Sunday, February 24, 2013

a thorn in the flesh

There’s so much about God’s word I just do not understand.  Like how can I be both weak and strong, and both at the same time?  What does that even mean? 

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NAS

7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me to keep me from exalting myself!  

God allows thorns in my life to test me and to strengthen me and teach me to have complete faith in Him and for His plans and purposes in my life.  Job, Daniel, Moses, Abraham, Jonah, and many more were tested way beyond my understanding.  

8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.  

God is teaching me patience, and it’s difficult for me to learn.

9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

In spite of anything I may face, I really need to experience and know and feel and be grateful for God’s grace.  But, I can never truly understand how far and how wide the grace God is.

10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

(I had to do some researching on this verse.) It’s the difficult things and the terrible things and the painful things and the bad things and the hurtful things and the awful things that God has to use for me to rely on Him.  If my life only had perfect days in perfect places with perfect weather with perfect people in perfect beauty with perfect harmony in perfect freedom and perfect health and perfect joy with perfect wealth in perfect...

If that is my perfect life, would I feel I need more?  Fact is, that’s not my life and will never be my life.

God uses the thorns in my flesh to teach me: for when I am weak, then I am strong.    

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

by faith, thru faith, with faith, in faith

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (NAS)

Hebrews has many instances of faith, the triumphs of faith, the great heros of faith... 
It’s overwhelming for me to ‘take in’ Hebrews 11.  To fully understand.  To totally grasp.  To identify with.

There are a few web sites I often use to compare explanations.  Breaking down the verses into sections helps to make it clearer for me:
What is True Faith?
Hebrews 11:1–3

Dying in Faith
Hebrews 11:13–16

Examples of Faith
Hebrews 11:24–12:2
Hebrews 11:8–23.

Faith and Evidence
Hebrews 11:3–7

Verse 7:  By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen,...

Verse 8:  By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed ...and he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Verse 32:  Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets...

Like I said before, Hebrews shouts of faith!
Seriously, how is my faith?

Monday, February 11, 2013

happy humor

from a kid's perception...

*A Sunday school teacher asked her class, "What was Jesus' mother's name?"
One child answered, "Mary."  The teacher then asked, "Who knows what Jesus' father's name was?"
A little kid said, "Verge."  Confused, the teacher asked, "Where did you get that?"
The kid said, "Well, you know they are always talking about Verge n' Mary."

*A Sunday school teacher asked her children, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."

* Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother Joel were sitting together in church.
Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough.
"You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."
"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, "See those two men standing by the door?
They're hushers."

Friday, February 1, 2013

quick quotes

CS Lewis:

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.

God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.