Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cleaning Off My Own Porch-Stoop

Someone mentioned to me the other day that there hadn't been many "Powder Rooms" coming out lately.  He hadn't told me anything of which I was not aware.  Being short-staffed at work meant some of us are working extra shifts, giving me less time off, therefore, less time to write.  But there is more to the story.

You may remember in previous posts my discussion about our plumbing issues and the wonderful plumbers Tony & Brendan and what a great job they did on our house.  What they did not do was repair the holes in the walls where they had to make access to install those new blue and red pipes.  

That's my job.

So for the last few weeks, on my day off, I have been putting up sheet-rock, painting and replacing baseboards.  In my bathroom, this also meant repairing the Venetian plaster finish I had previously done in that room.  Not a difficult job, but definitely a time-consuming one.

Of course, painting one place shows the need to repaint another area, so one thing leads to another, which leads to another. . .  You know how that goes.

I have felt a strong need to "get my house in order," and I have used almost every spare minute to either work on our website, or to work on our home-site, one of the two.  The blogs, alas, have sat by the wayside.

It reminds me of the old adage that one should clean off their own porch-stoop before they go pointing out the dirt on someone else's.  Now I don't intend to go pointing out someone else's dirt, I'm just glad "Mr. Tony" (as he has come to be affectionately called in our house) as given me incentive to tackle some projects that have been on my to-do list for years.

Now that the bigger chunks are finished (and I might add you can't even tell there were ever holes in the living room wall) I plan to have more balance between the blogs and the house.  My shoulders, neck and back will thank me, too.

"Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Let There Be. . .

In the creation account listed in Genesis, there are multiple times the Lord states, "Let there be..." and then whatever He has spoken happens.  Simply by His words, the world was made.  The writer of Hebrews said it best: 

Hebrews 11:13
"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."

The Lord also said in the same passage, "Let us make man in our image, after Our likeness:" the plural giving the hint the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, were all involved in the process of creation.  Each person of the Trinity must have had a specific role in the process.

Star Trek: The Next Generation
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It reminds me of a space show my family loved to watch when my children were younger, Star Trek, The Next Generation.  

Captain Picard would sit on his chair on the bridge as a problem would inevitably arise (or else there would be no episode, I guess.)  He would have a discussion with his second in command, Lieutenant Riker, whom he called "Number One."  A suggestion would be launched into the discussion and after some thought, and a dramatic wave of his hand, Picard would say, "Make it so."  Then the crew, or the computer  -- who had a voice but no body -- would silently move in the background to make whatever the Captain said a reality.  One rarely saw the crew at work doing these things, it just "happened."

Perhaps the dynamic between the Trinity was like that.  One spoke the words, another executed the plan and another supplied the power for the project.  However it happened, it shows a great communication, respect and inter-working between the members of the godhead.

It also teaches us a great lesson.  This is our example.  We are not to strive with each other, nor to seek our own glory in those things we do for the Lord.  The exact opposite is true.

Philippians 2:3
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."
Let us keep that perfect example of the working together of the Trinity before us as we work alongside our fellow believers.  Let us seek to see in our own lives that esteeming "other better than" ourselves.  Let us seek to live out the description of true sacrificial love given in 1 Corinthians 13.  This is the "Let there be..." which the Lord is in the process of creating in us today.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
"Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
Charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;  
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."

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Monday, August 5, 2013

The Light in Darkness

One of the favorite things I love about my phone is I always have a very bright flashlight.  If you have read this blog for very long, you are aware I don't like the dark which is ironic that I work during the dark hours and need to make my bedroom as dark as possible since I often sleep during the day.

That little app on my phone provides excellent illumination in the darkest of times with its brilliant light.  I have used it over and over and over again.  While I have used it during the day, I find it most useful at night, in the dark.

 John 8:12 
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

The Lord Jesus Christ, who declared Himself to be the Light of the world, entered His human existence and left His human existence in darkness.

His birth occurred during the night when the night sky was lit by the star the wise men followed and the angels who praised His birth.  His death was enshrouded by a miracle-induced darkness, as if the horror of the God-Man Christ Jesus bearing the weight of the sin of mankind was too great a sight for humans to fully see in the light of day.

John 1:4-5 
"In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Light shineth in darkness; 
and the darkness comprehended it not." 

God willingly gave the Great Light to redeem man from their sins and we didn't even comprehend it.  We didn't recognize the Light, not then and even not now.  In this day of tremendous knowledge and sharing of information there are so many who turn away from the Light, who prefer the darkness.  Why?

 John 3:19 
"And this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil. "

Those who do not know the Lord have their eyes closed to the Light and their ears closed to the sound of His calling them.  Let us pray their eyes and ears will be opened and they will come to the knowledge of the truth.  Let us pray they will come to know the Lord Jesus, who is the Light of the World, in spirit and truth.

Matthew 5:14, 16

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid...Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, 
and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Now are we, as believers, the carriers of that Light.  We are those who walk to let that Light shine before others so they may have a choice between the Light and the Darkness.  May the life we lead present to them the true choice.

John 1: 9-14 
"That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 
He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. 
He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. 
But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, 
even to them that believe on His name: 
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, 
nor of the will of man, but of God." 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Duet

Only once that I can ever recall have I sang a duet with my brother.  He has a heavenly baritone voice and I love listening to him sing.  Once we sang together the song, "It Is Well."

We did not have a big audience that day, or at least a big audience that we could see.  In fact, there was only one other person in the room.  

It wasn't in a church, but I know it was a very holy place.  I am convinced that many angels were in attendance as we sang on that occasion.

You see, we sang the song to my mother in her bedroom on the day she died.

I was acutely aware at the time that what we were doing, which was totally spontaneous, was very special, very holy and totally led by the Lord.  My brother's voice was strong, deep and beautiful.  It exuded a sense of strength and faith and hope.  I cannot tell you what my voice was like.  I more felt the notes through every pore of my being rather than sang them with my throat.

To this day, and it has been sixteen years today, I still struggle with tears when I hear this song.  It immediately takes me back to that day, that moment when my brother and I gave our mother a final farewell in the very best way we could.

  1. It Is Well
    Horatio Spafford

    When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.
    • It is well, with my soul,
      It is well, it is well, with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.
  5. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  6. It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.
  7. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  8. It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.
  9. And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.
  10. It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.