Monthly Archives: December 2015

Duck, Duck, Peace.

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Apparently, I enjoy herding ducks. I’m delusional in thinking all my ducks in a row will bring peace. So I arrange, rearrange, chase, grab and shout, “Hey you!  Get back in line!”

I picture Jesus watching, amused; and eventually turning to go, saying over His shoulder,

“Shoot the ducks. And come… follow me.”

But I know what He’s up to.  He wants to work in me a peaceful heart.  I don’t WANT a peaceful heart, I want peaceful circumstances, because a peaceful heart means I have to change, yield, surrender…and shoot the ducks.

I rant, “GIVE ME MY DUCKS!  I fuss, fume and finally whimper a pathetic swan song, “Must…Have…Ducks…”

Ironically, Jesus doesn’t get His feathers all ruffled when His duck goes astray. He waits, knowing I’ll eventually figure it out.  Figure out that there is no peace apart from following the Prince of Peace.

“You can’t change circumstances, and you can’t change other people, but God can change you”.  Evelyn Thiessen

He Himself is our peace.  Eph. 2:14

…For He will speak peace to His people…   Psalm 85:8

These things I’ve spoken to you so that in Me you might have peace, in the world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

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Disarming The Robber

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I was almost robbed this morning.  Robbed of joy.  In this most joyous of seasons, “thinking over” became over-thinking, and I nearly twitched with anxiety way before my first sip of caffeine. The issue, so insignificant as to be invisible to the naked eye, magnified to outrageous proportions thanks to a little help from my “friends” a.k.a. “thoughts”. I even picked a fight with John.  Thankfully, he slept through it all.

So I started thinking about joy, and joy-stealers.  I have experienced pure, inexplicable joy in the most unlikely circumstances.  Like, years ago when the FBI told us a hit-man had been hired to do us in, and we chose to stay and serve the church John pastored, rather than change our names and move out of state via the victim witness program.  And like the time grief and mourning turned to joy as we prayed over a family situation.

So, if circumstances doesn’t rob joy, what does?

Unbelief.  Unbelief pretty much leads to every dastardly deed in my life.  I don’t believe God is in control, so I worry.  I don’t believe God’s Word is relevant to my situation, so I disobey.  I don’t believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, so I judge other’s disbelief. I don’t believe God has a plan, so I lick my wounds, take control-ha! what a ridiculous concept- and snuff out one of the most convincing proofs that God exists, and lives in me:  JOY.

So today I choose joy, because I choose to believe.  And in those times when my heart beats to a different drum, I will pray as the desperate father did in Mark 9:24:

“I believe- help me in my unbelief!”

“The Bible is a book of joy.  There are 542 references to joy in the Bible.  The gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ is a passport to joy.  The secret of Jesus was-and is- His inner joy.”   S. Wirt

Ahh, Parenting…

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A little reminder to my parent-friends who suffer from the “guilt that keeps on giving,” due to the choices their kids make:
God was the perfect Father, His two kids had the perfect environment, and look what they did.
And… what we did. The shock is not that some are lost, but that any of us are saved.
The same God who rescues us from our stupidity is there for our children. He is faithful. His love never fails. The Lord is able to save us all from ourselves.

It is God’s kindness that leads us to turn around. Romans 2:4

“… I know man’s heart is bent on evil from childhood…” Gen 8:21

For you Lord are good and ready to forgive, and lavish in mercy to all who call upon You. Ps. 86:5

Weight-Bearers

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We pray for each other. We support each other through our mutual love, faith, and hope. So, my dear friends- you could say, we are each other’s rebar in the concrete troubles of life.
(You are not alone).

Bear each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Getting Through Christmas

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I suppose one of the reasons Jesus said we must be like children to enter the kingdom, is their raw honesty. Last year, the little ones in my class listened to the story of Mary, Martha, and Jesus. At the end of the week, they performed a dramatized version, choosing whatever props they wanted. I’ve read that story many times, but I learned new lessons from my mini-theologians.
Gus, who looks exactly like Ralphy- the kid from that Christmas movie about bb guns, played Jesus.
“Yes! He said, when I assigned him the part, “I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be God!”
Martha, using a broom to stir a pot, cackled:
“Jesus, why do I have to do all the work around here? Tell my sister Mary to help me!”
Jesus: “Martha, you worry way too much. Mary made a good choice.”

So here’s a new take on an old lesson:
Either I’ll take time to sit with Jesus in prayer and His Word, or I’ll worry and work myself into a witchy brew. It’s my choice. Even a kid knows that.

Isaiah 30:15 “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength; but you would have none of it”.

Luke 10:41,42 “Martha, Martha,” The Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed- or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”

Maybe this year, instead of just trying to “get through Christmas,” Christ will get through to me.