Tag Archives: Meaning

ALL I NEED TO KNOW


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While looking in October for some yarn at one of my favorite shops, a Fiber and Book Store, I saw a Little Golden Book, titled Everything I Need to Know I Learned From A Stars Wars. I smiled, chuckling to myself, and thought; here’s the perfect novelty Christmas gift for my sons who are 40 and 38 and grew up loving the Star Wars Saga.   I purchased yarn and the books.

I have read the book, enjoying the pictures and content. Although some of its message conveys wise and valuable counsel for children and adults who are kids at heart,  I KNOW THAT EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM MY BIBLE.

Here is some of the truth the Bible has taught me about God and myself and some of the realities I live in because I have believed that truth:

God created me; He wove me together in my mother’s womb.

He has loved me with an everlasting love.

He has loved me so much that He sent His Son Jesus to come to earth to live and bleed and die and rise again so that all my sin and shame could be washed away by His shed blood.

Jesus has equipped me and sent me on a meaningful journey, an exciting, challenging mission.

He has been traveling on this mission with me; in fact He is always holding on to my right hand. He has promised that no one can ever snatch me out of His hand and that He will never leave me or forsake me.

He has promised to give me wisdom whenever I need it and ask for it. He has promised to lead and guide me on this mission.   Sometimes I have been afraid, really afraid, near terrified, but He has calmed and quieted my heart and mind.

His Spirit has kept giving me power to obey His command to say no to anger, rage and pride. His Spirit has kept giving me power to walk in His Light and to be kind and compassionate and to forgive and bless those that hurt me. When I have failed to do these things, He has picked me up and told me to try again.

With God nothing has been impossible. Jesus has promised that I can do all things because He strengthens me. He has told me to keep believing because faith is the victory that overcomes the world.

Jesus has said that He is going to rule and reign on planet earth and that I get to be with Him. I have been looking forward to this for a long time.

The Eternal God, who has always ruled the universe and still does, has given me everlasting life and has promised I am always going to be with Him in heaven forever because I believe in His Son.   I’ve banked my life on this promise.

I obtained my role in THIS REAL STORY, THE BEST ONE EVER TOLD, by believing its truth and trusting its PLAYWRIGHT/DIRECTOR.

Tryouts remain open. The only talent required is a willingness to trust THE PLAYWRIGHT and to follow HIS DIRECTION.  Come one and all.  You are loved, accepted and needed.

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Storehouses of Snow

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When Job ( a good man who suffered), questioned God, the Lord answered him with questions that left Job to understand that understanding God was beyond his human comprehension.  (see Job 38)  One of these questions was: “Have you entered the storehouses of snow or seen the storehouses of the hail which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle?”

A question to ponder, to take to heart, to store in one’s heart.  Some translations use the word treasuries, instead of storehouses. Perhaps, we, God’s humble children, might also find treasures in storehouses of snow – treasures  to assist us in times of trouble and days of battle.

It has been a long, hard winter in more than just weather.   While battling deep snow and sub zero temperatures, my husband, Howard, finished his fight with cancer.  He, by God’s mercy, won the battle.   What treasures were hidden  for him in this difficult, trying season of life.

Our Son Jim wrote in his Christmas letter:  ” My dad had stage 3 lymphoma.  4 long months later he is now cancer free, praise God!  His peace through it all confirmed his walk with Jesus.  He was truly okay with God’s will (win or lose), even though I wasn’t.  He lived out Philippians 1:21 (For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain,) before my eyes and inspired me to run my race strong.”

Jim’s words are one of Howard’s treasures hidden in the snow.  His season of difficulty bears fruit if it inspires our son to run his race strong.  That inspiration is a treasure Jim reserves for times of trouble and days of battle.  I have no doubt there are other treasures hidden away; some to be revealed as time goes by, and others that will remain hidden from Howard’s knowledge.

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Paul’s Accounting Method

 

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“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Jesus Christ – the righteousness that comes from God  and is by faith.”  Philippians 3: 7 – 9

I’ve been meditating on these verse for quite some time now, pondering their significance.  I want to fathom the meaning in a way that will allow me to apply it where the rubber meets the road in my life, in the nitty gritty of the here and now.

It seems that the Apostle Paul had a ledger with a plus side and a minus side.  One side stood for all that was worthwhile.   The other side stood for all that truly didn’t matter compared to what was actually important.   Amazingly, as he sorted through his life, the plus side of his ledger had one item: knowing Jesus Christ.  Everything else, in comparison,ended up on the minus side.

When and how will I come to a place in my life when there is only one thing listed on my gains ledger? When will I realize that everything I ever gained, compared to Jesus was rubbish?

Life has forced losses on me and on my husband.   We certainly wouldn’t have chosen them.   I was not chosen as assistant head nurse when that position seemed so important to me.   My husband never received another position as pastor after he left a church without a call to serve another one.   He was a pastor, and not having his own church to serve was like being disconnected from himself.  It was excruciating.   Yet, according to Paul’s accounting method, these hoped for gains in our lives would really have been rubbish compared to knowing Jesus.

Everything – every loss and every gain – serves the one goal, the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ.   For every experience – every heartache and every suffering, as well as every joy and happy gift – is just another opportunity to know Jesus better.

The disciples pulled their boats up on the shore and left everything behind to follow Jesus, to know him, to be with him.   They considered all they had gained in life as rubbish compared to the great gain of being students of the Master.

Lord, please let my husband, who I lovingly call “the Count”, keep counting lymphoma as a valuable gift, as an opportunity to get to know Jesus better.  Let me keep counting this fight with cancer as a gain, if it helps us be better students of our Teacher, Our Master.  Let us pull our boats up on the shore and follow you, in sickness, as well as  in health.  Let us, as Paul said in Philippians 1:10, share your suffering and become like you in your death.  Let us keep saying no to our own will and yes to yours.   Amen.

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A Big Fish

 

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“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  Mark 1:17

The year was 1973.   My husband had been pastor of a small church in western Montana for two years when he resigned to accept a call in Minnesota.   We were at his going away party.   Many people stood up and shared how the Lord had used Pastor Howard for good in their lives.  Afterward a fellow pastor’s wife who had been invited to the party, walked up to my husband and said, “You caught a big fish here, Howard.  A Big Fish.”

Howard has been at home in northwestern Wisconsin this fall of 2013, fighting lymphoma and wishing he could go to the school where he volunteered as a book buddy before he became ill.   As he sorted through the third wave of home made get well cards, letters, and art work from the children at the school, I said, “You caught a big fish here, Howard.  A Big Fish.”

I am thankful to be married to a man who has kept “fishing for men”  in all the circumstances and seasons of his life, even in this season of doing battle with cancer.   I believe he will have another big catch, maybe even a bigger catch, in these dark and troubled waters.

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