"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

She Knows

An Afternoon Walk

Feeling burdened with unspecified, “personal issues,” I headed out for a brisk, springtime afternoon walk. Within the first block I began gazing at the blue sky and wispy clouds while taking in great gulps of Northwest Montana’s pristine, springtime air. And my self-pity began to slip off my back as I began a prayer of gratitude.

Within a few energetic paces, a praise litany of my Father’s love-stained attributes and works started coursing through my mind and spirit, but soon I realized that what I know about him isn’t even a thimbleful out of the ocean of his infinite reality. A feeling of frustration and inadequacy began to overtake me as once again I realized my gross ignorance of the universe’s most hard won knowledge, but what would have soon became a runaway elevator of emotional baggage stopped its plunge and shot straight to the Son.
My Lord Jesus bought me a place before the Throne of Grace, where I will bask, unprotected, in God’s glorious radiance, gazing forever at his infinite light in full knowledge of who he really is. What thrills me the most is I’ll never run short of things to praise him for, my voice will never crack from the singing, and my arms will never wear out from keeping them uplifted before him. It’ll be like an anointed camp meeting to the nth degree and forever.
But wait! There’s more. Not only will I share in the infinite joy of worshiping him among the multitude of the redeemed, but I’ll have personal access to the eternal, self-existent Father and his Word incarnate, Jesus, his glorified Son. I’ll walk with him in the cool, golden radiance of the New Jerusalem, even as the first Adam walked with him in the cool of Eden’s evenings. I will no longer cringe in the shame of his fully knowing my inner darkness because I’ll know better. I’ll completely understand his perfect love, and finally know how he could love and die for me, even with my many imperfections.
I felt like the Apostle Paul’s description of a man “caught up unto the third heaven.” Though my “vision” was certainly not that vivid or out-of-body, the Lord edified me nonetheless.
My cool, Montana afternoon’s walk had become a stroll through paradise with my loving, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The one thing I deserve least in this world had become the most real experience ever.

Need to Share

While I was bursting with joy and the need to share it, I thought of Nancy, and wished she were still at home so I could hurry back and tell her of my enlightening time in the Lord. But after all these months I began crying anew with her loss. My emotional elevator began plummeting back toward earth like a space capsule near to burning up on reentry.
As the heat of despair threatened to penetrate my emotional shield, another realization arrested my fall quicker than a parachute. And this thought really turned on my emotional faucet.
Nancy loved two things in this world more than all else: Her Savior. And hugs. At this moment, wherever heaven is, Nancy is enjoying a King-size bear hug in her Savior’s arms, and if possible, squeezing the air out of his lungs as well.
I don’t have to tell her about heaven’s wonders. She already knows!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Christian Marriage Today

Knot Untying 101

As I was thinking about all the second marriages, ended marriages and ex-spouses, I lamented the state of “Christian marriages” today. It seems as if they were truly Christian, they’d be centered on him, not on the spouses. Yet, one or both become disillusioned, disappointed, or otherwise discombobulated and they trot off to a divorce lawyer, who in turn makes another gleeful trip to the bank with the legal fees.
Okay, that’s an oversimplification. Too often the grievances are quite real, but it still means at least one of the blissful couple fowled up badly enough for the other to call it quits. Whether the “innocent” party was truly innocent, refused to consider forgiveness and reconciliation, or was just looking for an excuse to split, only God knows for sure. No matter who was at fault for the failed marriage, God hates divorce.

So, why get married?

If God had intended women only for reproduction, he could as easily have created man with asexual reproduction, but he removed the rib and formed it into a unique being. God made man in-complete in order to complete him.

And Jehovah God formed the rib which He had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man.

(Gen 2:22 LITV)

Ecc 4:9-12 LITV
(9) Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.
(10) For if they fall, this one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him, the one that falls, and there is not another to lift him up.
(11) Also if two lie together, then they have warmth; but for one, how is he warm?
(12) And if one overthrows him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly torn apart. (The threefold cord includes God as the strongest strand.)

Together, these passages point out that people—especially male and female-type people—need each other. God did not create men and women to live in monasteries and convents, but to complement and help one another. In the fallen world, with our current self-centered expectations, only a very few couples are sufficiently compatible to remain together for life. But in a marriage centered on Jesus, though the spouses will experience much of the same misunderstanding, disillusionment and disappointment, Godly love will overcome all human weaknesses.