Thursday, January 24, 2008

Of Politics and Pups and other earthly stuff – Part 2

I’m going to make a prediction. I can tell you who will be the next President of the United States. (Please do not call FOX News—we don’t need satellite uplink trucks in our yard!) Let’s approach this Biblically. Daniel 4: 17: “The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.'” Daniel 4:32: "You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."
2 Chronicles 20:6: "O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you."

The next President of the United States will be…the exact person God intended. Yes, the exact person God intended. If your candidate doesn’t win, don’t pull the hair out of your head. Chill out, don’t trust in men, and trust in God who put them in their place. We live in a marvelous system; work for your candidate but if he or she is not God’s sovereign choice, relax.

This said, we as men and women get into trouble when we trust men rather than God. When Ronald Reagan was President, I was happy because I thought he was the one of the finest Presidents ever but when he was in office, Nancy Reagan was consulting astrologists. We should trust God, not men. As men we will fail one another. Don’t trust in men, trust in the God who made them and put them in place of leadership.

One other earthly thing we worry about is our health. We want good health to prolong our life. We should work towards that; the choice is ours how we get to the finish line. Psalm 139:16b says: "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." It says our days on earth were numbered before one of them came to be. We will not die one day too soon or one day too late. The Sovereign Lord has our days numbered; in many ways this is all hard to understand. Let’s make every effort to be healthy; let’s live each and every day God has given us with passion and with fire. Let’s make the most of the time God has given to us.

I think of the words of the song “What a Friend we have in Jesus;” the words in part say, “Oh what needless pain we bear.” Yes, what needless pain we bare when we worry about earthly things that God has taken care of. In John 3:12 it says: "I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?"

May we trust the Lord for these earthly things until He brings us home to be with Christ. Yes, those Heavenly things…bring on those Heavenly things.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Things we say to ourselves…

For illustration: it is early morning as you shuffle across the kitchen floor to get your first cup of hot coffee but you drop the hot coffee on your bare foot, burning your foot, breaking the cup, spraying hot coffee over the floor, the cupboards, the stove face, etc. You stand still for a moment and what do you call yourself; jerk, idiot or even worse. We say things to ourselves we would never say to anyone else.

As we stand there, we need to make a decision; should we soak your foot in ice? Should we pick up the broken cup? Should we wipe down all the coffee spills? As we do these three separate tasks, we talk to ourselves heaping more stupid, self-talk comments upon our head.

I ask you this “Is dropping a cup of hot coffee really that big of a deal?” I mean, what will it matter in one hour, one day, or one week? But in the process, we beat ourselves up about our dorkiness, clumsiness, being a klutz, whatever. Then we wonder, why do I feel downhearted?

There is much emphasis on how we treat others. That is good; but I wonder, how do we treat ourselves? I mean, how do we react to life’s situations and battles with a Christ-like attitude?

Someone once said, humility is knowing the truth about ourselves. I need to realize God orders the small things in my life. Daniel 1:9: Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel,

I need to recognize my lack of control and I need to let go of my need to control, comment or pontificate on everything that happens in my life. I need to stop making a mountain out of a molehill. When we make mountains out of molehills, it rings of self-exaltation, making ourselves a larger part of the mosaic of life than we really are. This is all a form of human pride.

We need to ask ourselves, what is the center of our life, me, myself and I or is it the Lord? I ask you what do you think about when you have nothing to think about? Whatever it is, it’s a good bet it is the center of your life.

Let’s not overstate our importance, lets not beat ourselves up saying things about ourselves we would never say about or to anyone else. Lets be humble, knowing the truth about ourselves.

Yes Lord, I’m a sinner saved by grace. Because of Christ, I’m your child. Ah, sweet, sweet Jesus. Amen.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Of politics and pups and other earthly stuff – Part I

Lily is our black lab. She had strayed to my cousin, Keith’s place and we couldn’t find the rightful owner. She ended up at our place. Lily has been a special addition here at the Seehusen farm; always happy in demeanor, always ready for a walk. She leaps for joy when she realizes we’re going for a walk.

