Connect the Dots

There is a delicate web that crisscrosses its way across this land.  It’s like a huge connect-the-dots pattern, and it happens every Wednesday evening.  People gather together in their churches to pray and the wind of God’s grace gently touches the web, which is often laced with the tears of God’s most precious saints – ordinary people who take time out of their busy schedules to meet together and storm the throne of God.

Were you a part of this beautiful massive web tonight, or did you miss it?  I mention it because we were not at our own church tonight, and my mind kept drifting back there – to my usual part of the web, knowing that even in our absence, prayers were faithfully being lifted to the God of the heavens.  What a joy to pray with believers at one church and connect with others who were all doing the same thing!

And what is the reason for this great web?  Is it even necessary, or should it go the way of so many other strands of our faith?  Does America need prayer?  Do our churches need prayer?  Do you and I need prayer?  Do you and I need to pray?  If we don’t…who will?  “And Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” –Cowper  The question is, will you do it?

“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” Rev. 5:8

Deep Deep Love

Are you ever amazed when you learn a new truth about our Heavenly Father that you never thought of before?  I was just listening to abidingradio.org (which, if you haven’t found it yet, is a wonderful place to find GOOD God-honoring, holy, beautiful Christian music) and a song came on from the Steve Petit Evangelistic Team’s album  Come Boldly.  The song was called Deep Deep Love  and spoke about the Father’s love to send his Son to die.  But the line that really spoke to my heart said this:

 Deeper than the thorns that dug into his brow

is the love of a Son that died for everyone. 

Love so amazing, deep deep love, Love so divine, deep deep love;

Love never failing to hear my call, demands my soul, my life, my all.

I often think about the Father’s love, perhaps because I am a mother and can comprehend in some small way the sacrifice that it would cost to give my son.  I don’t know if I ever thought of Jesus’ love in this way – that he resigned Himself to His Father’s will to die.  He could have rebelled, but He didn’t, He surrendered.

We are all guilty of rebellion in our lives, but I’m especially thinking of any teens that are out there in webland and may read this.  Are you rebellious when your parents ask something of you that is not to your liking?  Think of Jesus.  It seems to take SO LITTLE for our hearts to rebel – how sad.  Can we ever comprehend the love of Jesus?  You may say, dear teen, “but Mrs. Mac, you’re old as dirt.  Of course you understand it.  I’m just a teen.”  Don’t believe Satan’s lie, my friend.  Think of your favorite subject: a sport, a hobby, a girl or guy.  Think about how much you know about that.  Why?  Because you love it or him or her! And the more you know about that subject or person, the more you love it.  (Hopefully :)) It’s the same with Jesus.  Learn all you can, because someday, maybe sooner than you think, you will be seeing Him face to face; and the love that you see in those divine eyes will break your heart, and mine too!

 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;

I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.Mt 11:29

Stay in the Battle!

Well, we’ve gone from Rosie the Riveter to Susie the Spackler to Sandy the Sander and now: Patty the Painter, all in one week!  During that time, the ministry marches on: the cares and concerns do not cease.  At times, I wonder if we’re making a difference.

As I talked with a coworker who goes to a contemporary church and he tells me that the church runs about one hundred fifty people, half of which are children, and that they are going to build soon…I wonder, are we making a difference?

We’re in a battle, folks.  If you are trying to live a godly separated (I didn’t say isolated which is often the accusation) life, then you will always be the minority!  I am not against that church.  I praise God for every soul that is saved, every life that is touched and encouraged to Christ-likeness; however, I question the validity of bringing the world into the church.

When I went to the Lord this morning for nourishment from His Word, I have to admit, I was a bit droopy.  I prayed for guidance and wisdom and He gave it abundantly!  Praise His Name!

