to fear. We can be still and know that He is God.

Jacob in Egypt

The biblical character Joseph is one of my favorites in Scripture.  We are studying Genesis in BSF and I arrived in time for Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.  We are in chapters 46 to 48 where Jacob is relocated to Egypt after Joseph was reconciled with his family.  Change is hard and I hate it frankly.  If I had my way, I'd be doing the same thing at the same place with the same people.  When Jacob was to relocate God gave him a midnight vision telling him not to be afraid.  There was a time when God commanded Jacob not to go to Egypt.  Now the Lord's plan was exactly that.  Does that mean God is whimsical or arbitrary? No it means that a sovereign and loving God is in control of our lives and what may be right at one time isn't right in another. we should never presume upon God but listen to him speak through His Word.

Once Jacob heard God he moved out immediately. Partial obedience is still disobedience.  God wanted to bring Jacob and his family to a greater maturity.  When things change in our lives, God is working to make us complete in Jesus Christ.  He is forming our character to resemble that of His Son.  Changes stretch us.  That may be why they are so hard for me.  God wants us to thrive not just to survive.  This past year has been full of changes--some good and some bad.  But I have grown because of them.  Ofttimes God will send adverse and even hostile environments in order for us to mature.

When we depend on God we can conquer even in the most hostile of environments. The more we recognize our dependence on God, the better the outcome.  We truly are dependent on Him even for the very breath we take.  When we are discouraged, we need to remember God's promises.  Jacob remembered God's Promised Land. He told Joseph to bury him with his fathers. Jacob knew that one day Israel would occupy Canaan.  Before Jacob dies in Egypt he blesses Joseph's two sons. Contrary to tradition once again the older son would serve the younger.  God often opts to act in unconventional ways.  Even if we don't understand Him we are to follow His commands. God is in the business of maturing our faith. He did so with His people in Genesis and He is doing so today. We are to listen to God, believer His Word and obey Him fully.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Laminin: An Amazing Video

I spent the evening watching a video with a couple from my church. It's called "How Great is our God". Louie Giglio speaks of how vast God truly is as seen in the universe. The video left us all in tears. The majesty of God is incredible as depicted throughout the universe. Rather than try to describe it; the video is a must see. My summary wouldn't do it justice. There some things that words just can't describe. It would be hard to see how scientists who don't believe in a divine Creator could explain away the facts presented.  His discussion of laminin alone is worth it...Amazing. Simply Amazing. I know, I know. The question is what is laminin.  Hint for those of you clinging to the Cross of Christ, google it for a picture or two....

Here are the lyrics to the song by Chris Tomlin How Great is Our God:
The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end
The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sweet Holy Spirit

I have really been working on my personal relationship with God's Spirit in the past few weeks.  I think the Holy Spirit is the forgotten member of the trinity. We reformed folk are very vocal about God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.  I think mention of the Spirit is a bit intimidating at times.  None of us want to fall into the hyper charismatic camps and end up barking like dogs, howling like hyenas or some such fleshly nonsense.  I've probably quenched the Spirit by my lack of attention however. He is equally God and His role is equally important to the Christian life.  We are called to walk by the Spirit. We are told to be filled with the Spirit. The Word tells us not to quench the Spirit nor should we grieve Him.

His presence is very real.  I''ve felt it at church and BSF to name two places  Each morning I wake up and ask for a greater awareness of Him during the day.  I don't want to be mystical or esoteric.  But He's very real.  Tonight at BSF we sang "Sweet Holy Spirit." I love the hymn. It was written and composed by Doris Akers.
Here are the lyrics:

There's a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place,
And I know that it's the Spirit of the Lord;
There are sweet expressions on each face,
And I know they feel the presence of the Lord.

Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet heavenly Dove,
Stay right here with us, filling us with Your love.
And for these blessings we lift our hearts in praise;
Without a doubt we'll know that we have been revived,
When we shall leave this place.

