Great and Unsearchable Things

Things the Lord gives me, and then I write them.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Grading On the Curve

I read this morning in God's Word where He says basically that the one who knows better will be held to a higher standard than the one who doesn't. He mentions getting many stripes, as opposed to those who will get few, suggesting that God knows what we know and will "grade" us based on that knowledge. A kind of relativism, if you will. Not to say that He wants us to remain in igorance. He desires us to desire to know His Will and ways and we are to beseech Him for further understanding as we go on in our walk with Him, and not remain on infant milk and be stuck and underdeveloped.
I observed someone today whose actions were not in line with God's will towards treating another person. I was tempted to get angry at them, for I saw, in that, the potential for emotional harm towards that other person, and I loved that innocent one so I didn't want them to get hurt.
Later when I was re-thinking the scenario, I realized that the person was really acting in ignorance. They really didn't know better, and thought they were doing the right thing, because that's all they knew. They had no other point of reference to do differently. So, with that, I trusted that God's grace would cover the effecting result of their behavior for harm on the other's soul. I don't really know if that's how it works, but it might if I know God like I feel like I do.
When I "saw" what I believe God showed me, I had compassion for that one. I have done many things harmfully, in the past and present, which at the time I felt was the right thing. It's all I knew. There's a saying: When we know better, we do better. It's those who know better that are held to a higher standard. It's where the directive "Judge not or you will be judged," comes into play.
I was really tempted to judge this morning whenever I saw someone I loved possibly being hurt by someone else who loved them too, but who also thought, I believe, that what they were doing was "helping" the other person.
There's a difference in someone who "knows not what they're doing," and those who do, and don't care. And then there's the people who "hate" their own sin and have submitted it to God trusting that He is at work in them and will deliver them.
Except for the people who are in God's face knowingly mocking Him, mercy is the prescription and it's the thing that will cause people to be led to repentance. (To turn from their sin) Judging someone who really doesn't know better or someone who has already genuinely confessed their sin to God, I believe, can actually perpetuate the sin to get more entrenched.
So what should our response be to those who innocently do harm and they don't see it? Prayer on their behalf:
Oh Father-Help all of us, Lord, who are blind to our own weaknesses and sin. Open our eyes, Lord, so that we can bring those sins to you for cleansing and for your help in stopping to do those things. Give us new ways to deal with those we love and in our relationships. We haven't known what to do or how to do it differently than the way we've always done it. So create a new heart, a new mind in us, so we can relate to others in helpful and not in harmful ways; in ways that build up and not tear down. We all need this, Lord. We all need to be reprogrammed by You, because before we knew You, we listened and acted acccording to the world. Transform us by Your grace. We love you-Your children.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dream Interpreter Wanted

I had a dream about a skinny Santa Claus on a unicycle holding a cross up as he went by. Anyone know what that's all about?

God's Tears

The Lord says in His Word that He keeps our tears in a bottle. That blesses me, but I don't really know why. It just seems sweet to think He saves them and treasures them enough to preserve them; makes me think they're not in vain or wasted. Having said all that, have you ever wondered just how many tears you have shed in your life? Of course, we know that only God knows all the measurments of everything. He's the great calculator!!! What I have wondered in the past, and again this morning is: I wonder if I've cried enough to fill up a fifth. I know what size of bottle that is because I used to drink alcohol before I was rescued by God out of that activity.
That's a bad deal that drinking. We're not talking about a glass of wine for those who can control themselves, but numbing yourself with a liquid drug really and harming your body, your mind, and, if left unchecked, many, if not most, of your relationships. Not to mention the people killed innocently in wrecks; many, many, many are alcohol related. God really is sad when He sees his creation choosing that for themselves. They lose many years of life-physically and emotionally. I don't know if it's been proven, but I think if someone starts using drugs or alcohol early in life, then they don't develope emotionally. They don't take on responsibility that is theirs to take because their body isn't able to function normally which inables them.

Do you think that God's tears are about 1000 times more than all of ours put together? I think when we're sad, He is too, and He crys with us and for us. Can you imagine seeing everything on this planet , loving everyone equally, and seeing how they live their lives, knowing what they're lives could be if they would only turn to Him? If they would receive the payment His Son, Jesus, made on their behalf and let their sins be forgiven and then have the power to choose life?

I don't want to make God sad, but I know I do. I'm glad He has mercy and forgiveness to give me a new start.

