TGIF

“Good Friday”.  At one time, I couldn’t understand why anybody would call the day, on which an innocent man was falsely accused, unfairly judged, beaten, tortured, humiliated and condemned to die a long and painful death,  “Good”?!

But now I understand that what was not “good” for Jesus was definitely “GOOD” for me. I understand that although I did the crime, Jesus did the time. He not only took on the guilt for crimes that I had committed, he took my punishment too and in doing that, he has wiped my “crime record” clean forevermore.

So now I can say “TGFGF” – THANK GOD FOR GOOD FRIDAY. I hope you can too.

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
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OOPS!

My Mom and I used to watch a silly English comedy called “Allo-Allo”. In it, one of the characters, who is an Italian general, makes this statement after doing something foolish, ” whata mistaka to make!”

For me, it has been one of “those mornings”. It started off with Emma, the cat, “singing” before the sun was up. Then on the way home from dropping my husband off at work, I got a ticket for speeding! My first traffic ticket ever! What made it worse for me was that I was actually praying (yes, with my eyes open) at the time. I was so involved in thinking about all the people I know who need prayer, that I didn’t notice the speed limit sign so I didn’t turn the cruise control off in time. Note: We need to know that doing God’s will does not exempt us from obeying the law and that we must take responsibility for our actions and pay the consequences.

Then, I went to the Adult Centre where I volunteer, and I opened up a discussion (which may have been better left alone at the time) with co-workers (who are Christians) regarding my concern, as a Christian, over a publicly funded service referring people to a medium. When one of the girls voiced a different opinion, I was very quick to throw some scripture at her. Very shortly afterward, I was convicted that I had acted like – horror of horrors – a “Bible thumper” – a self-righteous person who uses the Bible to figuratively “thump” somebody over the head with “truth”.

As Christians, we need to be able to acknowledge that we make mistakes. We need to avoid being like the Pharisee in Luke 18:10,11 who stood in the temple and basically said “I’m so good”. When we set ourselves up on a pedestal, we have a long way to fall, and we do fall.

I am a “Type A ” personality – I crave perfection. So I really hate it when I make mistakes! I used to suffer under all kinds of condemnation. After many years, I finally learned some very important truths:

1) Condemnation and conviction are not the same things. Condemnation is defined as “accusation, judgment and damnation” and comes from the devil. He is called “the accuser of the brethren” in Rev. 12:10. In contrast, conviction means “to expose and to correct” and comes from God’s holy spirit, as seen in Joh. 16:8.

While we need to be convicted of our errors, we are not to be under condemnation, for God has said in “Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

2) As Christians, we need to remember that we are not perfect “Rom 3:23  for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God…”. I was amazed to learn that even the great apostle, Paul, also struggled with the issue of sin and mistakes, “Rom 7:18  For I am conscious that in me, that is, in my flesh, there is nothing good: I have the mind but not the power to do what is right. vs. 19  For the good which I have a mind to do, I do not: but the evil which I have no mind to do, that I do.”

3) When we do make mistakes, we need to humble ourselves by admitting our mistakes, and if necessary, apologize for them. While it may be embarrassing, God tells us that it is actually good for us – Jas 5:16  Confess faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

Finally, remember that we have a merciful and gracious God who understands our weaknesses “Psa 103:13  As a father pities his children, Jehovah pities those who fear Him. vs 14  For He knows our form; He remembers that we are dust.” And a Saviour “who’s been there, done that” –   “Heb 4:15  For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin. vs. 16  Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Blessings

God Moments

I think that “God Moments” are unexpected, special times that God can work in our lives. God, in those moments, can either minister to us or use us to minister to others, or as in my case today, do both at the same time!

I was driving home after dropping my husband off at work, when I suddenly remembered that I had read a notice in the church bulletin stating that there was a craft group meeting this morning. Now anybody who knows me knows that crafts and I go together like crazy glue sticks to skin. Give me scissors, glue, paint, and especially flower arranging supplies, and I am as happy as a pig in poo. So off I headed to the church.

