Archive for May, 2011

For love of country they accepted death…  ~James A. Garfield

Memorial Day the most recent of days set aside for me to celebrate. One day a year set aside to remember the heroes of wars both past and present. i am really looking at the idea of celebrating just one day a year for all the things we have made into holidays. Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Presidents Day, and the list goes on. i wonder, am i really so busy that i can not remember the people associated with these holidays more often. Is it enough to remember or celebrate my mother or father just one day a year? my following thoughts regarding yesterday which was Memorial Day apply to all the “Days” that have been tagged as three-day weekends made for celebrating one thing or the other. i have missed the mark in truly remembering these important people even for one day a year. Can i remember anyone justly when i do it one day a year? i wonder if i am actually doing a disservice more than honoring. i hope the following words regarding Memorial Day will stir my heart to give more than 30 seconds of remembrance to anyone who has been labeled by the word “_____________ Day.”

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans including myself have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. i gave no thought to the proper flag etiquette for the day, in fact i have no flag. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, no such thing in the area i live. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country. i do know better than that, but so what, i still did nothing to remember those who have fought for me and are still fighting for me. It’s as though i have a sense of entitlement.

Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. Now there is some committment. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. Again, committment. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans more specifically, people like me, of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.” i missed the mark, but not because i don’t care about our men at war, but because it wasn’t important enough to stop for that moment. Truth be told i knew nothing of this legislation but that’s an excuse as i am fully aware of the men and women who have and still do defend this country.

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. As a starting point what is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.”

All that may be true and may help but for me i must get rid of my sense of entitlement and remember these people, if only for a moment on a daily basis. One day a year is to little to late. Remembrancer is not sufficient for these men and women. Remembrancer is not adequate for my mother, father, grandmother, grandfather. Remembrancer is nothing when i consider the cost of being the President of my United States. No remembrance is the wrong term. Gratefulness for them will serve better than any remembrance of them.

These heroes are dead.  They died for liberty – they died for us.  They are at rest.  They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines.  They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest.  Earth may run red with other wars – they are at peace.  In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death.  I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead:  cheers for the living; tears for the dead.  ~Robert G. Ingersoll

 

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SPECKA – Application to apply

Posted: May 30, 2011 in SPECKA

For me Application to apply is the most valuable portion of SPECKA. It’s actually what i search for when reading the word. i mean if there is nothing for me to apply then what use is there in studying the word? It’s just head knowledge and there is no lack of those that have nothing more than head knowledge. The word deserves to be applied.

SPECKA.  …a Sin to confess ….a Promise to keep …an Example to follow …a Command to obey … Knowledge to learn …an Applicationto apply.

The way it works is that i read a chapter, a group of verses or a single verse of the Bible and look for descriptions for each of the words in the passage. So in the following verses i’ll use bold red to expose the Sin to confess, or words that lead to sin. i’ll use bold blue to expose the Promise to keep words. i’ll use bold green to expose the Example to follow words. Due to some duplication of the use of words i’ll use an underline to expose the Command to obey words. i’ll use purple to expose Knowledge to learn although technically its all knowledge to learn. For exposing Application to apply i’ll just write it out for the close of this series of posts.

Matthew 6:19-34  Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

 24“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

At first i would have given the obvious answer, 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. That would be the cheesy, oops i mean easy answer. It would seem to be the “RIGHT” thing to say. It makes me pretty spiritual, don’t you think? No after looking back over the week this is what i see as my applications to apply… First make sure that anything i am counting as valuable is of spiritual value verses earthly. Secondly keep my eyes on the birds of the air and the lilies of the fields which remind me that God is my provider and thus i will be focusing on the things of God and living righteously. Sounds simple but i have tried to make the word complicated in the past. These days i look to make it simple.

SPECKA – Knowledge to learn

Posted: May 28, 2011 in SPECKA

i realize that every word of this series of blogs is knowledge to learn but what i am looking for today are the keys that unlock portions of this passage. What are a few things i can take away from this passage that will help me remember all the rest.

SPECKA.  …a Sin to confess ….a Promise to keep …an Example to follow …a Command to obey … Knowledge to learn …an Applicationto apply.

