I gotta question…

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What’s up with Psalm 109?  Here is this guy who is obviously being treated unfairly (welcome to life) and he’s asking God to not merely rescue him, but to lay it on thick to his enemy and their families. Seems a bit harsh. I’m addressing this specifically to some folks whose opins I respect, but welcome any other comments.  (Be nice.) If you feel your comment is too lengthy for this platform, please feel free to leave a link if you already have thoughts on this somewhere in your blog.  No obligation and not offended if you don’t have time.

Much obliged.

(PS, if you haven’t checked out these blog sites, please do.  Good stuff.)

To:

From the Inside Out

Truth in Palmyra

Learning to be Full of Grace and Truth

The Recovering Legalist

Mustard Seed Budget

Sweet Aroma

Domain for Truth

The True Light

You mean I have to work at this?

IMG_20150103_172451138Is this what I really signed up for?

For some reason, this God of the Bible insists, continually, consistently, on risking everything by working through His fallen creation, fallible people like Abraham and Sarah and the whole Hagar debacle.  Or the David and Bathsheba affair, (out of which eventually came Solomon.)  Then there’s the terse separation between Paul and Barnabas over some young guy named Mark (who later wrote said gospel…) 

And what about Jesus, who entrusted His infinitely important message to twelve goofballs, well…make that eleven, since one was a turncoat who off-ed himself after greasing the Lord’s way to a gruesome execution.  Even without modern Continue reading “You mean I have to work at this?”

A clean toast to: Charity Water

wood 2I’m writing this at just before 8 o’clock in the morning on a Thursday.  Usually, I’ve been at work for half an hour already, putting on the hot water to serve up some morning tea and kids coming in for various and sundry issues.  But not today.  I’m not ill or injured, there is no snow or ice outside.  No flooding (which is more than I can say for neighboring states to the south!)  Nope, not me.  Got a call around six this morning informing us that a city water main had busted last night (no wonder we lost pressure!) and since our fair town was under a “boil only” ban, school had been cancelled for today. 

Can you hear the children screaming with glee??  (Can you hear parents moaning?)

Clean water—OH! the things we take for granted!  Many, well…most, are not so fortunate.  There are places where people trudge for hours EACH DAY just to provide clean (a relative term) water for Continue reading “A clean toast to: Charity Water”

Agabus, by any other name, would still be, um…different.

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Agabus—now there’s a name you don’t hear very often, if ever.  He’s only really mentioned twice in the early church account of Acts, as a prophet, which means he was a bit open to doing unconventional things….but that’s a different story.

The first time we see him is in the town of Antioch in the middle of Continue reading “Agabus, by any other name, would still be, um…different.”

The “art” of baking….not.

Baking is an art form, one in which I am not well versed in.  I approach baking much like I approach gardening: instead of the manicured lawns with sculpted flower beds, I’m more the scattered wildflower variety with a yard fertilized by my dog.  Nonetheless, here are a few equally scattered thoughts about baking anyway.

Starting with friendship bread—someone gives you a small bag of tan-colored, semi-liquid mush, accompanied by a sheet of specific directions which, if followed correctly, will produce some very delicious sweet bread.  The unique thing about Friendship bread is that part of the instructions tells me to save some of the mush to give away to someone else.  The more I follow the directions, the more sweet bread is produced and the more I can give away (or eat).

Now, I kind of think faith is like that. 

Andrew Murray, in his book With Jesus in the School of Prayer, refers to some of the hard sayings of Jesus, liked moving mountains and all that.  Jesus even said that “greater things than these you will do since I go to the Father”.  Wow!  I mean, really, He brought people back from the dead, pulled money out of a fish’s mouth, withered a fig tree with a word, stopped a storm at sea, commanded demons into a herd of ham, and on, and on. 

Sometimes it’s tempting to sweep these sayings under the modern day carpet with excuses—He just meant that for His disciples at that time in history, or the generic He was referring to “something else”.  (Reminiscent of the serpent’s original question to Eve concerning eating from that certain tree—“Hath God really said…..?”)

Or else I can shrug my shoulders and relent that I just don’t have enough faith.  Now there’s a real cop-out. Or I should say, a half-truth, something the old serpent is equally quite good at.  Of course I don’t have enough faith!  Duh.  But that does not stand to reason that I don’t have ANY faith.  In fact, God tells me that He has given EVERYONE a measure of faith.

My pastor says that we all make choices, including choices concerning my relationship with Jesus. LIke my Friendship bread starter dough, I am given directions on how to increase the faith God has given me, improve upon it.  In essence, I am responsible for reading and following the directions:

  • I am given a measure, even a cup, of faith. I must receive it, even if it’s like a friend giving me the bag of ugly-looking mush. Doesn’t look too tasty to begin with! (1)
  • Mixing my faith with other ingredients particularly happens in regularly hanging around other mush-loving people. (2)
  • Lots of patience, waiting, comes in the form of study, and personal time spent alone with the Lord Himself, and my nose in His Book. (3) “Those that are pleased with Christ must study to be pleasing to him; and they will not find him hard to be pleased”, says a wise old commentator.  (4)
  • Shaking the bag regularly. You don’t have to be very old to know what the shaking of life is like. But it’s the shaking and squeezing of the mush that activates the yeast, which eventually makes the bread rise.  In other words, it gives the bread “character”!  (5)
  • Part of the directions include putting my faith into a hot oven for a specified period of time. Yeah, this is also a fun one. No explanation needed. (6)
  • Giving a cup away. As someone once said, faith is personal, but true faith is never meant to be private. Something about not putting a lighted candle under a basket… (7)

Like friendship bread, I am given a portion of faith, and it’s up to me to decide what I’m going to do with it. When you follow the directions, it’s pretty amazing what can happen with a bag of mush.

 

  • Romans 12:3
  • Hebrew 10:25
  • Jeremiah 29:13
  • Henry, Matthew (2010-11-07). Unabridged Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (best navigation) (Kindle Locations 136223-136224). OSNOVA. Kindle Edition.
  • James 1:2
  • Daniel 3 – I love this story!
  • Matthew 5:15