What Matters?

Two days ago, Jerry set a record as we celebrated his eighty-first birthday. He has lived longer than any of the Rogers in his family. His brother died at the age of eighty, and all his dad’s brothers died in their seventies.

During this time, we are preparing for surgery to repair an aneurysm in his only leg, praying for blood flow and healing for the wound on his foot, and considering other things at this age and stage of our lives. Yesterday we were questioning if we should be delving into something we did not understand (while I try to remember what that was, I am watching the wind and rain assault the beautiful dogwood that we have enjoyed the last few days blooming outside the window. How easily our thoughts can change. I can’t remember the thing we were considering two days ago. It must not have mattered.) 🙂

After discussing whether or not, we asked if knowing would matter. That progressed to the question: “What matters?” We have never really asked that question before, so as to discuss and document the answers.

After talking about what we though mattered, I decided to pose this question to our readers. Before stating our answers in this blog, I would like you to share your responses to this question. If you need some time, think about it and come back later to comment. At different ages we may consider one thing that matters more than others. What matters and makes us content when we are young may not matter when we get older.

Let’s leave off the answer “love” for the time being. Love would probably be the first answer for a lot of people; it might also mean something different to each of us.

Please join me in this conversation, to which we will add, after your comments are made.

Oh ~ and please include your age; that matters in our answers. 🙂

Dear Father, I pray that you will give us insight for our answers to this question of what matters in this life. In Jesus’ name I pray. amen.

A Child’s Plea for God

A Child's Plea

  Give me not a god,
a god that I control.
Don’t give me a god
that I can mold.

 Give me GOD, THE LIVING GOD,
who’s free to come and go.
I need GOD, the REAL GOD,
who knows more than I know.

   GOD, Himself, who created Life,
and all living things—
GOD, who lives, and to my life
His own LIFE He brings.

   I  want  GOD, the HOLY GOD,
who has a master plan.
GOD, the GOD who acts in grace,
though I can’t understand.

 Where is GOD, the GOD OF TRUTH,
who tells it like it is;
Though painful it may seem to me,
shapes my heart like His? 

   I see GOD, the MIGHTY GOD,
when I look at the cross,
Who gave His life that I might live,
removing all the dross.

This GOD, THE GOD I’m looking for,
is greater than the world;
Able to do anything,
simply by His Word.

I will wait for GOD, THE LOVING GOD,
THE GOD OF POWER, still,
Who can, in JESUS, fill my heart,
and conform me to His will.
F.R. 1996

 (Poem was written for our oldest grandchild, Ansley, for her fourth birthday. She is now twenty-five, married, and has a three-year-old daughter.)

Three Crosses, Two Crowns, One Sacrifice (Revisited)

Since beginning this blog in January 2011, this has been the most read post.

Three Crosses, Two Crowns, One Sacrifice

As we are celebrating that most glorious event of all time I am directing readers to this one, shared on March 13, 2012.

Dear Father, we thank you and praise you for the continual reminder by your Holy Spirit of the sacrifice that you and your Son made in that time of history, for your love for us and an eternal hope for all believers. Enable us to know who we are in Jesus Christ.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Related article:  A Bloody Crown, A Bloody Cross, A Bloody Sacrifice

No Strings Attached

Many will say that if God is sovereign and that He has predestined everything then we are no more than robots or puppets. We may use this description for those who live by the dictates of our world’s culture, but never to describe those whom God calls His own people. Robots and puppets have no mind and no heart for God or others.

When God created man it was so as to be close to him, and to give to him all of His love, joy, and peace. This relationship all depended on the creature’s faith and obedience to the word of God. When God breathed into man His own Spirit He gave all of us His life, to be passed down from generation to generation. That power of His Spirit and life for us was annulled when the first man and woman disobeyed, proving that man needs, and cannot live without, the presence and power of our Creator.

Until Christ came man was destined to live on his own, under the curse of the law of God, without any power for us to obey. Christ was the Son who obeyed and then gave His life as a substitute for us, so that we would receive God’s Spirit again and be reconciled to Him. It is His Spirit that gives us a new heart that willingly seeks and obeys God’s Word.
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There are no strings attached, but only the sweet Spirit of Christ, His Son, who lives in our hearts, enabling us to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him.