In the Feature, A Daily Bible Study Guide (feasite.org) devotional booklet that we use, the study has been about David.  Today was specifically about his battle with Goliath.  Have you ever thought about everyone’s reaction to his choice of five smooth stones?  Ridiculous – sort of like the reaction I got from another pastor’s wife when I told her we use hymns and CCM (Classical Contemporary Music!!!!)  “You’ll never draw a crowd with that,” she said, and she was right!  But is that our vision, our focus?  Sure, I want to see the place packed out, but I am convinced that if I use the world’s weapons I will not be slaying giants but rather, creating more!  Five smooth stones – David chose his weapons wisely even though all of Israel – his own people – thought he was crazy!  He refused the king’s armor!  Can you imagine?  That took a lot of nerve; no, it took a lot of faith in God.

As I was listening to a sermon this week by Dr. Mark Minnick, (http://www.wmuu.com/blog/category/podcasts/bju-chapel-hour/  The Struggle to Believe God is Good OCTOBER 9TH, 2012), he said that at times when we walk by faith, we cannot even trust what are eyes are seeing.  All around us, church after church, family after family are falling under the spell of the other CCM!  It is a giant of epic proportion!  Beware!  If we are feeding our flesh and tickling the Spirit, there will be consequences!

Paul tells us to “…walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Ga 5:16)  It’s a daily battle, but there are so many consequences that follow a shallow, worldly life – I’m just not going to risk it!  That little guy at the top is just one of the reasons.  We determined to give our grandchildren godly parents and the music we fed their little hearts was a vital part of that commitment!  Stay in the battle, folks!

Rosie the Riveter

Move over Rosie the Riveter!!  You may ask, “Wanda, what are you doing?”  Well, since I’m a failure at gardening, I thought I’d go into carpentry!  Not really.  I am placing screws every eight inches, as suggested, into the hardie board that will then be covered with tile.  Notice the beautiful sequential pattern!  Notice the pillow for my knees and the gloved hand!  Ah, the lessons abound!

The beautiful sequential pattern as made possible by the grid lines on the hardie board.  What a blessing!  No measuring and marking, just count off eight little squares and BINGO: beautiful sequential pattern (for the most part – don’t look too close)

Aren’t you thankful that God gives us a pattern to live by?  “… precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” Isaiah 28:10 Some of God’s patterns are simple to follow, some are not; and it varies from person to person.  You may find it easy to be faithful to your local church while that is the law or pattern that trips up the next person.  Perhaps you just can’t seem to keep your thoughts clean and pure, but for someone else it’s just been a habit from early on.  No matter how easy or how difficult, following God’s pattern according to His Word makes our lives beautiful!

I keep trying to tell everyone that I’m too old for these sorts of activities: jugbie with the teens, building bathrooms… I don’t want to be old before my time, but I am definitely creakier after I do these things, and I don’t move as fast as I used to!  But sometimes we just need to make some alterations: my knees were killing me after ten screws!

Do we make excuses for not doing right?  Are we shortening the Hand of God by our unreasonable demands?  Maybe it is a stretch, maybe I am out of my comfort zone, but God will reward us for going the extra mile.  Maybe you just need to pace yourself; but if there’s a job that needs done, check your willingness and don’t allow excuses get in the way of your service.

The gloved hand protected me from those nasty little metal slivers off of the screws.  I worked for a while without the gloves and within two minutes I had to stop and remove a sliver!

Why do we think that our way is better than God’s way?  Have you ever noticed that shortcuts do not work on the path to holiness?  A transformed life takes time and effort, and skipping part of the lesson because we think we know better won’t cut it!  We’ll end up taking longer because we’ll have to stop and fix the messes we’ve made!

Well, I hope that wasn’t too ouchy!  Keep your eye on the goal.  Physically, the goal for me is  a new bathroom.  I’d like to quit.  It’s work!  But when I look at the new vanity sitting in the spare bedroom, I push on!

Our focus as a Christian is multifaceted.  The overall focus for me is to hear, “Well, done.”  But the short term goal is to present a life to others that shines for Jesus and points them to Him.

(PS – You know the more I do this job, the better I am AND the easier it is?  Know there’ a lesson there too!)

(PSS – The electric was off for a while.  How much harder it is to saw manually than to use the circular saw!  That’s certainly another lesson too, but I think you can figure that one out! 🙂 )