There are blessings you cannot receive
Till you know Him in His fullness and believe;
You're the one to profit when you say,
"I am going to walk with Jesus all the way."

If you say He saved you from your sin,
Now you're weak, you're bound and cannot enter in,
You can make it right if you will yield,
You'll enjoy the Holy Spirit that we feel.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Sovereign Will of God

Tonight I went to a church service at a church in Arlington.  Two of my close friends are members there. One was supposed to give her testimony about the ways God had worked in her life. She suffers from COPD and is on oxygen every day all day.  She carries with her a portable oxygen tank.  Tonight she ran out before she had a chance to speak.  We had to leave for her house before her saturation level dropped dangerously low. I went with her and she left the written testimony for our other friend to share. She got home in time and was able to breathe easier.  The friend read her testimony for her.

I love how God can make something happen according to His will regardless of the interference.  The testimony obviously was meant to be shared tonight in church. Even though one friend had to leave, the other carried on.  God's ways are perfect.  His will is done even in what is seemingly small moments of life.  It is comforting to know that even though we have an enemy opposing us God is triumphant.  His will trumps everything else. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Home Schooled

I spent Friday morning with another home school family.  It was very much like my other experiences but I was more aware of the types of curriculum used.  This family had readers written by the Mennonites.  The 10 year old's reading was about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsamane.  It was very accurate to the biblical text.  I've been amazed that textbooks for home schooler contain such specific references to God. The science book makes frequent references to the Creator.  It is a refreshing change from the worldview of evolution.

After the Boston tragedy Sister Frances said how sad it was that belief in God was so absent these days.Children were being raised without any concept of the true and living God.  I mentioned to her that the belief in another god was even more dangerous. The false god of many major religions is a whimsical despot requiring the shed blood of others in order to gain entrance in the hereafter.   Praise the Lord that the blood of the precious Savior is what the God of the universe requires.  The blood that He graciously gave us when He sent His Son to die on the Cross.  Nothing but that blood can save a soul.

 I pray for the suspect who apparently has survived his wounds.  I pray that he turn from his whimsical, angry and violent god and embraces Jesus Christ as His Savior. The Gospel is radical enough for such a conversion.  I'm grateful that many people are training up their children in the Word of God through homeschooling  May all those who homeschool be encouraged that it is the right thing to do. Glory to the true God for people who are standing firm.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Perilous Times

The news this week but really this whole year has reminded me of II Timothy 3: 1-8: 

"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

It has also reminded me of Matthew 24: 4-14:

 "And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

I try not to be a naysayer. I do wonder how much longer before Jesus returns.  Some people think that times haven't changed and it could be another thousand years. I don't think God gave us prophecy such that we can't understand it.  I think that the Scripture should be taken literally.  I believe that about the Book of Revelation. I don't think it a stretch to read it and come away with the horror of the Great Tribulation.  As quickly as things are changing in the world, nothing would surprise me. I try to live in a state of expectancy without sitting on a rooftop.  We are to be in but not of the world.  I still say Maranatha Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Joseph's Attitude on the Job

Last night I went to BSF.  The teaching leader taught on Genesis 39 and 40.  She said that a successful day is to stay in conscious contact with God all day.  Joseph grew so very close to the Lord.  He was aware of God's presence throughout the day.  She then asked the class how much do we grumble or complain.  Boy was I dead in the water. She mentioned that Joseph was the best slave he could be while working for Potiphar.  Work is a gift from God. It is good to work as unto the Lord and pour ouselves out for our vocation.  Joseph certainly was one to pray over his duties because Potiphar knew Joseph was a man of God.  How often do we pray at work?  Joseph was a witness to the living God.  Are we the same on at our jobs? How often in our daily conversations do we give Him all the glory?

