Of Kings and Presidents

No, I am not going to talk about the election.  I am going to talk about God, and what He did for me on election day.

My sister, Shadow, gave me a new Bible for my birthday this year.  It is called The Voice.  It is a transliteration (like the Message) with commentary added throughout the text.  I am enjoying it immensely.  I started reading the New Testament this summer.  Then I skipped back to Job so I could read the poetry.  Now I am reading the prophets.  I just finished Jeremiah, and even though I have read it before, I am understanding so many new things.

Each day I set my timer for 30 minutes and read as much as I can.  This is giving me a bigger picture of the stories and context which I don’t get when I just read chapter by chapter.  When the timer goes off, I look back at what I’ve read and pick a verse or two to send to my children.

Tuesday (November 8,2016), I sent them each Jeremiah 42:11-12.  I told them I was praying for the election and how it would affect their future.  I didn’t fully realize the significance of it until the election completed that night and people started reacting.  So I wanted to share it with anyone else who might find it looking for hope.  It is rather profound and just reiterates to me how wonderfully good my God really is.

Jeremiah 42:11-12  “I know you are afraid of this king of Babylon, but don’t fear him any longer.  For I, the Eternal One, declare that I am with you and I will save you and rescue you from his authority.  I will show you compassion, and then he will have compassion on you.”

God has always been in control of who leads our country, just like He put Nebuchadnezzar to rule over Israel for a time.  God has a plan.  God knows the future. God never changes.

Be at peace, sweet readers,

AJ

Irony

I think the most ironic statement in the Bible is this:

Chief priests and elders: you know, according to the law, we can’t put blood money in the temple treasury. 

The Voice- Matthew 27:6

How often do we do what we want and then once it’s accomplished we put the laws of God back on the table?  We use God when he gives us advantage and then we set him aside when he gets in our way.  

Jesus had told the disciples they would all stumble and fall on account of him. Peter told lies because he was uncomfortable. Judas handed Jesus to the elders because he didn’t understand. The elders broke many laws because they saw Jesus as a threat to what they believed. 

How often do I lie for my own comfort? How many times have I headed in the wrong direction because I didn’t understand things from God’s eternal perspective?  When have I set aside the law for my own advantage?

Luckily Jesus made a way to make us right with God again. He knows we will stumble. 

May God give us all conviction to the right thing in all situations. Praise Him for salvation when we don’t. 

I know it has been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog.  Life has thrown a few punches and my recovery is a process.

So this morning I read Judges 19 – Oh My!!  This one chapter is like the story of Hosea, Jacob and Rachel, AND Sodom and Gomorrah all rolled into one.  I was horrified when I finished reading it.

My first thought was, “Thank you Jesus my world is not that bad.”  Even with the latest school shooting and all the sadness and controversy that brings, our society is not this deprived.  At least not the part I live in.

My second thought was about a conversation my sisters are having about the effects of Hollywood on our lives and culture.  So maybe in the same way that some people get enough adrenaline rush watching movies like “Everest”; people don’t have to hurt others to fulfill their desires and lusts.  Maybe instead of desensitizing people, Hollywood has given us a virtual way to handle our primal instincts.  If we have CG to simulate horrible events so no one gets hurt, maybe that’s better than actually hurting people.  We don’t have to have gladiators and Christians dying in an amphitheater anymore.  (Although the Oregon school shooting did have Christians dying – that’s for another day’s thoughts.)

My third thought is, “Jesus come quick!”  I hope and pray that our society doesn’t get to the place where men surround a house to have violent sex with the stranger inside.

At the end of Judges 19 the traveler sent parts of his wife’s body to each of the 12 tribes of Israel to demonstrate the problem with their society.  Tomorrow I read chapter 20 to see how they reacted.  I imagine it drew them together as a community.

I keep hearing more and more about being in community.  How humans were designed to be in community.  How we need to hold each other accountable and keep each other safe.  How in parts of the world where community is strong people feel safe enough to let their children out.

And then I look at Oregon and I see a young man with some serious mental issues who was isolated.  Who was in his community?

Hollywood plus all our small screened electronics limit our focus on the world around us so much, drawing us into isolation instead relationship.

God keeps bringing up this idea of community.  I don’t have answers, but I can’t wait to hear what He teaches me next.

Walking together through life is so much better than being alone.

AJ

Deny self

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (‭Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭23‬ NIV)

This has been my creed for much of my adult life. Deny myself. 

I have learned this week that the ultimate purpose in denying self is to glorify God. All those times I gave up my right, my way, my feelings to keep peace and make another happy we’re in vain. People don’t see God in that, they just see me as a martyr. 

I am not certain when my thinking got twisted or how to straighten it out. Luckily I know the One who does and I rely on Him daily. 

May all I say and do be for the glory of God that others may know Him and His love for them. 

AJ 

Prayer Challenge

Our pastor last Sunday challenged us to start each morning on our knees praying the Lord’s prayer.  Today I caught myself saying, “Thy kingdom come, Thy Joy be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Such a random exchange, I’ve had to ponder it all day.

AJ

I am blessed

I woke up this morning feeling the prayers of my friends cover me. 

Thank you. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight. 
Proverbs 3:5-6

Pouring out

Relationships are not intended to fill you up. That has to come from God. Relationships are meant for pouring you out. Everything God asks us to do for other people involves giving them something. Not getting.

If your relationships are not working, maybe you need a new approach.