LOL with Sarah and Abraham

LOL with Sarah and Abraham

😀      😀      😀

Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. Gen. 21:1   Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who heard about this will laugh with me.” Gen. 21:6

Remember that Sarah laughed when she heard God’s promise that she would bear Isaac. (Gen. 18:12) Why did Sarah laugh when God told her she would have a child?

More to the point, why do we continue to believe our lives are bound by earthly things when the King of Heaven promises He will bless us?

At the time of God’s promise to Abraham, God had already:

  • given Abraham a wife of legendary beauty.(Gen. 11-16)
  • called them out of their homeland and promised them that all peoples on earth would be blessed through them. (Gen. 12:2-3)
  • allowed them to escape a powerful Egyptian ruler’s wrath although Abraham had been deceitful in his dealings with Pharoah.(Gen. 12:20)
  • acquired great wealth. (Gen. 13:2)
  • given Abraham the men and means to rescue Lot when he was kidnapped. (Gen. 14;14-16)
  • appeared to Abraham in visions. (Gen. 12: 1-3;15:1-23; 17:1-22)

What has God done for you so far? If He promises you more, dare you laugh? Or will you laugh with joy as Sarah did when Isaac was born?

The Bible is filled with God’s promises to us. From his promise to Noah that He would never again destroy all earthly life in Gen. 9:8-17 to his promise in 1 John 2:25 that He will give His children eternal life, God is promising unbelievable, inexplicable, unfathomable things. Laugh at that!

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Ash Wednesday, A Glimpse of Spring

Today’s bright sky is just a tease.  On the East Coast, people are digging out of a deep snow storm. Here, the temps will only reach freezing today and tomorrow’s high will be in the forties. To  my thin southern California blood, that has never felt warm.  More to the point, there are going to be many more cold winter days before new growth begins. Around Easter, that’s when I’ll be taking a clear sky and a windless day as a promise of spring.

So it is with Ash Wednesday. Our church sanctuary will be cozy for the 7 PM service, thanks to a new furnace, but we will know the truth of the cold, cold season when we step back outside. We can enter that place to celebrate the promise of Easter Sunday. But as Christ experienced the bitter chill of desertion and betrayal as well as the heady smell of triumph, we will surely experience days of bitter chill as well as warm perfumed breezes before spring rises triumphant.

One flame burns truer than our new heating unit: Our Risen Savior, once cheating death and once again to cheat time when He returns forever. Allelulia now, in winter, and again in spring. Allelulia!

Back-to-School Prayer

I can remember her leaving at every age. The tiny child who clung to my leg as I took her to pre-school. The confident kindergartner. The bus-rider, the carpool passenger,  and finally, the driver, always in a hurry, so careful not to be late. (Lord, control her accelerator foot.)

Junior Year
Packed for School - Junior Year

Now she drives off in her own car and she’ll turn 21 years of age a few weeks after I see her next. She’s beginning her 16th year of formal schooling. She’s tired but she’s going for it again. I am tremendously proud of her.

Just as Jesus beat it to the temple as soon as He was able, to sit with the learned and powerful men of His time, students the world over are turning their minds to knowledge and wisdom, experience and new ways of thought and thinking. They will get more than they bargain for and less than they will need. I trust the mind that inquires: It’s the world that answers glibly or selfishly that I do not trust.

So I pray her on her way, defying the Devil to overcome her spiritual common sense.  She has tasted and seen what is good, she has lived in a home where Jesus sits at the table and she is well-equipped for her life journey. But still, it is the awesome power of God’s love alone that allows me to let her go emotionally as well as physically.

Dear God, Grant that she’ll grab every minute, experience, meeting, impression and idea, taste and treasure it and grow in the love of Christ all her days. Especially her school days. I pray in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Teacher.

Coming to the Garden

Most Protestant church-goers know the song, “I Come to the Garden Alone” with its graceful tune and simple metaphor. The hymn makes it easy to imagine standing with Jesus by the vined trellis, having Him whisper to us. Best of all, the invitation comes with for a morning meeting, that glorious time when flower faces still hold their morning dew level against the rising sun.