We willingly give ourselves to whatever draws us, whether to the things of this world, or to the things of God. God, our heavenly Father, draws us by His Spirit and His written word to Himself, and to all that is eternal. Those who know Him, desire to desire what He desires for us, and willingly give ourselves to Him. He woes us, and continues to draw us by His overwhelming love and grace.   He needs no physical attachments, only a humble heart and spirit, which from His own heart and Spirit, He works in us.

Jehovah appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3

Gracious Father in heaven, we praise you for your eternal plan for us to live with you now and forever.  Thank you that you did not leave us alone in our sin; but that as a God of mercy, who loved us before the foundation of the world, now through your Word and Spirit, in your timing and in your way bring us to yourself through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord and Savior.  In His name we pray.  Amen.

The Lord is in His Holy Temple

The Lord is in His Holy Temple

The Lord is in His Holy Temple

Let all the earth keep silence;

Let all the earth keep silence before Him.

Keep silence, keep silence, before Him.

Habakkuk 2:20

Relation Ships

There are three words within the word “relationship” representing three different facets of a relationship.    imagesWe see the word “ship” as the most prominent word. Within the ship are people who relate to each other; and between these there is relation.

There are friendships, fellowships, memberships, partnerships, leaderships; and also relationships of marriage and family; parents with children, etc. In the spiritual realm there is a lordship and worship.

A ship is a means of transportation, a vessel that holds and carries one or more persons from place to place. A ship represents a unity of heart and spirit.   Two people in a ship usually have something in common. In a long lasting relationship the two are of the same mind, with the same desires, the same purpose and the same plans. Their destinations are the same.

Our neighbors have recently booked a passage on a ship for a fall cruise. They will not own the ship but will pay to enter the ship that will take them on a week’s voyage wherever the ship has planned to go. Relationships are not always cruises to beautiful and pleasant shores. But, we pay for these in our commitments to those with whom we are in a relationship. Marriage and family require a covenant vow of our money and time, and all our resources.

 Abandoned Ships
There are relationships that have been abandoned because one has changed his/her mind, plans or destination. One may have entered a different relationship. They are now relating to someone else with whom they have more in common.

Sometimes ships need to be abandoned, when plans and destinations have changed.
An example is when one has become a Christian and is following Christ and the other is not.  If the unbeliever is not interested in the direction that Christ takes us the believer cannot safely continue in the relationship. There cannot be two captains of one ship. The two may still have similar interests, but the lordship changes for one,  charting a different course than the unbeliever.   These relationships usually end on the rocks, sometimes after years of struggle in trying to keep the relationship afloat. Or believers are influenced by the unbelievers to abandon their faith.

Evaluation and Repairs
Marriages may begin to sink because other ships seem more attractive, or one simply loses interest in the one that they are in. Relationships of marriage and family need to be brought into the harbor, for evaluation, repairs and renovations. Others need to accept that the ship is going in a different direction than was planned, seeing the need for change of heart and mind.

While marriages are joint relationships, a partnership so to speak, God’s plans for this relationship requires the husband and father to be in a relationship with Him, so that he may know how to captain the relationship with his wife and family. He must first know the lordship of Christ and submit to this relationship.  Wives in relationship with God are given the plans and the means of submission to His plans under the leadership of the husband.

God’s Word, the manual for repairs of the ship needs to be sought, and obeyed. Both husband and wife need to enter into the relationship of prayer with the heavenly Father to seek His plans, means and power for renewal.

A Lifetime Relationship
In the case of lordship and worship, we have to repent and in faith submit to God’s will if we are to enter into a relationship with Him. He is the captain of all our ships, whatever relationship this may be. This one relationship determines all others for us. A circle of relationships will have the Lord, Jesus Christ at the helm. We can depend on Him to bring us through all the rough waters safely and victoriously to that glorious worship that He has planned for us.

(In Part 2 we will look at the context of a relationship.)

Dear gracious Father, who has booked a life voyage for us that will extend to eternity, please show us your plans. By your Holy Spirit work in our hearts and bring us willingly to embark upon this voyage with you and the family that you have provided for us. Reveal to us the greatest relationship that we will ever enter and experience ~ the relationship that is ours in your dear Son, Jesus Christ, that will bring us together to the shores of Paradise with you. In His name I pray and praise you.  Amen.

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The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul (Video Series)

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In 1986 this video series was filmed by a younger Sproul.  It is a classic in any Christian’s study of the character of God.  Whatever church you belong to you will be blessed to view these 30 minutes lectures. Go here to view all six.

Below is 5 minute clip from the first lecture, Holy, Holy, Holy.