Tag: contemplation

I am the Lord and there is none beside me.

Isaiah 43 is one of the most wonderful chapters in all of scripture. (Of course I say that about a lot of chapters.)

But what draws me to this particular chapter is how many times God draws attention to his own lordship. God is not capable of arrogance as it would sound coming from human lips.

He’s doesn’t repeat this time after time for his own benefit but for ours. He is reminding us that he and he alone deserves to be called the one and only Lord.

He goes on to recount his creation of all living things on this earth, we humans in particular. Paul quotes Isaiah 9b, “Will the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing?” In Romans 9: 20-21, it states that we are his to shape and mold as he sees fit without question.

To give someone else control isn’t easy. Giving our government control over our actions isn’t easy. None of us like being told where we can or cannot go.

But maybe we can use this restriction on our lives as a way to remind us that this is how we are supposed to place ourselves in the Potter’s hands to do with as he wishes.

Think of this portion of scripture the next time you bristle about your restrictions and confinement. Let those feelings of irritation remind you, remind me, that we are usually wrangling with God over these same control issues.

Assuming we are in right relationships with God, his molding of us will only draw us closer to him and his purpose for our lives.

If we are not in right relationship with God, he will have to continue getting us back to that starting point as a lump of clay and start all over again, many times all over again.

Doesn’t it make sense to cooperate with him the first time?

Let’s allow God to really shape us during this shut-down. Let’s think through our reactions about giving up control and try and determine if we treat God this way sometimes. Is there a correlation? Can we learn from this how it feels to give God control?

I wonder why we are all looking for something to do. I’ve even got a post coming soon with some ideas for you. But I wonder, why are we trying to occupy every minute?

I’m guessing it’s because we’re scared and being busy helps. But I’m not sure that’s so good. So while I, too, am getting bored and want to fill every moment, I’m also trying to make sure I have plenty of contemplative time. I want to think about this crisis and how it can make me stronger in my faith walk.

What about you? Are you taking time during this quarantine to simply think?

God bless and stay safe.

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The parable of the three trees, a must watch

I happened to find this the other day and wanted to share it with you.

As the Easter season approaches, it is particularly relevent.

Broken dreams, dreams put on hold, dreams never realized can cause us much pain. I think of all the people whose dreams have been dashed by the crisis.

I hope this video brings some perspective to all of you are grappling with your dreams that have been dashed. I feel for you. I feel for students who won’t go to their prom. For athletes who won’t compete in the Olympics this year. For the small businesses that were just getting off their feet. For young families who had trips planned to the various Disney parks.

While some of these might seem frivolous in light of those who have lost jobs and income, they are very real to those experiencing them.

But maybe God has more. Maybe the dreams we had can be bigger and better. Maybe our dreams now can have eternal significance. I hope this little video brings a different perspective.

God bless and have a great day.

God bless and have a safe day.

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When this crisis has you really afraid.

Honestly, I have been afraid lately. I admit, even as a Christian, that I am afraid at times because of this pandemic. I am human. It’s my personal opinion that anyone who suggests otherwise is out of touch with their feelings. I’m not worried about myself. I’m totally at peace about my eternal future. It’s for the safety and health of everyone else I care about that I afraid.

Yet, while I know my eternity is sealed, I often look down the path and fail to see Jesus in the road. I just see fog.

In our present crisis, that is certainly true. How is this all going to turn out? Will someone in my family get sick? The fog of uncertainty is very thick some days.

What if my husband and I are separated and one of us ends up in the hospital? I can’t even imagine how awful it would be to be separated like that and not be able to visit and yet there are many who have already been there and more who will be.

And to be called and told your loved one has died without you being with them, and over the phone? Fear could overwhelm me if I dwell on it so I don’t.

I love what Oswald Chambers wrote: “Faith is not intelligent understanding, faith is a deliberate commitment to a Person where I see no way.”

Before we get through this crisis, we will all experience those moments when we are truly afraid. There will very likely come a time when we hear of someone we even only remotely know who has died and it will be all too real.

If we depend on our intelligence to figure everything out, we will be shortchanged because none of us is God. None of us has created a world, human beings, the universe….. I love the last few chapters of Job when God calls up Job short by reminding him of who he is talking to.

So today I ask that if you are fearful, will you picture God walking ahead of you, preparing the way for whatever happens?

Can you trust with your heart what your mind can’t grasp?

That’s what faith is.

Finally, please, if you need prayer, a word of encouragement, an idea to occupy your time, please contact me at foxrap@aol.com. I mean that. I will respond and offer what help I can. I will pray. I only need your first name.

God bless and stay safe.

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Salainis

I had learned already many of the Outland methods of communicating by forest notes rather than trust to the betraying, high-pitched human voice.

None of these was of more use to me than the call for refuge. If any Outlier wished to be private in his place, he raised that call, which all who were within hearing answered.

Then whoever was on his way from that placed hurried, and whoever was coming toward it stayed where he was until he had permission to move on.

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! What?

I love it when common sense wins out.

Let me explain.

Ever since this horrible crisis started, I’ve questioned the thoughts of the scientific community about the wearing of masks for the general public.

We were told to wear a mask if we showed symptoms because it protected those around us.

I immediately said to my husband, “So the virus only goes one way?” In other words, why wouldn’t it also protect the person who isn’t sick from getting it?

I listened to the “experts”. And it never made any sense to me.

And, of course now, a recommendation might well be coming out that we should all wear masks when in public.

I KNEW IT!!!

Of course, some of the reasoning was that people would feel safer when wearing a mask and wouldn’t follow the safety practices like washing our hands, all the time, and cleaning surfaces constantly, and maintaining social distancing.

But there is also the counterpoint, which is that wearing a mask might well remind us how serious this is. I mean, why wouldn’t it?

I know that part of the reasoning was because they didn’t want to run out of mask for first responders and medical personnel.

So people who sew can make their own masks. (Tons of patterns on Pinterest.) But what if you don’t sew?

Well, wrap a scarf around your mouth. If you have old clothes you are getting ready for your local thrift store, cut those up and make into some sort of makeshift mask.

Here’s cool no sew idea. (double-click on image)

One final note,while I believe God thinks and performs out-of-the-box, I also believe God is a God of common-sense. Proverbs is the most common-sense book in the world.

Then there is “you reap what you sow”, I mean, duh! If a person only followed one piece of advice that would be my recommendation.

We get all excited about the definition of insanity, “Don’t keep doing what you’ve always done and expect different results”. It’s reapin’ and sowin”.

God was way ahead of the curve with that little nugget of wisdom. If you keep sowin’ what you’ve been sowin’, you will keep reapin’ what you’ve been reapin”.

Stay healthy and keep flattening the curve.”

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