I was very convicted this morning as I drove Sister Frances. My attitude was sinful and inside I grumbled far too much.  I had to intentionally take my thoughts captive.  I prayed throughout the day for the Lord to help me change my grumbling attitude. It improved by the end of the day but I was far from a "Joseph" for sure. Gratefully God's mercies are new every morning and tomorrow is the start of a new day.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Joseph and Jesus

I know the saying is usually "the patience of Job" but we are studying Joseph in BSF.  Tonight I read how he interpreted the dreams of the cupbearer and chief baker.  God gave him the ability to interpret and thus everything he said came to pass. He told them that the cupbearer would be released in three days and the chief baker would die.  Both events happened.  He had asked the cupbearer to remember him and mention him to the Pharaoh to get him out of prison.  The final verse in Chapter 40 says: "Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him."  The beginning verse of Chapter 41 states it was two full years before Pharaoh himself had a dream that needed interpretation. Only then did the cupbearer say something to the Pharaoh.

I found myself wondering how Joseph reacted during those long two years.  The Lord granted him the mercy to survive well in prison.  Was he ever bitter? Did he get unrighteously angry? The Scripture is silent about such specific issues.  Genesis tells us the whole story and what God did through Joseph in saving Israel from famine.  He used a more humble Joseph to rescue his brothers, forgive them and give them physical life in providing food for them.  Joseph was a type of Christ prefiguring the Lord Jesus who "rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."  Genesis 50: 20 is a key verse of the book.  It speaks of God's power to bring about good from every circumstance.  Joseph is speaking to his brothers when he says: "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive."

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Murderer From the Beginning

A friend and I were talking today over a glass of tea.  She is from another country and talked of returning to it. One thing she said was alarming. It was the level of violence existent there.  Criminals would not longer just steal your purse. They also would assault you.  She was very concerned about the issue. I watched the TV news for the first time in months tonight.  It is alarming here.  My thoughts turned back to John 8 where Jesus calls Satan the Father of lies. He is that for sure. The Lord also said he was a murderer from the beginning.  Satan came into the Garden of Eden and deceived Adam and Eve.  Then their son Cain killed Abel.  Four people and there was one murder.

I can't help but think we are close to the Return of Jesus Christ. Frankly I long for Him. I am very world weary. I know some may read this post and think I'm off my rocker. I guess I'm old enough to have one.  I wish revival would hit.  I'd love for hundreds of thousands world wide to repent and Christ come for us in the clouds.  He will come at just the right time. Until then we need to be about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The murderer from the beginning is wreaking havoc. Christ will have the ultimate victory. That I can state securely on and not off my rocker.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Grace in the Genealogy of Jesus

I read the story of Tamar and Judah in Genesis 39 tonight for BSF.  Tamar was a Gentile woman who married Judah's sons.  Long story short she ends up sleeping with her father-in-law dressed up as a prostitute. Judah is ready to have her burned but Tamar pulls out a few things given to her on the day of the trespass. Judah owns up to his sin and she gives birth to twins.  She like Ruth and Rahab are listed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.  What grace of God to include these women in the Savior's line.

As I think about God's grace it truly is more immense than man can imagine.  We deserve nothing but eternal punishment for sin.  But God.  Ephesians 2: 4-8: "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God..."

We are saved by grace and frankly we are sanctified by it too.  God works in us and He accomplishes the good work He started. Yet we are to obedient to the Lord and His Word. I think the inclusion of the Gentile women indicates God's love extends to all peoples at all times.  The Tabernacle and later the Temple had a court of Gentiles.  Any who spiritually thirsted were welcome. His grace is magnificent.  Once again it is truly amazing. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Be Careful How You Walk

Today I took Sister Frances to Costco for a few things for Sister Maggie. When we were in the parking lot I was loading the car and Sister went to return the cart.  As she was coming back, she didn't see the parking block. She tripped and fell flat on her face.  I ran over to her to find her profusely bleeding. Her nose was scarped and she had cut the inside of her mouth with her two front teeth.  Some good Samaritans were near and helped with Kleenex and moist towels.  The manager came out with cold packs and forms.  Sister wanted to go back to Sunrise.  I called them to see what to do.  One of the coordinators told me to bring her back and the nurse would check her out.

