I can’t believe it’s been almost 5 years since my last post! Rather than starting yet again another blog, I’ve decided to reduce my ” blogging footprint” by returning to this one. Iam reading through some of my older posts, and realizing that Oy! A LOT of work has to be done here, including removing all the images and broken links…But I’m looking forward to this, and picking up my virtual Swiffer with much excitement!!!!
~We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. ~
(1 John 4:16)
I’ll be gone for some time.
~May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.~
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”(Psalm 127:1)
I have mulled over some of the things we do while God is building our palace…
Often, as we enter a room that was once cluttered with the debris from several storms, we are enraptured by the magnificent changes God’s hands have made. We utter exclamations of joy and thank God for the marvelous transformations he has brought in us. However, at times, we stubbornly stand in the middle of a puddle and say to God:
“I won’t let You fix this leak…I’ll let water run all over the place”…or
“I think I’d like to keep the old wall between these two rooms, even though it is full of termites and might fall down on me while I’m asleep….”
“Put down Your tools, I know You are the expert, but I think I’ll just cross my fingers on this one…”
Yes, at times, we try too hard to keep God from working in our lives…We strive to “keep” the control of situations… We give one aspect of our life to Him, but decide to struggle on our own in other areas…We identify the cracks, yet fail to let Him be in control…We decide to constantly worry rather than surrender to God’s will.
“A leaky house may fool the sun, but it can’t fool the rain …” (Old Haitian proverb)
No amount of obstinacy and rationalization can keep us secure when hard times hit and we are faced with the consequences of our own acts. Refusing to let God repair our pipes is accepting to be kept awake the whole night by the water dripping from the roof directly into our bed. There is no need to bury one’s head in the sand and wait for the storm to stop.
Surrender= surrender…and it has to be complete…
CARINE and I could not fall asleep. We whispered for hours in the silence of the sleepy household, and then sneaked out of our bedroom to go outside. My little sis had under her arm a blanket that she spread on the verandah. The air around us was warm, but a gentle breeze made it refreshing. It was one of those nights that you find only under the tropics. As we lied on our backs, gazing at the myriad of stars that sprinkled the celestial vault, she asked: “So what will you do when you grow up?” This was the introductory question to a game we usually played. We had to take turns in sharing our dreams and hopes for the future, while pointing at a star. I started. Each of my wishes was punctuated by exclamations from CARINE, till I finally paused and realized she had stopped talking. I turned to look at her and her expression was worth a thousand words: “OH PLEEEASE, that’s too wild even for a dream! “Oh well, you just never know”, I smiled.
Fast forward to today. As I recount this story, I am humbled by the blessings God has lavished upon me. He has abundantly provided; He has protected during the storms; He has united the divided; He has brought forgiveness and healing; the list goes on and on…
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20)
In truth, He has showered me with more blessings than I could have ever imagined. I have experienced His infinite grace and forgiveness, His enduring and faithful love. In Him I peacefully rest, through Him I can accomplish what He has prepared for me.
Beloved, we hope for many things, yet, they all pale in comparison to what God has in store for us. His plans are perfect, and in His time, He always brings forth what He has prepared.
I had this song in my head throughout yesterday…then i stumbled on this picture…WOW!!! if this is not a majestic piece of God’s creation….Here are the lyrics from Third Day…(i know, it’s getting old with the whole Third Day thing…). I added a link to Youtube here. The original from the CD is a killer!
~Show Me Your Glory~
I caught a glimpse of Your splendor
In the corner of my eye
The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen
And it was like a flash of lightning
Reflected off the sky
And I know I’ll never be the same
Show me Your glory
Send down Your presence
I want to see Your face
Show me Your glory
Majesty shines about You
I can’t go on without You, Lord
When I climb down the mountain
And get back to my life
I won’t settle for ordinary things
I’m gonna follow You forever
And for all of my days
I won’t rest ’til I see You again
Show me Your glory
Show me Your glory
I can’t live without You
~The man who trims himself to suit everybody will soon whittle himself away~
Jordan was getting upset. The fun had gone out of the game. For a few minutes, I had been watching him try to match different pieces of wood to the appropriately shaped holes. Although he had already inserted some correctly, the last shapes seemed to be more challenging. When he started banging at the toy, desperately trying to fit a piece into the wrong spot, I sensed trouble. I knew my little cousin too well: soon, he turned to stare at me with his frustrated face on and started crying.
Yup, the good ole’ expression did apply here: you just can’t fit a square peg into a round hole.
In our daily lives, it can be a temptation to try so hard to “fit in” that we lose our essence, our moral principles, our integrity, and even our identity as followers of Christ. It often happens slowly. We progressively compromise and accommodate people’s ideas, even when they are clearly ungodly, so that we can be liked, or be part of the group.
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
When Paul spoke to the Christians in Galatia, he did not use syrupy words. His desire to serve Christ faithfully was more important than trying to please his audience.
May our words and actions reflect the truth only. That might mean going against the tide and not fitting in.
~If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant~
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”
The Gardener was here. As I woke up to the sound of pruning and snipping, the smell of freshly cut grass invaded my nostrils. It wasn’t a surprise: I had expected His arrival, and had even prayed for it. As He busied himself over the branches, gently cutting here and there, I felt waves of sadness wash over me. It was painful, but just for a short time. Soon, the anguish was replaced by a blissful joy. Tears of relief streamed down the rugged surface, met tiny drops of sap, and both slowly crashed to the ground, beside the distorted sticks and yellowing leaves that had just been removed. Gone, gone was the shriveled tree! In its place, stood a robust and vigorous plant. Praise God, the earth is filled with His glory! \ O /
~No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.~
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
There are times when everything just goes wrong or the unexpected way
Times when one is plagued with disappointment
Times when hardship or sickness takes a toll on one’s physical health
Times when life just seems unfair…unfair…unfair…
There is the temptation to lose hope…
When prayers whispered wholeheartedly remain unanswered, or so one thinks,
There is the temptation to lose faith…
There is the temptation to handle the confusion by finding quick fixes.
The problem with band-aids: they only cover up the underlying problem or even make it worse.
~In our despair, we should hold on to Him.~
~ He Has Forgiven~
Moments of idleness
Then a little guilt trip
To a deserted land.
The dry land of “What if”s.
What if I, he, she, you, had only…..maybe…
The wish that I, he, she, you, hadn’t…..
If only it could be erased…then…..
The deserted land of confusion
Discouragement seems attractive.
On hunched backs the load stills weighs,
Well after repentance and forgiveness.
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. (Psalm 32:5)
Tools the devil uses to rob me, him, her, you,
From the joy of forgiveness.
Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt. (Psalm 32:1-2)
God clearly spells it to the wandering and grieving heart, when it is time to move on…We learn and grow from our mistakes too. Spiritual maturity is acquired gradually. Mistakes from the past, when revealed in light of God’s word, should be used as discernment tools for the future, but they are in no way a label or a stamp mark we must carry for the rest of our lives…
These words from Paul say it all…
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.(Philippians 3:12-14)
Praise God, …..Always
Love and blessings to you all…
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.(Ephesians 3:17-19)
We were created by love, for love, and so that we should love. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,” is what God said to Jeremiah. These are words that apply to each of us. We were planed for from all eternity. None of us is a mere divine afterthought. None of us is an accident. Before the foundation of the world God chose us to be His children in Jesus Christ…
There is nothing you can do that will make God love you less. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. God’s love for you is infinite, perfect and eternal. (Desmond Tutu)