Needs Jesus
Before bud removal
I’ll go back to the garden again and again. I’ve been made bold by God’s promises to adopt me and I speak to the Creator of the universe as a brother. In my practicality I must be removing the spent blossom from the vines as we speak. They feel wetly decayed in my fingertips, truly dead. I can already see the bud that will become the next blossom and the nugget that will become the next bud. I will return to this work daily because that removal, the act of ridding the decay in order to produce more fruit, becomes a hunger and a passion.

We want to know God so we can write our lives with hunger and passion; otherwise, we simply long for meaning, knowing there is no point to unholy habits of mind and “little” things that keep us out of Christ’s presence. To remove the wasted flower and to remain attached to the true Vine who is Jesus, is to taste and see the soul feast for which the world hungers. Come to this garden again and again so that you may know Christ by walking with Him. Then you can write what you know with words or, better still, with your life.

Dear Father,
You could have created the world in black and white, without texture, depth or beauty for our senses. Yet you gave us this world. Let us be as passionate in loving one another as you were passionate in creating this world in which we can do so. Amen

Revised Request for Life Overhaul

Thank you, Lord, for bringing my daughter home safe from her journey.

And about that bipolar thing, Lord, I guess you are taking that under advisement, right? I’ll talk to you in the morning in case you have any questions about what I mean about not wanting to be bipolar any more. And I’ll see you later at your house.

Whatcha sayin' Brother Isaiah?

Whatcha sayin' Brother Isaiah?

What is your favorite authority, book or commentary on the book of Isaiah?

In the course of trying to live out II Timothy 2:15, to live as one  “…who correctly handles the word of truth,” I’m diving into the book of Isaiah. First, of course, I’ve prayed about it and I’m certainly trusting God’s Holy Spirit to be the true guide for my heart and mind as I study, but I would love to hear what guidance others have had in understanding this Old Testament/New Testament treasure. Thanks, friends.

Pray for the Overconfident

Pray for the Overconfident

“…lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil…”

Early Monday AM–Our road has a dry forge. Where Retherford Road crosses Hanna’s Creek, a flat span of concrete crosses over with no side barriers.  This crossing is not elevated, so any time the creek runs over its banks it gushes across the concrete as well.   The overflow happens several times per year and in the spring of 2011, it’s just our little portion of the violent mid-Western weather system that has taken lives and so wrecked so much property.

The best way to go to the county seat in Liberty is to turn right at the end of  my drive and follow the road over the creek. Knowing it’s flooded, I turned left today,  settling for the  longer way into town.  It’s just simple common sense not to risk driving through such a potentially treacherous waterway.

And yet I felt the pull.  It’s shorter.  It’s quicker.  I’ve got tons of errands and to do.  Really, I could do it.

For one thing, I drive a large four-wheel drive truck.  (Don’t judge me.  I live in the country.) The truck is high enough that the cab could clear the water and heavy enough to maintain the traction.  If the water were much deeper than six inches I couldn’t do it.  In a car I couldn’t do it.  Common sense says not to do it. What is it in me that wants to do it anyway?

Contrary to my nature, I took the longer and safer route. You can put it down to maturity but I actually think I was “…lead not into temptation but delivered from evil.”  I prayed for that this morning and even lingered on the phrase, wondering what in my lovely world could be evil enough for me to ward off with prayer.  Maybe it was the creek. More likely it is the pride that makes me think the “Road Closed ” sign doesn’t apply to me.

Early Monday PM–In the interests of honest reporting I drove down to the creek after lunch.  I had talked to my engineering consultant (a.k.a. husband) and he agreed that I could make the six-inch depth I had described. But our conversation begged the question: Was it only six inches deep or deeper?

What follows is my gallery. You’ll see my rain boot swished with muddy water up to an easy six inches. I had only waded out as far as the current allowed me to stay on my feet. Beyond that I’d venture to say the water was closer to a foot deep as it passed over the little forge.

So in the morning, when I was simply ruminating over God’s possible protection from my own foolishness, I didn’t have a clue. My truck cannot make that forge with that much water and current.  My insurer probably wouldn’t cover that much stupid.  I never really know how far I am tucked under His mighty wing. But I know I’ll continue to pray that prayer.

Pray for those who think they are safer than they are.