Shelter

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I went down by the creek to look for pussy willows. Instead, I found a nest from last summer.

The inborn urge to fly thousands of miles to a place never before seen must be incredibly strong to make a bird want to leave its familiar nest.

When my friend was dying of breast cancer she told me, “Every day I long to see Jesus more and more. I can’t wait to see him.”

And then she left, leaving her earthly shelter, her broken dysfunctional temporary shelter behind.

The most vital question to ask about all who claim to be Christian is this: Have they a soul thirst for God? Do they long for this? Is there something about them that tells you that they are always waiting for His next manifestation of Himself? Is their life centred on Him? Can they say with Paul that they forget everything in the past? Do they press forward more and more that they might know Him and that the knowledge might increase, until eventually beyond death and the grave they may bask eternally in ‘the sunshine of His face?’ That I might know him! — Martyn Lloyd-Jones

We know that if our earthly house—a mere tent that can easily be taken down—is destroyed, we will then live in an eternal home in the heavens, a building crafted by divine—not human—hands. Currently, in this tent of a house, we continue to groan and ache with a deep desire to be sheltered in our permanent home because then we will be truly clothed and comfortable, protected by a covering for our current nakedness. The fact is that in this tent we anxiously moan, fearing the naked truth of our reality. What we crave above all is to be clothed so that what is temporary and mortal can be wrapped completely in life.  The One who has worked and tailored us for this is God Himself, who has gifted His Spirit to us as a pledge toward our permanent home.  In light of this, we live with a daring passion and know that our time spent in this body is also time we are not present with the Lord.  The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes.  There is no doubt that we live with a daring passion, but in the end we prefer to be gone from this body so that we can be at home with the Lord.

(2 Corinthians 5:1-8 The Voice)

Every miraculous healing is a foretaste of what God has planned for us. Healing is wonderful, but it is only a sign pointing to the day when the ones Jesus Christ bought with His own blood will no longer need healing, because our frail bodies will be replaced by immortal resurrected bodies.

Go-between

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“Human beings seem to have a perpetual tendency to have somebody else talk to God for them. We are content to have the message second-hand. One of Israel’s fatal mistakes was their insistence on having a human king rather than resting on the theocratic rule of God over them. We can detect a note of sadness in the word of the Lord, ‘they have rejected me from being king over them’ (1 Sam. 8:7). The history of religion is the story of an almost desperate scramble to have a king, a mediator, a priest, a pastor, a go-between. In this way we do not need to go to God ourselves. Such an approach saves us from the need to change, for to be in the presence of God is to change.”
― Richard J. Foster

A Day of Celebration for a Miracle!

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Today is a day of celebration, not only because it is our precious granddaughter’s birthday (a miracle herself), but because it has been one year since the disaster that struck her family led to a miracle and taught us so much about the abundant love of God.

For those who have not read the story here before, her Daddy went to the hospital with what he thought was the flu and a pulled hamstring. It turned out to be necrotising fasciitis –flesh eating disease. After surgery his blood pressure crashed and he experienced multiple organ failure. He was on total life support and bleeding out. Privately, a team of highly skilled physicians treating him gave him 0% chance of survival. One of them said, “If this guy survives it will be the biggest miracle I have ever seen.”

Our daughter’s Facebook posts, intended to save time and answer friend’s questions, went viral and tens of thousands of people around the world joined in the effort to pray for him. On Good Friday last year he bled into his lungs and his condition was so unstable he couldn’t be moved across the hall for more surgery, so it had to be done in his room. Within half an hour of hearing the news a hundred people showed up in the hospital to pray for him (many more met in homes) and he survived that day. On Easter Sunday morning he responded to his wife’s voice and opened an eye.

Defying predictions that if he survived he would lose limbs, suffer brain damage, need dialysis indefinitely and be in rehab learning to cope with multiple disabilities for a very long time,  he was pronounced medically cleared forty days later, and ten days after that walked into his church unaided -on Pentecost Sunday. He stood and gave the sermon the week after that. One of the specialists said to another, “You know it’s a miracle that guy is alive.”

Throughout the experience we saw a demonstration of love as God raised up an army of praying people -in his room, in the waiting room, in groups in homes and in African, Mexican, and Inuit villages and churches across the country. In the process He healed the hearts of many of those people who had suffered the pain of disappointment and moved many other Christians to reconcile their differences that they might come in unity to pray for not only our son-in-law, but a broken big C Church universal. God showed us that the church is like a sleeping giant who needs healing from hidden corruption with broken dysfunctional parts that do not communicate with each other. His desire is to restore the church and see it raised up to be the influence and demonstration of love He intended.

Like Ezekiel or Hosea in the Bible whose lives were a picture of what God wanted to do, our son-in-love gave God permission to do whatever it took to get him to a place where God wanted him to be, and was willing to lay down his life for his friends, and for the church. God took him up on that offer, and while he slept in a coma, accomplished everything our son-in-love had been striving to teach others.

This past year has been quite the ride. Our son-in-love is back to playing the sports he loves and except for a bit of decreasing pain in his feet that was a side-effect of the medications, and an impressive scar that covers most of the back of his leg, is in better physical condition than before he became ill. God has been faithful and kind beyond anything we understood before.

Our little granddaughter says, “I think Jesus healed my Daddy because he knows we like to jump on him and He is good.”

With her we celebrate and sing. God is so good! This is going to be a great party.

One Thing I Have Asked

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The Lord is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.

For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.

And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me; in His tent I will offer sacrifices and shouting of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. (Psalm 27: 1-6 Amplified)

Create a Miracle in Me

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Create in me a clean, clean heart
Create in me a work of art
Create in me a miracle
Something real and something beautiful

Create a miracle in me

You’re not finished with me yet
You’re not finished with me yet
By Your power I can change, I can change
‘Cause You’re not finished with me yet

You make all things new

 

I stumbled upon this song yesterday. The lyrics sum up the theme of this blog so well. The music may not be my preferred style, but hey, I can dance to it and celebrate the goodness of God.

 

 

 

Thank you, Lord.

Anticipation

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When our characters are refined,

we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. 

And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need

because the Holy Spirit that was given to us

has flooded our hearts

with God’s love.

(Romans 5:4b,5 The Voice)

potential in pink

I couldn’t decide, so I posted both photos. Which do you prefer?

Dressing in Layers

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Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place. New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort. The most familiar people stand each moment in some new relation to each other, to their work, to surrounding objects.  –Henry Ward Beecher

We are in a season here in the southern British Columbia Rockies where one day it is spring and the next day (sigh) winter again. I’m packing for a road trip and I don’t know what to take – parka, jacket, hoodie?. The weather report includes predictions of a wide variety of experiences which will require flexibility.

It strikes me that when we live among people we care about who, like us, are in a process of change, great flexibility is required. When we’ve made adjustments and developed the habit of tip-toeing around someone’s idiosyncrasies, attempts on their part to change can throw off our own sense of equilibrium. Yes, we want to encourage change, but now we need to readjust. Sometimes we are not prepared. Sometimes we don’t have the appropriate clothing at hand.

Relationships between people who desire to follow God and live out their identity in Him are never static. One day it is spring, and the next it’s back to winter again. We need to be kind to each other, and be flexible. I’ve heard it’s wise to dress in layers.