Thursday, July 30, 2009

One thing I have determined. That when life's tempests toss my boat too high for my comfort, I find strength in the words "Thy will be done" and calm assurance in the situation of my heart in the same manner.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thought for the day:

Divine grace is still at work in my life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The More Excellent Sacrifice

You need peace. Satan threatens. The law condemns. Conscience accuses. Your wounds are deep. Your burdens heavy. Memory shews frightful spectres. The heart bleeds. You go mourning and heavy laden. You look to self.--It is despair. You look to the world.--It mocks your woe. You look to reform.--It is a broken cistern. You fly to outside performances of devotion.--They are reeds, which break and pierce the hand. How different is "the more excellent sacrifice?" It tells you, that God is satisfied, guilt remitted, and all accusers dumb. It thus brings peace--perfect peace, which passeth all understanding. Will you now be Cain-like and reject "the more excellent sacrifice?"

--Henry Law
Christ is All

Under Pressure

I am discovering in this fallen world of business, in which I work, that there is a great pressure to "ignore" the rules. It really is sin manifested in the actions of those around me, my coworkers. It engulfs me as a great pressure to fall in line with the consensus of the office, even if it is illegal. And all I can do is pray for a spiritual mind to combat the ruler of the air who rules in my office at the moment. It is very easy to forget that He is with me, protecting me, guiding me, correcting me, sheltering me, teaching me. But He is. He is kind always. Kind to me. To think anything less is blatant egregious sin.

It is easy to get frustrated and angry. But I am discovering that compassion OUGHT to be the response of my heart, because they are lost, and I was like them once, too. Compassion was the driving motive for Christ's manifestation among us, for His condescension, and His grace to us. Compassion was behind Christ's personal rescue of my soul from danger, His administering salve to open my eyes, His clothing me with His righteousness, His bestowing me with every inconceivable blessing and wealth that is from above. Compassion coupled with the truth ought to be the response to the pressure around me to live according to the standards of this present world, which is passing away with its lusts.

Lord, please grant us a compassionate heart, such as you have for your lost sheep, that we may lovingly convey the truth to those around us, even in the blazing heat of opposition. Teach our hearts to hold fast to the truth that no one can harm us, even though we are pressed and distressed.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I have been giving much thought lately to what it means to imitate God. What it means to please God. What it means to put off and put on, moment by moment. This is, after all, what we are called to do.

But we don't. We don't often see this as paramount to our lives here on earth. And then we wonder why Christianity has been hijacked by an empty purpose driven crowd urging us to live our best lives now. I wondered why there could be so much empty teaching out there. How did that happen? I think it might have had something to do with our impotent lives, and our daily refusal to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses and to follow Him.

We may THINK that our coworkers or friends will not see the connection between the way we live our lives, the decisions that we make, and the faith that we proclaim with our lips.

I was driving to a job site last week with a few coworkers in the car. We were driving down a particular highway where a lot of police were known to set up and catch speeders. One coworker felt me braking as we approached a police car with his radar gun trained on the traffic, and said essentially "Don't brake, Marcia, just let your foot off the gas." and I asked him why. He said "because you look guilty if you brake." and I said "well, I AM guilty".

It is so easy to think that others think like we do and when presented with right and wrong, will point out the difference between the two and praise the right. But rather, they mostly seem to choose to play down the evidence of guilt even though every one can plainly see it. And I wonder, what is my responsibility to use that to point out what Romans says about sin and guilt, and what is my responsibility to use that to teach the gospel.

How about you?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tip of the day:

If you ask the Lord to show you just how much of a sinner you are.... He will.

Psalm 139: 23-24

I can't remember the last time my marching orders included the words "plod." But I feel that I am there now. I am learning a lot about humility and godliness and holiness. And that it is no sin to imitate God, no matter how much the struggle.

Work is just as much of a struggle as it has ever been. But I am convinced that I am to be here. I will not take this with me, and I think that a revision in my own understanding of what work is to be about is in order. It must be about God and His work. I must keep my eyes fixed upon Heaven.

Oh, why is this so hard? Why?