Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coffee Table Inspirations- Lighter Side

Coffee Table Inspirations- Lighter Side
After the past three days, that had me in a bit more intense than usual study and thought… I kind of chuckled at what collection had formed on my coffee table this morn.  If it’s any indication of my makeup, well, here goes- top to bottom, mainly in order of size:
The Declaration of Independence & The Constitution of the United States Of America- forward by D. James Kennedy, PH.D.; The Indwelling Life of Christ- All of Him in All of me- Major W. Ian Thomas;  
Readers Digest- feature 50 Secrets Your Vet Won’t Tell You; Dave Ramsey- Financial Peace Revisited

National Geographic July 1991- feature The Wyeth Family; Veranda Magazine- feature American Classic

Reader’s Digest- The Most Scenic Drives In America; American Marine Painting- John Wilmerding;  

OPA 21st Annual National Exhibit Catalog; and added to these a basket of hydrangea’s and some cool ole’ candles on a piece of cobalt blue sea glass… all sitting atop a rugged antique trunk well beyond the call of refinishing or painting… the more nicks the better… and oh yes, a glass of water left behind.

What does such a core piece say… is this my lamp on the stand?  Just a curiosity thought… for making light of the intensity of study from the last few days.  What does the core piece feature in one’s home say?  Polished and pristine, no finger prints allowed, the latest best seller, or the daily newspaper, children’s toys, baby bottle, or an iPad…

Next to all of these on mine, sits my quiet-time chair that faces the big picture window.  A chair that recycled from a rummage sale dare I say 15 years ago plus! I bought it for $3.50! Saw beyond the upholstery it came with to its awesome swan arms… and then bartered the re-upholstering. Of all the pieces of furniture here, it is one that would move with me… and yes, the beloved coffee table/trunk too.

Are these my lamp on the stand?  Perhaps in part, but as the ‘on the surface’ are just things.  As I live in a place that began the weekend where forecasters predicted an eye of a hurricane to pass through… the new week only saw it pass by. Much to our relief here, but heart with added sincerity and prayers go out to those in the next predicted path – and all the uncertainty that lies with it.

For the Truth of the matter is… when call to evacuate – all these “things” get left behind in their unimportance.  What made up the core feature in your room – is gone – what does your interior look like?  For that is the life preserved.

As ponder from this morning’s ‘quiet time’ chair, the In His Light… Before The Dawn moment from here is:
Creation In His Hands-K Hitt
For that life to be preserved is why Jesus came.  He came to save what we alone could not.  Many Scriptures pictorially paint Him for us- ‘Anchor for the soul’ is one that always close my eyes to, to imagine it.  Dr. David Jeremiah shared that picture is not a picture of an anchor dropped to the bottom of the sea- No, instead it is a anchor that is steadfast moored/tied securely to heaven… and at the right hand of God with Jesus.  Straight up to Him. 

As the latest hurricane churns in the gulf… think that’s a wonderful visual to hold on to.  Jesus as our anchor, holding us steadfast.  Our ‘stand’ for our lamp may illustrate the core of our room… it is not our lamp.  That lamp journeys with us.
Another pictorial scripture ‘lamp unto our feet.’ That in the Biblical times it was written in, illustrated the travelers lamp.  It was literally strapped around the ankle to light the step.  Not implied to show what was at the END of the road… but thoroughly illuminating the step needing to take now and the immediate path it is being taken on.

Perhaps we all don’t read the Bible with the eyes of an artist.  Gary Smalley shares the impact that words make… versus a word picture. Like this pastel "Sapped in a Snap" done from a Charlie aftermaths view...

Jesus speaks in parables for that reason too.  Our life is to speak God’s Word as living out loud word pictures, and parables too.  Sometimes it’s nice to ‘see’ the eyes of faith, that we are called to walk by.
Coffee Table inspirations may 
define the core of the room… they though merely as the stand.  The Good News is that they are NOT the light; Jesus is the light of the world.  He is the lamp unto your feet.  He will give light to EVERY step needing to take.  A certainty especially in uncertain times, where the lamp stand may be left behind, He, Jesus, never need be.  You are anchored to heaven, and He is lighting your steps.  As hurricane Isaac churns, may the Prince of Peace calm every spirit with His Spirit.
In Jesus’ name-  the Amen is spoken.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lion sized respect...

