Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wounded, but Healed

Just wrote this for the devotional website http://daily.presbycan.ca/ , but thought I'd share here too...especially since it's been a little while since writing last. I was thinking about Good Friday and Easter and all that Jesus went through for us. Makes me realize I am not thankful enough!

Wounded, but Healed

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (NIV)

Last year, I had surgery on my neck due to a disc pressing on my spinal cord. I was not looking forward to it for numerous reasons. I was scared of surgery. Not because I thought something would happen, just the fact of the unknown. How would I feel afterward? How long would it take to recover? I had things to do. This would be a crimp in MY plan(s).

I do not consider myself vain and did not really think about the wound or subsequent scar. I was told it would be on one of the lines of my neck and would not be that noticeable. Considering the work that needed to be done, it is a small scar that is healing and becoming less noticeable.

When I first took off my bandages, I was disappointed at how red it looked. It was more raised up then I thought it would be. For a long time, I would wear a small bandage over it. I was uncomfortable with the fact that people would notice and then I’d have to explain what had happened. As if the bandage wasn’t noticeable.

The Bible doesn’t mention a lot about scars. It mentions wounds quite a bit. I think of the wounds that Jesus suffered at the hands of his accusers. The whipping and beating that He took on our behalf. The long, painful walk He took bearing our cross. Hanging on the cross where he was wounded even more deeply. The scarlet blood that flowed from His wounds is blood that washed away our sins. The feeling of being forsaken. He was not concerned about His earthly body. He died once to bring healing and the chance of relationship to all.

Isaiah 53:4-5 4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (NLT)

God, You know us better than we know ourselves. You know the wounds we have and have tried to hide. You know the wounds we may have inflicted on others. Thank you for your devotion to us through Jesus. Thank you for the freedom we can have through you. Thank you for the scars that can help us lead others to you. Amen

Monday, March 16, 2009

A New Closet

Opened my blog to post the review of The Shack, and was struck by the verse from www.biblegateway.com So, an added bonus today (seems feast or famine when I write!)

The verse:
“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”- Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

As Spring approaches...and in reality, I need to do it anyway, I've been cleaning out our closets. The kids have grown so some of their items are being handed down or handed over to Goodwill or Love Inc. I'm trying to follow the rule if you haven't worn it in x months, get rid of it. I finally had to admit that even if some styles come back in fashion...I didn't really like them that much the first time! ;)

This verse since it mentions "clothe" yourselves caught my eye. Then I read what I can clothe myself with. Wow! Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. How much different my day would be if I pull my clothes from THAT closet.

Right before that verse was listed all the things I could be rid of.

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:7-10 (NIV)

Those are not even worth recycling or handing down. Time for a NEW SELF and a better closet. Look out best dressed list! We've got a new wardrobe.

My review of The Shack (novel)

A few friends had mentioned this book and it was also brought up on a discussion board for the radio station I listen to. Now that I've read the book, I posted there and just copied and pasted (to save some writing time...gotta LOVE technology!). Here is my take on The Shack:

I did finally read this book. It is one of few I actually argued with myself and put more thought into before reading (The Left Behind series was one of the others). I borrowed it from the library and there was still a lengthy waiting period, so I assume people are still reading or waiting to read this book.

Thank you to the person who posted the review. (http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001788.cfm) I read it prior and just read through it again. It does bring up some good points.

The reviews and who they are by, partially influenced me. A quote from Michael W. Smith is on the back. Eugene Peterson (translated/wrote The Message version of the Bible) compared it to Pilgrim's Progress. (sidenote: having just read a modern short version of Pilgrim's Progress, I would not compare the 2).

After I read the book, I also checked out the website. http://www.theshackbook.com/ It is stated clearly on the website and on the back of the book it is FICTION and it is stated to be a novel. I haven't even got to the forums (no time), but I'm sure they would be interesting.

There were some things (OK, a lot) that made me go Hmmmm and I would like to follow up on by checking in the Bible. I hope that is what others will do as well. The book dwelled on relationship more than "religion". It came across to me as VERY spiritual, almost new age, if I was more versed in what that was.

My one word of warning would be that somewhere I read it mentions it is great for new believers as well. I do not think I would go that far. My personal opinion would be read through the New Testament (at least) before attempting this book even as fiction.

Sometimes, I think we read to much into books. However, authors/writers have a responsibility to know that their words carry power, for good or evil. We, as readers, have a responsibility to seek out truth and apply it to our lives as we see fit.

One thing I have personally struggled with? How can I take time for ALL the fiction/self-help/fun reads and can't find more time to read the Bible? Hmmmm.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Biblical recipe....add ___________

Obviously, the Bible is NOT a cookbook, but the verses below sound like they would make up a pretty good recipe. Because we are blessed, add ___________ (fill in the blank) and we already have the basic ingredients (see vs 3).

2 Peter 1 : 2 -9 (NCV) Grace and peace be given to you more and more, because you truly know God and Jesus our Lord.
God Has Given Us Blessings

3 Jesus has the power of God, by which he has given us everything we need to live and to serve God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus called us by his glory and goodness. 4 Through these he gave us the very great and precious promises. With these gifts you can share in God's nature, and the world will not ruin you with its evil desires.
5 Because you have these blessings, do your best to add these things to your lives: to your faith, add goodness; and to your goodness, add knowledge;6 and to your knowledge, add self-control; and to your self-control, add patience; and to your patience, add service for God;7 and to your service for God, add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ; and to this kindness, add love.8 If all these things are in you and are growing, they will help you to be useful and productive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 But anyone who does not have these things cannot see clearly. He is blind and has forgotten that he was made clean from his past sins.

I am really thankful for vs 4. The world and its evil desires are rather scary at the moment BUT we have great and precious promises. Then, like icing on a cake, we can add goodness, knowledge, self-control, patience, service for God, kindness for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and LOVE.

When we start to focus on what's outside of the mixing bowl of our life (our circumstances), we can change our perspective and outlook and work on adding the extras for an even sweeter life. Then we can share with those who might need a reminder that God loves them and wants a sweet life for them too.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Funny (not ha ha funny) that this was just laid on my heart again. I was thinking of the verses in Ecclesiastes about time...a time to weep....a time to laugh, etc. I had the feeling I had written about this before because it seems to be an ongoing theme in my life. I looked back in the "labels" under time....and I had used these verses Feb. 28, 2008. Hmmmm....almost a year to the day.

I have things I need to get done. I work better with deadlines and the dreaded schedule. My household, kids, marriage, etc. do too. However, I like to think I can wing it. I get out of the habit of writing a to-do list, keeping up my calendar, making necessary appointments, etc. AND I am still surprised when my life then starts to spin out of control.

So, I glance back over the verses.

Ecclesiastes 3 (NIV) A Time for Everything 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

The chapter goes on for 14 more phrases of a time to....and a time for. The verse above is the only one that mentions a season. As we seem temporarily stuck in winter and a faltering economy, I need to remind myself that seasons change. There will be a new time for everything and a new season. I read on:

9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

I look forward to everything being made beautiful again. I am reminded that eternity is more important than the time to ....... (fill in the blank)

I will enjoy memories from yesterday, I will live for today, I will look forward to the promise tomorrow holds. With God's help and His agenda, I will manage time so it does not manage me.