Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Like Sand Through The Hourglass

When I said, "My foot is slipping,"
your love, O Lord, supported me.
Psalm 94:18

When times are tough snippets of Amy Grant's song "Arms of Love" comes to me. It's a song about storms and trying to walk in shifting sand but there's a line in there that can't be overlooked. She talks about staying in God's protective arms even when the sky is far from gray. Hmmmm. How often do we miss that point? We casually walk across the stepping stones on the path of life and carefreely find ourselves skipping from time to time.


Until we start to slip and then we're reaching for help. As I was reading the lyrics and listening to the song the opening from the soap Days Of Our Lives came to me. I didn't hear the words as much as I saw that big ol' hourglass and it dawned on me, it's hard to walk in this world. The sand in our personal hourglass is constantly shifting but so is the sand of circumstance. In this fallen world we are all just one slip away from a stumble but we are also one slip away from a Savior.

And a realization.

He's there to catch us because He never left. We can walk in shifting sand because we walk with a never changing God. His steadfast love steadies us. The psalmist said it, Amy Grant sang it, we just have to believe it. 

Believe and then receive.

When the sand runs out of my hourglass I will stand with Him on streets of gold. How about you? 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Don't Drink The Water

This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.
Revelation 13:18

That's the water meter in front of my apartment building. If you drank my tap water you might wonder what evil things it was doing to my body. It doesn't taste foul all the time so I suppose that's why I let my guard down and grab a cup to take a pill. Then there are times I'm apologizing to my taste buds for that momentary lapse.

That momentary lack of wisdom.

I'll never have the wisdom it would take on the complicated calculation mentioned in the verse, (good thing I was given the answer), but I can at least use the brains God gave me. He at least made me smart enough to understand 10 simple rules (commandments) and know when to use good judgement. I know when to walk away and I know when to run. But I don't always take the advice Kenny Rogers gave me.

Sometimes I drink the water.

I don't stand my ground. I get pulled in. I let my guard down. And it leaves a bad taste in my soul.

I apologize to my Soul Dweller.

When I drink of the things this world has to offer I may not see the consequences right away. But sometimes I feel the shame. I actually prefer those times. I can apologize right away, sometimes even spitting out the bad water.

Momentary lapses are just that--momentary.

They don't have to have lasting consequences. I pray to my Soul Dweller, sink His Word in my heart, and vow to stop going to the tap for my water. I ask for wisdom and I share my insight with you. What the world has to offer isn't worth the consequences.

So please, don't drink the water the world has to offer.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Replica Christian

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my
Father who is in heaven." Matthew 7:21

What you see before you are replicas: they don't function like the things they represent. And it's pretty obvious. The rocker will never welcome a weary grandma at the end of the day. The camera is a pencil sharpener so it has some purpose but it won't record a memory. The dial on the phone doesn't move so it will never make a memory but it will remind me of my childhood.

There are replicas in our faith community as well. And they aren't so obvious. Jesus is warning against false prophets in this passage that come as wolves in sheep's clothing. Now I don't know why anyone would want to be a false prophet unless of course they're working for the enemy. He is pretty coniving so I wouldn't put it past him to lead us astray by making us feel we are being led by truth.

Truth is Light though and that Light nourishes fruit so look closely at those you follow. Under the fluff and pomp and circumstance is there fruit? If the branches are barren ... run! Find a tree with fruit. Become a tree that bares fruit otherwise you're just a replica Christian and replicas may look pretty on a shelf but we all know they are dust collectors. I had to clean those little knick knacks before I took the picture. Can't have dust in the picture just as God can't let His streets of gold become dusty. He's a bit harsher when it comes to keeping the Mansion clean.

Replicas have no purpose and replica Christians have no place in heaven. Sobering thought.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Time: Welcome Ally or Wasted?

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die,
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a

Jim Croce would disagree with King Solomon. According to his song Time In A Bottle, "There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them." I hate to disagree with a King myself but I'm with Jim on this one. Time runs out.

A time to die.

But what if there was still purpose? What if the person who just passed still has things to do? It happens alot in times of war which King Solomon mentions in verse 8. Colonel Potter said it best on M.A.S.H.: "There are two rules in war. Rule number one, young men die and rule number two, you can't change rule number one." 

Yet this time is known to God. Sitting here reflecting on watches, it seems interesting to me that when Ecclesiastes was written mankind wasn't so concerned with exact hours and minutes. They knew it was day when the sun was out and night when the moon and stars were out (pretty much). Then came the sundial but it wasn't until recent history that we wanted a way to know the time on overcast, rainy days.

We wanted a more reliable way to tell time and we came to rely on time. Of course clocks came first and then pocket watches and then wrist watches. But they all spoke to the same desire: to know what time it is since we can never truly know what time is. Sure Solomon made a nice little contrasting list but it's still a mystery.

So we watch the hands move around the dial and we make our appointments and schedule our days and we look for that elusive bottle so we will have enough time. But the watch runs down. No One replaces the battery or winds the stem. The hands are still.

A time to die.

We've laughed, we've cried and hopefully made the most of this mysterious thing we cannot control. The best we can do is mark its passage with busy hands doing The Lord's work aware that time is running out. Maybe that is a watch's greatest purpose, not to help us be on time but to remind us of time so we don't waste it.

This post was sparked by the passing of a dear family friend, Betty McCollum. She used her time well and she had an abundance of it as I believe she was in her early 90's. She served in the church and was a good friend to my mother. She was beautiful inside and out and will be missed by her children and grandchildren.

Time's either welcomed as an opportunity to live for God or wasted. Which camp are you in?