Started wondering how big my bottle of tears is-Now, I'm wondering, how big is His?

In It For the Long-Haul

There's a reason I picked this color font with the pink background. So that it would look "yucky." The reason I wanted it to look that way was to demonstrate a point. The point is that sometimes when we're in a long-term relationship such as in marriage or even with the Lord, we go through some very dry or "yucky" times.
Have you ever felt like there was just nothing to the relationship? No richness, no connection, no nothing? That is was drying up or even disappearing? Dying? Losing something? Or wondering if there ever was anything there at all?
Well, take heart. We go through these thing for reasons. If we don't appreciate the nothingness, we may misinterpret these times and make decisons we'll regret. We may start to plan ways to make the other person, whether it be our spouse or God, to give us what we feel is our due. Afterall, those times are especially grueling and agonizing and lonely and fearful.
Instead we need to trust that God has actually allowed these times and wait to see what He does about it . This is tremendously difficult, as we seek immediate relief and understanding.
Could it be that this is one way He "tries" our faith? We made a commitment a long time ago to both our spouse and God that we would stay with them til the end, no matter what. That, in effect, is what our marriage vows say, and when we came to the Lord we made similar vows to Him. We were all excited at the wedding! Most of us were young and spouted out the vows, not really knowing what we were saying. I mean when we said, "For better or for worse," we didn't realize what the "worse" really meant. "In sickness and in health,"-who would have thought that could have meant a brain tumor or taking care of a paraplegic?
During the course of years, the relationship can have "yucky" periods and this is where the patience and endurance that only the Lord can give comes in. And the protection from fear; fear that if I'm not ________ enough, my spouse will find someone else. Guess what? Either their pledge to stay "till death do us part" is true or not. It's within each individual.
Have you set your course with your spouse and with the Lord that whatever comes, you will be faithful and stay? Even if it's dry or seems like nothing is happening or even if we think it's going downhill? I believe that if we hang on, God will make something out of it. Even if the relationship seems like it's dying, if committed to God, He alone can resurrect it and even make it something new that you've never had before. Afterall, you're in it for the long-haul, arent' you? "Yucky" or not.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dead Dogs No More

King David wanted to know if there was anyone left from the household of Saul that he could show kindness to. Although Saul, when he was king and alive, had problems with David because of jealousy, his son, Jonathan, was his very bestfriend. Because of love for Jonathan, David wanted to bless any remaining member of his family.

So he called his servant, Ziba, and asked him that question. Ziba reported that there was one who was left, but there was one problem;that man was lame in both feet. To top it off, his name was Mephibosheth.

David tells Ziba to bring him in, and when Mephibosheth appears he, too, expects to be rejected as he says,"What is your servant that you should notice a dead dog like me?" after David has told him that he will always eat at his table. I suspect that eating at ones table involves more than just eating at ones table. It evokes the idea of being totally accepted and embraced as the story concludes with saying that Mephibosheth ate at David's table like one of the king's sons.

David is a type of the Lord to us Mephibosheths; those who have been rejected, cast-out, abused, de-valued, insecure, bound, fearful, shy, ignored, self-conscious, weak, dependent, "worthless", ashamed, unloved, depressed, left out or alone for whatever reasons. I'm sure that about includes all of us in various situations as we walk through life. Imagine the Lord Himself telling you that YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE A PLACE AT MY TABLE. Wow!!! How would that make you feel? To know that Jesus values you so much NO MATTER WHAT that He would offer to sit with Him at His table forever and ever.

He has time for you, because He's not going anywhere. He thinks you're great! He doesn't even see your two lame feet. It means nothing to Him. He doesn't value the things the world values: fame, looks, money, prestige, intelligience, etc. He values you, your name, and your two lame feet!!! Hard to take in, isn't it? But until we do really believe our value to Him and what He offers us, we will always see ourselves as less than, opened up to the abuse that will come our way and take a chunk of us each time, whether it be from ourselves, others, or the enemy.

But when we truly believe that the Lord Himself sees us as acceptable and well-loved than no one or no thing can really harm us. We will no more feel that we are "dead-dogs", but His dearly beloved, and will begin to get the attitude that if God be for us, who can be against us? It's way more than just "self-esteem." It's God-esteem!!!