When we got back to Sunrise, one of the staff after hearing what happened said: "Be careful how you walk!"  Sister is getting older.  She isn't good at watching were she walks. She also tends to shuffle rather than lift her feet.  It was good counsel for her. ( Although frankly it may be time for a walker). Please pray for her.  She went to the Rangers' game tonight.  Gratefully a physician friend took her so she will be in very good hands.

  As I heard the comment though I thought about Ephesians 5: 15-17: "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."     Christians need to be very careful how they walk too.  We aren't to be foolish but to know what is God's will.  We should be mindful at all times where we step and more importantly why.  We must make it our ambition to be pleasing to the Lord.  Sister's face took a beating because of her fall. Christians do the same thing when they fall.  It is a messy ordeal and takes time to heal.  Let us all be careful how we walk.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Amazing Grace

"Sin offers you hope, but leaves you on your own. Grace shatters that hope, then gives you all the help you'd ever need."  I'm not sure of the author of this quote. A friend posted it to my timeline on Facebook. It may have been Paul Tripp who said it.  I've struggled throughout my Christian walk with legalism.  There are two ways to fall off the "grace fence."  On one side is license and a supposed freedom to sin. On the other side is legalism which tries to earn God's favor by supposedly good works.  It hasn't served me well.  Tonight we sang Amazing Grace at BSF.  It's verses are such good reminders.:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught..
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be.
as long as life endures.

When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Texting We Shall Go

I finally joined the 21st century and got texting today.  I probably am one of the last holdouts.  This week I also had to establish an account at my credit union on the computer to avoid costly monthly fees.  "Things they be a changin'".  I know there is nothing evil about technology. In fact there are many benefits.  But every time I take a little step or a giant leap I have a niggling thought in my head that the Antichrist must be around the corner and Jesus must be coming back soon.  I felt that way years ago when I got a debit card.   I felt that way again with my first cell phone.  Now the feeling's back.

I wonder if the prophets of old had any idea where the world would be in the hundreds of years down the road.  Here we are.  We definitely are closer than we've ever been to Christ's Second Advent. Technology or not, His return is imminent. I can hardly wait to see Him again. Heaven did get a little bit closer today with the passing of our friend and sister in the Lord, Elizabeth.  The cancer that took her life is now dead and she is more alive than ever before.  I am grateful for her life. I will miss her.  But I am so glad her suffering has ended. She is forever away from the presence of sin. I have never been more grateful for the promise of reunion and the resurrection.  Jesus Christ is our hope of glory. That sentence would be one worth texting to all my contacts.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Practicing Hospitality

Romans 12: 13 indicts us to practice hospitality.  I haven't been very good at obeying this command. Today I had five women over for a singles group meeting.  I enjoyed the time.  It took a while to prepare and clean my apartment.  (I always love it when I have company. My apartment is never so clean.)  The ladies and I prayed, fellowshipped and discussed some Bible passages with one another. It was an edifying time that hopefully brought glory to the Lord.  What a blessing it is to get together with other believers and enjoy one another.  There as a situation in which one member was graciously corrected by the others. It was done in a loving and edifying manner.  Exactly how God's Word commands us to do it.

In these days of high tech it is wonderful to get together face to face and commune. I'm not knocking the technology. I write and receive a lot of emails. Tomorrow hopefully I'll start texting if I get my phone plan changed.  I just think it nice to do things the old fashioned way by sitting down together, breaking bread and fellowshipping in the Acts 2: 40ff kind of way.  Grateful I attend a church where such hospitality is encouraged and blessed.

Friday, April 5, 2013

As A Man Thinks

roverbs 3: 27 states "As a man thinks, so is he."  What a short statement packed with volumes of wisdom.  Thinking is so very important. Christians need to embrace what the Word of God says over what our feelings and experiences tell us.  The mind is such a powerful tool in the hands of the Holy Spirit. It truly is life changing.  I remember my old life and I wouldn't take it back for anything.  I've had some struggles as a believer some immense battles just recently.  As I renew my mind with the world and reject earthly and demonic wisdom, I am greater peace with smatterings of joy.

