Friday, December 6, 2013

“Waiting Patiently” RJD Dec. 2013





Journal entry December 29, 2003

“But if we hope for what we do not yet have,
we wait for it patiently.”
 Romans 8:25
Waiting is a skill I had to learn. As a child and even as a young adult I didn’t like waiting. Time seemed to slow down; every minute seemed like an hour.

I learned a trick about waiting in a doctor’s waiting room. I learned to take a book or even my Bible, or take a magazine from home to read. I sometimes check out the publications in that waiting room. Other times, I carry the newspaper and work the crossword puzzle. I try anything to occupy my mind and keep me from worrying about my having to wait.

In life, I have found I have to wait for things. But I have decided there is a reason that I have to go through this. Certain times, I have to wait because I am not ready or the time isn’t right. Sometimes I am too anxious. Other time, I need some help from someone else and I have to defer to his or her schedule.

Now the issue is not about just waiting; it’s about waiting patiently. Sometimes, I feel these two terms are locked together. In order to wait successfully, I believe we have to exercise patience. I have seen impatience enter a person’s attitude while he or she has to wait and the outcome is not attractive.

As I write these words, I am waiting for several long-standing issues to be resolved. Most of these involve me indirectly; all of these include other people and their lives. All I can do is pray about these needs and for those people.

Update:
           

I can’t believe that I wrote these words ten years ago. I am thankful to God that I am not the same person that penned them. I sit here in early December, contemplating my plans for this week. It’s tech week for our Christmas play and we have a lot of work to do to polish our performance. I had to tell Hubby I would Christmas shop for our son next week. We have to get son’s package in the mail. And I need to get some housework done and our little tree set up. I have to approach these things in an orderly fashion or I will not handle things very well.

 I realize that God isn’t through with me yet. I have still have a lot to learn about being patient.


Linked to:http://beneaththesurface-dawn.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Prophetic Announcement





Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign:
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)

The prophet Isaiah and King Ahaz have a discussion. Isaiah tells Ahaz to request a sign from God. The king answers that he “will not put God to a test.”

Isaiah responds with the prophecy of the birth of the Son of God. “This prophecy is fulfilled nearly 700 years later. Isaiah also prophesies a second event that happened 13 years later. The fulfillment of the first guarantees the reliability of the second.”1  Isaiah foretells of the birth of God’s son, Jesus. We look at this as a message from God. We believe it to be true because we have written evidence of Christ’s birth.
The thing about prophecy is the words can be true or not true. Prophecy in the Bible can either be fulfilled soon after it is spoken, revealed later on or in the future. In the Bible we see all three types. False prophets tell of things that don’t happen.



   1.)    The Discovery Bible, Zondervan, © 2004, page 87

    Graphic: jasontingle.com

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mustard Seed Faith



“He told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32 (NIV)

What kind of faith is mustard seed faith? Mustard seeds are very small but Jesus tells us those tiny seeds grow into trees.

What does the mustard seed have to do with our faith? Our faith sometimes is small. Jesus tells us that even the smallest amount of faith will become stronger if we obey the Father.

What does faith involve? We have to trust the Lord with everything we have, we are or we want. In order to learn to trust, we have to learn to surrender our wants to the Lord.

When the rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked Him, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” The Lord told “You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.” He told Jesus he kept all those things since he was a boy. Jesus then told the ruler to give up his riches. The young ruler walked away from the Lord. He couldn’t surrender all He had.

When I was in college, I was required to take an introductory class in religion. We had a book to study, Christianity and History by Herbert Butterfield.  At the time, the treatment of the study matter was over my head. What I remember even today almost 50 years later is the last sentence of the book. “Believe in God and for all else hold lightly.”

A few questions we all need to ask ourselves.
What do we have to surrender in our 21st Century?

Can we learn to exercise our faith in all areas of our lives? 

Do we have any habits that God doesn’t like?

Can we surrender them to Him?

Do we have any possessions that keep us away from time with God?

Can we share with those who have nothing?

We all need a strong faith to get us through the many trials of this life. But initially we need to have faith the size of a mustard seed. As we exercise our faith, it grows and continues to grow each time we use it. When we believe that our prayer requests will be answered, we exercise our faith. When someone asks us to do something for them, we also act in faith. 

When I was a child, a lot of women had a mustard seed fob hanging from their wrist watches. I remember asking one lady what was on her watch. She told me what it was but I don’t remember if she explained the story behind it. As I look back. I wish she had. One of the pastors I has the privilege of knowing and working with told us we should undertake something so big that we have to have the Lord help us.

In the Old Testament we read of Hanna praying to God for a son. She even had to rebuke the priest who though she was drunk. Hannah had the faith to believe that God would give her a son. Can our faith grow to be like Hannah’s?
I participate in a small prayer group at my church. We did a skit on Laity Sunday to bring to mind our need for more space. One of our ladies found mustard seed jewelry, shown above. We refer to ourselves as “The Mustard Seeds.” We are trying to sell these to contribute to our building fund. I want to give a necklace to someone who reads my blog. Here’s all you have to do:

*1. You will get one entry if you leave a comment at the end of this post and include your email address.
*2. You get one extra entry if you tell me you follow me or if you start to follow me.
*3. You get one extra entry if you share this post on your Facebook page.
*4. You get one extra entry if you twitter this post to your friends.
Let me know your intentions of doing #2-#4 when you comment.

I am sorry, I have to limit this to those who live in the United States. This drawing will close @ midnight on Monday, December 9, 2013. I will announce the winner on Wednesday December 11, 2013

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us

scpeanutgallery.com  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...