I love that song from Westside Story called, "I Feel Pretty." That's how we'll feel, and know ourselves to be when we take that eternal seat that the King offers to us. Can't you see Him now? He's pulled the chair out, with his arm extended while He lovingly looks at us waiting for us to sit so He can push the chair under the table. All we have to do is take the steps to sit in it. When we do our feet will be instantly healed, and He will give us a new name.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Do You See What I See?

After looking through several pictures under the title "angel of light", I decided to pick this one because it is soooo pretty with all the colors. It has an alluring effect, just like the tree of good and evil did for it was "pleasant to the eyes. Therein lies the deception.
Satan knows our weaknesses and will use them to lure us away from God if we have something to work with. In other words, if there is a "sin that so easily besets us," (and I have had some of those) he comes, sets us up, and we usually fall for his trick.Another way he comes is just to make an appeal through our self-exalting flesh.

I want to qualify these things I'm saying to say that I am NOT "glorifying satan" at all. But God's Word does say that we are not to be unaware of his devices, so when members of the Body of Christ can "see" some of his devices, it behooves them to share what they "see" with the other members of His Body in hope that they too will "see." This discernment is desperately needed for these end times. Without it we will all fall prey to the enemy.

A few of the ways I see satan luring the Body of Christ away today in America is that he tempts us:

1) To keep us from ingesting God's Word, whether it be by discounting that it's truly from God, or by telling us that "Jesus is the Word made flesh" and He replaces the written Word, or he gets us consumed in reading other Christian books or websites on the internet that we consider more interesting or relevant. And his devices go on and on concerning diverting our focus off taking in God's Word.

2)With money.The isn't hard to do because we are a capitalistic society and we have been reared by the world, before we get saved, to believe one way or the other that money makes the world go round. We get educated so we can get a good job, and climb the ladder of success to make alot of money and to be somebody. It's ingrained in us, and only God can rework the value system that has been implanted in all of us.
God says we can't love Him and Mammon(Money) but many "doctrines" out there try to meld the two together, having our cake and eating it too, so to speak. I see this as a very dangerous alliance with the world, which, I believe will eventually result in the networking of satan's kingdom and many who now call themselves Christians. The "world church" will join with the governmental agencies and it's "kings" to set the stage for the Anti-christ.
NOT TO SAY that there aren't born-again believers who have money, and don't worship it or elevate it higher than God. I'm sure there are, and that some are using the money God has provided to share the Gospel in word and deed, saving a modest amount for themselves. I do believe, however, that it would be hard to have alot of money and resist the temptation that comes with that of power, prestige, and exaltation the world offers to people that have money. If born-again believers feel they cannot resist their pride in being puffed up, than they should refuse the money or give it away so as not to "lose their soul."(If your right eye offends you, pluck it out.) Also, God talks about the deceitfulness of riches that can steal the seed (the Word of God in us) What is that deceitfulness? Could it be that having money can delude us into thinking all is well with our relationship with the Lord, but our heart is being lulled into worshipping "the kingdoms of the world" and we don't even know it? Could it be that we become blinded to our place in God, if we have money and we don't earnestly, acknowledge the potential pitfalls of money, humble ourselves under Him daily?
I see "Mammon" as a very large monster, like Jabba the Hut in the Star Wars movie, consuming not only the offering God's people bring to him (unknowingly by putting him first, and then teaching it's part of being "in God") but the one who brings the offering. He wants to possess God's people, and he will if we don't "test the spirits", like God tells us to. Now, if we are truly trusting the Lord to "keep" us from these deceiving spirits and submitting under Him by His power, than He will. The question is, "Are we?"

3)He uses uncomfortable "feelings"(*such as rejection or loneliness) to try and gag us from sharing the Gospel. He tells us we are to just "live it," (which of course is partial truth) so others won't hear the truth about the finished work on the cross that will set them free from his domain.

*-We forget that the path that Jesus took is the same path his children will take and they will suffer rejection and loneliness, as He did, but because it hurts or we don't want to feel these things as we carry out His will, we make ourselves prey to satan's temptations to just stop doing it.

Most of these tactics cannot even be seen, they are so subtle and alluring. It feels right to our flesh, to not read His Word, to accept money as part of the deal of being a Christian, and feeling good feelings all the time. Ah, it sounds so good, it looks so good, it feels so good(to the flesh).........but is it? The picture really is pretty, isn't it? Stare too long and it will take you in.

