18 December 2010

I open the blinds. The day is dark and dreary. I glance over at crib to see if its precious cargo is still asleep. I watch him sleeping peacefully and soundly. It is no wonder he is sleeping so well considering everything he went through in the ER last night. Strange how he can quickly drop from good to bad.

This visit started with Jon having breathing problems. He was breathing hard and fast, and it was after-hours, so we were advised to go ahead and take him to the ER. The emergency department can be a scary place. There is much waiting, and plenty if time to wonder when you will be able to go home and how sick he is. If he is sick enough to be admitted, then it will most likely be close to 7am before you will be able to go to bed. You wait - for the next procedure, the next test result, the next doctor to discuss options.

Here in the hospital room is one of the loneliness places to be. You are by yourself with the patient much of the time, left to worry about their condition, until a doctor, nurse, CNA, or other medical personelle come in and draw you - temporarily - out of your ponderings.

You often can't do much else than hold his hand while he cries during a painful procedure. I ponder how difficult and excruciating it must have been for Mary to watch her Son suffering so much, yet only able to stand on the sidelines and watch as He gave up His life.

The single most comforting thought is not that he receives such good medical care (though it is excellent at Levine), but that he is in the best hands possible - Gods. I recognize that it is all in His hands, no matter what the outcome is. So I put my trust in Him and watch Him work all things together for good. No matter what happens, may His name be glorified.

14 December 2010

Our All

Sometimes we may sing or pray about giving God our all. But, do we realize what that really means or are we simply mouthing words that sound good? Giving our all, everything. But do we realize exactly what that means?
There is often one or more areas that we are hesitant to give up, consciously or subconsciously. That one thing that God must give us if we are to love and serve Him - maybe it is a good, reliable job, a spouse, children, or living near one's family. But is our love supposed to be conditional? No! God never signed a contract that grants us our hearts desire if we simply love and obey Him. This is one thing I did not like about the Christian movie, "Facing the Giants". They seemed to portray Christianity as obeying God, and then He will help you to win that football game, bless you with kids, a new car, etc. God does bless us when we obey Him, but we need to be careful that we aren't preaching a false prosperity gospel. He may choose to bless us by giving us our hearts desire. Or, He may replace that with something that is even better for us in the long-run. The truth is that we need to give Yahweh our hopes, our dreams, our desires.
So if we give Christ our all, does that mean our hopes and desires are gone for good once we give them to Him to be filled? No, that is the beauty of it. He sometimes fills our cups with something different than we requested. Other times, He fulfills our desires and fills our cups with exactly what we wanted. There is no secret formula, no password or particular way you must live your life in order to receive exactly the blessing you want from Yahweh. The key is that we give the cup of our lives to Him instead of trying to fill it ourselves. We may make our requests known, but in the end we should be rejoicing in what He has given us no matter what the outcome. Let us praise Yahweh for the good gifts He has given us, whether or not they were what we had desired.
Suffering is not always punishment. Certainly, the Lord will rebuke us and we may experience suffering because of that. Yet we shouldn't be quick to assume that all suffering is a punishment. Sometimes it is simply the refiner's fire that we are being passed through so that our dross may burn away. Nor should we seek to write off all suffering as refinement. The first thing to do is to search our lives and our hearts to see if there is some area that we are not obeying the Lord in. If there is sin, then repent of it, turn away from it, and replace it. But as I said, suffering is not always the direct result of a particular sin, but can be part of our sanctification process. Is is the valley that is the place of vision.
We think it is tough to give up everything that we hold near and dear. But what did Christ do for us? He gave up heaven to be a man. He experienced our pains and our weaknesses firsthand. He didn't have to, we certainly didn't deserve it. Yet, Christ loved us so much that He became man for us. We reviled Him, spit on Him, mocked Him...before we love Him, He gave His all for us. Everything. God held nothing back, but sent His own Son - His Son to die for us. He gave up everything - can we do the same for Him? Can we give up everything during our short time on this earth, in order that He may be glorified?

03 December 2010

Countdown to Awesome

Kevin Swanson, an OPC pastor, is a high octane speaker , a second generation homeschooler, published author, radio personality and director of Generations with Vision, which has a daily radio program heard around the world.

Dr. Gary North - A nationally known speaker on so many topics, will bring us the topic: "College- Running the Gauntlet."

Dr. David Menton from Answers in Genesis, a retired pathologist who will be speaking on the human body and related topics of Creation

Pastor Nathan Trice as our keynote speaker.

And finally, Michael Card, singer- songwriter and Bible teacher will address the area of Christians and the Arts.

Can you say epic?

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