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Bind Us Together, Lord

7 Apr

 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

For many years, I thought this verse meant if we just kind of sit and wait patiently, without striving, God would renew our strength to help us get through those tough times when we are worn down to nothing.

But. No.

The word wait, qavah, means to bind together by twisting. When we bind ourselves together with the Lord by twisting, He renews our strength. Renew written in the tense it is written, the Hiphil Imperfect, means that God will exchange our strength for His.  It is through the binding together that this happens.

BIND US TOGETHER, Lord, Bind us together
With cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord,
Bind us together,
Bind us together with love.

 

My New Favorite Word – Compassionated

14 Mar

Passion Flower Growing in Costa Rica

O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited [expectantly] for You. Be the arm [of Your servants—their strength and defense] every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. Isaiah 33:2 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

One of the meanings of the word gracious, chanan, in this verse is compassionated. Not only is that a great word and a new one to me, but it’s written as a command.  Isaiah is commanding God to be compassionated toward us. We all know the meaning of the word opinionated–full of opinions.  Isaiah is asking, no commanding, God to be full of compassion toward us.

compassion (n.) mid-14c., from Old French compassion “sympathy, pity” (12c.), from Late Latin compassionem (nominative compassio) “sympathy,” noun of state from past participle stem of compati “to feel pity,” from com “with, together” (see com-) + pati “to suffer” (see passion).

passion (n.) late 12c., “sufferings of Christ on the Cross,” from Old French passion “Christ’s passion, physical suffering” (10c.), from Late Latin passionem (nominative passio) “suffering, enduring,” from past participle stem of Latin pati “to suffer, endure,” possibly from PIE root *pe(i) “to hurt” (see fiend).

Sense extended to sufferings of martyrs, and suffering generally, by early 13c.; meaning “strong emotion, desire” is attested from late 14c., from Late Latin use of passio to render Greek pathos. Replaced Old English þolung (used in glosses to render Latin passio), literally “suffering,” from þolian (v.) “to endure.” Sense of “sexual love” first attested 1580s; that of “strong liking, enthusiasm, predilection” is from 1630s. The passion-flower so called from 1630s.

The name passionflower — flos passionis — arose from the supposed resemblance of the corona to the crown of thorns, and of the other parts of the flower to the nails, or wounds, while the five sepals and five petals were taken to symbolize the ten apostles — Peter … and Judas … being left out of the reckoning. [“Encyclopaedia Britannica,” 1885]

Latin compassio is an ecclesiastical loan-translation of Greek sympatheia (see sympathy). An Old English loan-translation of compassion was efenðrowung.

I pray (not command) that the Lord be compassionated with us today. And that we be compassionated with one another due to the price Jesus paid on the cross for us.

 

S.T.O.P.

26 Feb
CAM00034

As you can plainly see, I’m having difficulty with the “O” in S.T.O.P..

I recently attended a workshop on executive functions–which just means what you need to do to execute anything.  The acronym we were taught was S.T.O.P..

S = Space

T = Time

O = Objects

P = People

For example, if I’m leaving work and want to stop at the grocery store before a 6:00 appointment, I need to think of the route I want to take (Space), I need to work backwards from 6:00 and think of the drive time to and from the grocery store and determine how much time I can spend at the grocery store (Time).  I also need to think of what I need to bring, like my wallet and passport and what I need to buy (Objects).  And of course, I need to think of Mike’s likes and dislikes when I grocery shop and the person that I’m meeting at 6:00 (People).

I was thinking about executive functions in the spiritual realm.

S = Space – We are pilgrims in this world, just passing through. Our citizenship is in heaven. Psalm 84:5; Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11

T = Time – We need to use our time well now, but will soon live in eternity. Ecclesiastes 3:11; Isaiah 57:15; Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5

O = Objects – We hold them lightly and know how to be content with much or little. Acts 2:45; Philippians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:8

P = People – We treat them as we would like to be treated, loving them unconditionally and giving grace and mercy.  Matthew 7:12; John 13:34

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

Deception

15 Nov
Every good thing is a gift from God.

Every good thing is a gift from God.

Greetings!  I’ve taken a hiatus from spending quality time with my husband/spending any time with others/blogging/writing while I’ve dealt with the learning curve of my new job–curriculum coordinator for elementary school and early childhood at CDS in Costa Rica.  I don’t ever think I’ll be able to say, “Hey!  I’ve got this job down,” but I can say that it is not consuming every waking hour any more.