The way it works is that i read a chapter, a group of verses or a single verse of the Bible and look for descriptions for each of the words in the passage. So in the following verses i’ll use bold red to expose the Sin to confess, or words that lead to sin. i’ll use bold blue to expose the Promise to keep words. i’ll use bold green to expose the Example to follow words.Due to some duplication of the use of words i’ll use an underline to expose the Command to obey words. Today i’ll use purple to expose Knowledge to learn although technically its all knowledge to learn.

Matthew 6:19-34  Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

i am aiming for my desires to be His. The word that comes to mind is that i have the mind of Christ, my thoughts are established in Him, and my steps (desires) are ordered by Him. Using SPECKA will bring other verses to mind to add to the ones your focused on. Imagine a map with a starting point and an ending point. To go from one to the other you will travel through many things that technically have nothing to do with where you want to end up. BUT… you may find many valuable nuggets during the journey in places that you thought were not important.

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

This says to me that i must be aware that, my eyes introduce both the things of the world but also the things of the spirit so i must be careful what my eyes are fixed on.

 24“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

i have said it in the past that i must know who i am because of who He is. If i don’t see myself as valuable to God and others then i will think that i have to take care of myself. If i ask a wrong question i get a wrong answer but verse 27 is not a wrong question. All the worries that i can remember having, have never produced a single moment of peace in my life.

 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

This is another question that is not wrong, so why do i have so little faith? Is it because i think i can take better care of myself than God? Maybe i think He’s just to busy with everyone else so i try to help lighten His load? How about, i don’t think i deserve His time? Then there’s the thought that i am ungrateful for what i have and so i press for more? It could be any number of things but that’s for each person to answer for themselves.

 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of Godabove all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

That’s an understatement and that’s why i am learning to focus on the day i am in and stay out of tomorrow as much as is humanly possible..

SPECKA – Command to obey

Posted: May 26, 2011 in SPECKA

Obedience is better than sacrifice
SPECKA.  …a Sin to confess ….a Promise to keep …an Example to follow …a Command to obey … Knowledge to learn …an Applicationto apply.

The way it works is that i read a chapter, a group of verses or a single verse of the Bible and look for descriptions for each of the words in the passage. So in the following verses i’ll use bold red to expose the Sin to confess, or words that lead to sin. i’ll use bold blue to expose the Promise to keep words. i’ll use bold green to expose the Example to follow words. Due to some duplication of the use of words i’ll use an underline to expose the Command to obey words.

Matthew 6:19-34  Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

 24“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

 25That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

How simple it becomes to understand when i do not complicate it with, what about, what if, but, etc., etc., etc.. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, by holding onto the promises, following the examples and obeying the commands. i often look for the flip side of a verse. In this case the flip side to me looks like this.

19 “i can store up treasures here on earth, and moths will eat them and rust will destroy them, and thieves will break in and steal.

24“i can try to serve two masters. But i will pay attention to one and ignore the other; i will be devoted to one and despise the other.

25 “i can choose to worry about everyday life—whether i have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. 26 Who cares about birds. 27i can believe that all my worries add moments of pleasure to my life? Who cares about some old lilies and how they grow. Why do i have so little faith? i could write a book about what God has not done for me.

31 “So if i don’t worry who will care about ‘What i eat? What i drink? What i wear?’ 32 These things will dominate my thoughts  33 and as for Seeking the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously… well there will be plenty of time for that when i take care of all the rest of this. Today’s trouble is enough for today. You can say that again, why do you think i’m working so hard to take care of these things?

The flip side is just as clear as the truth.

SPECKA – Example to follow

Posted: May 25, 2011 in SPECKA
A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around.
Edgar Watson Howe
SPECKA.  …a Sin to confess ….a Promise to hold …an Example to follow …a Command to obey … Knowledge to learn …an Applicationto apply.

The way it works is that i read a chapter, a group of verses or a single verse of the Bible and look for descriptions for each of the words in the passage. So in the following verses i’ll use bold red to expose the Sin to confess, or words that lead to sin. i’ll use bold blue to expose the Promise to keep words. i’ll use bold green to expose the Example to follow words.

Matthew 6:19-34  Teaching about Money and Possessions

 19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light.

23But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

 24“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?

26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[d]above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Of course all this is subject to perspective. i don’t do it as gospel just as a guideline to help me go beyond reading and to learn to suck the honey from the Rock. That’s what great about this, it’s a guide not form and function. Each person may have different colors for different words or phrases and it is okay.

