Wednesday, March 15, 2017

TOGETHER TIME

 
     What comes to mind when you hear the word "communion"? For many it's the Christian sacrament of taking bread and wine in remembrance of the death of Jesus. We forget about the exchanging of thoughts and feelings, the essence of communing.

     The members of the Media class I'm enrolled in at Charis Bible College have a common interest in learning how to use the technology available to let people know how precious they are to Father God. We're in class every day, but kibitzing over a meal out of school is completely different than the hours we spend together focusing on what is being taught. As we begin to develop friendships and understanding of one another, we are able to work together more effectively.

     Traditionally the focus in celebrating "the Lord's supper" is that Jesus' death secured forgiveness for sin. I was excited to learn that the Hebrew, "chanukah" translated "stripe" and "wound" also means "fellowship". (Isaiah 53:5) The Greek "koinonia" translated "communion" in I Corinthians 10:16, again referring to the sacrament, also means "fellowship" and "close association".

     When believers celebrate the Lord's supper we remember what Christ accomplished for us, total deliverance for our entire being - our well-being in every sense. Our communion is with God and with one another. Even concerning the heart of the Christian faith, it is relationship that matters most to Father God, relationship with Him and with one another.

     We are a family. Parents are delighted when their children love and enjoy one another. Divisions among relatives make everything difficult. In a natural family and in the family of God, when we come together in unity, appreciating each other's company, it's a pleasure and we can accomplish what is important to the members. Let's treasure time together, communion, in every sense of the word.
 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

HOPE

     The vision of my friend, Linda, a second year student at Charis Bible College, is improving steadily. Born prematurely, too much oxygen in the incubator robbed her of sight. Until the age of twelve she was not well enough to attend school. By age fifteen, with the help of a tutor, she had achieved grade level and has continued to succeed academically. An inspiration to everyone around her, Linda begins each new day expecting victory.

     The Apostle Paul described faith as substance and evidence of whatever we hope for. (Hebrews 11:1) Our faith is the key that opens the way to experiencing the reality of our quest. The Word of God is alive and powerful. Combined with the faith of the Son of God it cannot fail to produce excellent fruit. Whether the current battle concerns a relationship, a financial or physical or any other need, in Christ we will triumph. (2 Corinthians 2:14)

     Desire and hope come first. Paul encouraged the Philippians to ignore the negative and focus on the positive, on truth. (Philippians 4:8) The Word of God is true. If man voices an opinion that does not line up with His truth, one is not accurate. I choose God.

     Believers can abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. To abound is over-the-top expecting results. The prayer in Romans 15:13 calls for each one to be filled with joy and peace as we anticipate victory.  As long as there is a breath in our bodies, we need hope.

     Anything that tries to come against us has zero ability to succeed.(Isaiah 54:17) The icicles that bar my window will melt in the Colorado sunshine. The attacks of Satan are equally futile. Father God tells us the battle is His. With God fighting for His children we can rest in the strong hope that is ours.

     

     

     

     

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

BEAUTY

     Grasses, fences, trees clothed in crystal, glistened in the early morning sunlight as we drove to school. Still air overnight had allowed hoarfrost, a sheer coating of water vapour, to freeze over everything. 

     The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that God created everything beautiful in its time. (Eccl. 3:11 AMP) We need beauty. It lifts our spirits. It cheers and brightens and delights us. The hoarfrost transformed dry, brown grasses into a charming scene along the roadside.

     We may be quicker to notice outward beauty. Father God treasures the inward beauty of a meek and quiet spirit. (I Peter 3:4) He promises to "beautify the meek with salvation." (Psalm 149:4 KJV) So often even that change is visible. 

     Someone who has just accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour can't hide the transformation. The new life the individual has received radiates through them. Like a bride on her wedding day, God's love causes the newly born-again to shine.

     Father God delights in turning ashes, anything Satan plans to destroy, into beauty. (Isaiah 61:3) The ugly cross on which the Lord Jesus died is displayed throughout the world as a symbol of triumph over sin and death.

    The aspen and spruce trees on our campus lost their sparkle before midday. The glory of God's love is forever. We enjoy the beauty of His creation now. One day every believer will behold the beauty of the Lord.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IT"S OURS!

     My home church in Ontario, Canada has just completed a First Fruits Fast. Separated by 1600 miles, attending the special prayer gatherings was not an option, but I did participate in 21 days of skipping meats and sweets and other things. It's a precious time of focusing on God's goodness, and, after all the holiday feasting, our bodies say, "Thank you!".

     The first weeks of the new year also find many determined to follow a fitness routine. Some invest in expensive equipment designed to strengthen muscles and trim fat. It can be tough to maintain the enthusiasm that inspires folks at first. 

     A mini trampoline and a couple of one pound weights has been enough for me for many years. I have found a simple program of 12 exercises done 12 times each morning is great. The routine only takes about ten minutes. I just have to step on and bounce away. Whether my modest gizmo or elaborate computerized contraptions, we don't benefit unless we use them.

