Saturday, March 29, 2014
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The desires of the human heart can be fickle sometimes.
A few weeks ago, people and magazines across the globe celebrated the Beattles 50th anniversary, from their first appearance in the United States. Looking back at old footage of this massive scene, called the "British Invasion", I see a mass of people screaming and crying for four ordinary lads from across the pond. Men and women (mostly women) fought one another just to get close enough to touch any one of these men. The "Fab Four" as they would later come to be called.
Would this be a sign of things to come for this young band? Yes and no. For the next ten years or so, as a band the Beattles produced some of the best music ever. According to all the music entities. Yet, what is their lasting legacy apart from the music? More on that later.
John Lennon once remarked that, "the Beattles have a bigger following than Jesus." One can imagine the furor this comment caused, but Lennon later explained his choice of words.
This got me to thinking about the woman in Matthew 9:20 who had this issue with her blood, who wanted nothing more than to be healed. As we read the account she had tried many doctors and treatments to no avail for 12 years. Then one day she heard that Jesus was passing through a area near her and said to herself, "if only I may touch the hem of His clothing then I shall be healed."
The woman got close enough to touch the clothing of Jesus and she was healed. Immediately afterwards Jesus inquired of the twelve "who touched me?" His disciples looking at the multitude of people around them and said "with all of these people reaching, screaming and shouting how can we really know 'who touched you?'" But Jesus knew.
Could the same be said for the people clamoring to touch the four men from England? If someone were to reach out and touch them, any one of them, would they be able to turn and say to that person "it was you." Doubtful. The reputation of the Beattles preceded them before they came to America and when the plane landed, we saw the reactions of the people. Mass hysteria. Jesus received such attention everywhere He set His feet. But on this particular occasion only one person was granted what they were desiring. The woman with the issue of her blood. She came to Jesus by faith. Others in the crowd wanted Jesus also. They called His name, pulled at His clothing and fought one another for positioning and yet....no other healings were recorded.
John, Paul, George and Ringo heard their names, felt the pull of the people against them and enjoyed the cries of the people. They have come and conquered America. However, could they do miracles?
The only miracle they could do was offer someone a free ticket to a concert. Highly unlikely, but doable. That was the only hope people could get from these men.
Jesus, however, said to the woman "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your disease." Calling her daughter implied of a relationship already there.
What could the Fab Four say that would imply of a relationship that is already there? Nothing.
Jesus' touch brings healing and eternal salvation. That much is evident in the entirety of the New Testament. A touch from the Beattles only brought about a moment of fleshly pleasure that would soon pass away.
The 'legacy' of Jesus is everlasting life through the work of the Cross for your sins and mine. It offers forgiveness, redemption and hope for all who believe in Him.
The legacy of the Beattles is a bunch of well received albums and number one hits and awards that will rust and decay over the course of time.
Who's touch do you clamor for?
Whom do you long to touch?
Monday, March 24, 2014
I picked up a wonderful truth yesterday in church from a message my pastor gave. So much so that i was inspired to write a three part series on the word touch. Believe me when I say it came out of nowhere.
As my pastor kept on with her message she pointed out some other things and I was floored. What a beautiful thing it is to have the Spirit of God give us understanding of the word as we spend time in it and gives us some encouragement as we sit and listen to the word given in our Sunday services. My pastor always says, "prepare yourself to receive from the Spirit before you come into the house of God and you will receive something."
Words of wisdom.
Be on the lookout for part one in the next couple of days.
THE DAY has arrived. No, not THAT day (Christ's return). Nor is it Sunday, where the body of Christ gets together and worship's His name. It is Monday MY birthday.
I'm listening to all of the adulation and wishes.
How old am I? Let me just say, that for the fifth year in a row, I am celebrating my 39th birthday. Jack Benny would be proud.
Today I turn (gulp), drum roll please.......43. I know 39 sounds better but in a few years I will forget how old I am. If today is your birthday then I want to wish you a Happy Birthday. Well, only if you are older than me. Haha.
Over the years I have met several people whose birthday falls on the same day, and interestingly enough I went to school with 2 of them and met a few more down the line later on in life. How cool is that?
Some of the children at my church got me a card for my big day and I want to thank them.
So, without further ado....Pigeon, Turtle, Zebra and Skunk thank you very much.
Disclaimer: birthday cake was harmed during the writing of this blog post.
Monday, March 17, 2014
In my last post I talked about taking time and resting. Well, I took that advice and then some. I went on a hike. Last week two good friends of mine invited me on a little road trip to Locust Lake State Park. Normally, I do not do such things, but it was a Saturday I was off and had nothing to do really and I needed a brake from the norm. The week prior was not the best and the frustration was seeping through the cracks. As you will see from the pictures it was during the winter, the snow may be a clue. However, the day was very pleasant and warm. So I took the plunge and went hiking.
As I said Locust Lake State Park. Part of the beautiful Pennsylvania landscape.
Marlon and Lisa. Life in PA is made nicer by knowing these two.
Lisa and I. Yes, that is the lake we are standing on.
It was frozen a good ways down.
Look how thick that ice is.
Here is a forward view of our journey. Almost across to where we started.
In closing I would like to say I had a great time with Lisa and Marlon and some sweet fellowship. There were a number of people there. Many families were out and about that day and the kids enjoyed the warm weather and snow. I look forward to doing it again, albeit, without the snow. If you are free come and join us. It only took about 45 minutes time to go around once.
Have a great day. Spring is almost here. Soli Dios Gloria
Friday, March 14, 2014
Several weeks ago a coworker (DL) and I were talking and she asked me this question.