Lion sized respect.
Respect belongs on the scale with Love?
 Is this a smack in the head realization?
One must respect… to love.
Is this true?
A part of the circle of thoughts is this: One of my all time favorite Bible studies over the years has been the “Experiencing God” Bible study.  Something that always stood out in that is that our God Experience does not rely on just one source.  It’s more like five sources converging together to make a point.  Examples: Reading in the Word, Pastoral Sermon, visuals, conversations, study... Our need to test the spirits is plural.

So the study:
Daniel.  Writing on The Wall, chapter 5 AND Den Of Lions… in Chapter 6.  Before reading the latter, a visual comes to mind… a  painting (NEXT, I hope) of Daniels back to the lions, as he looks up to a stream of light that comes in from the top of the den.  The significance of this visual is it represents a picture of faith in action.  Because Daniel, not only by faith prayed and believed in his God before the ruling of the new king, he also continued when presented with the consequences of living out loud his faith. He simply continued to pray and looked to God with complete TRUST.
GOD has Daniels back and he knew it, whether he lived or died it did not matter – he simply did ALL that he was, as a believer… even when thrown into the Den of lions.

Dr. David Jeremiah- ‘Hope as used in the Bible in its Greek root and defined in the Bible: Hope is not a state of mind, it is a fact.’ Think it is no coincidence that heard this in the midst of today’s ponderings. Today’s quiet time, is two days… and and and…. “Experiencing God”? Well I digress.

Think there may be multiple lessons for us all in this visual… of faith.
As Jesus teaches; give to Caesar that which is due to Caesar, and to God that which is due to Him…(Matthew, will come back to this)
Daniel here is an illustration of living that faith out loud Biblically.  We live in turbulent times today too… where our leaders just may tell us it is the LAW to do something, allow something, pay something that we do not believe GOD would ordain as His Spiritual Truth or Command to do.  John 8:31-32 tells us more of Jesus’ ideal here too.  These Scriptures that were in part whispered into my ear, which awakened my spirit to seek and ultimately to read the Bible was, “…the Truth will set you free” many years ago. Hearing only this small portion, is just like if you only listen to half of the context of this full scripture, you will miss its full relevance as the “God breathed” into your lives – That is also true here in the Old Testament often told ‘tale’ of Daniel in The Den of Lions.

These WHOLE Truths are very important reminders to living in today’s times… and yes this political season we are in too.  Perhaps read all of these passages to familiarize with them again; Daniel 6: the entire chapter.  You may want to go back as far as 5 TheWriting On The Wall to see Gods intercession leading up to here.  Then Reading Matt 22:16-22
All of these put into greater perspective the God breathed here…
As I ponder the imagery from Daniel 6… it has potential for violence and battle and mean spirited debates at the radically opposing points of view shared here. 

Daniel is an example for us all on how to live out loud our faith, especially when being told “to do” that which we in spirit know goes against the Spirit of God. 
Remembering, It is NOT for us to judge – it is not for us to bow down to a wrong either.  We are adamantly in all of these reminded to STAND in our faith; to only bow down to God in prayer. The key here is in faith… NOT in our self righteous attitude.  Simply reflect His Spirit in our spirit by continuing to live out loud our faith.  Yes debates may come and it may feel like you have been thrown into a den of lions sometimes by the personal attacks and literal persecutions for your faith…

BUT hold to the visual here in Daniel… The painting to paint… Daniels back to the lions… and his eyes simply looking up to the flicker of light that always remains by faith- Keep your eyes on the face of GOD… Christ Jesus.
HE has your back… and just like here with Daniel, on the scheme of the big picture you will come out unscaved…

plus, by the reflection of peace in our actions… and ability to stand and persevere – it will allow witness to others of why it may be wiser to trust in GOD and what is The Truth than it is to trust in what the latest political whim, or moral tolerance that the world standards has defined.  It’s not for you to judge – God has your back there too.  It is for you to stand in Faith; give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is Gods.  Don’t be deceived.  Test the spirits against Gods Spirit.  Stand in His Truth.

To…. Who had believed Him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to My teaching (KJV- word), you are really My disciples.  Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.
YUP- Jesus has your back
Even in the den of lions.

Day 2 studied continued Coins… Daniel… Lion sized respect… etc..

