Heaven?

From one of my favourite bloggers.

Mitch Teemley

heaven_and_hell_by_kizuna_chan

Many say:

Those who do this

And steer clear of that

Clearly have God

Tucked under their hat

And those who’ve insured

Themselves against fire

By naming the cross

And defaming desire

Know that their names

Must appear on His list

And if He complains

They’ll firmly insist

“You’re mistaken, I’ve done

Everything that You said

I drank all Your wine

And ate all Your bread…

“So why don’t I feel

Like abiding here now?

You aren’t what I’ve loved

Where’s my sacred cow?

When I look all around

I don’t see a trace

Of the heaven I’ve built

No, not in this place”

But the One says:

There are those who have burned

In their hearts to heal others

And ached at the loss

Of sisters and brothers

Acquitting the worst

And illuming their night

And despite their own failings

Refusing the flight

That beckons with death

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The “F” Word

I wonder if I raised a few eyebrows with today’s title?

No, I am not going to write about the “F” word that probably springs to mind first (especially when stubbing one’s toe). I am going to write about another “bad” four letter word that begins with “F”,  and that is “Fear”.

While I intensely dislike hearing the foul “F” word, I hate feeling the “F” word of “Fear”.

(I am not referring to the “fear of the Lord” which is the  holy awe and reverence that we should have for God.)

It seems like fear has ruled, controlled, affected my life, and made me feel powerless ever since I was a very young child.

The marital unhappiness of my parents and my mother’s subsequent depression left me fearful of what would happen to my family and to my Mom.

When I was very young, I suffered a few severe respiratory infections. The doctor made house calls at that time, and she would come on a regular basis to give me injections. I absolutely HATED those needles and I can remember one time where they had to chase me around the table before they could grab me. I remember another time I was so filled with fear that I had to vomit into a potty. I developed a real fear of needles after that and immunization time at school was pure torture for me. The smell of rubbing alcohol can still make my stomach clench. (But I became a nurse – figure that one out! LOL)

When I was around 11 years old, I was attacked by a young man when my youngest sister and I were playing in the bush behind our house. While he only managed to carry me off a few feet before I got away, the experience was absolutely terrifying and left me filled with fear about men and literally scared of my shadow.

I would be filled with fear if I was late for school. I experienced fear when I had to walk into the cafeteria by myself.

I was afraid of disappointing  and/or angering my parents, my relatives, my teachers, my boyfriends, my boss, my co-workers, my husband, my pastor, and my church. And I was very afraid of not pleasing God.

I have been afraid that I laugh too loud; that I say stupid things and appear a fool; that I am not smart enough; not pretty enough; not thin enough.

Financial constraints have been a very large aspect of my life so there have been many times when I have been filled with fear about how to pay bills or how to purchase necessary items.

The stress caused by all of this fear since the time I was very small has had very detrimental affects on me. I have developed chronic physical health issues, cancer, and mental health issues such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, panic attacks, and depression.

So you can see why I hate the “F” word of “Fear”.

Fear paralyzes. Fear controls. Fear inhibits. Fear can lead to despair which can lead to taking desperate measures. Fear stunts growth – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Fear can destroy. Fear sucks!!

The apostle Paul tells us that fear does not come from God.

2Ti 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

So where does fear come from?

The first mention of the emotion of fear in the Bible was after Adam and Eve had disobeyed God by eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Gen 3:10 And he said, I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I am naked, and I hid myself.

I find it interesting to note that fear was unknown before there was knowledge of evil. Evil brings fear. When Adam and Eve had committed evil, and knew that they had committed evil, they were filled with fear. Adam had lost the covering of glory that God had given to him. Adam saw himself as he was -naked, helpless, shameful, disobedient – and this filled him with fear.

Disobeying God is sin. Fear is a consequence of sin. The world has been filled with both sin and fear ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God.

Did you know that in the King James Bible, the word “fear” is mentioned 400 times and “afraid” is used 193 times? That’s a whole lot of “fear factor” happening!

But there is hope! There is a way to overcome fear and that way is through faith in Jesus Christ because he is the Son of God.

Rom 8:15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!

When we believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are freed from the fear of death.

