Saturday, July 25, 2009

Every Season

 Yesterday, I wandered across the creek into the small stand of woods behind our home, a remnant of the woods that once covered all of this part of the country.   The late spring rains has  kept me from  visiting  here   this spring.  But  carefully stepping my way through the creek, I was skipping up the bank once more, caring only to avoid the patches of poison ivy growing along the bank and into the woods.


Last spring I came often to these woods, searching for treasures.  In summer, I brought my chair and visited every day with God… sometimes getting on my knees in this  sanctuary of hickory nut trees.  I made promises on the hot humid days.  I kept returning throughout the autumn because coming here and meeting with my God were no longer  just pleasant intervals in my days but a necessity.  We shared our thoughts and each day I left full and looked forward to my next visit. With winter,  there were only occasional visits as it was often difficult trudging through the snow.  I finally brought my chair home.  The busyness of the woods was replaced with quietness but He was still there waiting for me as often as I could go.

I will go again today and hopefully tomorrow and settle into the fullness of the woods…the fullness of the season …the fullness of Him who waits for me.

Can this be redemption…returning to the fullness of God?


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Prone To Leave The God I Love

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2Costa Rica 304

On a certain given day, hastily spoken words, a reproachful look, a meeting with indifference ; our confidence begins to ebb away. We forget who we are.  We forget so much…

Think back to when we first met Jesus;  it was a time of great anticipation.  We felt uncertainty, excitement and mystery. We didn’t always know what we were doing or how to walk as  committed Christians.  As I once heard Mahesh Chavada say, “ we were bungling along in the anointing,” trying to get it right in this new relationship.

When I first became a Christian, I was what people referred to as “a sweet sinner,”  which took me to many alter calls in many services.  I went through much effort to assure myself that I was indeed a true and genuine Christian, worthy and faithful.  I kept waiting for that assurance that I knew that I knew that I knew. What I was painfully aware of, was that I was unfaithful and weak in character.  My cry might have been : “Let Thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering  heart to Thee…for I knew I was prone to leave the God I loved.  Here is my heart. Take it, seal it…seal it for Thy courts above.” I  don’t know if there ever was one particular time when  I learned to set my doubts aside and trust in the faithfulness of God. But in time I did  learn the great secret of my life…that I can never be far away from Him, the lover of my life.

Growing up, we were most definitely a sweater family.  My English and Scottish aunties  supplied us throughout our growing years with sweaters  to match our kilts which we wore to school and church.  My sister and I were the sweater girls. As we grew older, my mother would sometimes give us cashmere sweaters brought back from  recent trips to Scotland.  We were raised to recognize a genuine  cashmere sweater of admirable quality.

This past winter my daughter and I stopped after church at Starbucks for a coffee.  I was wearing a new cashmere sweater given to me by my mother  only a few weeks earlier. No one at church knew or even cared that it was cashmere except my mom and I.  As we walked through the door of Starbucks, we read their new sign advertising their  hot chocolate.  It said: ‘STARBUCK HOT CHOCOLATE…AS SPECIAL AS YOUR CASHMERE SWEATER.”  I don’t think so!

Cashmere goats are often raised on land where there is a lot deprivation.  Combed cashmere sells for $1.40 per ounce and a cashmere goat can produce up to 6 ounces in a single year, but in a land where food is scare, the goat may only produce half of that.  And of course the shepherd only sees a percentage of that.  “Traditionally his life is dependent on his stock and they are of incredible high worth to him.  It is hard to imagine the value he places on them.  They lie at the centre of his livelihood, his culture and his self respect.”

Like my cashmere sweaters, I am a genuine believer, called by God, forgiven by His blood and sealed from above.  And I know that the one true place in all creation for me is in the presence of God.  Let me not wander…

When you believe in Christ, God identifies you as His own by giving you the  seal of His Holy Spirit whom He promised long ago.  The Spirit is God’s guarantee of His promises and that he has purchased you to be his own . You are genuine…authentic. Your life rests in Him…