Under the heading Respect: Noted verses yesterday to review Job 34:18.  Looked back to 16-18.  Isaiah 8:21, Read 8:18-22. 
Matt 22:18, read 15-22.  
Study NOTING here in this latter, Jesus distinguished clearly the differences between God and Caesar; while not stepping into the Pharisee’s trap.  So LOVE this passage for its brilliance.  It is one we all should regularly note in our spirits perhaps too.  Genius of Truth cannot be denied – OR argued against. 
Beauty of it actually is it nullifies all arguments. 

Pause a moment and ponder that.  Do you not think perhaps that this – this is the FREEDOM of which Jesus speaks to in John 8?  …The Truth will set you free”??
It brings back the word RESPECT too.  Be careful how you act and speak, don’t fall into the carefully or just maliciously laid traps before you.  Many of those traps will be preceded with compliments, as Jesus’ was here.  First they flattered Him, before they attempted to trap Him. 
Wisdom and Truth could NOT be denied though or trapped.

This brings me back to the OT passages in Daniel too…
“Daniel In The Den Of Lions”.  Do you see the parallels?  Wow!
Let me paint a bit… Hear how Daniel silenced the rulers and all by simply standing in the TRUTH.  The attempted trap by the Pharisees of Jesus was similar to the kings found here in Daniel. Accept the king found himself completely stepping into it.  Daniel though was the target… 
With GOD… all things can work together for His GOOD purposes for those that love and trust in Him!

Ponder the depth of these thoughts in your day to days… too?
Because yes, we may just find ourselves in a den of lions none too soon… or as Jesus standing between two opposing points of views – and frankly silencing them all with the simplistic TRUTH of God living out loud in our actions.  This the thought of God’s wisdom speaking ABOVE the crowd, so to say, not you.  That is where we are truly called to stand. I confess on a personal note I try hard to NOT get into political debates these days. Though am very passionate.  Sincerely KNOW they are arguments that no one can win. The extremes are worse than ever, horridly so. Again Daniel is a good example of how to do this?

I do thank God for bringing me to these Scriptures in the LIVING Word of God, God breathed into today- and from the Old Testament to the New, oh so VERY relevant to EVERY breath we take in our today’s.
The side I choose to be on is the omnipotent omnipresent Gods.  That is the measuring stick by which to test the spirits.  ALL sides RESPECTED and answered to, according to ONLY what they are due.  Daniel here shows us how to truly live out our faith and silence all oppositions in the process… simply by standing or more importantly, finding his way from his knees.  In spite of what any governing authority might say, our first call remains to the one who first loved us… and the GOOD NEWS remains… He has our back, we may keep our eyes on Him… and in the scheme of the big picture- Ultimately just like Daniel, we will come out unscaved- AND – respect will be paid while witness is of
All JOY is in The Sovereignty of God by our simplistic reply.  Don’t be deceived.  Test the spirits against Gods Spirit.  Stand in His Truth
YUP, Jesus has your back, even in a den of lions…
And it also silences every opposing argument… Pay close attention to how Daniel and Jesus stood their ground:  Never in pompous self righteousness… always in simplistic absolute TRUTH.  Respect – if you give it, it comes back to you too.