When I get there, the church’s front doors are locked – hmmm. So I wander to the back of the building, find an open door and begin searching through the labyrinth of basement rooms looking for a human body carrying a glue gun. I see a sign which points to a room in which “Laughter and Chat” is to take place. Well, I can laugh and chat with the best of them, especially with a glue gun in my hand! Unfortunately, the human I finally found was not carrying a glue gun and the “Laughter and Chat” was a laughter yoga group – no glue, no scissors, no silk flowers, so no laughter for me 😦

I was finally directed to the church secretary’s office. She welcomed me very warmly but looked very puzzled when I told her that I was there for the craft group. She told me that they didn’t have a craft group and I replied, “but it is in your church bulletin”! So we checked and sure enough, there it was, in black and white. She responded with, “well, we don’t have a craft group, per se, it is actually a knitting and crocheting group”. I was somewhat crestfallen because, although I can knit and crochet, I am much happier wielding a glue gun or a paint brush than knitting needles. We then had a discussion about whether or not knitting and crocheting were, in fact, considered “crafts”. We didn’t think so but a lady from the knitting group, who entered the room at that point of the discussion,  was quite firm in her belief that they were, indeed, crafts!

The secretary, Wilma, asked me that since there was no craft group, and she was short-handed, would I be interested in helping her fold church bulletins for the upcoming Ecumenical Easter Service. Well, beggars can’t be choosers and as I had past experience with origami, I felt that I could handle folding paper in half. This turned out to be a little more challenging than expected as the pages were not collated properly.

During the collating and folding, Wilma and I got to know each other better, we shared the ups and downs of our faith walks, we exchanged ideas and our hopes for ourselves, for the church and for ministry in general. I was very blessed to have formed a new relationship with a wonderful sister-in-Christ. She made me feel that she was blessed to know me as well.

As I was leaving the church, I realized that I had had a “God Moment”. He had used the sudden memory of an incorrect bulletin notice, to bring me to a non-existent craft group meeting so that I could minister for Him by helping the secretary to fold bulletins, while at the same time I was being ministered to through the new relationship with Wilma. Now no-one can tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humour!

I believe that there are “God Moments” available all the time, but we often miss out on them. We are so often looking for the “BIG” moves of God that we miss all the little ones, which are just as important. We are also so busy, and our heads are so filled with “stuff to do” that we may miss out on hearing or even recognizing “the still small voice” of God’s spirit speaking to us. We need to develop and exercise Godly discernment.

I pray that you will learn to discern and be blessed by the “God Moments” in your life.

Gobsmacked!

This afternoon, I attended a volunteer workshop where the subject was how to help people cope with death and dying. The presentation was interesting and informative but one comment the facilitator (a counselor for palliative care) made, left me absolutely “gobsmacked” (shocked and disgusted too). He told us that the organization he works for, is actually working with a “medium” and refers people to her!!!! He then went on to say that many of the grieving families are finding more comfort with the medium, then any where else!!

I don’t think that I am as shocked about the fact that there is a medium in the area, as I am about the fact that a public agency is actually referring people to her!

The fact that people feel that they need to turn to such drastic measures to obtain some peace, leads me to ask, “are we, as Christians, so seriously failing to meet the needs of grieving people, that they feel that they have no where else to turn?”

I have noticed a disturbing increase in the interest into the occult. Our society is having a love affair with wizards, witches, vampires etc. Demonic beings, such as Spawn and Hell-boy, are portrayed as misunderstood good guys.

God makes His viewpoint very clear regarding such matters and the people who practice them.

Deu 18:10  There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a witch,  or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead.

God was so serious about this matter, that he commanded the Israelites:

Lev 20:27  A man also or woman that has a medium or that is a necromancer, shall surely be put to death. They shall stone them with stones. 

God tells us in Galations 5:20 that sorcery is a work of the flesh.

And the consequence of being involved in such activities is this:

Gal. 5:21″… that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God”.

Very clear and very serious!

Disconnected – Discombooberated

Do you ever feel like you’re not quite with it – your needle isn’t in the groove – you’re not on the same page as everyone else? There’s a disconnect between where you want to be and where you are. When I was a kid, we used to call that feeling “muxed ip” or “discombooberated”.

Last Friday, our cable tv and internet went on the fritz. We would be watching a program and then the picture would “pixulate” (funny little squares), we would get interesting “ghost” images, the picture would freeze and then we would lose reception altogether. We ended up having to go without cable and internet all weekend – oh no!

I don’t think that we really realize what a “connected” society we live in until something happens and we lose that “connection”. Our umbilical cords may be cut at birth, but now we have attached ourselves to computers, video games, television, DVD players, i-pods, and cell phones. We are “plugging in” to “stuff” and disconnecting from people. We want to be heard, but we don’t want to listen. And when something happens to interrupt our various “connections”, we can’t stand the silence , we don’t know what to do with ourselves, we feel lost – discombooberated.

The most important connection mankind ever had was lost, thousands of years ago, in the Garden of Eden, when Adam chose to disobey God. By connecting with the lies of the devil, Adam pulled the plug on his connection with God.

