The reading in Our Daily Bread magazine for September 16th was about being set free by Jesus, and asks the question, “What has Jesus set you free from? How can you share with others what He’s done for you?”
Over the many years I have lived, He has set me free from smoking, swearing, jealousy, worry, doubt, dread, anxiety, and perhaps some things I am forgetting.
However, there are two things He has not set me free from: procrastination and vanity.
I recently procrastinated my way out of some furniture for my new apartment, and when I finally decided to order it, the price was two hundred dollars higher and the delivery date three months down the road; neither was acceptable to me.
As for vanity…I fell face first down some stairs on September 1st and am still wearing some of the bruises. This has kept me from meeting and mingling with people in the retirement home I recently moved to. I wear my Covid mask even when not needed just to hide my face.
So, what has Jesus set you free from? Or not! Happy Sunday.
Remembering Sept 11, 2001, the day the twin towers fell in New York City at the hands of terrorists flying their planes into the buildings killing over 2700 people, I can’t help remembering that a similar scene is mentioned in the Bible.
“In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill.” Isaiah 30:25 NIV
I can’t explain the ‘flowing streams of water’, but feel there must be some significance.
It never ceases to amaze me how biblical happenings are repeated in our lives today.
It is good to remember this, and that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8. NIV, even when the towers fall.
Many of us have lived for well over a year without hugs. Sure, there have been a few precious hugs on occasion…very cautious hugs at that, but definitely not what we were used to.
Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter three, summed it up succinctly:
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
A recent sermon spoke of the need to love our enemies. Well, not many of us have enemies but there may be those who don’t like us and for whom the feeling may be mutual. However, God did command us to love those who hate us, and because I find that difficult to do, he put this hymn in my head. Because he so freely loves us in spite of ourselves may we not do likewise for him? See Luke 6: 27-36 and Matthew 10:8. Happy Sunday.
Looking forward to the end of Covid and the beginning of renewed Sunday services at church. Online church is a great alternative but does not hold the same ambiance, for sure. I take heart in the following scripture that reminds me where I like to spend a Sunday; at this beautiful old church, 115 St. Andrew’s Road, Scarborough.
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15.
Who of us hasn’t known fear at some point in our lives? Some fears can be paralyzing while others can prompt us to take action. Sometimes it’s helpful to know another’s take on fear as we will read in the following quotes on the subject. Happy Saturday.
The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself…Franklin D. Roosevelt
Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain. Mark Twain
He who overcomes his fears will truly be free. Aristotle
Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. Michael Jordan
He who fears he will suffer, already suffers because he fears. Michel De Montaigne
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me…Job 3:25
Courage is fear that has said its prayers. Dorothy Bernard
Should we still be looking out only for number one? Maybe the time has come to give a little thought to our fellow humans, whether they be family, friends, presidents, or the grocery store clerk.
What does it take to look out for others? A simple phone call to see if there is a need to be addressed; a well timed visit, following all health protocols of course; and a heartfelt prayer here and there when all else fails…or even when it doesn’t.
Scripture speaks to this growing concern in our world today. Perhaps we should take its advice to be sure that we are looking out for each other.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.1 Corinthians 10:24
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
This is a short chapter from my book My Precious Life. It just goes to show how sometimes our wishes do come true, one way or another. Happy Saturday.
Give Me a Break
I was overwhelmed trying to balance home, family, work and extra curricular activities. I prayed night and day to get a break from it all. I needed a rest.
While shopping one evening I spied a book titled Slow Me Down Lord. I promptly bought it, enjoyed reading it and made that my daily prayer.
Not long afterwards I slipped on the lunchroom floor at work and landed flat on my back. The pain! X-rays showed a fractured tailbone. Treatment? Stay off my feet and complete rest for two weeks! Doctor’s orders…or God’s?
As I settled into recuperation, a pile of good books at hand, I chuckled to God, “I asked you to slow me down, Lord, not put me out of commission.”
Two weeks of complete rest and relaxation renewed my spirit but the pain lingered for months.
Be careful what you pray for; God is always ready to answer….His way.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest….”Matthew 11:28
People all over the world die every day. But when it hits close to home death becomes different; personal, sadder, even poignant.
It happened to me this week. Two of my very close friends died within three days. One was a friend of fifty years and the other’s friendship entwined my life for sixty years.
I will miss these ladies and their enduring friendship very much to say the least. But I take comfort in the fact that they are now truly home. Yes, I do believe in life after death.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25,26
I also take comfort in knowing that my loss is God’s gain. And that’s the upside of grief.
Every day is a new day if we get to live it. Being thankful for each new day is one of the best ways to show God our appreciation for it. I like to start my day with this lovely little prayer: “God, grant me the grace to live this day in your strength.” This way, no matter what the day holds, I feel empowered to meet it without further thought. Here are some messages from scripture on the subject.
This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
A new day will dawn on us from above because our God is loving and merciful. Luke 1:78
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22,23