A hero (example to follow) is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Christopher Reeve

SPECKA – Promise to hold

Posted: May 24, 2011 in SPECKA

SPECKA.  …a Sin to confess ….a Promise to hold …an Example to follow …a Command to obey … Knowledge to learn …an Applicationto apply.

The way it works is that i read a chapter, a group of verses or a single verse of the Bible and look for descriptions for each of the words in the passage. So in the following verses i’ll use bold red to expose the Sin to confess, or words that lead to sin. Then i’ll use bold blue to expose the Promise to hold words.

Matthew 6:19-34  Teaching about Money and Possessions

 19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Both of these are statements of promise. If i do this or if i do that, i will get the promised result.

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light.

23But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

 24“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. This is not saying that i can’t have money, it is saying that i cannot serve money, my life cannot revolve around it and that is with or with out it. There is a better Master.

 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?

26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

These words in blue help me to avoid the pitfalls of the previous red words. It’s as though I Am is saying be alert and on guard regarding the red words but know these blue words are promises that I have made to you and for you because I love you. There’s that Fatherly love picture again. The word is so complete.

I Promise…

If you need a friend, don’t look to a stranger,
You know in the end, I’ll always be there.

And when you’re in doubt, and when you’re in danger,
Take a look all around, and I’ll be there.

When your day is through, and so is your temper,
You know what to do, I’m gonna always be there.

Sometimes if I shout, it’s not what’s intended.
These words just come out, with no gripe to bear.

SPECKA – Sin to confess

Posted: May 23, 2011 in SPECKA

One of my challenges is to teach people how to read the Bible for themselves instead of depending on the words or teachings of others. That being said, i’m always on the lookout for ways to promote study and application of God’s Word.  i believe i need to move my western romance with information or knowledge on toward speedy obedience when it comes to me and the Bible.  Please don’t hear me saying that i am against education. i just think i get inoculated against the power of God’s Word to change my life when i become dependent on a “studied person” as opposed to seeing every person empowered to open the Scripture and experience the shaping work of the Holy Spirit.

For years i have read a verse or a group of verses regarding a particular topic and i would go about understanding it by doing the following. First i would look for the, “not to”, meaning what i should not do because it would be sin or at least lead to sin. Then i look to find my hope of not doing the “not to.” Next i hope to find an example to follow, whether it would be one of the disciples, a prophet, teacher or even Jesus Himself. i would then find instruction of what “to do.” And for me there must be a nugget, a piece of truth for me to learn for the future. Lastly there is no value unless i find ways to apply the word to my everyday life. Until recently i was not aware that there is a simple acronym that teaches how to do this.

i am not a big fan of acronyms, i suppose it comes from 5 years with a pastor that used them for everything. so i can’t believe i am going to go here but it does show some potential promise. The acronym is SPECKA.  …a Sin to confess ….a Promise to keep …an Example to follow …a Command to obey … Knowledge to learn …an Application to apply.

Clever, maybe so, but what does it do for solving the challenge i stated in the opening. The way it works is that i read a chapter, a group of verses or a single verse of the Bible and look for descriptions for each of the words in the passage. So in the following verses i will use bold red to expose the Sin to confess, or words that lead to sin.

Matthew 6:19-34  Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

 24“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[d]above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

i take these words as warnings or better yet as loving words spoken by a loving Father who does not want to see me His son get into trouble.

My Eyes!

Posted: May 20, 2011 in Wandering Thoughts

i am looking to Jesus and experiencing resting in Him is the same idea brought out by Solomon in Proverbs 18:10… The Name of the LORD (Jehovah) is a strong tower. The righteous runs into it and is safe.

Notice that truth precedes behavior. (If i could only keep it in that order) First i see Who God is – a strong tower (metaphorically or figuratively speaking). But it is not just enough to know Who He is. It is not enough as some falsely teach just to “Let go and let God”, which absolves me of any human responsibility. i as a righteous man am a wise person, because i make the choice to believe God and to run into the “cleft of the Rock”, knowing that He is my personal Shield and Defender (my Strong Tower). Acting on the truth about God (“running into” the truth about Him, believing that truth, acting accordingly) brings me safely into His presence. The Hebrew word for safe actually pictures one being elevated above the roaring waves of the trial or affliction, just like a coastal home elevated on stilts escapes the surging seas of an on rushing hurricane.

i am lifting up my eyes – A woman whose work demanded constant reading began to have difficulty with her eyes, so she consulted a physician. After an examination he said, “Your eyes are just tired; you need to rest them.”