We can almost immediately see the results of that disconnection. Adam ignores his own responsibility in the matter and points the blaming finger at Eve:  “Gen 3:11-12  …  And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”  Thus, the idea of  “pass the buck” was born. Jim Carrey made the idea famous with the line in which he parodies a line from “The Fugitive” – “it wasn’t me, it was the one-armed man!”

The loss of the connection with God also led to Adam losing his status in creation. In the beginning, Adam was the head honcho – the executive supervisor: “Gen 1:26b … And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creepers creeping on the earth.”  The disconnection caused Adam to go from being “boss-man”, to being just a “poor working slob”: Gen 3:17  … Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it! The ground is cursed for your sake. In pain shall you eat of it all the days of your life. It shall also bring forth thorns and thistles to you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.  In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.

Then Adam was evicted from his beautiful home – God kicked him out of the penthouse, took away the key and set security staff at the front door: Gen 3:23  therefore Jehovah God sent him out from the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he had been taken.  And He drove out the man. And He placed cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

The disconnection had a severe affect on  Adam’s family as well – it led to brother killing brother: Gen 4:8  And Cain talked with his brother Abel. And it happened when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Wow! It is  mind-blowing to think that within such a short span of time, mankind went from living in, and being the caretaker of, paradise, to being unemployed and living “on the mean streets”. Mankind’s  behaviour went from one of holiness to one of irresponsibility, untrustworthiness, jealousy, anger, bitterness, and murder. Talk about being “discombooberated”! And all because man chose to disconnect from God, who is the source of truth and light, and instead, connect to the devil, who is “the father of lies” Joh. 8:44

Choose your connections wisely: Psa 40:4  Blessed is the man who makes Jehovah his trust and does not turn to the proud, nor to those who turn aside to a lie.

Blessings

 

 

What’s in a name?

I think it was Shakespeare who wrote something to the effect of,  “a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet”.

So what does Shakespeare have to do with my blog? Not mucheth! Except that in yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I had wanted to call my blog “LIVINGroom”. However, when I went to register my blog name, somebody had had the temerity to already be using my name! “How wude”, as Jar Jar Binks would say. I don’t know whether I should be flattered or frightened that someone else shares my creative thinking processes!

Anyhow, I was left trying to figure out a “clever” but meaningful alternative. I wanted the title to say something about me and the theme of my blog, as well as, hopefully, being inspirational to readers. As I was thinking about what I wanted to convey about the driving force behind my blog, the words “habitation of my heart” came to my mind. So I went searching (using a wonderful study tool called “e-Sword“) for a scripture that contained those words or that idea. I found the perfect scripture verse: Exo 15:2 “The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” I have used this verse as my blog theme as I feel that it pretty much sums up what I feel, think and do. It is at the “heart” of me.

While the above scripture describes the “heart” behind my blog, there are two others scriptures which I hope will make up the “bones” of the blog. The first one is 2Ti 2:15  “Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” And the second one is Pro 17:22 ” A merry heart does good like a medicine…”.

I hope that my blog will provide a little teaching, a little fun, encouragement and a lot of fellowship. So please feel free to post your comments, concerns, questions and prayer requests.

I hope that you find my blog to be a positive, uplifting and encouraging experience as I seek to share life lessons (some tough) that God has taught me throughout the ups and downs of my life.

Finally – Happy Birthday!

Greetings and welcome,

Please join me in celebrating, the somewhat overdue, “birth” of my new blog! Like my two children, who desired to be born early but who actually took a long time in finally arriving, so too was my desire to minister using my computer.

The idea was first “conceived” in my heart, in 2009. At that time, I was looking for a new way to minister to a wider group of friends, some of who lived far away. I wanted to minister to a large number of people but on a personal level.

Previously, I had been very involved in Women’s Ministry, but a series of difficult life events interfered with my being able to continue in the same manner. I searched for a way to minister using the resources available to me. I realized that I had my two hands, a laptop computer, the internet and a comfy chair (very important). Since I do all my computer work while sitting on my comfy recliner, the idea came to me to call it “LIVINGroom Ministries”. My hope is to minister, from my living room, the “Life Giving” word of God (hopefully in a fun, interesting and challenging manner), to others in their living rooms.

I must confess that from “conception” to “delivery”, it has been a very long “pregnancy”! But, I have finally arrived and I hope my blog will be a welcome addition to your internet “family”.

“Every day at half-past three, let’s make ourselves a cup of tea; I’ll pray for you and you’ll pray for me”.