Tag Archives: Faith

Spring is here, and my PTSD is melting

Effie’s sunshine greeting far exceeds the melting point of PTSD.

At last I am gaining perspective. It’s still weak, but I am coming around to believing that an auto accident a year ago in which no one was significantly hurt (except for a torn tendon in my right elbow that hurt for nine months; and Grünhilde, my Audi and a veritable member of the family, who was totaled) is not a sufficient reason to torque my worldview downward.

With the help of God through His Word, and my husband, my pastor and Effie, now on therapy cat duty (as she probably always has been), I am able to concede that every driver on the road is not specifically out to harm me.

Particular noteworthy Bible verses coalesced in my attention sphere this morning.

“It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1:7

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

“Behold, I am vile;
What shall I answer You?
I lay my hand over my mouth.” Job 40:4

(All verses above are from the New King James Version (NKJV), © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

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Filed under Action & Being, Effie, Faith, Reflections

Grace and rebellion

My husband preached in our pastor’s absence today, on the theme of the promise of the Messiah, from Isaiah 9.  I thought the two sermons were wonderful, and I wanted to remember a construct I thought especially important:

Only grace overthrows rebellion.

p1010464-bit-of-a-tussleIt takes a lot of grace on both our parts to get Effie combed, and most tasks I undertake require much more. I pray for grace to persevere because she’s worth it–no one this cute needs hairballs.

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Of ground hogs and Gadarenes

It hasn’t been good, pushing myself to follow news that ultimately leaves me in the Slough of Despond, gulping for air. (If you are unfamiliar with the venue, it is detailed in The Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan.)

Last night, to waylay the effects of the gloomy articles, I decided I would check out the ground hog situation today. I had planned to drive to an arterial bounded by fields where I have often seen ground hogs. Unlike prairie dogs, who sensibly hibernate through the winter until they receive nature’s all-clear signal, ground hogs quasi-hibernate, emerging at various times to test the readiness of winter’s departure. At 9:30 this morning it was still only 16° and foggy. Forget it. I’m more the prairie dog type.

I skipped the news. I thought of Legion, the Gadarene man chronicled in Luke 8:26-38. He was afflicted with demons and quite miserable. Christ came to the man, and of course apprehended his misery. The Lord sent the demons out of the man and into a herd of swine, who promptly ran maniacally over a cliff and perished. The man was grateful. But the owners of the swine were not grateful; they were rueful over their loss of their pigs. They wanted Christ to depart from their territory because they could perceive Him only as a vessel of misfortune. The grateful man whom Christ delivered from the demons became an evangelist.

I don’t need to keep testing the waters of the Slough of Despond; it’s good to be aware of what’s going on, but not to the point of toxic exposure and unhelpful grief. Lord, give me a heart that is more like Legion’s.

26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee.

27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs.

28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!”

29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.

30 Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him.

31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.

32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them.

33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.

34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country.

35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed.

37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.

38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

— New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Action & Being, Faith, News, Politics & Elections, Thoughts & Reading

From Zechariah, on God’s provision for rain and grasses

The temperature rather suddenly skipped the 90s today; in fact, it’s 55°. Rain is falling very hard, and the field grasses and the rain look very beautiful. Providentially, I was reading Zechariah as the summer storm materialized. I went outside during a very brief respite in the rainfall and took these photos. How comforting to see the same provision God has given His people for the same needs, over the past 2,500+ recorded years.

Ask the Lord for rain
In the time of the latter rain.
The Lord will make flashing clouds;
He will give them showers of rain,
Grass in the field for everyone. 
–Zechariah 10:1 (NKJV)

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Filed under Creation, Faith, Nature, Photos, Seasons, Weather

Despite it all. . .

However many times I have read this before, I was particularly stirred as I read Psalm 17 last night, especially the last verse; I think it invoked the “floods, fire, famine, rape, and war” motif that my high school World History teacher always used to describe trying times, especially current politics. Far more significantly, the verse provides dimension to the promise God will unfailingly keep.

“As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”
–Psalm 17:15

(New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

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A sequel to the Parable of the Trees

I recently published a post titled “Are all of our Presidents going to be brambles,” citing Jotham’s parable in the Book of Judges, about trees who declined to rule over the other trees because they had higher and better callings–all except for the brambles, who had nothing better to do but rule.

Near the end of his reign, David succinctly and beautifully describes who should rule:

The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me:
‘He who rules over men must be just,
Ruling in the fear of God.
And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
Like the tender grass springing out of the earth,
By clear shining after rain.’ — 2 Samuel 23:3-4 

New King James Version (NKJV). Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“He who rules” to whom David refers in v. 3 is not running in the upcoming Presidential election–nor is anyone  even remotely close.

Sigh.

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Lord, is it I?

21 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”
23 He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.”
–Matthew 26:21-25, New King James Version (NKJV)

In light of reading this text for the I-don’t-know-how-many-th time, I thought. . . Lord, is it I? Judas asked the same question, but he calls Jesus “Rabbi,” not “Lord”–and correctly. Jesus was most certainly his Lord; He was Lord of All, but it was not given to Judas to acknowledge Jesus as his Lord. Judas was never of Christ’s true flock.

If the true Apostles could ask their master such a question, they must have known such a thing was possible. Of course it was. And of course it is for me. It isn’t even a matter of conjecture. It’s a matter of fact. I betray my Lord every day. Of course I do; I sin because I am a sinner.

Judas betrayed the Lord, turning Him over to those who crucified Him. Ah, but Christ died for my sins. My sins put Him on that cross as much as Judas’s betrayal.

But Judas and I are not similarly situated. I am a repentant sinner; Judas was not. By God’s gracious mercy, I was blessed with the gift of repentance; Judas was not.

God’s mercy in granting repentance to sinners so that they may repent their sin and be forgiven, is an infinite gift of grace we should truly celebrate. And ideally, it is why we celebrate Christmas.

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Effie has no sense of sin; she lives under the curse of the Fall, because all Creation fell under the curse with original sin. Effie has no guilt and very little accountability. That is probably why she can fall into relaxed sleep, any time, anywhere.

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Giving thanks

Reflection, the Snake River near Asotin, Washington

Reflection, the Snake River near Asotin, Washington

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!” Ps. 107:8

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View of Genesis 9:13, from our mailbox this afternoon

“I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” (Genesis 9:13 (ESV)

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Consolation: The Sequel

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While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” — Genesis 8:22 (ESV)

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