Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Endure

Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the proofing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach and it will be given. Be sure to ask in faith with not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is drive and tossed by the wind...
James 1:1-12

My favorite part of this section in James is that God is gladly generous.  He will not fail us.  He wants to sustain and equip us.  It's fun for him!  

I understand and accept the need for endurance - like endurance training - and as the hill gets steeper, I see the growing need for maturity, "complete," and a satisfaction (humble acceptance) of the task ahead. This climb will end.  

I can rest and relax into the life I yet have because God is gladly involved.  Not only does He know, but He is also strong and strongly in favor of helping me.  I need it!  I can approach God without hesitation because of His generous availability to help!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Transformation

I appeal to you, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, that which is good, acceptable and perfect.
                                                                     Romans 12:1, 2

Holy.
Pleasure.
Discern.
God's good.

To please you, Lord?  You are pleased by my focus to be set apart for your service, that I keep my eyes open to be yours in every situation.  The situations in this day.

I want to discern God's good from any other definition of goodness, especially cultural goodness.  What is pleasing to you, Lord?  What completes your intentions and goals for this day?  He wants transformation.  I want to know His will, every time.  

To become aware of you and your path and agree to be on its path is true repentance - a change of mind.  True transformation.



Thursday, December 20, 2018

#32 An Advent Poem


At just the right time

He knocked at the door of my “Inn.”

My life was full – bustling and suffering.

Would I relegate Him to the cave in back

Or clear a room,

Clear my whole house,

So he could birth in me,

Live-with-me

A place where “Glory!” would sound?



Oh, the gifts that would come!

Could we, together, avoid an exile?

A death?

No.

Together,

We would live a stranger in this world,

The death of the old life and its power would pass

And rise to new.

Glory!


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

What God wants

When God Wants a Man

(Anonymous)



When God wants to drill a man and thrill a man and skill a man...

When God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part;

When He yearns with all His heart to create so great and bold a man that all the world shall praise...

Watch His methods;

Watch His ways!



How He ruthlessly perfects whom He royally elects...

How He hammers him and hurts him,

And with mighty blows converts him

Into frail shapes of clay that only God understands. 
How his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands...

How he bends but never breaks when His good he undertakes.

How He uses whom He chooses...with every purpose fuses him;

By every art induces him to try His splendor out...

God knows what He's about!



When God wants to take a man and shake a man and wake a man...

When God wants to make a man to do the future's will;

He tries with all His skill...

When He yearns with all His soul to create him large and whole...

With what cunning He prepares him...

How He goads and never spares him! 
How He whets him and He frets him and in poverty begets him...

How often He disappoints whom He sacredly anoints!

With what wisdom He will hide him;

Never minding what betide him...

Though his genius sob with slighting and his pride may not forget;

Bids him struggle harder yet!

Makes him lonely so that only God's high messages shall reach him...

So that He may surely teach him what the hierarchy planned;

And though he may not understand...

Gives him passions to command.

How remorselessly He spurs him...

With terrific ardor stirs him

When He poignantly prefers him.



When God wants to name a man and fame a man and tame a man...

When God wants to shame a man to do His Heavenly best;

When He tries the highest test that His reckoning may bring...

When He wants a [god] or king;

How He reins him and restrains him so his body scarce contains him...

While He fires him and inspires him…

Keeps him yearning, ever burning for that tantalizing goal.

Lures and lacerates his soul...

Sets a challenge for his spirit;

Draws it highest then he's near it!

Makes a jungle that he clear it;

Makes a desert that he fear it...and subdue it, if he can -

So doth God make a man!


Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Dear Daddy - 6 June 2005

If you receive my words, hide them within yourself.
Proverbs 2:1

Dear Daddy,

I know you have so much to say to me and I don't always pursue them as fully as you offer them.  Your words.  The author of the Proverb says to "receive" your words. That is my quest, today, Daddy: to receive what you have to say to me.

Please, Daddy, place more opportunities in front of me to read, to listen.  Give me desire to go to your Word.  Help me to take in these words for your sake and mine.

I look forward to this day with you, Dad.

Love, Gina


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Grace and Gratitude


We get the teaching that we can do nothing to earn salvation, which is true, but that does not negate the responsibility of a response to God’s great gift of salvation and other related gifts:

· Forgiveness is ready but stays at the cross without the response of repentance.

·  Sanctification is a process as effective as the pursuance of it.

· Treasures in heaven are only as full as the storer’s commitment to abandon earthly treasure.

· James is clear and to the point:  Faith without works is dead.

· And even the hard gifts can only improve our perseverance and character if we respond God’s way.

Thus, grace does not exclude effort.  Yet, it is not a forced effort but a responsive one.  Gratitude is not “owing” someone, but a heart-felt response. Owing someone a response turns gift-giving into a business transaction and reduces the joy-response.  It turns heartfelt praise into duty.  And while there is nothing wrong duty, it should not come on the back of gratitude.

Gratitude is more like an echo that carries the original voice far and wide.  If an echo does not sound, it means there is something wrong with the chamber.  The main way to amend the chamber is to turn it into God’s.  The truest sense of gratitude is not just gratitude for the gift, but what it reveals about the character of God.  What the chamber seeking to reflect – itself or the voice.  Every return of favor is to extol the character of God, even in the demanding, the difficult, the discipline.

How much does the chamber of our being seek to know the most about God, seek the most of him? The hardest time to see God maybe in the difficult, but the hardest time to remember God is in plenty.

May we each desire the chambers of our heart to encompass all His gifts and echo his character to the world.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Dear Daddy - May 31, 2005

Oh, Daddy,

Don't let my heart be poisoned by negativity, by cruelty.  Please, lift me above the ashes of relationships that others have burned down.  Help me to heal.  Help me to initiate reconciliation.

I see, Daddy, why you want us to love each other; you want us to extend grace to each other.  It does not look Christ-like to be excluding others or by being unkind.  I look to you, Daddy, to help me rise above, to not be dismayed or put down or have my spirit crushed.

I want to be kind and gracious.  I want to extend You to others.  

Daddy, what will it take for someone to give their brokenness up?  When will healing begin?  Please, help!  Only You can change and heal those who need it. (and don't we all need it!)

Love, 
Your devoted daughter,
Gina