Ask for discernment from God, and only He, through His Holy Spirit can reveal the truth, dividing it from satan's lies, deceptions, and illusions. It could save your life and eternal destiny.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

When the Thing is Not the Thing

The Kingdom of God is an Unseen Kingdom-"not of this world," as Jesus put it. Things are going on in it that only God Himself (and maybe angels and our departed ones in heaven, I don't know) can see. If we are spiritually fined-tuned or if God chooses to let us see, we too can view those things from His perspective.
For example, one time I was with my Mom and Dad and we had gone to visit Aunt Sig-my Dad's aunt. Apparently she was special to him and they had shared alot of good times in the past or he wouldn't have wanted to go and visit her. We talked in her room and had lunch with her. She was feeble and unsure of herself as she walked, so as she took us on a tour of the building, my Dad took her hand to steady her. As I walked behind them, what a sweet sight it was. It was as if God said, "This is the Kingdom of God."

Aunt Sig was possibly reaping what she had sowed into my Dad's life. She had perhaps shown love, and love was being returned. She had invested in him; he was now investing, even if in such a small way, in her. It brought tears to my eyes to see a stronger, more able person helping a weaker, more frail one, especially my Dad since he wasn't one to show affection. He was bearing her burdens in these few moments. The stronger helping the weaker. Just like our Father helps His children.
There were so many facets of the Kingdom being advanced in this simple act of love and help, that if you were looking into only the physical you would just think it was people strolling down the halls of a nursing home. But the thing that was seen, was not the real thing (the unseen thing) at all. The unseen thing was the one that had eternal significance;the laying up treasure in heaven kind of thing. The one that blessed the heart of God, and the one that would affect this seen world in ways we will never know. These are the values of the Kingdom often scorned and mocked at in this world.
Love changes things. Maybe this is the meaning of "thy Kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Releasing God's love on this earth.
As we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice daily allowing God to use us to be poured into others' lives, then the thing were are doing and the thing that it appears to be is not the thing at all. It is something so much deeper, wider, and life-changing for us and others than we could ever imagine. O God, help us be willing. O God, help make us able. For Your glory on this earth.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This One Day

When I was young, my mother used to watch the soap opera, "The Days of Our Lives." It opened up with the sand flowing through an hourglass saying, "Like sands in an hourglass, so are the days of our lives." It suggested that we have a life to live, and it is being used up day by day, implying that we need to be careful how we use it. Atleast that's what I got out of it.
Being committed to Jesus Christ, puts a whole new emphasis on how we live our lives, especially since we have given it to him. We want to know if we're doing God's will, if, in fact, we are fulfilling our "purpose; our destiny." But there's a problem with being on a need to know basis. When we want to "be sure," it can become a worry, leading to fear or even torment. The enemy can belabor us by having to know, causing us to strive in fulfilling what we think that purpose is, all the while, we're using up our lives thinking we're doing God's will. Or we can always wonder if what we're doing with our lives is the right thing or not. How can we know? We could just be "spinning our wheels," trying this or that in an attempt to find out. And on the treadmill of "God's will" we go.
Consider with me our high-calling according to God's Word:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to HIS PURPOSE. (emphasis mine) For those God foreknew he also predestined to be CONFORMED TO THE LIKENESS OF HIS SON, (emphasis mine) that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." Romans. 8: 28, 29.
If we just look at"this one day" as our present life to live, and look for opportunities to "deny ourselves", then we will be in God's will, and be conformed into His likeness. We won't have to doubt or wonder anymore if how we're choosing to spend our life is valid or if it counts. The peace that will come in his service as we "lose our lives" will verify it. As Jesus says we will have gained our life, because service to others as we deny ourselves is abundant living indeed. The form our life takes will be just as unique as we are, but if we allow Him to fulfil His purpose through us, it will be in service to others, as we prefer them over ourselves.
P.S.-I am just beginning to learn this. I'm just into the second day, in fact, so I am a novice at moving toward selflessness, and it takes the power of the Spirit to get me to the place where I could even hear Him. And it will take that same power to keep me going in that direction, one step at a time. It takes a lot of courage to die, and He even will provide that. In us there is no good thing, but in Him is power to overcome all, even our flesh. And He wants to, and He will as we submit unto Him this one day. Then when we see Him in the clouds on that One Day, we will not be ashamed at His appearing.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mag the Hag

