Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What 's in your wallet?

We have seen the ad. about credit cards (What have you in your wallet? and for everything else there's MasterCard) as we head into recession faster than any Disney roller coaster. As we see personal, national/federal/international debt rising what response can we choose to have?

In Mark 8, we have the the feeding of the 4,000.
People had come to the end of their supplies and collectively had 7 loaves and a few small fish. Jesus, had compassion for the need of the people, he accepted what was available and given to him, he gave thanks, and began meeting the need by breaking the bread.

How often do we think we don't have sufficient because what is required is more than we have.

2 Peter 1:3
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness".

When we have the Daily Bread of the Presence of YHWH we have all we need.

When I only see my reality/my lack of what ever, I often have to ask for the sight to see His provision and resources for my need. Then to move slowly out of the personal darkness and into His Light that provides for all my needs.

I have seen YHWH meet my needs as only a Creator and Father can. Here are four examples that I attribute to God's hand in my life.
Two work positions that were created when I needed to be employed outside the home.
Two vehicles given to me FREE to meet transport needs when I began each new job.
Great educational schools for the boys when homeschooling ceased to be an option for us. Financial ability and freedom to have one or the other parent at home as the children grow up.

Seeing the Hand of God in those aspects of my life gives me hope for the future.

What "stimulus package" are we putting together in the areas of life we influence?

What do we want to stimulate? more faith, more pennies? What would happen if we responded to those around us as Jesus did, with compassion for the multitude and thanks for the resources already at hand?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Seeking to understand ....dreams 3

I truly believe God does give us dreams to prepare us, warn us and show us our propensity for sin. I have had many over the years that prepared me to show courage in tough situations, that left me in awe of the nature of God and also that showed me a depth of sin I could easily fall into.
Numbers 12:6 "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams....

Job 33:14-18
For God does speak—now one way, now another—though man may not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night,when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride,to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.

I also know that Dreams can terrify and then I have to ask, who is it that would want me afraid? If a warning in a whisper can get the same results why the drama of terror. Would the Good Shepherd and Prince of Peace lead me to walk by quiet waters in peace or over hot coals? The answer may lie in what does it take to get my attention?
Was it our brain making sense of random pieces of information " As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words".Ecclesiastes 5:2-4
Or was it YHWH speaking to correct and inform us as in the Job verses;
Did the dream prompt us to have a sense of Awe of the almighty and to love God or his word more deeply?

Next time you have a dream, think!
T was the dream in keeping with biblical truth?
H was the dream helpful, giving clarity to an issue?
I did the overall message inspire you to read a passage of scripture?
N was it a necessary means of communication, without it you would have no context for an preparation for a future life event?
K overall who emerged as "King" in the situation/drama?

Remember Proverbs 25:2"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings". Some things in life are worth the trouble to consider and take to heart.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

seeking to understand...dreams 2

In the quest to understand the "unusual" and how dreams help inform our insights, here is a time when a friend of Job, who is bereft of family, fortune and covered with weeping sores, comes to help Job 'come to his senses'.
Job 4:12ff Eliphaz recalls a whisper, a dream, a vision, a form that had physical effects on him to make his hair stand on end. The form spoke to him to crystallize an important question "Can a mortal man be more righteous than God?, Can a man be more pure than his maker?. If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error, how much more those who live in houses of clay, whose foundations are in the dust, who are crushed more readily than a moth"!

Job is not charged with wrongdoing to bring about the distress he is undergoing, but his three friends are determined that the righteous don't suffer and that Job has hidden sin and guilt; something worthy of God's negative attention.

There must be a perception that right standing before the Holy One is reflected in unblemished living as proof of God's favor. It is obvious that its not necessarily the case but its interesting the lengths we can go to, to validate our perceptions with visions and dreams. The book of Job, known to be the oldest book in the Bible, begins with a friends discourse looking to the paranormal to explain the 'normal'.

(Psalm 8:5/Heb2:8-10)If we examine the questions raised by the "form" we can see that as man is a little lower than the angels, we are lower in rank and as the "vision" infers, high in the risk of wrongdoing.
Jude 5-6 "And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day".

It would seem that the "form" had inside knowledge of the fallen status of angels. The "form" may have originated from the pit of Hell itself, calling into question the human form who readily attracts destruction.
Can a "form" give the insight we look for? Do we look to the paranormal to give us light for our path, and help us make sense of our world.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Job, so, just what was his test?

1. To charge God with wrong doing.
"In all this Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing
2. To control his speech, "In all this Job did not sin in what he said"

1. In the epilogue, ch 42v 7 God says to the three friends "I am angry with you and your two friends because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has".

Not truthfully representing God, in other words, taking God's name in vain. Counting God as empty. We know how upset we get, when someone misrepresents us in front of others, surely YHWH feels it more.

When I look at the whole picture of the drama in terms of the beginning and the end, I am reminded of the scriptures where the Israelites thought YHWH forgot them, didn't see their pain and misery,
Isa 49:14-17 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me,the Lord has forgotten me."
Psalm 44:24 Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression?

It is very natural for us to believe that our lack of attention to another's suffering is mirrored by God.

2. 'Job did not sin in all he said" James 3v2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. That's the standard! Job's body may have been falling apart, his flesh falling off like flakes of ashes, but he kept his whole body in check.

When we come along side friends facing many trials, what do we say to encourage them? Do we whip out scriptures or feel the complexity of the nature of suffering?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Motto 2009

'I am too Blessed to be Stressed and too Anointed, to be Disappointed!'
I got this as part of a poem today. I want to remember this at least for this month. 21days and it should be habit forming - that's the hope.