Friday, October 30, 2009

Do not fret...

Streams in the Desert compiled by L.B.Cowman
Fret Not Over Evil-doers

"Fret not thyself" (Ps. 37:1).

Do not get into a perilous heat about things. If ever heat were justified, it was surely justified in the circumstances outlined in the Psalm. Evil-doers were moving about clothed in purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every day. "Workers of iniquity" were climbing into the supreme places of power, and were tyrannizing their less fortunate brethren. Sinful men and women were stalking through the land in the pride of life and basking in the light and comfort of great prosperity, and good men were becoming heated and fretful.

"Fret not thyself." Do not get unduly heated! Keep cool! Even in a good cause, fretfulness is not a wise help-meet. Fretting only heats the bearings; it does not generate the steam. It is no help to a train for the axles to get hot; their heat is only a hindrance. When the axles get heated, it is because of unnecessary friction; dry surfaces are grinding together, which ought to be kept in smooth co-operation by a delicate cushion of oil.

And is it not a suggestive fact that this word "fret" is closely akin to the word "friction," and is an indication of absence of the anointing oil of the grace of God?

In fretfulness, a little bit of grit gets into the bearings--some slight disappointment, some ingratitude, some discourtesy--and the smooth working of the life is checked. Friction begets heat; and with the heat, most dangerous conditions are created.

Do not let thy bearings get hot. Let the oil of the Lord keep thee cool, lest by reason of an unholy heat thou be reckoned among the evil-doers. --The Silver Lining

Dear restless heart, be still; don't fret and worry so;
God has a thousand ways His love and help to show;
Just trust, and trust, and trust, until His will you know.

Dear restless heart, be still, for peace is God's own smile,
His love can every wrong and sorrow reconcile;
Just love, and love, and love, and calmly wait awhile.

Dear restless heart, be brave; don't moan and sorrow so,
He hath a meaning kind in chilly winds that blow;
Just hope, and hope, and hope, until you braver grow.

Dear restless heart, repose upon His breast this hour,
His grace is strength and life, His love is bloom and flower;
Just rest, and rest, and rest, within His tender power.

Dear restless heart, be still! Don't struggle to be free;
God's life is in your life, from Him you may not flee;
Just pray, and pray, and pray, till you have faith to see.
--Edith Willis Linn

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lord, if you are willing....

Lord, if you are willing, make me clean. Luke 5:12
Here in the account of Luke, a leper says to the Lord, 'if you are willing, make me clean.' Now, go with me, as I recount the verses that came as I camped on this verse:

Psalm 51:2
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from sin.
Jeremiah 33:8
I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me.
Ephesians 5:26
...that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.
James 4:8
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners and purify your hearts, you double minded.
I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Mark 7:15
There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him, but the things from which come out of him, those are the things that can defile him.
Mark 7:21
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts,...
Proverbs 4:23
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

With the swine flu in our midst the reoccurring caution is the washing of our hands to prevent germs from spreading. In the Holman Bible dictionary clean/cleanness - "A clean person is one who habitually maintains a pattern of personal cleanliness and hygiene, while at the same time taking care to ensure that his or her environment is in a clean condition so as to forestall possible accidents, infections or disease."

In Strongs cleanse was also defined as to make clean, purify,purified, purifying, purge, purging, to cleanse oneself, made clean. It is a process, an ongoing work, not just a one time event.