My mother, Jean Miller maintained throughout her life that "Older women can't wear long hair. It makes them look like Mag the Hag."
My sister and I contested her stance just because we believed it wasn't true. I don't like stereotypes or blanket statements, so something in me just didn't want to join in
with this sweeping generalization. And she said it with
such confidence like it was a proclamation from Buckingham Palace, which aggravated us even more! If she'd stood up in church (although her brand of Christianity didn't believe in prophetic utterances) and said "Thus saith the Lord," .....well, you get the idea.
Anyway, we both set out to prove her wrong by trying to grow our hair, even though we are on the younger side of "older. We both think we're objective enough to admit the truth, even if it's against our side of the debate. So, a few months ago we started growing our hair out. A few months into the experiment, we both grieved over the pain-staking ordeal of trying to let the layers grow out. We had to get trims during this process, so everything would get even. My sister's hair is thick, so when hers got to about shoulder length it looked like a sphinx or the Little Dutch Boy on the paint can back in the 50's. Mine is fairly thin and naturally curly, but when I started growing it out, it got straighter and dryer, and for some reason it got fuzzy and straw-like. Oh no, it appeared like Mom was taking the lead.
Still not willing to concede, the hair was allowed to grow despite the agony of looking in the mirror. I would press on! So did my sister. Together we would challenge the proclamation once layed down in our family by the Matriarch, even if it was to our own shame. Never give up the fight!
Well, the other night, I could tell I was weakening. I glanced in the mirror (not very smart) and was hit with a glaring smack of reality. My dissociative disorder failed me. There I was, aged by about 15 years! I actually got nauseous staring at my reflection, and felt compassion for those who had to look at me. My husband deserved a purple heart for his bravery of enduring staring into the face of "Mag the Hag." There, I said it. You win, Mom!!!
Yesterday, under the cover of night, I walked over to my son's house and asked his wife to cut my hair. I'm glad I did, even though it meant losing the fight, atleast on my end. My sister doesn't know about it yet, but I will call tonight and break the news or just refer her to this blog.
I can hear her now. "Uh uh. No. I won't concede. I'm not convinced yet." She is a little more strong-willed than me, or maybe not as vain.
I hope this concession doesn't mean we are relegated to a predictable life of old lady rituals of weekly hair appointments, tightly couiffed curls, and silver-blue hair coloring. I mean if Mom was right about the long hair thing what truisms are yet to follow?
Oh well, for now I like my hair.(today, that is) and with keeping with the tradition of Scarlett O'Hair mentally on my future of old lady hair rituals, "I'll worry about that tomorrow."

P.S.-Don't tell anyone but I use a hair pick from time to time to cover the holes from my thinning hair. Oh and on that subject-If you sit in a recliner too long and mash the back of your hair you'll get "chicken butt." That's what they say about Auntie Lea, my mom's sister.

P.P.S-How does this relate to Jesus coming back? Consider this segway: With all the scary and terrible things going on in the world today, "laughter is the best medicine." A light subject sometimes is needed so you won't fall into the despair and cares of the world. My daughter would call this a "spiritual whiplash-" going from the return of Jesus to long hair on old ladies. That's what she said when we'd be in church, caught up in worship, and then someone would go to the mike and start to make announcements or something.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Your "Mite" Matters

Feeling kinda "bluesy" today, so thought the picture was appropriate. This is for anyone who has struggled with feeling "less than" or "not good enough" no matter what you do. Always "falling short" is another way of saying it.
The Lord has helped me with this as He directed me to one of His parables, the one about the lady who gave her last "mite." Remember the nay-sayers who poked fun at her because of the little amount she gave? Remember what the Lord said about that? He said that she had given more than them because she gave all she had and they gave out of their increase.
I have been feeling guilty lately and for awhile actually about my limitations, and how they fall short of what I want to give because I can't cope with certain things. For whatever reason I have developed in this way, it (and my ability to cope) is all I've got. The Lord used this parable to encourage me to say that I do give all I have, even if it's a tiny bit, and even if it's judged by others as insignificant. A mite given freely and from the heart is worth more than a large amount given for show or self-gain.
This helps me know that my little does matter and God can use it as He sees fit. It also helps me accept myself and be at peace.
I hope this helps you too if you struggle in this area. God sees the "mite" you are giving, and He says to you, "You've given all, and I approve of you."
What does this have to do with Jesus' coming back? Everything when you accept His acceptance of you, and you know that you won't be ashamed at His appearing because you will be dressed in white linen which is the righteousness of the saints applied to you by the blood of the Lamb.