My Brief Political Post

I wrote this many years ago, but pull it out every four years to reflect upon again:

  • I’m thankful for a Sovereign God who is seated on the throne in the heavens and whose kingdom rules over all (Psalm 103:19).
  • I’m thankful to know that He alone raises up and brings down leaders and rulers (Daniel 2:21).
  • I’m thankful that He alone is great and worthy of all praise (Psalm 145:3), worthy as the Lamb who was slain to receive all power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and praise (Rev. 5:12).
  • I’m thankful that He sets my feet on the Rock (Psalm 40:2) and keeps me secure.
  • In Him, I have complete confidence and hope, and I have no cause for fear.
  • He is my Rock, fortress, deliverer, strength, salvation, and shield (2 Samuel 22; Psalm 18).
  • He will not forsake those who trust in Him (Psalm 9:10).

May we be particularly prayerful during this political season. May we love those around us and pray for unity in our country. And may God’s good and perfect will be done.

(*Note: I haven’t watched much of either convention—just a few parts here and there, nothing today. This is in no way timed around any certain event or happening. Just a piece that came to mind tonight as I looked for something to post during my 30-day blogging challenge!)

My 30-Day Blogging Challenge

I started blogging in June 2008 as a way to record for myself and my children what God was doing in our lives, to note those times I would see His visible (though invisible) hand and activity, all the while praising Him. Over the years, my goals for blogging have become a little more developed, as shown on my “About” page.

For some time, I’ve wanted to blog more regularly. Though I wake early and have plenty of time in my mornings, I am prone to distraction and don’t always keep my focus long enough to be consistent. So I’m giving myself a 30-day challenge to try post each day. Maybe acknowledging this will help me do it! This may include long or short posts, new posts or re-posts, maybe even linking to others, I’m not sure, but just taking steps forward with a goal I’ve long had.

Let me know if you have ideas or suggestions—or maybe if you have a blog, you want to join me in this challenge.

I know what a challenge this will be, but at least day 1 is in the books! 🙂

Digging for Treasure

I arose this morning and have been digging for gold, for treasure. That’s what it feels like to go to God’s Word, to read it and study it, to meditate on it. I find rich treasure, food for my soul.

Much of my focus this summer has been on studying God’s Word as part of a Bible study I am doing for my daughter and a few of her friends. As I look more closely at Psalm 119 each day, I find more truth in and about God’s Word of all that it is and does for us.

It is true (Ps. 119:142), and it is pure (Ps. 119:140). That gives my mind something to dwell on (Phil. 4:8) when it would otherwise stumble. Thoughts of irritation, frustration, fear and anxiety, dwelling on hurts—these lose their place when my mind becomes focused instead on God’s Word, and its truth is established in my heart and mind.

This is but one small example. Every day brings more light and truth to expose lies that my heart and mind would otherwise believe. I can call out to God, and He will answer and help. He is near (Ps. 119:151).

I learn more of His promises and faithfulness to me. May I, as the psalmist, love His commands more than gold, even the purest gold and carefully follow His precepts, hating every false way (Ps. 119:127-128). This leads to life (Ps. 119:93). Revive me today, Lord, according to Your Word (Ps. 119:149). Amen.

 

Merry Christmas 2015!

It’s 9:00 a.m. Christmas morning. My kids are still sleeping. I guess that’s how it is with high schoolers. What has your Christmas season been like this year?

As usual, mine has been a bit hectic. I tend to have to take things one day at a time to get through each day and whatever is planned. Christmas is a busy season at church where I work; it’s a busy season at home when the kids get to exams and Christmas break; it’s a busy season as my husband finishes teaching and his semester. I again forego getting out family Christmas cards this year and race around shopping in the last week or two. And somehow it all comes together.

Yesterday, as I did some last minute shopping, this song came on the radio:

That’s what I felt: “I need a silent night, a holy night.” Time to be still and ponder.

We ended Christmas Eve at our church’s annual candlelight service. It’s a beautiful service that closed with all of us holding our lit candles and singing the traditional Christmas carol “Silent Night, Holy Night,” further reminder of the silence my heart has needed to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

And what is that?

I love Chris Tomlin’s new Christmas song, “He Shall Reign Forevermore.” The first thing I loved about the song was hearing the echo of the words from the poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Christina Rosetti. That was a poem my children learned in school when they were young, and I learned along with them. But I was struck by these words in this new song: “This baby born to sacrifice, Christ the Messiah.”

Christ was born to die. That would be part of His mission, doing the will of His Father. He, who would come and live a perfect life, would die. He would be our atoning sacrifice, paying the price for our sins. Christ, our Creator God (Genesis 1-2), the Word made flesh (John 1), became our perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 10). Why was that necessary?

Sin separates and divides. It’s been the ongoing reality of life for all humans since the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve first sinned (Genesis 3). We are all now separated from God by our sin (Romans 3:23), with no way to have access to God again of our own ability. And we are due the just consequences of that sin – death and separation (Romans 6:23a).

But Christ restores and redeems. This was accomplished through his life, death, and resurrection. He was willing to do this (to be born to die – and not just any death, but a brutal one reserved for the worst of criminals) (Philippians 2:8) to restore our relationship with God (Colossians 1:19-22), to give us eternal life (John 3:16), to give us hope (1 Peter 1:3). This is great, great love (John 15:13, 1 John 3:16).

What is our response? If Christ has accomplished this great work on our behalf, I guess the question is what is our response to that?

Faith. Simple faith, childlike trust, in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved (Romans 10:9-10).

I think back to Rosetti’s poem:

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part.
Yet what can I give him? Give him my heart.

We can respond with faith in Jesus, giving him our hearts. If you have not done that, what is stopping you? Ask in faith that God would help you and reveal Himself to you. Sometimes it’s that first step of faith that begins to open the door to much more truth, and step by step, He will lead us to Himself. I pray that for each one of us today and in the coming new year.

The Path of Life

Our family had a fun weekend picnicking and hiking at a state park with some of the college students where my husband teaches. We also went to an apple orchard and ended the day with a chili dinner, homemade apple pies, and pumpkin carving. It was a beautiful fall day. 
path

We hiked through canyons on paths with precipitous drops where one wrong step could send you over the cliff and to a certain death! When my son stepped off the path to look down, I urged him to come back quickly — one slip and he would be over the edge. And the edge wasn’t like a roll down a hill, but a drop into a deep canyon. Only at one small portion did they even have a fence – most places were not guarded in any way. It reminded me of driving over a mountain pass where one wrong turn of the car’s steering wheel could take you over the edge of the mountain!

rock2
overlook into the canyon

As we walked (and I prayed for safety!), I couldn’t help but think of verses like Jude 24-25:

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time now and forever. Amen.

Psalm 16:11:

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 17:5:

My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled.

I thought about the path of life and how it is that we should walk. This was a picture to me of our lives. We need to stay on the path, following the Lord and His ways, to be secure. Going off the path and our own way leads to danger and could lead to death. But it’s exciting sometimes, it seems, to see what’s over there off the path, but it may just be a pit of destruction.

I also thought about those that we see walking off the path. Are we telling them to come back to safety? Or just hoping for the best for them? Their very lives could be at stake. If we have the words of life and know the path which leads to blessing and joy and salvation, should we not be sharing it with others who have not yet found it or don’t yet believe it.

Praise You, Lord, that you make known to us the path of life, that in your presence there is fullness of joy, and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. May we follow your path and ways, seeking you, and discover the many blessings and inestimable joy that awaits those who put their trust in you.