Category: Suffering

  What am I going to do this year? The question runs In my mind In circles. The year is new and I just feel like I must make some resolutions, So let me think… what does a resolution mean? “The act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.:  an answer or solution to something. : the ability of a device to show an image clearly and with a lot of detail.  Merriam-Webster I was encouraged by the definition but with dejection I mused, we can only look through a “glass darkly.” One day we will see God face to face, but not now; not this year; not in this lifetime. Nevertheless, I think I have hit on something.  “The only thing you know Is that God knows what he’s doing.” “God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you who…

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  Charles Spurgeon speaks of The Holy Spirit from his sermon, “The Comforter.” “I am in distress, And I want consolation. Some passer-by hears of my sorrow, and steps within, sits down and assays to cheer me; he speaks soothing words but he loves me not; he is a stranger; he knows me not at all; he is only come in to try his skill.  And what is the consequence? His words run over me like oil on a slab of marble. They are like the pattering rain upon the rock; they do not break my grief; It stands unmoved as adamant, because he has no love for me.” “But let someone who loves me dear as his own life come and plead with me, then truly his words are music, They taste like honey. He knows the password of the doors of my heart, and my ear is attentive…

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  The days are bitter-sweet, a joyful celebration, a frightful death. The days are dark, the night is bright, the lows are high, the highs are low. We are living in the last days. Paul called them perilous times where men would by lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:5 Friends, turn away, turn away, He will guide us with His counsel and after lead us to glory.   For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.    For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.    For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same…

Read More When the Cold Comes

  As we watched and talked and grieved for our final support grouping, a theme emerged as central –pain and joy can co-exist, yes, must co-exist, and often. Moving on from a season, long or short, of grieving may require determined will in the midst of a lot of pain. This hard lesson will be repeated throughout our Christian life as we move past obstacles of failures, sin, regrets, loss, sickness; hurts of all kinds. Matthew 18:8  Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. Matthew 18:9  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye… Snares and…

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  I visited a friend who was dying in hospice. I was so surprised as there were no family attending his bedroom. We also arrived a hair too late as Bill was already gone. A flurry of thought and adrenaline flooded my brain as I felt also the lone-ness of this sacred passing. First, I wondered where were the family? Then, I thought, where were we, the friends? But; I realized that Bill had left all to follow Jesus and certainly the Lord Himself had witnessed the graduation of Bill into his most blessed state. I rejoiced in myself remembering that “absent from the body” means immediate “presence with the Lord.” Hallelujah! “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 115:16 Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman remarks in her commentary: you were never popular on earth, and nobody knew much about you. The life you…

Read More Cups, Smiles, Bread and Fish

  “In 165, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, a devastating epidemic swept through the Roman Empire.” “…it was the first appearance of Smallpox in the west, Zinsser (1934). “But, whatever the actual disease, it was lethal. During the fifteen year duration of the epidemic, from a quarter to a third of the empire’s population died from it, including Marcus Aurelius himself.” ” Then in 251 a new and equally devastating epidemic again swept the empire, hitting the rural areas as hard as the cities.” “This time it may have been measles.” “The Rise of Christianity” Rodney Stark “…the role they, (the plagues), likely played in the decline of Rome was ignored by historians until modern times.” ” again and again, the forward march of Roman power and world organization was interrupted by the only force against which political genius and military valor were utterly helpless — epidemic disease.” Zinsser…

Read More Life? A Smile Away

  “His mercy is judgment”; “His judgment is mercy.” — Preacher’s Homiletic. Psalm 62:12 tells us “Also unto Thee, O Lord, belongs mercy…” On the subject of mercy, John Chrysostom speaks. “She has silver wings like the dove, and feathers of gold, and soars aloft, and is clothed with Divine glory, and stands by the throne of God; when we are in danger of being condemned, she rises up and pleads for us, and covers us with her defense, and enfolds us in her wings. God loves mercy more than sacrifice.” (Matthew 9:13). Have you ever read James 2:13 where it is said, “mercy rejoices against judgment?” Can this be demonstrated? From Dr. Carl H. Stevens, “In word and deed I love them (others), beyond my understanding, not operating in morality which would legislate ‘an eye for an eye’ in revenge. It’s beyond turning the other cheek, it’s turning my…

Read More Mercy Rejoices Against Intellectual Judgment

“Reflection is the change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated.” wikipedia “The throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.” oxforddictionaries “the production of an image by or as if by a mirror — the action of bending or folding back.”merriam-webster Pastor Carl H. Stevens made an observation, “God’s nature reflects Divine light, but moral light is merely a reflection of the best human nature has to offer—created light, which has its beginning in human integrity.” So, it appears that a man reflects. The reflection bends or folds back from within a man, what consists of that man’s “identity.” Let’s look closer. “For as he (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:6 From Psychology Today, Susan Nolen-Hoeksema contends. “The organization of our brain sets us up for overthinking,” The…

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  Through many failures, unconditional love grows — Through much weakness this love slowly emerges — In our personal sins the nature of His love finds a manifestation — In our frequent besettings He showers us with love — In our embarrassments, His glory shines –in humiliations His strength empowers — In utter weakness, His enablement finds perfection in us — In disgrace we find His grace. Unconditional Love? We have heard of it. It’s absolute, unqualified, clean, complete, consummate, etc. etc His love is all-out — flat out — straight-out –love. His love is pure — perfect — profound — Love. His love is stark — clean — sheer — love. His Love is total — plumb — complete — love. Ezekiel 16:6-8 speaks of this love: “I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood…”  “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time…

Read More Unconditional Love versus The Blush of Shame

   “…Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Romans 4:7 ” … even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 1 John 2:12 These verses and others place God’s forgiveness of us as a finalized deal which needs no asking or beckoning. But, forgiveness could rest beyond our conscious awareness, outside of our hope; Nevertheless, never beyond faith’s perceptive enablement. Romans 8:24 speaks,” For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” Proverbs teaches, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” But Abraham, “against hope believed in hope” because, “faith is the substance of things hoped for.” Delitzsch reminds us, “Better is he who begins to help than he who remains in…

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