Steps Closer

Well today is the day! We were able to find someone to assume our lease. This will allow us to move on to the next phase without a lease buyout hanging over our heads.

Happy New Year!

As the old year winds down and the new year begins, we pause to reflect on the past year and I wonder where the time went.  Yet, scripture is clear about just how quickly our life dissipates.  David wrote about it. (Psalm 39:4-7) As did James;

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;  whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”—James 4:13-15

David offers yet another vivid picture;

 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them. —Psalm 103:15-18

Admittedly, I am entering the new year wanting to meet some physical goals, by sticking to a regimented exercise program.  I also want to meet some professional objectives.  Yet, spending time with my Lord is even more critical.  This is the foundation on which the others should be built.  Without the solid foundation, which is the Rock, Jesus Christ, our life is built on sand.  How can we offer stability to others if our life is built on shifting sand? (1 Timothy 4:7-9)  Building our life on the foundation of Christ is like the lighthouse built on the solid rock-bed of the shoreline.  In contrast, building our life on the priorities of this world, is like building a castle on a sandy beaches.  The former stands strong through the storms of life, while the later dissipates with the ever changing tide of this world’s happenstances.

My prayer for us, this first day of day of 2013, is that although our life is short, the Lord will prompt us to the opportunities to assist others in the coming year and that we will be responsive to His promptings, thereby making the best use of our time left in this world.  I also pray that He will help us check our goals against what truly honors Him and then with the aid of the Holy Spirit prioritize our objectives this year to insure that they reflect what is really important in our life, our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Happy New Year, friend.

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love. — Fanny Crosby, Blessed Assurance

Merry Christmas to All!

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. It gives us all time to pause and reflect on the past year and on the new year that lies ahead. Admittedly, some years are years we will never to forget, while there are others we wish we could erase and redraw in ways we would like to remember. At times we wonder why things turned out the way that they did. We wonder why God the Father allowed someone to be taken away, or why someone entered our life—around the corner we cannot see. But as Christians, we are assured that what He has allowed to take place is for our best (Romans 8:28). It might be required that we have a season of trials or a season of plenty. To us, the trials may be extended beyond measure and only be sprinkled with a dash plenty, yet they are measured precisely and perfectly by Him so we are able to grow to be more like His Son.

Yet, though I know this fact everyday of my life, this time of year everyone in this world is reminded that God sent His Son to earth for us, so that we may know Him (Isaiah 9:6-7). God sent His Son to enter human flesh—to become like us. It is this gift that assures us that He has completed the perfect work required for us to spend eternity with Him. This is what Christmas is all about!

2012 has been a wonderful year for me in so many ways. But the most wonderful thing to happen is He allowed my path to cross with Lisa’s. Who would have ever thought? I did not expect it; I cannot help but ask, “Why me, Lord?” I asked Lisa for her hand this month, and she accepted! Why me, Lord? In His perfect time; in His perfect time for us. Thank you, Lord, but I still must ask, why me? But, I do know why. He brought her into my life and he brought me into her life, so that we are there to help one another grow to be more like His Son.

So, dear brother and sister, know that our Heavenly Father and Creator has already decided our course and that He is a gracious Father that wants only the best for His children. For, He gave His only Begotten Son, so that we may walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). This is His gift to us, all. This is what Christmas is all about—Christ was sent to earth so we may become more like Him. Merry Christmas to All!

The Funeral of a Friend – Troy

I went to the funeral of a friend and a brother in Christ today.  There were many in attendance to celebrate a life well spent.  Many stood up to share, but time would not allow all of us to do so.

Therefore, I would like to share a Troy moment here.

As mentioned by so many today, Troy touched many lives.  Those in attendance were people who have lived life.  Each of us could “see” the scars of life etched on our faces. Many of us have lived enough of life to have made tragic mistakes, experienced hardships, addictions, broken marriages and whatever else has been thrown at us, due to our own choices or through no fault of our own.  Troy was there for many of us that have lived life.

Yet, I would like to share this memory with you.  I first met Troy at the birthday of my oldest granddaughter. During my granddaughter’s special day, I saw a man with the tenderness of Christ.

“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”— Mark 10:13-16

That day, Troy was quick with a smile and a hug and more importantly, he knelt down, and with Christ’s compassion, “entered” my granddaughter’s world. Since that first birthday celebration in 2010, Troy always made the time to share in the celebrations of life for both of my granddaughters.  Whenever I think of Troy, I will reflect on that… to me, those celebrations were a picture of how Christ entered our realm to make the ultimate sacrifice for those who choose to follow Him.

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”—1 John 3:16-18

“and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.”—James 2:23

Thank you Troy and Jessie for entering our life and sharing a bit of yourself.

M Trail Hike – July 25, 2012

Another good day on the M Trail today.  Getting stronger.  Had to pause and check out the micro scenery…

and pause to take in the larger perspective.

“The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.”—Isaiah 65:25

Race Right on By

Many times during the days of our life we encounter situations that are best avoided altogether.  Yet, many times we are like the trout eying a fly dancing on the water’s surface.  It is best that we keep swimming right on by, but we don’t. If we allow ourself to be mesmerized by our particular “lust” the lure will be set! We must not yield to our “lust.”  We must race right on by.

Charles Spurgeon talks about it in his morning entry for July 25.  The scripture reference is, Genesis 39:12:

“she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.”

Spurgeon expounds further,

“A convenant must be made with our eyes not even to look on the cause of temptation for such sins only need a spark to begin with and a blaze follows in an instance… If the mariner knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Today I may be exposed to great peril; let me have the wisdom to keep out of it and avoid it. The wings of a dove may be of more use to me today than the jaws of a lion… I am to resist the devil, and he will flee from me; but the lusts of the flesh I must flee, or they shall overcome me.”

Do not despair friend, for we have a promise to stand on,

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”— 1 Corinthians 10:13

Taking this into account, I pray that, moving forward, we will opt to race right on by!

Despair, Cowardice, Hastiness, Presumption, or Faith?

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.
(Exodus 14:13 ESV)

I must share today’s morning devotion from Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon in its entirety.

These words contain God’s command to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do? The Master’s word to him is, “Stand still.” It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Master’s word, for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions. Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in His love and faithfulness. Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.” But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy course. What, if for a while thou art called to stand still, yet this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in due time. Hastiness cries, “do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait, is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once—we must do it so we think—instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything. Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it and expect a miracle.” But Faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to Hastiness, but it hears God say, “Stand still,” and immovable as a rock it stands. “Stand still”;—keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”—Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening