Gift

This past weekend, my husband and I ran away to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. It has been a very long time since we have spent some time away and alone. Some friends of ours kept our 3 boys while we were gone.

What a gift. On top of the fact that we have 3 boys, there are some medical issues that hinder leaving them with just “anybody”. “Anybody” would have to be willing and able to perform certain tasks to make sure the boys stay healthy. Our friends willingly stepped up, because they love us and our kids.

Have you ever been given a gift you could not repay? Not just at this time, but ever? It is frustrating, isn’t it? Not to mention humbling. No matter how many times we thank them, it will never be enough.

God did that for us. He loves us (present tense) enough that He sent His only Son to die. He died so we could have a relationship with Him. Forever. No matter how many times I thank Him, it will never be enough. No matter how many “good” things I do, it will never ever be enough.

That is the point, isn’t it?

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

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Jeremy Part II

Miracles. I have witnessed them too many times in my life not to believe they happen. Not only that, the Bible is full of examples.

Jeremy is a miracle. He is no longer in liver failure. His kidneys are functioning properly. He has been allowed to eat and drink (for the first time in days). Cardiologists are seeing him now as they believe the source of all these complications is his heart.

Like the Israelites, I soon forget the mighty works God has done. I go my own way. I grumble. I want to turn back.
Why do I forget that with God all things are possible? My guess is that I don’t think about or talk about God’s mighty works enough. What does that say about the condition of MY heart?

I used to get frustrated when people would not take the time to hear about God’s mighty works in my life. (Still do.) Now, I have three little boys who WILL hear about God’s mighty works. Works He has performed for them, for me, for all of us.

I know Jeremy will never stop talking about what God has done.

Tomorrow is Penecost Sunday. Notice when the Holy Spirit descended, the first thing the Jews in Jerusalem did was speak of God’s mighty works.

Acts 2:5-11 ESV

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”

Here is a picture of our nephew Josh home from Kuwait. I am so grateful for his service to our country.

Jeremy

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Whatever I wanted to write about, well this trumps it. My dear friend Jeremy went from a healthy 25 year old to receiving dialysis and waiting for a liver transplant in the span of 2 weeks. Two weeks! The doctors have no idea why this is happening.

Why do I worry about chores, bills, work, etc. when life can change in a blink? A blink! Everything we go through is allowed by God, so I know He will be glorified in this. I am just sad for my friend. Jesus wept, so can I. We were supposed to be in Honduras together in 4 weeks. He was supposed to ask for an El Snickero at the pulperia. We were supposed to ride a bus together for way too many hours, enjoy the sweet smiles of the people in the village, and hug babies at the Children’s Home.

Please pray for my friend and his family. Please pray for me. I love my friend like a brother.

My memory verse for this week:  Matthew 5:3-5 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Peacemaker

Monday, I listened to a sermon by Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He preached this sermon in 1990. It was part of a series on the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5:9-12 says: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Like Bonhoeffer, Keller explained the Beatitudes as a description of a true Christian’s life. He focused on the description peacemakers. Being a peacemaker is our purpose, our life direction. This does not mean taking everything on the chin and not making waves. This means not being at war with God. We stop being hostile toward Him.

Enmity with God can show up in our mind, our will, and our emotions.
We are born as sinners. Our human nature pits us against God. When life doesn’t go our way. When we are asked to do something we don’t want to do. If we continue to battle Him, then He is not fully Lord of our life. Our purpose in evangelism/discipleship is to help others see Jesus as Lord and stop fighting Him.

Where am I fighting Him? The Holy Spirit will help me flush that out.

Where are you fighting Him?

Matthew 12:30 ESV Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

Signs that we are not warring with God:
1. We are constantly amazed by Him.
2. We are persecuted at least some of the time. (In American society, we should not feel persecuted all of the time. Even Jesus was not persecuted all of the time.)

Ephesians 5:14 ESV for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

2 Timothy 3:12 ESV Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

I am starting over with my study/memorization of the Sermon on the Mount. My sweet hubby printed me some memory cards, care of Ann Voskamp (author of 1000 Gifts). My verses this week are Matthew 5:1-2.

Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

I typed that from memory. 🙂

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Adopted

I had originally planned on blogging about joy, suffering, and the psalms. That blog will come, but here is what is on my heart today.

Galatians 4:4-7 ESV But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God

How do these verses make you feel?

This is not a sentimental statement. It is the core of the Gospel.

God sent His Son.

His only Son.

Born of the Virgin Mary.

Adopted by Joseph.

To be hung on a cross to die.

So that we can join His family.

And have new life.

This is not the plan just in case everything fails. This is THE PLAN.

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