A few weeks ago I was preparing a teaching for the Women’s Bible Study based on one of Beth Moore’s teachings from her book Breaking Free. It’s a marvelous study and if you haven’t done it, I highly recommend it.  This particular study included some mathematics:

My environment + My experiences = My “truth”

My “truth” + 0 = Incomplete

My “truth” + Satan’s lies = Captivity

God’s truth > My “truth”

At the same time I was reading Brendon Manning’s book, Abba’s Child, about God’s “boundless compassion, infinite patience, unbearable forgiveness, and love that keeps no score of wrongs.”  As I read his book and thought about Beth Moore’s teaching about self-deception, I ran across this quote:

“And so we unwittingly project onto God our own attitudes and feelings toward ourselves.  As Blaise Pascal wrote, ‘God made man in his own image and man returned the compliment.’ Thus, if we feel hateful toward ourselves, we assume that God feels hateful toward us.”

It had never dawned on me before that the same way we can project our feelings upon others, we can project them upon God, but once it finally did, it became obvious that this very fact holds many of us back from a rich love-relationship with God.  So I’m going to add a little math of my own:

God’s truth + My acceptance = Peace

Abba, Father, help us to learn to receive your amazing, enduring love each and every day.

Showering in Grace

18 May

IMG_7095When I began studying about grace is a place, I realized that not only do we stand in grace, but grace is poured out on us by all three members of the Trinity.

  • Holy Spirit:  And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace or unmerited favor and supplication.  Zech. 12:10
  • God the Father:  He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.  Eph. 2:7
  • Jesus:  For while the Law was given through Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

I think grace is a difficult concept for us to grasp and live in.  Look at the following comparison of law and grace.

Law

Grace

1.  God demands righteousness from his people. 1.  God gives righteousness to his people.
2.  Righteousness based on Moses and good works. 2.  Righteousness based on Christ and His character.
3.  Blessings accompany obedience. 3.  God gives blessing as a free gift.
4.  We cannot achieve what God demands in our power. 4.  We are given the power by God.

Grace almost seems too good to be true. Where do you live most of the time?  Law?  Grace?  I know we’re positionally in grace all the time, but how about practically?

Grace is a Place

11 May

IMG_6988Lately, I’ve been diving into another study of God’s grace. Because I like to study with a goal in mind, I may make this the topic of my next book.

Basically you can divide grace into two main types:  Common Grace and Sovereign Grace

  • Common Grace is grace that’s given for all.  Flowers.  Air.  Rain.  Sunshine.  The Bible speaks of common grace in  Acts 14: 15 – 17 15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: 16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
  • Sovereign Grace is given as God wishes.  

Grace is a place where we stand:  By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.  1 Peter 5:12

Paul is exhorting, or calling to one’s side, and testifying, or bearing witness of the grace in which we stand.  Grace is favor that we don’t deserve and

  • That which gives joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness.
  • The merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.
  • The spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace.

Oh yummy!  God, in Greek, is theos which includes the sense of being about the Trinity.  All three members of the Trinity are giving us grace that we stand in.  Picture yourself playing in a wading pool when you were a child–spashing in the water, the droplets diamonds against the sky.

But here comes the best part.  Standing, or histemi, means to stand as opposed to following.  It is an upright and active position  As we walk, the wading pool of grace moves with us.  You can sometimes get a better sense of the meaning of a word by comparing it to a similar word.  Another word for stand is tithemi which means in a passive or horizontal position.  And it is written in the perfect active indicative tense—which indicates that it is a completed process.  It is finished!  Finished work!

Stand tall in God’s grace.

Summer Rain

25 Feb

summer-rain-243616

Do you know what a summer rain is?

To start with, pure beauty striking the summer sky, awe-filled respect absconding with your heart, a feeling of insignificance at the very heart of the sublime, so fragile and swollen with the majesty of things, trapped, ravished, amazed by the bounty of the world…

Just as tear drops, when they are large and round and compassionate, can leave a long strand washed clean of discord, the summer as it washes away the motionless dust can bring to a person’s soul something like endless breathing.

That is the way a summer rain can take hold in you–like a new heart, beating in time with another’s. ~ Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.  He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.  Psalm 147:7,8

**NOTE:  For those of you in the throes of winter, I’m sorry.  It is clouding up to a nice summer rain in Costa Rica right now.

Photo credit: nature.desktopnexus.com/wallpaper/1179350/