Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Lord, You Know

Lord, you know …

my fears
my foibles
my frustrations
my failures
my frenzy
my fancies

You see me inside and out—and love me anyway!

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Resting

Resting in my husband’s arms–

I feel his heartbeat
I feel his breath on me
I am surrounded by his love.

Resting in the embrace of God my Father–

I hear His heartbeat and long to be a woman after His own heart
I feel the breath of His Spirit, calming me, empowering me
I am secure in His love.

Missed Opportunities

At the zoo with our grandchildren, it was only after going through the ticket line at the zoo that we realized we should have asked for the senior rate Sad smile

At the airport we were pleased to see that our boarding passes were marked “TSA pre-check” which would save us the hassle of taking off jackets, removing our three computers from their cases, etc.  But only after we were almost through the “regular” line did we see in the distance the line we should have stood in to gain those advantages, and by then it was too late.

Being alert to the opportunities that should have been ours would have saved us money in one case, and hassle in the other. 

How many opportunities do I miss every day because I’m not alert, or because I’m distracted by other things?  Opportunities to help, to pray, to encourage a friend or stranger with a smile…Moments wasted that could have been used to straighten up my desk or to write someone a note or to review the Bible verses I’m memorizing?  Or to write a blog like this!

Lord, please keep me alert for the opportunities you present to me each day, and give me wisdom and grace to maximize those for your good purposes!

Just One Wish

As a little girl, my burning desire was for a doll house with miniature furniture and the whole shebang.  When it looked like I wasn’t going to get one, I asked my mom, “Do you think I can have a doll house in heaven?”  She wisely answered, “If you want one when you get there, I’m sure you can.” 

Doll houses no longer interest me, but what would I ask for if I could have just one wish granted? 

Solomon had that opportunity, and what he asked for was wisdom to rule God’s people.  (1 Kings 3:5-9)

Moses’ greatest expressed wish was to see God’s glory.  (Exodus 33:18)

David’s highest longing was to dwell in God’s presence forever (Psalm 27:4)

Paul’s passion was to know Christ ever more deeply (Philippians 3:8-10)

A quick look at Google gives me three things that people express as “my one desire”:

–God
–a lover
–a brand of lipstick!

Which of these will stand the test of time? 

I have to agree with Paul.  For myself,  “…everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

What is your greatest desire?  Will it satisfy you in the long run?

Our Perfect Ruler

How appropriate that, on the morning of the presidential inauguration, my Bible should fall open to Isaiah 33:22:  “The LORD is our judge, our lawgiver and our king.”  Some claim that this verse was the inspiration for our founding fathers to set up the three branches of government to provide checks and balances on one another. 

Our government needs checks and balances because human wisdom is limited. But God’s wisdom is perfect.  He knows and sees through all space and time.     We need checks and balances because humans are corruptible. But God always does what is right by his own absolutely holy standards, and his goodness and compassion are infinite and unfailing.

But Isaiah’s point is that God, as Supreme Ruler, doesn’t need checks and balances.  He is our Perfect Ruler!  Though the full force of God’s kingdom is still veiled at the present time, we look forward to the day when he will rule unchallenged. 

The Lord is our LAWGIVER. He alone determines what is right and wrong, based on his perfect character. 

The Lord is our KING.  He enforces his own just standards and rules in splendor over his whole creation, from the farthest galaxy to the most intricate living cell. And one of these days every individual will kneel before him, voluntarily or not, and will acknowledge him as the Sovereign Ruler over all.

The Lord is our JUDGE.  He knows not only the deeds but also the secret motives of each one.  He also understands our needs and weaknesses because he has walked on earth and rubbed shoulders with us.  He will bring about justice, ultimately vindicating the innocent and punishing the guilty.  But more than that, he is the one who has come around to our side of the judge’s bench and paid the consequences for our offences so that he can then render the verdict of acquittal for those who accept this gracious gift!

What a wonderful God—all we need in one perfect Ruler!

Doorkeepers

In the country where I live, every business, office, bank, and school  has at least one security guard at the door to keep out “unauthorized persons” and examine everyone’s bags for weapons. 

God’s Temple in Jerusalem also had gatekeepers and, judging from the space given to them in 1 Chronicles 26, this was an important responsibility.  They guarded the five gates plus the storehouse and the courtyard.  Their responsibilities included guarding the treasures kept inside the Temple and also keeping “unclean” things out of the Temple and its courts.  In New Testament times, this would include Gentiles, who were only allowed into the outermost court.  And even then, Jesus zealously expelled those who turned that area into a place to turn a profit.  Other examples of defilement of the Temple were when Herod the Great affixed there the Roman eagle emblem and when Antiochus Epiphanes erected a statue of Zeus in the Temple and sacrificed a pig on the altar.  Where were the temple guards at that time? 

But when I read the Bible, I want to know how it might apply to me.  Here are some thoughts:

–My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in me (I Cor. 3:16 & 6:19).  Nothing unclean should be allowed to enter, nothing unworthy of sharing that space with God. 

–The main “gates” into this temple are my eyes and ears.  What am I looking at?  Reading?  Listening to? Thinking about?  Are these things pure and worthy of the One who lives inside me?

A child’s song says “O be careful, little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love” and “O be careful, little ears what you hear” for the same reason!  Here’s a link to that song, by the way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwOzGC8Wr8k 

I want my body to be a worthy dwelling for God.  I don’t want to grieve Him by introducing disgusting or worthless things into the place reserved for Him.

God’s Musicians

clip_image002This morning our pastor told us of a new believer he was baptizing. He asked her how she came to faith, assuming it was through his preaching.  But she said no, it was because of the music she’d  heard as she passed by and then was drawn in.  Of that she was quite insistent. 

This reinforced what I had just read in the book of 1 Chronicles.  In the midst of lists of names, I found a beautiful surprise–a whole chapter (ch. 25) about the Temple musicians and their important work!  David himself and the army commanders appointed several hundred of them to praise the Lord with music every morning and evening with their voices and skillfully crafted instruments.  Just imagine how beautiful that must have been!  Wouldn’t I love to have been one of that group! 

One day I will be—around the throne of God, joined with millions of God’s people from all tribes and languages, from all times since the beginning of the earth.  No one will be singing off key, no hoarse voices, no arguments about worship styles, no wandering minds—just pure, passionate, perfect praise to the One who so well deserves it! 

As I play my piano every day just between me and the Lord, I pray that someone passing by will be blessed.  I believe God doesn’t waste anything.  Either way,  I like to think that I’m rehearsing for my part in that heavenly concert.

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