I grew up with brothers—three of them. Subsequently, my childhood was consumed by fear. My survival depended upon learning how to manage not only my circumstances but also my fear. At any given moment, day or night, one little slip, the briefest momentary letting down of the guard, and I could find myself under attack. So I developed coping skills.
Today I belong to Jesus—body and soul. Today I have an inheritance that reflects my spiritual DNA, and although I face daily temptations and suffer momentary affliction, I am also today sustained by this tomorrow-identity, from now until beyond the grave. Sin—the flesh, the world, the enemy—works to make me forget truth. When it succeeds, comfort flees, and I seek pseudo-comforts, and when they disappoint, I react accordingly in anger or dismay, eventually bearing out the consequences of idolatry. However, there is timelessness in God’s grace and forgiveness. My tomorrow-identity depends upon His integrity, not my feelings.[viii] His passage through the veil with me cannot be reversed or undone. His resurrection adheres me to Him, and He cannot become un-resurrected.
Here is the parenting book that I can recommend to young moms. Christina Fox starts with the divine model for biblical parenting (the reason why it’s important and why it’s possible), highlighting the ways in which our Father God parents us, and then clearly reveals and explains from Scriptural narratives and teachings what His parenting looks like, giving us a map to follow.
Trotting this out for Valentine’s Day, just because I love to mull the steadfast goodness of God. First posted in … More
How things have changed—and yet, they’ve stayed the same! Time never seems to act the way we want it to. I find it incomprehensible that I am in my 50s, that more than half of an average woman’s lifetime has elapsed—until I look in the mirror and see that my mind’s eye has tricked me and aging’s truth serum reveals the brutal reality that so many years have sped by.
But, on the other hand, I seem to spend so much energy marking time wherein there seems to be no evidence that my prayers are heard or regarded in the heavens.
Who says Christmas has to come to a close? Who says that just because the boxes and bags get broken down and packed away for use next year that we can’t intentionally and carefully prepare beautiful presents and packages of love and ministry for one another?
Christ is the altar of our faith. He is the feast that sustains us and infuses our life and being with delight and joy, nurture and nourishment and strength (Hebrews 13:10-11). He is the living bread, unlike any bread prepared here on earth. More heavenly than the most buttery croissant, more delectable than the sweetest challah, more rich in sustenance than the most rustic grain loaf, Jesus provides life everlasting, joys unimaginable, strength for the ages.
Share this feast. Read the evangel with someone this year. Bring the testimony of the kingdom to someone who is hungry.
Simeon believed. He didn’t merely exist, letting the days go by unmarked, unmindful of greater things being done in the heavens, oblivious to the work the Lord was doing to prepare the world for His coming—or even discounting the prophecies, and deciding God might not be as trustworthy as he supposed. He noted the times, and he believed the prophets who said no one is like God. No one could perceive how he works. He is beyond this time and space, and as such, he is the only One who can demand we trust him as he is.
With every whispered word of love by his mother Mary, every call to supper, every instruction in his father’s carpenter shop or the classroom of the rabbis, every shouted greeting in the marketplace, heaven’s victory over the grave was announced to all. “God with us!” “God with us!” “God with us!”
The true message of Christmas is about two invasions. One was necessary to cast out the usurper, the one who by pretense occupied God’s territory. For him and his followers, there is no peace for those who rebel to the end. The other invasion was necessary to pierce my stony heart.