"Have you ever noticed that even on your days off, you are still thinking about work? Sometimes I think about work that I did not have enough time to do or even get to."
I thought about what she said for a few seconds and replied "Yes, I do. That's weird."
As the day went on, I thought more and more about that. Then it hit me, almost half of my day is spent thinking about work. Let me explain. I get up in the morning and say "Ugh! I don't want to go to work today." (I know I'm not the only one to say that.) Usually that is the second or third sentence out of my mouth. Depending on the time I rise up, an hour or hour and a half is spent thinking about work. Before I even get there.
Now, factor in having a family and getting them ready for there day and now your mind is even more clouded. Work, work, work, work, work. We go through our work day of 6,8,10 or 12 hr shifts, we leave just wanting to come home and unwind and we here this.....how was your day? Like a tsunami it all comes rushing back to the forefront of our mind. With a clinching of the fist and roll of the eyes, we recount our work day in these few words, "it was ok."
Before I continue let me share something. I live by myself. So, for those with families....kudos. DL is a working mother, with two wonderful school-aged kids, so I can only imagine how hectic her life is outside of work. Children nowadays have a full and active life at the earliest of ages and parents are on-the-go for what seems like the whole of the day. I am pretty sure DL has the schedule of a CEO on most days. I greatly admire DL.
Many times in the bible God encourages, no commands His children to take time, a day actually to be still and do nothing. Well, not nothing per se. But, just take some time and reflect on Him and His goodness and to recharge our physical and spiritual batteries. Why? Because we need it.
During the rest of the week He only asks for as little as 1 hour of our time a day. One hour out of 24.
Most people cannot find a few minutes out of their day just to sit down.
One of Satan's greatest weapons against us is distraction. We do and we do and we do. For the believer, constantly doing things, keeps us from spending quality time with God. It says in scripture that mankind will want and do 'more and more'. Our knowledge will increase and we will run back and forth in pursuit of 'something' that we will never obtain. Despite the advances of technology, that is supposed to make our lives easier and more manageable, we never have enough time. Yet, in all of it we miss God and are soon left wondering where did the time go? Was it worth it? and What did it all mean?
Life can be consuming and we are more times than not are consumed by it all because we feel we have to accommodate its requirements. But if we listen to our bodies and more importantly listen to God, we can rest our bodies, renew our minds and we can find peace within our spirits, even if there is no peace within the world around us.
Only if life allows us to "be still and know that He is God."
Friday, March 7, 2014
When Your grace seems so far away and
the enemy comes in to ruin my day
I look to the Cross.
The Cross is the symbol of Your greatest victory,
the result of Your greatest loss.
I cannot deny its power over me.
The stain of sin
The sting of death
A new life is filled with every breath
Your life You willingly gave
You rose from the grave
To the bowels of the earth
You preached the cross
Redemption and salvation came at a cost
It is free to me and free to you
But it was not free to Him
He gave up His heavenly home
Rich man now become poor
His heavenly crown for a crown of thorns
Son of God, loves pure light
The veil was torn, morning turned to the darkest night
The heavens roared, unnumberable hosts now silent
He turned away not wanting to see His Son
As His body hung there on the Cross,
Covered with sins--past,present and future
The rebellious spirit and unseeing eye
did not truly understand why He had to die.
"Crucify him, crucify him" was their unified cry.
Heaven and earth now testify
He, Lord Jesus, is now seated on the throne.
Grace bestowed to the undeserving.
Mercy imparted for the sinner you and me
Compassion shown to the unloving
The sufficiency of God's grace know no bounds
His grace is deeper than the sea.
His loves endures forever
As do the flames of hell
Eternity awaits for the created
Will it be in heaven, with the Creator?
Or in hell apart from the Creator?
Thursday, March 6, 2014
I stepped out of my house and into the cold night air. What was I thinking? Brrrrrrr!!
For the briefest of moments, while doing a 360 degree turn, I looked up to the heavens looking for a glimmer or sparkle.
As I was coming to the end of my turn I found three stars. I'm not sure if they were the real thing. I was definitely seeing stars from the onset of hypothermia because of my body temperature dropping so fast and me not properly being dressed for this nighttime excursion. There seems to be more darkness than light. Very appropriate. Yet, with the scarcity of stars amongst the vastness of space, I was happy to see them. Quite often I look to the nighttime canvas and expect to see more points of light. As time has gone by the stars have become fewer in number. Why is that?
No time to rattle off an answer, but the picture from the night sky closely mirrors the life here in _________ (your city there) and other points across the globe.
The darkness that is within the sons of man (most of the world), seems to be overtaking the sons and daughters of light. It seems at every turn, mankind is flaunting their sin before God and espousing their own independence. Are we to accept what is going on in the world as part and parcell of our time here on earth and not do anything about it? NO! God's word is very clear about sin.
Matthew 5:14a & 16 "You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
This is of comfort to me because I often wonder if there is any "good light" in the world? Seeing those three stars helped me realize that no matter how dark and bleak things look and no matter how small or dim the light is against the darkness, there is hope. Even in the light of day the evil forces at work in the world look as though they are advancing further and further across the lines and claiming more territory (souls of mankind) for themselves.
Here is a quote from the late Jim Elliot "Why, oh, why are the forces of God so weak and feeble while the Enemy counts multitudes on his side? Lord, how long will You hide Yourself, concealing Your power and letting men think low thoughts of You?"
The answer will be revealed in the part 3 of this series.
The promise here is, if we, the born again let the Spirit of God work and shine though us, then and only then can the hearts of men and women be changed. Will everyone accept the free gift of salvation? Unfortunately no.
See you in part 2.