I took her in to the vet; some work was done but we planned on spaying her later. (You can see it coming can’t you?) We didn’t get the job done in time; yes, Lily was pregnant.

Last Saturday a.m. Lily was her normal, buoyant, joyous self, somewhat slower due to the fact that she was carrying pups. She was begging for treats and needed a lot of Ol’ Jer’s attention; a typical day for a very pregnant Lily. Judi checked her at 3:30—two pups; I checked at 9:30 p.m.—nine beautiful pups! When I was cleaning up the nest, Lily was all business; no treat begging dog here; no fawning for Ol’ Jer’s attention. Inside of three hours her demeanor changed completely. She became a dedicated mom and was 100% focused on those new pups.

I marveled how great God is. By His creative genius He made all this possible. It is a thing of beauty. This mundane process of having pups makes me marvel. The instinct of the pups to seek, the mom’s instinct to protect and provide and the provision and timing of their birth, on a day when we were home and it was warm.

You may say “big deal” you’re dog had pups. I know I’m a simple country boy but I still marvel at the new birth of animals, sunrises and birds who find enough feed to make it through a cold winter. Call me simple but I still marvel. Only God could do all this; yes, only God.

Do you, as a professing Christian, believe God created and sustains all His creation? Or do you believe in evolution? Do you doubt God’s ability to create or sustain? These are all earthly things. Why should He trust us with heavenly things? Why should God bless us with heavenly things when we doubt His obvious presence in earthly things? “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” John 3:12

Friends of ours grew up in Romania under the communist system. Their families were some of the few Christian families in Romania in the 1950’s and 1960’s. They suffered for their faith. If you are a communist you must believe in evolution. Our friends believed God created them. They would tell their childhood friends who pestered them because of their belief, “You may be descended from monkeys but God created us.”

Earthly things, origins, standing up for truth; “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” John 3:12

Friday, January 04, 2008

2008 – The Bride sits…

Joshua 24:31: Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel.

What happened to Israel after Joshua and the elders died? They fell into sin and disobedience. Joshua had a clear call to occupy all the land God promised to them. They only occupied part of the land God promised them. After Joshua and the elders died, the leaders thought “Hey, we’ve arrived; we live in the Land of milk and honey. This is cool, let’s just occupy and not push to occupy the rest of the land."

The assignment they were given was not completed; not completed for almost 500 years up until the time of King David. In their complacency, they forgot about their God given assignment and just loved to occupy the land.

The purpose of war is to gain victory. When victorious, we are to occupy. What’s the purpose or reason we occupy? Its purpose is to promote advancement.

We are in spiritual war; God versus the devil, good versus evil. God has equipped us for victory but before we have complete victory we decided to occupy. We rub our fat bellies and almost totally forget our assignment to advance the Kingdom of God… We love to sit and occupy.

Joshua reminded the leaders who would follow of God’s complete and total provision in Joshua 23:14 ("Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”) Every one of God’s promises has been kept/fulfilled; kept to the full. God has, God will, and will forever accomplish all His purposes and He has called us to be tools used of Him to participate in the accomplishment of our assignment. Our assignment is to take the love, hope, and freedom of Jesus Christ to the hurting world. BUT the church, the Bride of Christ, seems more interested in occupation rather than advancement. We sit because we have become aware of whom we are rather than who God is! We want our agenda not His. We are self centered, self consumed, occupied, and we love it.

The safest place for Christians to be is on the front line not sitting and protecting what we have. We must become like the first “fisherman disciples” who when they met Christ abandoned their boats. We need to pull our boats of self sufficiency, pride, and self-confidence onto the shore and burn them.

In Luke 10 Jesus commissions the 72. He sends them out and tells them “you will be like lambs among wolves.” Not a reassuring statement as wolves like to eat sheep. But the disciples come back…Luke 10:17: The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."

The Lord issues the assignment and provides the means to accomplish it. Pull the boats onto the shore, burn them, and go to the front lines. For the only thing that is truly safe is what God protects. Rise up, Church. Go to war, fight until there is complete victory, never quit, occupy where you can but never be content to sit. Advancement of God’s Kingdom is our assignment. Let’s go do it!Go into all the world…”