“But,” she replied, “that is impossible in my type of work.”

After a few moments the doctor asked, “Do you have windows at your workplace?”

“Oh, yes,” she answered with enthusiasm. “From the front windows I can see the noble peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and from the rear windows I can look out at the glorious Allegheny foothills.”

The physician replied, “That is exactly what you need. When your eyes feel tired, go look at your mountains for 10 minutes—20 would be better—and the far look will rest your eyes!”

What is true in the physical realm is true in the spiritual realm. The eyes of my soul are often tired and weary from focusing on my problems and difficulties. The upward look—the far look—restores my spiritual perspective. At times i feel overwhelmed by life’s troubles. If i look to the Lord in His Word and in prayer, He will put my problems in perspective and renew my strength. This weekend i purpose to lift up my eyes!

Protective Shade

Posted: May 19, 2011 in Wandering Thoughts
“Prayer is the burden of a sigh, The falling of a tear, The upward glancing of an eye, When none but God is near.”  Unknown
 
Psalm 121
1 I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there?
 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! This is an anticipation for divine help.

I look – signifies that the psalmist makes a choice of his will to look up to God. How often when faced with a test, trial or affliction, i choose to look down in self-pity or around at adverse circumstances, rather than gazing upward to God! As great as the mountains are they are subject to the One who is greater. They are limited in their abilities yet the One who made them has no limits. It’s a no brainer for me… look to the limited or the limitless?

 3 He will not let me stumble; the one who watches over me will not slumber.
 4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. This is the assurance of divine help.

He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. That’s why i can not stumble. i must stay alert and stand watch AND… in stillness and KNOW that He is God. There is much competition for the role of stillness and knowing God in my life. Gifts, talents, position, finances, opportunity, all would be glad to fill the role.

 5 The Lord himself watches over me! The Lord stands beside me as my protective shade.
 6 The sun will not harm me by day, nor the moon at night.

Protective shade… i love the outdoors and those words bring a visual picture to mind. Ann Marie and i love the island of St Maarten and have been there many times. One of the things i love to do there is find a nice shade tree lay back in my chair with some worship music and then let the constant gentle breeze keep me cool. i currently feel like that with God. I have found protective shade.

 7 The Lord keeps me from all harm and watches over my life.
 8 The Lord keeps watch over me as i come and go, both now and forever.

This brings another picture. This time my protective shade is like an umbrella and as i walk my journey, my protective shade walks alongside me making sure no harm comes to me.

Yesterday i decided to go home early and take Ann Marie to lunch at one of her favorite spots. Together we sat and ate in physical protective shade while a constant breeze helped the two of us imagine that we were in St Maarten for lunch. i had already read Psalm 121 so i was able to visualize the protective spiritual shade that hoovered over us as well. God is so good and i am so blessed.

Psalm 131

Posted: May 18, 2011 in Wandering Thoughts

The love of God reigning in my heart, will subdue self-love.

Psalm 131 – A psalm of David.

 1 Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.

To know God and my duty, is learning sufficiently high for me. It is my wisdom not to meddle with that which does not belong to me. i am to be reconciled to every condition the Lord places me in. my heart is desirous of worldly things, i cry for them, and i am fond of them; but, by the grace of God, my soul, that is made holy, is weaned from these things.

2 Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.

i am as humble as a little child about the age of weaning, and as far from aiming at high things; as entirely at God’s disposal, as the child at the disposal of the mother or nurse. my converted soul quiets itself under the loss of what it loved, and disappointments in what it hoped for, and is easy whatever happens.

 3 O Israel, put your hope in the Lord— now and always.

And so i, a psalmist like David recommends confidence in God, to all people, from my own experience. It is good to hope, and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord under every trial.

In closing i am paying close attention to the details of my days. i do not want to lose my way as the journey changes. For five years Psalm 46:10 has been shown me from every possible perspective and now is the time to experience it in fullness.