Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
My mom and I were going to get out and walk one of the parks this morning, but we changed our minds. Instead I think I'll make cookies. She sent me my grandma's Overnight Cookie recipe. That should make the house smell good. Bread in the machine, soup on the stove. How many more days do I really have before that pleasure is gone? A live Jars of Clay is providing the background and I have plenty of school work to do. My kind of day.
Psalm 147:6 The Lord lifteth up the meek
"Temptations are oft-times right profitable to man, though they be heavy and grievous, for in them a man is meeked, purged and sharply taught... Learn to obey, thou dust! Learn to meek thyself, thou earth and clay." (to "meek" is an old verb meaning to "humble".)
Our natural thought does not connect meekness with strength. Our natural thought is all wrong there. the truly strong are the gentle, the Strongest of all was the gentlest: "I am gentle and lowly in heart".
As I pondered this word from the Psalm and thought of our Lord's life, always triumphant, never cast down by disappointment, by weariness, by apparent
failure, or even by the certainty of suffering swiftly drawing nearer, I wondered if the cause of our cast-down hours is not the hardness of the way (as we are tempted to think it is), but some flaw in the inner spirit which makes it impossible for our God to lift us up. If so, praise Him, it need not remain so: There is a lifting up.
Aaron and Lindsey came to church yesterday. They are home from their mission in Senegal for a year. They told of warfare in the spirit realm and in the community. Bless them Ha Shem as they blessed me. Most of the time that Lindsy was in Africa she was sick; but when she came home the sickness was gone, she felt healthy again.
There is a man who has been working with Aaron, helping him with language when he works on Bible lessons, giving him aid in developing illustrations and follow-up lessons. His name is Juno. He is also under pressure from the elders of the village to deny the Messiah after verbalizing his delight with the Word of God.
Lindsey told of three different women who were coming daily to learn the Scripture. One of them began to ask thoughtful questions about her sin. Under pressure of the elders, she suddenly quit coming to learn. God bless this dear woman and give her a deep longing with understanding from what she has already learned.
Fear not Lindsey and Aaron
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Hebrews 6:10 NKJ
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I have not wanted to be sitting in front of a computer monitor and my spirit feels empathy for all of my students who are forced to do just that when the breeze calls the heart to come and explore the gentle land outside the window.
This Sabbath morning I can hear the song of rain on the roof and am suddenly wishing I had taken just a few notes to refresh my mind on the details of the past few days. They have been such good days. The dogs and I have explored the neighborhood while Ray has been away at work. In the evening, Connie and I chat away as we walk, finding new places close to home and catch up on each others day.
It is just a bit over a mile to the trail head that leads to the beach. Rudy was fine. The tower from the trail to the beach was no problem for him or for us. Where we went, he went without complaint, over the driftwood and the boulders of the retaining wall to the sand and pebbles of low tide at Howerth. When the sun started to get low on the horizon we thought it might be wise to head back. Climbing the tower was not a problem for Rudy, but I was wishing that I had brought a water bottle for him. We got back to the road and were headed up the hill when Connie mentioned that her sciatic (sp?) nerve was starting to bother her. She is a lifetime bus driver and that is a job that is hard on a girls body. I offered to call Chris to come get us, but she was sure she could make it. Connie has never been one to give up when she is determined to accomplish something.
In theory, we absolutely did not want to give up our walk and ride. But the reality was the pain was coming on and could easily overwhelm. We settled into her comfortable back seat. After the introductions she told us, I just couldn't see you forcing that poor little puppy to walk all the way up the hill."
Sometimes kindness comes from places in the heart that take me by surprise.
Deborah... still laughing
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
In response to faith, Y'shua/Jesus forgave sin. The scribes (teachers) thought about this and rightly concluded that only God can forgive sin. Had they missed something?
But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Arise, and take up your pallet and walk'? "But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-- He said to the paralytic--"I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this.
"Mark 2:6-12 NAS
Y'shua was well known for his healing power. The first chapter of Mark has already given plenty of examples as evidence of his authentic power to heal. The result hindered his ministry of proclaiming the Word of the Gospel as crowds of people who longed for a healing touch pressed in on Him. Throughout the Torah, the Prophets and Psalms, there are examples and promises that Messiah will have the power to heal. It was to be a sign, an indicator of the authentic Messiah of God and the scribes were not wrong to examine Y'shua in light of Scripture. But had they missed something?
And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.
Exodus 34:6-7 (from the cleft of the rock)
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.
Healing was taking place, healings that had NEVER happened before. Everyone was excited, some were commended for their faith. Why? Because faith believes. But seeing does not always result in believing.
Our God will not share his glory with another. (Isaiah 48:11). The Son of God drove demons out of the Assembly and healed affliction. Now He is also proclaiming forgiveness of sin. But the shock that He forgave sin wouldn't (or shouldn't) have been so shocking if those teachers had understood the Word. Only God forgives sin and heals the body. The two are tied together. The conclusion that the teachers came to should not have been that He was blaspheming, but that He is Immanuel, God with us.
Why would it be easier to say, "Your sins are forgiven," instead of saying, "Get up and walk,"? The most obvious answer is that the evidence that sin is forgiven is not easy to observe. It is not the same with a proclamation of physical healing, it either happens or it doesn't.