Heb 2:14,15 Since then the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise partook of the same; that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death (that is, the Devil), and deliver those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

No matter what the circumstances or situation, we don’t need to fear when we have Jesus in our lives.

While walking on storm tossed waters, Jesus told the disciples that they did not need to be afraid because of who he was.

Mat 14:27 But instantly Jesus spoke to them, and said, “There is no danger; it is I; do not be afraid.” (WNT)

With Jesus by our side, we don’t need to fear what others think about us or what they may say or do to us.

Heb 13:6 so that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.” 

God loves us. Jesus loves us. When we begin to understand the great love that they have for us, we can begin to let go of the fear, knowing and trusting that we are safe in their love.

1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.

Mar 5:36 … Jesus said … Do not be afraid, only believe.

Blessings

 

 

 

Profanity 101

I really like what Mitch had to sat here.

Mitch Teemley

verbal-abuse-final-1

(Rate R for language)

No, I’m not going to teach you how to cuss. My guess is you already know how. When I was in my early 20s, I was proud of my liberal use of profanity. It was what set me apart from the uptight older generation (i.e. my parents). They needed to “get over it.” Words were just words.

Or were they?

For good or for bad, profanity has reached a new level of cultural acceptance. The movie Midnight Cowboy received an X-rating when it was released a few decades ago. Not because of graphic sex or violence, but because it used the f-word. Once. Today the film regularly plays on daytime television—with no restrictions.

What is profanity. And why does it matter? Broadly, it can be broken into two categories:

  1. Cursing (cussing, swearing), in the traditional sense, is to invoke a curse on another, usually in the name…

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The Black Spot

When my oldest son was four years old, he had to have surgery in the pelvic/groin area. The incision was covered with a small, protective packing foam – like dressing. The incision had bled a little leaving a dark brown spot on the dressing.

One day both my sons, aged four and two, were having a bath together. I had left the bathroom door open and I was just in the hallway when all of a sudden I heard my oldest son yelling, “Mommy, Mommy, get him away from me!”. I rushed into the bathroom to find a frozen tableau of my oldest son standing up in the tub and backed into a corner while his little brother was hunched over in front of him with the washcloth in his hand as he was attempting to wash “the black spot” off  his brother. The look of terror on the one and the look of concentration on the other made me laugh so hard! Just thinking about it today makes me giggle. 🙂

A couple of years later, my youngest boy had a “black spot” situation of his own when the VERY heavy toilet seat in our rental home (I swear it was made of stone) suddenly came crashing down on top of the end of his wee willie (I think I hear all my male readers groaning in sympathy). He ended up with a blood blister on a very tender part of his anatomy. He also developed a fear of the man-eating toilet seat and wouldn’t stand any closer than a foot away! Let’s just say that I had a few messes to clean up before he mastered his long-distance aim! LOL

(BTW – did you know that the British have a dessert called “Spotted Dick”??? I’m serious – look it up! LOL)

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote about a “black spot” in his book Treasure Island. Rather than being an uncomfortable physical manifestation on sensitive nether regions, Stevenson’s black spot was used by pirates and consisted of a circular piece of paper with a dark spot on one side and a warning message on the other. The unlucky pirate who received one of these black spots knew that his life was in danger.

These days, health officials warn us that too much exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, such as melanoma which causes black spots on the skin. You only want black spots on your skin if you are a cheetah or a leopard!

Sometimes, a person may suddenly notice a black spot in their field of vision. This may be caused by something fairly harmless such as thickening of some of the collagen inside the eyeball. However, it could also indicate that part of the retinal membrane at the back of the eye has become detached – and that is serious.

Black spots not only occur in our physical lives but can also happen in our spiritual lives. Physical manifestations of black spots may be cause for concern. Spiritual black spots should cause serious concern. After all, Jesus said that he is coming back for a “spotless” church.

Eph 5:27 that He might present it to Himself as the glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that it should be holy and without blemish. 

We were all born with the black spot of sin in our lives.

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,

No amount of scrubbing, bleaching, or cutting on our part will remove that black spot of sin. The only sure way to remove it is through faith in the shed blood of our saviour, Jesus Christ, who, because he had no sin, was described as a lamb without blemish or spot.

2Co 5:21 For He[God] has made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

1Pe 1:18,19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot;

Blessings (from a very spotty gal )

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