Alone…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Reflections take me to considering the year’s absence  from our gatherings of some members of our fellowship.  Loneliness rests at both ends of the spectrum.  Not much is said about the space of emptiness left behind when some do not attend gatherings the purpose of which is to encourage one another as we worship in unity. Virtual worship cannot replace contact worship.  There is an element of bonding and love that is missing and we’ve been cautioned against “forsaking the assembly” as we are social beings not meant “to be alone”.  The present conditions of separation and isolation must have the dark side of the universe rejoicing.  This is not what God created and mankind/humanity loves to distort and destroy the “good” that God created.  By appearances that is what presents itself today…

Events and conditions are in fast change mode and not for the betterment of our existence.  Who is responsible?  Is it evil-driven or is it the heavy hand of God telling his people to change, to repent, to walk humbly with Him.  See

Ezekiel 14:19 Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off humans and animals from it; 20 even if Noah, Daniel,[a] and Job were in it, as I live, says the Lord God, they would save neither son nor daughter; they would save only their own lives by their righteousness. (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+14%3A19-21&version=NRSV)

Or,

2 Chronicles7:13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. From <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Chronicles+7%3A13-15&version=NRSV>

Can it be both?  Changes that are not in alignment with scripture need to be addressed by His people both collectively and on an individual basis.  The hard question to answer is where stand you?  Can it be possible to love and fight for what is right by God’s standard?  Is there a place for reconciliation?  Working in unity of spirit within God’s parameters?

Recently shared: A quote from Gordon Pennington and shared by Lance Wallnau.

Above all, we are Christians, and in serving the risen Christ, our greater mandate and uncompromised commission is to proclaim the good news of salvation, God’s free gift of grace, to a world in bondage to sin, and shame, and fear. This is the true foundation of all freedom.

Tyranny, in all it’s forms, through the political machinations and manipulations of conceit and deceit, is a manifestation of idolatry. It places surrender and obedience to man-made edifices of government in bondage, over surrender and obedience to the throne of Almighty God in worship. Only Christ offers enduring freedom to humanity. The governments of this world have never ultimately provided anything that did not lead to eventual subservience bondage.

Reflections following a fellowship meeting…

Human existence may be as a vapor; it is not, however, insignificant.  That an all-powerful all-knowing, ever-present God would give as was given is proof we are of worth to the Creator.  Of worth, while not worthy; believing a lie rather than truth; exalting self over humility; desiring independence opposed to dependence on the provider of life.  Where is truth?  Where is a true perspective?  What loving father would willingly give up his son as a sacrifice to atone for the wrongs of a people who really didn’t care?  Yet God loves His creation that much.

Can any of us create something from nothing?  Yet many thumb their noses at the power who did.  We call that a special kind of stupid?  The child will choose the candy over the nourishing food and suffer disease and death.  The childish humanity chooses an inflated view of self over knowledge of the Creator and suffers disease and death; of the soul, mind and spirit.  A clear picture of foolishness and how can one make this clear to those who do not see?  Pray to the God of creation that eyes be opened, ears unplugged and understanding restored.

What does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

My physical existence is a flash; but my spiritual existence is forever.

Silence begets violence

Silence begets violence

Saturday, July 21, 2012

5:56 PM

Listening, a lost art in a world of action, scurrying like ants in their colony to and fro, not stopping to hear one another.  STOP!!! Cried the little ant we are going much to slow, we’ll never get there this way…  and they never did.  There is so much health to be had when listened to and listening to another.  It validates existence, purpose, value, worth.  If we love, if we care, if we have spirit can we stop to listen, without interruption, with interest and fascination.  The one speaking can be free to share, to think, the one listening learns and grows with the knowledge.  Focus shifts, reality steps up and says hello.  Can you hear the silence of listening, one voice speaking.  Turn about fair play enhances the ability of two to listen and be heard.  Violence grows out of an environment where no one listens, no one hears, no one cares.  We become islands adrift in a sea of bodies.  We don’t see each other, we don’t hear each other, we don’t know each other.  We are self-absorbed to the point others do not exist and then the violence erupts to bring reality to our existence.  After the violence the silent cry is heard;  can you hear me now?

original poetry by gracie hill

Speaking truth to another in love…

Speaking truth to another in love…

Monday, June 18, 2012

6:05 AM

This is often an area that produces a dilemma.  We are aware of something in another that is bringing harm to them and because we love them we want to fix it or make it better.  Scripture is useful for instruction and rebuke.  We are instructed however to act in love at all times.

If I see in another that which is producing harm in them, I can, in love, speak to that condition.  With the fruit of the spirit of love and kindness, I can speak.  If it is received, well and good.  If it is not, I do not take offense or feel the need to make it happen.  I do not possess that ability it is God’s doing.  What I perceive, they must also perceive to make change.  If they do not, that is their loss not mine and I am free of obligation for it never was mine.  Change is of the spirit and it is the work of God.  We are light and salt.  We show the truth, shed light on it.  The light from a lamp illuminates and that is it, no more.  Salt gives back, enhances flavor and preserves from decay.  It must be received and used to have effect.  If not, the lack of change is not the fault of the salt.

Going Deep

Going deep.  Jesus gave us the example to follow.  We’ve all heard that.  The truth is, he was God, and he was showing us the former things.  What it was like before sin.  He was without sin, yet willing to be born into sin.  He suffered yet it did not destroy him for he was as the first of creation.  He was showing us this experience, our present, our life on terra firma is only a beginning, we have all of eternity before us.  When this ends, we continue into the next chapter because we believe.  When we believe, we live differently, speak and act differently, and are eager to share our ‘find.’  This find does not have a pleasant reaction from an evil world.  And so we invite the same suffering that Jesus experienced, and like him it will not destroy us.  We are on an eternal journey that is much more than just ‘now.’