For the faith of the friends of the paralytic, sin was forgiven, an eternal gift. But for the teachers to understand the authority of Immanuel, the Son of Man, Y'shua healed the paralytic's body and commanded him to gather his stuff and walk out on his own power, a temporal gift. And they understood, and gave the Glory to God.
He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6Why have you come to God? Is there something you need or do you just need Him? He rewards those who look for him. When you find Him, then you will know He is all you need, but He gives so much more!
Monday, March 2, 2009
Down the beach, beyond that place where Pigeon Creek dumps into the bay, I saw a lone Western Grebe and a few more Gulls but that was about all. There could have been more, but Bomber doesn't get "walking" on the beach. I forgot until today that Chris got him from a family on Whidbey Island. He wanted to swim, and he was certain that given the chance he could catch a bird. It was a lot of work not giving him a chance.
Rudy livened up too, but he was excited because Bomber was excited. Bomber wanted to see everything, he wanted to be a dog on the beach, but leash laws and not being absolutely sure we would ever see him again prevented us from granting his hearts desire!
I wanted to bring Ray's GPS to track distance, couldn't find it before we left, I'll try again later.
Does the bankrupt United States have an extra 900 million dollars? Apparently we do or Sectary of State Clinton would not have pledged $900,000,000.00 to the Palestinian Authority. The things we choose to do with our money when we do not have any! The money we do have is borrowed from China (so I am told). China now owns us until our children and their children, and who knows how many generations of their children after them, are able to pay China back. You do know that we have not finished paying for "The New Deal" and it was a whole lot less money. Will we even last long enough for pay back or will the new national language be Chinese? What have we done? What foolishness are we still doing?
March is roaring instead of barking today. Wild wind gusts, pounding rain, teasing sun breaks. I was going to go to Tulalip Bay Marina for my March in March today, but Ray would rather I did not go there alone, so as soon as I am done with my school work, Rudy and I will head back to Mukilteo. Looks like hat, scarf and gloves weather. The wind might be blowing too hard for an umbrella.
The phrase from Amy Carmichael for March is "fear not". She added to that this morning with Psalm 60:12
Through God we shall do valiantly,
And it is He who will tread down our adversaries.
Amy added, "...Each of us has something to do which is not easy... If things were easy, where would be the fight? How should we be trained for Heavenly service? But there is no need ever to be overcome. God makes provision for victory, never for defeat. "
Sunday, March 1, 2009
25. Golden Crowned Kinglets (2/23)
24. Anna's Hummingbird (2/23)
23. Un-ID Hawk or Falcon (fly-over) (2/20)
22. Pileated Woodpecker (2/20)
21. Mallards (2/10)
20. Downy Woodpecker (Pacific, 2/6)
19. Bushtit (2/6)
18. European Starling (2/6)
17. Pine Siskin (2/6)
16. Chipping Sparrow (2/6)
15. Blackcapped Chickadee (2/6)
14. Spotted Towhee (2/5)
13. Chestnut-backed Chickadee (2/5)
12. House Finch (2/5)
11. (possible) Hutton's Vireo (2/5)
10. Northern Flicker (2/5)
9. Stellar Jay (my ol' buddy! on 2/4)
8. Cow Birds (3 on 2/4)
7. Song Sparrows (4 on 2/4)
6. Red Wing Blackbird (5 on 2/3)
5. California Gulls
4. Canada Goose
For March... Places to walk, urban and wild. Marching in March from a pin I used to always where on Saint Patrick's Day that said, "March the 17th, sleep the 18th. (my birthday is the 18th)
Did you know; that on this first day of March in 1781, The Continental Congress of the young United States adopted The Articles of Confederation? Remember from your Jr. High days, when you had to learn about things like the Continental Congress? Maybe of greater interest on March 1st, Yellowstone National Park was established as the world's first (not just the nation's) National Park in 1872.
We also have some black eye's on the 1st of March. 1971, The Weather Underground takes credit for an explosion from a bomb hidden in the Men's room of the Capital. Just to balance the evil scales between the Left and the Right, in 1974 indictments for the Watergate Scandal were delivered.
Sadly, I did not get any peas planted in February. It isn't too late yet, Saint Patrick's Day is my personal traditional day for Pea Planting. Lettuce should go in today (spinach and radishes too).
Apparently March is not traditionally a month of Good Luck. Not being one for tradition (never mind the Pea post) or luck, good or bad, I truly appreciated Amy Carmichael's passage for March 1 in Edges of His Ways.
I am more and more impressed as I read the Bible, by the reiterated "Fear not". There are so many promises, that it would not be strange if there were no "Fear not"; the promises are enough to rest upon. We should not need to be told not to be afraid, and yet there it is over and over again, in one form or another. This strong, loving encouraging "Fear not" of our God. Fear not, nor be afraid" (Deut 31:6-8 LXX) neither be cowardly (it is good sometimes to face the truth that yielding to fear is cowardice); "it is the Lord your God that advances with you in the midst of thee... And the Lord that goes with thee shall not forsake thee nor abandon thee."
It seems to be God's plan to allow all sorts of things to happen that would naturally cause fear, but to forestall them by the assurance of His presence. The Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, so Fear not, neither be dismayed.
I do not know what tomorrow brings, but I know who goes before me, Fear not!
By the way, congratulations to the winner of The Great February Bird Count, Pittswood Birds with a total of 46 birds seen from his yard in February. Mighty impressive!