As it should be with our minds. If regular hand washing prevents germs from spreading and viruses from setting in, what would a regular 'mind washing' do for us? Traveling through this world, mud and muck accumulate in the crevices or our minds, as it does on our shoes or cars. The disciplines' feet were washed upon the arriving at a house from traveling in sandals on dirty, dusty roads. Now we wash our hands on regular basis with the intention of preventing the swine flu. As it should be with our minds. Our 'mind washing' should be with the washing of the Word, to prevent Satan from getting footholds. Maintenance, so to speak. Daily washing of water by the word to clean off the mud and muck of this dark word.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Flawed is the new perfect

This was the running theme during a conference I attended with my beloved this past weekend. Brings to mind a book title "Everyone is Perfect Until You Get to Know Them". Getting to know someone means exposing ourselves. Eeeck! It's safe keeping people at a distance. God did not call us to a safe life. He called us to get out of the boat and go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. I can't do that, if I keep a safe distance so no one can see my flaws, neither can you. I think this is called God-confidence. We may not have confidence in our abilities, our looks, our anything, but we can have complete total confidence in our Lord and Savior who dwells inside of us. Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. Fearless. That is what I want to be. Fearless.

Monday, October 19, 2009

'...a cloud of witnesses...'

Hebrews 12:1
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great of a cloud of witnesses (who have borne testimony to the truth), let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.

This verse was brought before me three times in one day from various sources. I am not sure about you, but I find when God's word, the same word, is presented to me repeatedly from different sources, there must be a message that God is trying to get through to me. I am not sure if I have it yet, but I have done some thinking and wondering.

Witness in the original Greek is martyr. Holman's Bible dictionary reveals that in the Old Testament this term rarely denotes one killed for his or her testimony. Witnesses also bear testimony about moral, religious, or spiritual truths and views of which we are convinced by faith. In "Tortured for Christ" the forward notes that the New Testament martyr not only personally testified to the truth and power of Jesus Christ, but was instructed to take that witness of others, regardless the cost.

So, are you living a full witness of Christ? Are you a martyr at whatever the costs? Are you throwing off all weights that encumber you? Those hindrances can be insecurities, fears, logic,...remember the heart itself is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). I think of Paul as one who was unencumbered and ran the race with patient endurance, the race of spreading the gospel (the story of Christ, died for my sins (your sins), buried and raised from the dead on the third day). Let's run the race together.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"He is the One who goes before you..."

Deuteronomy 31:8
And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.

These were the words that coursed through my mind as I stood amongst the throng of 3000 plus cyclists in San Antonio awaiting our turn to be released for the first 72 miles of 132 mile ride over two days. It was the 20th anniversary of the MS150 (Multiple Sclerosis) formerly Ride to the Beach now Ride to the River. It was my first MS ride. My husband's sixth. I was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. This verse that coursed through my mind brought the beginnings of comfort and solace. We started off in the rain, so my nerves were rattled from the point of a being an amateur on wet roads, let alone so many cyclists and such a long ride. I was questioning my preparation for this 132 mile endeavor, are my legs prepared, is my body conditioned for this, did I do enough to get ready? I kept hearing..."I have gone before you"... The way had been prepared for me, the path had been paved, I could trust my Lord to hold me and protect me and shield me from harm. I had done what I could, now the time was at hand to put to the test of my faith. I knew this and it settled in my heart as my legs got warm and I got comfortable cleaning my breaks from time to time of the water on my rims, more comfortable as my fingers clasped loosely over my breaks in the event that I had to break suddenly, steady as the gentle rolling hills slowed me (no hills where I am from!), and a little confident as I passed others in the wind (I am fortunate to get to train in the wind...hahaha). The Lord had indeed gone before me. I completed 72 miles that day with only five miles of whining when my knees spoke very loudly to me. The Lord had indeed gone before me! He had indeed prepared the way for me.

Have you trusted the path (marriage, children, relationships, work, finances, friendships, family) before you to the Lord? Has you heart settled that "He has gone before you"? Ask the Lord to take your anxious heart and settle His word into it, knowing that He will never leave nor forsake you and that He indeed has gone before you.

(As for the second day, well the LORD had indeed gone before me. Mother nature brought lightening, thunder and torrential downpours (flash floods, low water crossings) and forced the MS organizers to cancel the second day. Slightly disappointed that I didn't get to complete the ride and slightly relieved that I didn't have to put my knees to the test. Funny, this has been the driest year in Texas, I have attempted two MS rides and both have been rained out this year. Things that make you go mmmm.....)