Monthly Archives: December 2013

Christmas Thoughts…

A Christmas Story

Have you ever thought about Mary, or more properly….Miriam…the young Jewess of maybe 14 years old…who was told by God that she was most blessed of women?
And that she would give birth to the Messiah…Emmanuel…she, a virgin…who confessed that she, too…needed a Savior…
And soon…she would carry in her body …the Great I Am…in his earthly manifestation!
What awe and wonder she must have felt …
But let us take it a bit further here…for we, we who believe and are children of the living God…are told that our bodies are His earthly temple, in this present age of grace. ( He has no temple built of brick and stone, as spoken of in the Old Testament …)
And at the moment we believed …we were indwelt by the Holy Spirit…the third person of the Triune God…and as such…
We are carrying, in our very bodies…the Great I Am.
Today. Right now. Us.
Miriam carried His physical Being in her womb…we carry His Spiritual, living Self in our core…in the “Holy of Holies” ..that space that was empty in us, until we gave ourselves to Him…and He filled it…with Himself!
May this thought fill you with awe and wonder…especially now, as we “officially” celebrate His miraculous, prophesied birth.
Submitted in humility and thanks to God for sending His Son for our salvation, and for giving us the honor of Him being in us…and us, being in Him.

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Louise

louhdsn2013-hf@yahoo.com

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We Never Know…

Once, when I was working in a teaching hospital, a woman was admitted to the ER, having gone into a premature labor with her first child. She was in her 40s; she and her husband had been thrilled that she was able to conceive, and were looking forward to a new life together that would include this miracle baby. They had married only a year prior.
As she labored, things were not going well; the docs had already contacted her husband and he was on his way to the hospital.
Things progressed; her child was still-born.
While she was still in the ER, things having moved along very quickly …no time to admit her to the OB floor …a gurney was rolled past her cubicle and on it…was her husband.
He had been involved in an automobile accident at the intersection next to the hospital proper, and was pronounced dead in the ER.
She saw him being rolled by, as the staff worked on him. He had been rolled in next to her space, so she also heard everything that accompanies a full working code where the staff is desperately doing everything in their power to bring a person back.
The hospital staff did not know he was her husband.
As everything began to be sorted out…and she was told that, yes…it was him…yes, he is gone…no one knew how to approach her.
All words…were trite, meaningless and without comfort.
The Administrators said the only thing they could do was to see that no bills were incurred.
The various docs tried to bring some sort of solace to her, also promising that all the medical services involved would not submit bills. Neither Nursing or Social services seemed able to offer anything but lip service ..
We all cried.
She did not.
I remember her stolid expression, her uncomprehending, staring eyes, and the sense that there were no words that could begin to break through the horror that had just occurred, up-ending her very life. (Her husband’s accident happened at the moment of the baby’s death.)
All she wanted was to go home. Her family came for her, and she left.

Recently, the memory of this little, broken family came to mind.
Did she believe in God? I do not know. If she knew God, did the events of that terrible day strengthen her faith, or make her bitter; turning her against the only true Comforter that she could ever know?

How quickly a life is changed, a life taken, a family torn apart by a crisis, by death.

When their day began, I imagine a man going off to work…perhaps a kiss goodby….a woman beginning her usual activities of the morning. Without a clue of what was to come.

Our days might begin much the same, with no promise that any of us will be here in the evening. Our daily habits carrying us along oblivious to the external forces that are swirling all about us…those unseen and sometimes malevolent powers that rule the earth and affect the lives of all…even those of us who believe.

We are promised trials and tribulations. PROMISED.

** 2Th 1:3    We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
1:4    So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
1:5    Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: **

For, just as we are buried in Christ’s death when we first believe, we, as his body….will also endure and share the pain, suffering, alone-ness, scorn…that He suffered prior to His death on the cross.

We all will suffer. Some greatly, some to a lesser degree. (But who; who on this earth can determine these degrees of tribulation given each who is truly in Christ? Perhaps having a hangnail might hold the same level of travail as one who suffers an amputation! We cannot know this, and so should not compare each person’s burden against another’s, or our own with a fellow child of God. Pride can rear it’s ugly head if one is not careful, for even in suffering there is a human tendency to place one “trial” above another’s…this can happen if we take our eyes off of Christ Jesus.)

One thing is sure. Every iota of pain that one endures…be it physical, or emotional..it is ultimately for God’s glory. It is meant for someone else to see…to witness.

** Rom 5:3    And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

** 2Co 12:10    Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. **

The world is watching us, as each new seemingly endless “problem” hits us. Do we complain? Do we murmur about it? Are we gripers with sad, mournful faces?

Remember the tribes of Israel in the desert. They were given all they needed during that time…their shoes never wore out, their food was provided every day, their clothing never aged, and God walked with them.

