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.

 

Martin Luther (not King) Day

15 Jan

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2016-02-09 15:57:42Z | http://piczard.com | http://codecarvings.com

In a sermon last Sunday, I heard this quote from a Martin Luther letter to his dear friend which had me guffawing in church.  Read it and tell me if you think he would make it today when we are so careful of one another’s feelings?

I beg you, who are so pugnacious in everything else, fight against yourself, your own worst enemy, for you furnish Satan with too many weapons against yourself. . . . I pray for you very earnestly, and I am deeply pained that you keep sucking up cares like a leech and thus rendering my prayers vain. . . . If we are not strengthened by his promises, where in all the world are the people to whom these promises apply?  But more of this another time.  After all, my writing this is like pouring water into the sea.

 

From Luther:  Letters of Spiritual Counsel (p. 147)

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2016-02-09 15:57:42Z | http://piczard.com | http://codecarvings.com

Going Away

2 Jan

20161224_152050Sometimes I find statements that make me reflect upon life in the oddest places, like this quote from a Maisie Dobbs mystery:

“I’ll tell you this.  Leaving that which you love breaks your heart open.  But you will find a jewel inside, and this precious jewel is the opening of your heart to all that is new and all that is different, and it will be the making of you–if you allow it to be.”

Seventeen and a half years ago, I left that which I loved much–my family–to go on the mission field in Ecuador with my husband.  He did not have to drag me along–I was a more than willing participant, but my family–especially our sons, their wives, and our grandchildren will never know how difficult it was to say goodbye and continue to say goodbye for the next 17+ years.  My heart has been broken wide open many times–like the first Christmas when we went out for dinner and I could not stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks.  Like when trying to decide whether to get on a plane or not during times of family tragedy. Like saying “no” when our sons wanted us to return home.  Heart-rendingly difficult.

I’ve brought so many jewels back with me as we’ve transitioned back to the states:

  • A new appreciation for the United States of America as well as an understanding of what the United States could learn from other cultures.
  • Gratitude for the husband God has gifted me with.  He is a man that I can count on to have God’s will in the center and who gives great grace.  He makes me laugh, and puts the daily difficulties of life into an eternal perspective. His quirks make me love him all the more.
  • A flexibility that I know I would never have learned in the United States as it is a flexibility learned from grappling with cultural differences.
  • A passionate love for the Word of God which sustains me.
  • A deeper, calmer faith forged during the challenges on the mission field.
  • An ever quickening love for my Lord and Savior.

Please, don’t think I’m trying to make myself sound like some sort of spiritual giant–I’m far from it. For proof of that, read my blog post Woe is Me from last week. I’m sifting through the jewels that God has given me.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

 

Woe is Me!

26 Dec

cam00172I’ve been reading in the book of Isaiah and many of the chapters begin with Woe to _____________.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary  woe (n.) late 12c., from the interjection, Old English wa!, a common exclamation of lament in many languages (compare Latin , Greek oa, German weh, Lettish wai, Old Irish fe, Welsh gwae, Armenian vay).  And I am lamenting my selfishness today. At the same time I am celebrating God’s faithfulness.

Every once in a while “something” happens to show me how selfish I am deep down inside and God did it again last Thursday night. I made Hot Fudge Sauce for our 5 sons for Christmas and had enough left over for a large jar for me.  Do you notice anything odd about the photograph?  In order to end up with a large jar for me, I had to fill the sons’ jars only 2/3s of the way.  The Holy Spirit convicted me about it over night, and I even tried to rationalize it with Him.  “I did that because the sauce was so hot and I didn’t want the jars to break,” I fudged.

In the morning, I heated up my jar in the microwave and divided it between the sons’ jars. It was exactly enough to fill them all nicely to the top with NOTHING left over.  I was glad I did it, but it was a struggle.

It just goes to show how deeply our selfishness is rooted.  And what a faithful gardener God is to root it out.

For the word of God is living and all-efficient, and much sharper than a double edged sword, and it pierces to the separation of soul and spirit and of joints, marrow and of bones, and judges the reasoning and conscience of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 Aramaic Bible in Plain English

Passionate Purity

22 Jun

IMG_0259_1024Lately, I can’t get God’s passion and purity out of my mind. This photograph that I’ve had on my desktop for a while, keeps me chewing on these concepts.

This afternoon I read this in the Discovery Bible app that I’m test driving for 30 days:

God is all-loving and committed to “giving Himself away” in a covenant-relationship with all who truly receive (serve) Him.  The Lord offers unlimited, personal knowledge of Himself to all through the saving work of the eternal Son (Jesus Christ), as mediated by God the Holy Spirit (cf. Rev 4:8). (Discovery Bible)

He wants to give Himself away to us.  Selah.

This is the passion we find in 1 John 4:8: The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]

And God is pure. I don’t think I’m messing with the Scriptures when I say, God is purity. He has no sin. He has no grey. He is perfect.

This is the message [of God’s promised revelation] which we have heard from Him and now announce to you, that God is Light [He is holy, His message is truthful, He is perfect in righteousness], and in Him there is no darkness at all [no sin, no wickedness, no imperfection]. 1 John 1:5

And He loves us so, that he wants to purify us, His bride.

Because pure (Gk katharos) crystal is transparent, light shines through even though it is solid.  When God’s life touches people, they are as pure crystal so His glory passes “through” them as a “see-through solid” – a transparent “sea of glass/crystal.” (Discovery Bible)

Makes me want to get down on my knees.

I obstacle. Do you obstacle?

24 May

CAM00070The other day in church I heard the word obstacle used as a verb in Spanish.  You know, “I obstacle, you obstacle, they obstacle, we obstacle.”  It really resonated with me because how often do we obstacle ourselves? Or others?

I work with someone who struggles with her interpersonal relationships and yet she obstacles herself with her thorny personality just like this plant. There are thorns popping out of every vein!

I obstacle myself, my peace, or any remote possibility of moving gracefully through my days when I throw EVERY possible thing to do on my to-do list.  Then my life looks totally unachievable and I feel overwhelmed; I find it impossible to move through life one day at a time.

And so I say to myself (and maybe to you): “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (AMP)  I love what Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown say about this–“Every day brings its own cares; and to anticipate is only to double them.”

But we can also look at it this way:  “A voice of one is calling out, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness [remove the obstacles]; Make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3

Clear the way, or panah in Hebrew, means to to turn away, put out of the way, make clear, clear away. “He hears a crier giving orders, by solemn proclamation, to prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness; to remove all obstructions before Jehovah marching through the desert; through the wild, uninhabited, unpassable country. The idea is taken from the practice of the eastern monarchs, who, whenever they entered upon an expedition, or took a journey, especially through desert and unpractised countries, sent harbingers before them to prepare all things for their passage, and pioneers to open the passes, to level the ways, and to remove all impediments. The officers appointed to superintend such preparations the Latins called stratores.” (Benson Commentary)

So, I guess the moral of the story is to take a look at how we obstacular ourselves instead of collaborating in the clearing the way for Jesus to work in our lives. Or perhaps to look to be stratores rather than obstaculadores.  Yes. I did just make up that word and it means one who creates obstacles. 

Any other thoughts?

 

Belief Induced Obedience

8 May

29_1024Hebrews 3:18-19  And to whom did he swear that they should never enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?  So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

I never realized until recently, the relationship between unbelief and disobedience. Conversely, the relationship between belief and obedience are just as strong.

See the mini-word studies below:

unbelief

How much of our disobedience comes from not really taking God’s words seriously and instead deciding that we are the ones to listen to?