Go Deep…

                                   

A discussion, discourse perhaps, on Psalm 91 generated the following reflections. 

Dwell – implies time spent, not a casual visit, quick come and go, but staying, living, relaxing, growing… includes reflection and meditation.  Where?  His place – a place of refuge, go to hide, recoup, find peace, heal…and fortress – a place that is unattainable by the enemy, safe place.

I see healing for mental health distress, ease of mind, lose any mental stress or distress.           

Distressed?  go to the quiet place; go deep, this is not a surface relief but deep relief; brigs to mind some commercials on remedies for muscular pain, go deep.  This place of the Most High provides relief that goes deep, into the soul, mind and spirit of the one dwelling there, spending time there, time to heal.

Abide – means to stay close and brings to mind being immersed in the Word of God, again; go deep, spend time.

Trust – allows faith to well up within you, give time for healing to occur.

The take away:  This is a place to go to or a place to be to grow.  Grow and mature until He, the Most High says, ‘Now, go and do for me… ‘ 

Can you see it?

Psalm 91:1 and 2

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High

Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
 
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Commitment…

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

7:41 AM

Observations of our group and otheres have led me to some conclusions about commitment and its effects upon the strength of a group and that groups ability to grow and last. 

The bonds of fellowship have a thread of commitment that runs through them much like steel cords reinforce and give strength to tires.  Without that thread, the tires will do their work but fail much more quickly than those with.  Fellowship groups that lack those threads of commitment soon fall apart and fail to grow.  I have observed the formation and development of two such groups.  Each have about four years duration to this point.  Members of one group refuse to allow anything to interfere with their coming together, while members of the other frequently have other things to do and fail to come together as a complete group.  The first group is strong, its members are growing in the Lord, and change is taking place in their lives.  They are able to withstand conflict, opposition and hard times with more insight and strength and come out singing.  The second group is full of personal strife, conflict, pain, distress and often speak of ‘giving it up”.  The first group does not use that kind of language.  The second group finds that often there are those in their fellowship who are not in attendance.  To have a group requires membership and meeting.  If these are lacking a group does not exist, only the shadow of a group.

Does commitment to meeting, to being available to support one another, to collaboratively study the Word of God have an impact upon a group’s ability to do the work of God?  Absolutely. 

Psalm 37:5 NKJV – Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring [it] to pass.

Proverbs 16:3 NKJV – Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established.  If God makes a commitment to us can we do any less toward him and our fellow believers? Psalm 105:8 NLT – He always stands by his covenant–the commitment he made to a thousand generations.

Not only is this necessity for commitment scripturally based it can be heard from the secular world.  Take for instance the quote from Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers:

Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

 What we put first in our activities and daily lives is where our true commitment lies.  For some of us it truly sits within family or job rather than the work of God.  Can we make adjustments to our obligations to family and job and still keep the commitment we make to God?  Again, absolutely.  Sometimes it only requires our being firm with ourselves.  Ha!  Imagine that, self arises… It is time to put self down, it is time to commit and be responsible to our word when we say we will and then don’t.  This is not in the character of a true believer.  We can do… In Him we have our strength and ability.  Commit thy way unto the Lord…

Trampling Pearls…

When I share God’s word and message with another, it comes from the deepest part of me, out of love and concern.  It is my belief and my heartfelt understanding.  Its intent is to share what I have found and received with another from love and concern for them.  When what I offer is returned with scorn, when I am accused of judgmentalism and manipulation, when I am told I am pushing my belief upon another and taking the stand that I am right and you are wrong, then what I have offered to another out of love and concern is something precious, something priceless that is being trampled on in the mud.  Often we are in a place where we can recognize the condition of another because we have been there and because we are in tune to the Spirit’s leading.  We do not need to feel attacked or take the negative responses personally.  We have acted out of love; what we shared has been trampled upon; it is time to turn and walk away.  We share the same sadness Christ felt and feels when faced with the same rejection.  We are not greater than he, we stand side by side with him in both the sharing and the suffering.  The sharing does not stop as a result, it simply moves on and those God has chosen will respond.  For those , it is worth it.  There is a lot of love to spread around, for it flows through us from God, the Father of all.  Be found faithful.

Thoughts driven by Dusty’s passing…

Life is short with much to be done.  A gift, this life, given to us by God who loves His creation but does not compromise his standards.  The passing of Dusty so suddenly and without reason, seemingly, makes one look again more closely at what we’ve been given.  Don’t know why there must be a reason.  He is taken  young, and a wife and child are left, dependent now on God to provide.  A love that  was tangible, has become intangible and the change hurts.  Loss happens all around us all the time, but when it is the one who goes to bed with you, gets up with you, laughs and plays with you it hurts.  The sense of being alone can overwhelm.  At that point you realize how big  God is or isn’t in your life. 

 

The bird song is stronger this am.  They sing an anthem.  The sky dawns clear and bright.  Rain came in the night but the sun is here this morning.  The skies cried but we have the healing warmth of the Son in our lives to dry up the tears.  Joy comes in the morning.  The ache will diminish, memories not.  Life will take on a new shape not replace the old.  Life as it was is not changed, it is past.  Life as it is and as it is becoming is different, only that…

Sensational Saturday morning…

The sun’s rays clothe the trees in light this early morning.  A soft breeze causes the leaves to twinkle in the early light.  Rain drops from the evening storms glisten in the sun – soon to disappear.  The sky is pale blue, cloudless for the moment.  It’s quiet but for early morning motorists in the distance.  The birds have not begun their song, though a few are flying about in the clear air.  One, must be the conductor of their choir, calls out the signal to begin.