** Deu 8:3    And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
8:4    Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. **

Yet, they murmured. And grumbled. And forgot how bad things were for them back in Egypt….longing to go back …forever looking behind them and not looking ahead, preparing for all that God has promised them when they started out on their Exodus from the land where they were slaves and prisoners. Ungrateful.

Their reward? All who murmured died in that desert, and until that generation had passed away, no one could pass into the Promised Land. Forty years.

** Num 14:27    How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.
14:28    Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:
14:29    Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,
14:30    Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
14:31    But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
14:32    But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.
14:33    And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.
14:34    After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
14:35    I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. **

Now, we have a promised Land ahead of us, if we truly believe. And we also have been given all that we need, the moment we believed!

** Php 4:19    But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
4:20    Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. **

** 1Co 2:9    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. **

We will soon be called up into that Heaven at a time known only to The Lord Himself, and that event is called the Rapture, after which we will be eternally with out our Lord and Savior.

** 1Th 4:16    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
4:17    Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
4:18    Wherefore comfort one another with these words. **

But there is a judgement that we will face…before the Bema Seat of Jesus Christ, when our deeds on earth will stand the test of fire…are they wheat and chaff..or gold and jewels, which will only be further refined from that tremendous heat…and will determine whether a crown is to be rewarded to us.

If one is a murmurer or a complainer…well, there’s certainly chaff-like fodder for the fire. No reward there. How sad to have lived an entire life as a follower of Christ…and have nothing to show for it…nothing to show to HIM when our “works” …those works done after we are saved….are judged for their truth …done in (supposedly) God’s name!!!

** Rom 14:10    But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
14:11    For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
14:12    So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. **

The time is short. We are commanded to run this race with a goal of being a winner. The Holy Spirit will direct you; this is not a prideful thing, but a command. As we become more like Him, our “fruits” will become more pure, more worthy of Him.

Complaining is not a part of what we are instructed to do. We are to bear our burdens with joy and long -suffering…even helping others within the body as they follow their path, and come to moments of crisis.

If you were that woman in the emergency room on that rainy, sad day….how would you have reacted when all was said and done? Could you have thrown yourself before God and thanked Him for trusting you enough to give you such a burden? Would you have endured the grief and continued on the straight path, with no recrimination? Or …would you have cursed God and become bitter.

We always have a choice. Go for the gold; grin and bear it…or succumb to the sorrows in your life!

Talk to Abba. To PaPa. To Daddy. (I love the story of a French cleric, who, when in prayer, imagines himself climbing into and then curled up in the lap of his very own Daddy.) just as you might have been able to go to your earthly father with your problems…even moreso is our God available to us at every moment. Every single moment, in HIS omniscience!

My prayer is that no one would have to endure such moments, but reality is that they happen. Every day. With no respect of persons.
God is no “respecter” of persons.

** Rom 2:11    For there is no respect of persons with God. **

And I still pray for the woman who faced such a day, so long ago. That she had, and even now has… comfort in The Lord; looking forward to the time that she will finally meet her child, and that the person standing next to her baby…will be the man who was taken up at the same time.

God is good…His mercy endures forever.

Maranatha…

Louise Hudson

louhdsn2013-hf@yahoo.com

One Way

One Way

Mat 7:13    Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Luk 8:12    Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

Joh 10:14    I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
10:15    As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
10:16    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
10:17    Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
10:18    No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Heb 10:18    Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
10:19    Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 10:20    By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
10:21    And having an high priest over the house of God;
10:22    Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
10:23    Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
10:24    And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

The church as an institution, as a religion…keeps us guessing about our salvation.
(If we rely on those weekly sermons for all our spiritual guidance, that is.) Gee, maybe you need to do just one more thing, to insure that salvation, just in case! Are you sure you’re saved? Have you sinned lately? Are you feeling guilty enough yet?

How many of us have been in that position….(she says, holding her hand way up in the air…) bible study on Tuesday (with a denominationally approved study book…not necessarily the bible…in fact, perhaps spending the allotted time in reading ABOUT the scriptures, and never venturing into them)…Wednesday night choir practice, Friday or Saturday Altar Guild, Sunday teaching Sunday School, after that, time for the big kid’s church time; then after the service is done, cleaning up the kitchen and the altar in readiness for next week’s or maybe that evening’s service…add in time spent getting ready for the teaching duty, along with random evenings given over to church council meetings…

Speaking for myself…while doing those things, tending to the “things” of church life…there was still a sense that it was not enough…that even if being in that building 24 hours a day…there was still a demand for more, more…the focus being on the external things, those chores involved in just maintaining the building where everyone gathered on a weekly basis.

There was something missing. Nice to see the group regularly…nice hearing the pastor speak about his topic….nice to have that self-righteous feeling of being a faithful church-goer…but…(now, I should add here…that several good pastors along the way did preach from the bible, and taught the scriptures… so there was a basic understanding passed down…)
But…there was a constant “nudge”…things were not right.

