Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Archive for November, 2015

Who’s more to be pitied?

You may know the story of Jesus casting demons out of a violent demon-possessed man, which then entered into a herd of pigs that rushed headlong into the sea and perished. (Luke 8:26-39) I got a new perspective on this story on Sunday morning from our pastor.

Who do you think had the bigger problem—the demonized man or the townspeople?  Consider for a minute:

–Who sat and listened to Jesus (after sanity returned)?
And who were afraid when they saw the man sitting there, clothed and   sane (more so than when he was insane)?

–Who begged to go with Jesus?
And who begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone?

–Who went joyfully to spread the news about what Jesus had done?
And who were more concerned for their pigs more than the plight of a tormented soul or the presence of the Savior among them?

Where do you and I see ourselves in this picture?

 

 

 

 

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Going for the Gold

Gold, silver, and bronze.  Sounds like the medals awarded Olympic winners.  And so they are—what athletes train hard for many years to achieve.  Olympic medals

So it’s interesting that these are the same precious metals contributed by the people of Israel for the construction of their place of worship.  Over 2000 pounds of gold, 7,500 pounds of silver, and 5000 pounds of bronze!  (Exodus 38:21ff)

Building with gold, silver, and precious stones shows up again in the New Testament, where these represent the good works of obedience and service performed by those whose lives are based on the foundation of faith in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). We are presented with two options:  Build our lives with these precious materials or with flammable junk. On the day we stand before God to give account of our lives, will we have a lasting legacy, or will we barely squeak by into heaven with with no rewards?

I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.  (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT)

Musings on a Thimble

Silver_thimble_(1)  Last month I had the privilege of passing on a very special thimble to my 13-year-old granddaughter. Its specialness is not just because it’s made of silver, but because it was given to me by my grandmother.  I well remember the day when she stopped me in the hallway of her house and presented it to me, telling me that it had been given to her by an uncle when she was a girl and that she was now giving it to me as the eldest granddaughter.

Frankly, I’ve never used a thimble for sewing except on the rare occasion when  dealing with some especially tough fabric.  I suspect that a lot more thimbles used decoratively than for their original purpose.  And we’re all familiar with the phrase “a thimble full of” something.  A Google search just now produced over 100,000 results.

The other day I was musing over my feelings in relation to God and all the things I feel I ought to be doing.  Feeling guilty about never getting them all done.  Never praying enough, getting behind in my work, procrastinating about getting in touch with a friend I haven’t seen for a while, feeling so inadequate in my knowledge of God.  He is like a huge ocean, and here I am, a puny human standing on the shore trying to take it all in.  But God comes and gives me a thimble, promising to fill it each day with just the part of the ocean he wants me to handle for that day.

So today, let me take and savor this day’s thimbleful of life.  Tomorrow there will be another, and so on each day.  I don’t have to worry about the rest of it. There will be all eternity for that.

That Mysterious Mr. Darcy

Alert Pride and Prejudice fans!  Having just enjoyed this movie again for the umpteenth time, my mind keeps returning to the mysterious Mr. Darcy.  A handsome man of incredible wealth, he both fascinates and infuriates the heroine, Elizabeth, who eventually sees his true character and learns to love and trust him deeply and unwaveringly. Note these things about his character:

–Mr. Darcy seems stern to those who don’t know him well but is loved and highly respected by those who do.

–He has fathomless riches and is a generous benefactor.  He also requires accountability of his beneficiaries.

–He is slandered by his enemy but doesn’t retaliate.  In fact, he graciously & anonymously pays the debts of this enemy in order to rescue a foolish girl from disgrace.  Motivated by love for the girl’s sister, he undertakes a long and tedious search through the slums which were far below his natural station in life.

Is this beginning to sound like someone else you know of?  Motivated by love and compassion, Jesus Christ set aside his incredible wealth and position in heaven to search out foolish and rebellious people, saving them at the cost of his own life.  He is hated and misunderstood by many but loved and honored by those who really know him.  He offers unfathomable joy, fulfillment, security, and even the wealth of all heaven to those who accept his offer to belong to him.

And yes, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth marry and live happily ever after Smile

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