     If we struggle to make use of what we have in the natural world, the battle is often greater in the spiritual. In the latter, most are not aware of what is theirs. Every blessing promised in Deuteronomy 28 belongs to God's children. They are true whether visible or not. 

     Promised prosperity is a fact. If the bank statement differs we can agree with God and His word and expect a turn around. Health is a fact. We can know that lying symptoms must disappear because by Jesus' stripes we are healed. Father does not require us to do anything He won't help us to do, so we can love those who don't love us as His love flows through His people to others.

     Just as human parents want their little ones to enjoy what they've provided, Father God longs to see His children experience all He has for them. In Isaiah 30:18 (Amplified) the prophet says the Lord waits and longs to be gracious to us. He wants us to receive what we are seeking even more than we do ourselves.

     Like a table that is spread with sumptuous delights, our Father has every good thing we could desire laid out ready for the taking. It is ours. All are welcome. Dig in. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

NIGHT AND DAY

     We have some interesting (to us) discussions around the breakfast table at Christ Haven. Sleep patterns became the topic the other morning. Several mentioned they sleep a few hours, then waken and study. They may catch another hour or two of sleep before breakfast. Not me. He gives His beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:2) I'm His beloved and I receive this promise.

     Night and day, darkness and light, to Father God they are the same. (Psalm 139:12) Those who are spending time with Him in the middle of the night are definitely loved and blessed, but we need light. Natural and spiritual light are both essential.

     Everyone has tried to do something in a tight corner without enough light. Until we discover a way to shine light on that work space the job can't be done. In dim light we can see something. With proper light details show up. This also happens when understanding of information comes. The light comes on.

     Just now, for me. the light is focused on the precious truth that what I do or don't do is not what gives me favour with God. It's what the Lord Jesus did for me that has me nestled in Father's love. (Ephesians 1:6) 

     Each sunrise can be a reminder that God's children are called out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9) We are completely delivered from any power darkness holds. (Colossians 1:13) The word of God is a light giving direction to our lives. (Psalm 119:12)

     I'm thankful for refreshing sleep in the night and for health and strength for every day. At the same time the Apostle John's revelation is exciting. He saw eternity with no sorrow, pain or death and no night. The Lord God will give us light. (Revelation 21:4 and 22:5)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

WATCH

     Are there a multitude of things you need to check on continually? The list is different for each of us. Family, groceries, household supplies, bills and accounts...we avoid problems by paying attention. The slow leak of an essential fluid in a car could cause major trouble so we schedule regular service. We keep watch in many different areas of our lives.

     As the new year begins we remember how the Lord helped us through past months and look forward to the days ahead. Some join with others in a Watchnight Service on December 31st. Others meditate alone praying for guidance in the future.

     Like some vital substance that a car is losing, faith can seep from believers. What we see and hear can strengthen or weaken our faith. It is worth fighting for. (I Timothy 6:12)   The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem illustrates this struggle. The enemy mocked and hindered the workers. Nehemiah encouraged the people of Judah. Each man held a weapon in one hand and worked with the other. They prayed and set a watch against their enemies day and night. (Nehemiah 4:9)


     In subtle ways Satan strives to undermine our faith in God. We are bombarded by information that is contrary to simple faith. The words people speak, things we read, hear or see in public media often do not build faith in God and His word, We need to be aware and make wise choices.

     Father, give us discernment and wisdom as we enter into 2017. We need to know what is of You and we need to be strong to stand for truth in the days ahead. 

     

Thursday, December 15, 2016

MIXED UP DELIVERY

     This week I finally managed to get some parcels on their way back to the company that mailed them. The person responsible for the shipping label hadn't received the corrected address and Genevieve, our mail lady, lugged three heavy boxes down to the lodge at Christ Haven.
     
     Mix ups can happen at the source, but more often it's in the middle. Someone may receive a letter that went astray and was delivered years later. All sorts of misunderstandings can arise if we assume a message was received and the response we expect doesn't come. Email or snail mail, we depend on the method of delivery working.

     With the ease and speed of electronic communication, some folks have all but abandoned old-fashioned mail. I still love sending and receiving cards at Christmas and other special occasions. I treasure the bundle of Dad's letters my Mother saved, letters he sent from British Columbia to Ontario before they were married.

     Even more, I am thankful for the letters shared and preserved through the centuries from the apostles, Paul, Peter, John and other men of God. These tell of God's love to us. It's so important that the one delivering the message gets it right. If that person does not grasp the meaning intended the recipient is given a false impression. Rather than enjoying each day knowing we are loved unconditionally, we may spend our lives religiously striving to please Father God who is already totally delighted with everyone who trusts in the the Lord Jesus as Saviour.


     The Apostle John knew for sure that Father God is love and that He loves everyone. (I John 4:16) John wrote a clear message. Satan does what he can to mess with that truth. All over the world postal services do their best to deliver what they are trusted with accurately. Today each one of us who knows God and His love can do everything possible to share His Word accurately - no mix ups in our delivery.