Additional ponderings… Constitution … It is America’s foundation by which this Nation has been enabled to be the Nation that it is.  We ARE One Nation Under God. If that foundation is stripped away, we will be fair game to every prowling lions gaze.  Our nation stands under the authority of our great Constitution, before it, comes our foremost allied and authority, God.  I’m not here to argue with anyone over anything.  I have NO authority or wisdom to do so.  I simply know who I trust and believe in above all else.  There is an important Scripture to also remember in these turbulent – political times – and may every leader find their way this way…
“If my people humble themselves … and pray…”  In the United States of America, our greatest freedom of “We the people…” is our freedom to pray, next, it is to vote.  We do not have to hide away like Daniel days – and as long as we love and respect and give due to all due… and in motive of pure heart and spirit PRAY – I sincerely believe – The God of ‘all things are possible’ has our way in His hands, and He is how we may stand up in His Ways in our ways today.  May the GOD breathed – breathe life into our every breath… for that is the breath that truly gives us life. 
This two day entry, is longer than most… I apologize for the rambling, this is where the artist wishes could paint as fast as I think or type. 
I know this one thing… I am NO authority and know nothing on the scale of LIFE.  I do know that One that does.  And, just like Daniel, I have power to trust and obey Him.  I can do more by doing this sometimes, then by protesting in ‘my authority’ or with ‘my opinions’ to the believed misguided rules and regulations governed over me.  I do NOT have to believe them to be correct or right either.  The WORD picture here that believe God wants to be seen… is the manner in which the One with ALL authority speaks.  Respectably.  Respect.  Respect does not mean accepting that which is wrong... no.  We never have the right, to do that which is wrong.  We may always respectably do what we know is the right thing to do, in Gods eye.  Re-read these passages to see how to do that.  Don’t trust me for goodness sakes… simply Trust in the brilliance of God and His God breathed to your heart from His.  Live out loud the LIVING Word of God, in proper contextalways TEST the spirits against Gods Spirit.  Keep your face, seeking His face… walk that way – trust and obey – Jesus indeed has your back…
Respecting always He is the Amen in Amen and Amen. 
You are no better than the one that you may bow down AGAINST… Only GOD is.
A few of the words from a Song lyrics at Sunday’s worship service…
“All authority
Every Victory
Is Yours Jesus
Jesus Awesome in Power forever
He overcame
Awesome and great is His Name
Savior is worthy of honor and glory
Jesus awesome in honor and power forever
Great is Your name.”
Dr. David Jeremiah- “Hope as used in the Greek and defined in the Bible: Hope is not a state of mind, it is a fact.”

Yup… keep your eyes looking to God in sincere prayer… especially when you find yourself in a den of lions for doing so…
He has your back, forever and ever … In Jesus’ name AMEN
GOD is who has given us our rights
And we are free
To live out loud His God Breathed Truths to us…
God sent Godspeed

Detail of Sapped A Snap- Pastel- K Hitt Copyrighted
Ponderings. Ponderings. Ponderings. EDITED OUT… but couldn’t bring myself to delete… guess it’s the pac rat in me.

So this means when meeting anyone, have to ask; what is the way to show proper respect to them? 
BUT also remember that as harshly as I judge – I will be judged… we all will be. 
God alone holds that ultimate title of Judge. In all things, It’s NOT about me, you, us… it’s about God… All God. That is easy to say, and know, radically different to live out loud.  Alas, I love Him so much… and thank Him so much that I may… and thank Him for the fact that every thought truly can be made captive to Him. In this I am reminded to NOT talk too much and to listen more… I know NOTHING on the scale of God’s eternal purpose.  That thought may visually look like a grain of sand on one side of the scale, and eternity on the other.  Yup, don’t measure up.
Why ponder respect? Respect; if I must respect one to love them…. Um…. THAT is a bit of a humbling smack in the head, as before mentioned thought.
For what does God teach us is the greatest commandment?  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your spirit, and all your strength. Ok, so what’s the big deal with Respect related to that? That’s pretty easy to do when it comes to God… to Respect God, along with love Him. 

Ahhhhhhhhhh but the second command:  And Love your neighbor as yourself.  Hah! There is a big “I’ve got this”???… when you add respect to this equation. Respect my enemy I’m thinking is as hard as loving my enemy.  And it doesn’t even have to go to the extreme of enemy…  simply one in a disagreement with, or, it need go no further than the mirror.  Respect oneself?  Respect…. Hmm.  Confess, I have always applied the perspective that one had to EARN respect.  I also confess I still kind of think that. Don’t you? THAT is why this is a SMACK IN THE HEAD thought process going on here….. AND …only thing guaranteed here is this:  I DON’T HAVE THE ANSWERs… or the questions.

Because all of these ponderings came, in part when turning to latest Bible book mark in Daniel 6, one of the Old Testaments familiar tales.  Sometimes it’s hard to not read a familiar passage as a know it all. THAT, called me pause, and remind myself that I am reading the LIVING WORD of God.  Soon as that thought… the smacks in the head, ‘duh’ seemingly began.  “Pay attention” “Be still” “Read” “Study” “Listen”… and in God’s much gentler whisper than mine… “…The Truth will set you free” to live out loud God’s Word, Godspeed, with Lion sized respect indeed.  We all may seek The Truth, meet The Truth, hear The Truth, and come to know the freedom of abiding in The Truth.  AMEN.