I am remember a Times magazine article called "God is Dead."  it was put out years ago.  Whoever wrote the article didn't do a very good job researching.  God isn't dead but very much alive. So is the Bible Hebrews 4:12 states: "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."  It's been a hard year for me.  As I return to the Lord and not so much a god of my own making, things are getting better. It was and is a hard lesson for me to learn. I am so very thankful that the Holy Spirit can use His Word to change the lives of people and some in very dramatic ways. As a we think so are we. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Life After Death

I've been faced with the reality of death on a number of fronts this week. First, there is the seemingly unending number of homicides many of them multiple in the news.  Second, there are some people I know who currently are on hospice and are at the end of their days here.  Third, the death of Roger Ebert has somewhat unnerved me.  Here's a quote from one of the news articles:
"Ebert said he did not fear death because, writing in 2010 that he didn't believe there was anything "on the other side of death to fear."..."I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state," he wrote. "I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting."

I wondered what he meant "I was perfectly content before I was born."  I can only presume that he thought he had existed before birth.  His answer was that the same contentment would greet him on the "other side."  It makes me shudder to think about what the Bible clearly states and those who seem so cavalier about the topic of death--especially their own.  I also wonder to whom was he grateful for the "gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter."  Where do they come from?  Doesn't a gift presume a giver?  It's the same confusion I feel when agnostics and atheists celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday's name screams that their is Someone to whom we should be thankful. 

Death is a sobering topic.  Like I said I'm reaching an age when my friends are dying in greater numbers.  Those older than me in the family are lessening yearly it seems.  My generation will soon be the matriarchs and patriarchs of the clan.  I remember my Dad talking about the same thing.  He now is the patriarch of the family and has been for some time.  Yet he too is slipping from us. I can only pray that people who don't believe the Bible might be willing to think it through a bit more.  Eternity is a very long time.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Messy Ministry

On Wednesdays I usually have dinner at my Mom's church. We often play Mexican Train before we eat.  Today there was an uncomfortable situation that I need not describe here except to say one of the players left in tears.  The remaining players were stunned and saddened that any body's feelings were hurt. It seemed to me that there is much more to it than this singular incident.  As I sat among all the fallout of the departure I thought about how messy ministry can be.  I've been on both sides of the mess by the way.  Some times I've needed the massive grace of others around me and have been commanded by the Lord to offer such grace at other times.

There was no solution in the situation thus far. One of the ladies called the departee but got her answering machine.  Others talked to the pastor and were told it was best to pray.  As we ate there was a pall at the table for one of ours was missing and hurt. I remained quiet for the most part. Each lady offered some opinion in terms of what could be wrong but I fear there are some things that remain known to the Lord alone I've joined the group of pray-ers.  As an outside to this church, I feel my role is to intercede about the situation.  The whole experience reminded me of how truly hard ministry can be. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit to grant grace, wisdom and love; ministry is impossible. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

I Just Wanted to be With You

I had lunch today with an old friend from BSF. She was one of my discussion leaders and we have always had an affinity for each other. It may have to do with the fact that we both are devout "Bueno Heads."  I haven't seen her in a long time and today we got together. It was a sweet visit.  Much had changed in two years. She has two and a half grandchildren now. I've gone through some things that have radically changed my life in the past year.  As we were parting she hugged me, backed away, looked over her shoulder and said "I just wanted to be with you."  It was a tender sentiment.

As I walked to my car I thought about my relationship to the Lord. Do "I just want to be with Him?"  Gratefully I do more and more.  But there was a time when I was very busy doing my own thing and prayer was just a matter of trying to get His stamp of approval on my plans.  That's changing praise His name.  I have had more consistent times of worship and intercession. I read His Word more systematically now. I look for ways He wants me to change my life. Things I should have done all along.  I am thankful I can now tell Him "I just wanted to be with You."