We were not focused on Jesus Christ. Our Saviour. The God stepped down from His high place…who came to earth and died for our sins…way before we were born. The One who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us…and from the day that He was resurrected onward, offered us the free gift of grace! Grace…unmerited… nothing else required us but believing in God’s Son and His having risen three days after his death on the cross.

There was no passion among us who gathered in that building…no urgency to learn all about this miracle that took place so many years ago. No desire to understand, with the wisdom given only by the Holy Spirit…just how we are to live our lives according to HIS standards, HIS commands…in these times, during our lives. We just followed the service book, mindlessly repeating the familiar words printed there…memorized words, without meaning.

I wonder if Paul, when writing the Epistles…was concerned with decorating an altar in accordance with a denominational “season?” With making sure that the pews were dusted and shiny to accommodate the gathering of the believers?

Or…was his heart set on letting us know about the new creatures we would become, once we believed? How that we would be and are accosted by Satan every moment of every day…giving us the tools to withstand those assaults; supporting us and teaching how to stand firm in our faith, even as the world crumbles around us? Reminding us that our battle is spiritual and unseen…not physical and obvious…that those moments when we doubt ourselves are actually ideas planted in our mind by the adversary…as he tries to chisel away at our belief, trying to slow or halt our growth in The Lord?

Because, once we believe and immediately become indwelt by the Holy Spirit…our lives forever change. We must submit to the Spirit and allow Him to lead us…to study the scriptures every day, for in those living words are our direction, as well as the answers that we seek when we pray to our God. We have access to HIM whenever we wish…to Abba, Father, Daddy. Once we believe, His Son intercedes for us, allowing us that wonderful access to our creator; His Father. Our will becomes overridden by His will, as “we” become less, and HE becomes more. We come to the end of ourselves.

Those churchly tasks being done every week serve man’s purpose. Our “work”, after accepting that free gift of faith…lies in showing the fruits of our union with Jesus Christ. For we are joined with Him, as a part of His body. (Did someone just “happen” to drop by…and there were moments of sharing biblical truths with that person? Well…the Spirit gives us the words that we need, to use at the proper time. He reaches into our mental library and pulls forth the biblical references that the other person needs to hear…of course, those references are accumulated by reading and reading and reading the bible. The hidden shelves in our minds begin to fill. When we paid attention to the Spirit’s lead..it might just be that a seed was planted in the mind of that surprise visitor.) An example of fruit-bearing. We display kindness, hospitality, joy, gentleness, patience…no matter what is happening…others see these traits in us…and begin to wonder how we can be so steady…it is all spelled out in The Book.

But there is more to the story. Our Saviour…is Jewish. And His birth was prophesied in the Old Testament. How pleasing it might be to His Father, our God…if we search out those prophecies…if we study those who came before…if we understand not only our role in this dispensation…but learn the deep history of His earthly ancestors. The better to approach the time when Jesus will be ruling and reigning, with us beside Him…during the Millenium. For the world will be back under the Law…the Temple operating…the animal sacrifices once more taking place. So says scripture. The dispensation of grace will have ended. (I wonder what a father in law would think of a new member of the family that took the time to study..in order to fit into his or her new culture in the smoothest way possible?) Our teacher, the Holy Ghost, will guide us, revealing to us what we need to know as we continue to grow in Him.

For me…this was almost everything that was missing, knowing our heritage; learning about the family into which we have been so wonderfully adopted..beginning to grasp the references to Old Testament happenings…but when being part of the religious world… The tradition, the ritual, the order of service…all of these things took my eyes off of the entire bible…as well as The Lord Jesus Christ. ( And keeping our eyes and hearts and minds on Him, makes everything else fall into place and any ensuing problems are resolved by the God who has adopted us into His Family. ) The peace that He promised follows…unexplainable joy…these coming only when we truly submit; give ourselves over to Him.

If you, too….have that empty sense…as you follow a denominational path…grab your bible, talk to God and ask Him to help you…to direct your reading…you do not need a “study” plan, or a daily prayer guide. That Guide is living in you, if you truly believe! And…that Guide holds all the answers! Didn’t He take part in the creation of this world? Didn’t He comfort Jesus during. His trials on earth? Isn’t he the third person of the triune God? And thus…God?

There is so much to learn, and so little time. As your biblical wisdom grows, so does your fellowship deepen with God. You will know it is happening. An intimacy is there…unknown to those who will not give over their own will…who ignore the outstretched hand, following their own will…going their own way.

There is only one way. Choose wisely when deciding who to follow. You cannot lose your salvation, for you are sealed at the moment you believe. But..if you think of your life now being a test run, a pre-employment evaluation for a future job placement during the Millennium…well, I would trust the Spirit to lead the way. He’ll take you…straight…to where you’re meant to be.

When you were saved, God’s plan for your life sprang into action. And His word does not return to Him, void.

Maranatha…
Louise