Tuesday, 19 September 2017

I am God's Child John 1:12 by Susan L.

  "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." NKJV
  "But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God." JCB

  I bought a paper shredder on the weekend. Mostly because I needed to destroy a whack of papers from my Uncle's house. There was a time when these could be simply tossed in the trash but with identity theft and other unwanted activities, it's safer these days to not throw out anything that has any sort of identifying info on it.
  It could have been burned but burning stacks of paper is a slow process and not always a hundred percent effective. Even ash holds shadows of ink that is legible. Paper creates a lot of large, blowing, burning pieces, too. The fire risk is the main reason why I don't like doing it.
  Once everything of my Uncle's was done, I began to work on my own stuff.
  Inside the cupboard of my bedside table were my notebooks, the journals written before I became a blogger. It was full. The floodgates had been opened the moment I came to Jesus. The quest for truth became an epic marathon of journaling that lasted years. The journals were filled with page upon page of soul baring prayer and brutal honesty.
  I'd reached the decision a while ago that there was much written that shouldn't be read by anyone but had put off buying a shredder.
  Part of me wasn't quite ready to destroy the journals anyways.
  The small, domestic use, shredder wasn't made for constant use. It would overheat and require a cooling off period. It gave me time to leaf through each notebook and pull out anything I was led to save like the poetry or stories I'd written before I got a laptop. My thought is to type up the ones worth saving and trash the rest.
  It was the ultimate letting go event of my life. As rage filled, scribbled pages were swallowed by the shredder, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. As the documented days of living in madness disappeared, I felt a weight lift off my soul. As page after page of repentance and gratitude were offered up in sacrifice, I felt a weight lift off my heart. But most of all, as I tightly tied the last, massive bag of shredded paper, I felt a weight lift off my mind.
  That was then, this is now. I am ready for a new beginning.
  I think the smell of an overheated motor will always remind me of freedom.
  I have to do one more thing. My bedroom furniture bears scars from the past. There are scratches on the dresser from my long gone, much loved, German Shepherd, Duke. Pumpkin has contributed his own claw marks. There are deep gouges on the bedside table from the day I moved from my marital home. Those are the worst. Wood filler and a coat of paint will totally erase these last shreds of what once was...
  With a shake of my shoulders and head held high I claim the promise. "I am God's child".

Sunday, 17 September 2017

#114 on the List by Susan L.

  I am glorified with Him. 2 Thessalonians 2:14

  "To which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." NKJV
  "He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." JCB

  I've written about glory because up until know, it's simply been part of my Christian language: rote quotes. Being faced with a scripture that is about us obtaining the glory of Jesus, I realized I didn't fully understand what glory is. Thank you, Google and Bible.org.
  Jesus was given the glory and honour of His Father following His baptism by John. "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased." (2 Peter 1:17) Then later, while they were on the holy mountain, Peter heard the same voice when they were with Jesus.
  "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." (2 Peter 1:19)

  This is big. The glory of Jesus is the love and delight of His Father.
  I am glorified with Him.
  That means I live under the love and delight of my Father in heaven just as Jesus does.
  Wow. This has put my life under a wholly different perspective. There is much to think about, much to pray about as this understanding wraps itself around my heart.
  Thank You, Lord for the gift of Your glory.


Saturday, 16 September 2017

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 by Susan L.

  I am given His Holy Spirit.
  "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." NKJV
  "It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised." JCB

  Guarantees. It leapt off the screen at me.
  They are such a fundamental part of our culture. Every appliance, every bit of electronics, and even our cars come with a guarantee that they will work as promised but it's usually only for two years at the most or maybe five for a vehicle. That is, only if we follow the manufacturer's maintenance plan. If we don't, the guarantee is null and void. For a new car, it means doing exactly what the plan requires and taking it to the dealership for all servicing until the warranty expires. It's pricy compared to my local, trusted, long time mechanic.
  The food we buy comes with a guarantee that it is fresh and tasty. Maybe I've got finicky taste buds but some of the pre-packaged meals aren't what they promise.
  Over the counter medications make promises that they will ease a headache, stop flu symptoms, or help us sleep only there's a whole whack of small print listing potential side effects. They have a guarantee but are free to put conditions and warnings on that promise.
  So really, worldly guarantees aren't worth the paper they are printed on. Every single one of them has an expiry date. Every single one of them comes with conditions.
  It's no wonder people ask "What's the catch?" when it comes to exploring Christianity. Yes, we've been good at putting a human twist on a walk with Jesus. Religion is pretty good at putting up walls and making hoops to jump through. I hope the Lord can forgive us.
  Because, there isn't a catch, a stumbling block. There isn't a fifteen page incomprehensible contract to sign. There aren't conditions. A verbal commitment to Jesus is as good as signing on the dotted line because God honours our word. It's good enough for Him.
  The best part is it enables us to live in the assurance and safety of an eternal, unbreakable contract. It enables us to live under the glory of grace, forgiveness and love. It enables us to grow as people under the tender, caring tutelage of the Holy Spirit. If Jesus is our teacher, the Holy Spirit is our Guide.
  How great is that!