Saturday, June 23, 2018

Fw: God shows up in unexpected ways

The other night I was about to open the Chapel doors to attend a meeting when the moth in the picture caught my eye.  Perched on the vertical class, in the midst of the word "worship" was this pretty little creature.  I don't think it was more than an inch in length.  I had to snap a picture and magnify her because she was so beautiful.  The symmetrical pattern of layered pink and yellow color on her wings and body was just remarkable.  It was a delight to be welcomed to the place of worship by such humble beauty.
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Beauty
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Humble creature that you are...
So easy to dismiss.
Who likes the moth? (You eat our cloth!)
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But your creator chose to show
His beauty on your wings...
That we might know,
Beauty is His to give.
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And great as God is...high above...
His artist's brush and sculptor's touch
Could not depart from your frame,
Till colors pointed to His name.

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"Death is inevitable.  Life is a choice!"

John 11:25
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."


Friday, June 22, 2018

Fw: waiting and trusting

Psalm 13:1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
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When we are going through trials God can seem far away.  But if we didn't have trials we wouldn't grow in our dependence on Him.  Waiting and trusting leads to worship and thanksgiving ultimately.  This is what David experienced as his enemies pursued him and God ultimately saved him.  So here is how this psalm ends:
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Psalm 13:But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
    because he has dealt bountifully with me.
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When times are tough, if it's the Lord we are waiting for...it's the Lord we will recognize and thank ultimately.  There is a beautiful anticipation in faith's design.
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blessings,
Rob Smith

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"Death is inevitable.  Life is a choice!"

John 11:25
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fw: The blindness of evil

Psalm 10:
16 The Lord is king forever and ever;
    the nations perish from his land.
17 Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
    so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
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The writer of Psalm 10 has decided to do an analysis of evil.  Just what is happening when some people decide to take advantage of others?  
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This psalm explains that they have a certain "blind spot" that will eventually catch up to them.  We all have blind spots and need help from others to see what we tend to miss.  Personally I am not very observant of physical changes in our home.  When Shirley hangs a new picture, moves a piece of furniture or moves a plant I may sense that something has changed but often I need for her to point it out for me.  According to the psalmist the evil person's blind spot is a very big one...the blind spot is the reality of an all-knowing and all-seeing God.  So they allow their world to revolve around themselves at the center.  They may live with the mindset that "what's theirs is theirs" and "what's yours is theirs" also.
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This blind spot for the evil also carries another blind spot that is directly associated.  The boundaries of life are not framed by birth and death when it comes to God but they are when it comes to our actions toward each other.  And while it may appear that the evil are successful at separating the innocent from their goods, that is a temporary outcome.  As verse 16 reminds us, "The Lord is king forever and ever" while even "the nations perish from his land".  
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Perhaps one definition of building the Kingdom of God is seeing those with this blind spot transformed so that the God they were blind to is now the one they can't stop thinking about and living for.  
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You really don't want your blind spot to be the "all seeing" God!
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blessings,
Rob Smith

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"Death is inevitable.  Life is a choice!"

John 11:25
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Fw: tendency to stray

Psalm 7:

if I have repaid my friend with evil
    or plundered my enemy without cause,
let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,
    and let him trample my life to the ground
    and lay my glory in the dust.
Arise, O Lord, in your anger;
    lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
    awake for me; you have appointed a judgment.

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We are all made of the same human substance and our tendency is not to "fly right" or run straight.  Our natural tendency is to swerve from the path that is true.  At some point we are likely to infringe on another and at other times they will tread over us.  We need the divine intervention of a God who loves us too much to let us continue to stray.  And the heart of the issue isn't that we would simply have personal success or freedom from troubles.  The heart of the issue is that we would make Him the center and not ourselves:
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Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you;
    over it return on high.

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Truly we all need a 'shepherd of the soul' that we would bow before His care.
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blessings,
Rob Smith

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"Death is inevitable.  Life is a choice!"

John 11:25
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Fw: Ponder and call

Psalm 4:1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
    You have given me relief when I was in distress.
    Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
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Be angry, and do not sin;
    ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
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So much of our relationship with God comes in the quiet places.  It is in the quiet places of the heart that we feel distress and anxiety and in the quiet places that joy forms and fears are stilled.  Almighty God seeks to meet us in those quiet places....where no one else can really see and no one else can really know what is taking place.  So much of the wonder of God is that He sees, He knows and He meets us at our point of need...in the quiet place where only we can feel peace or personal storm.
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Because He sees our inner person and hears our heart cry and responds...we find the help we need and our confidence is built to trust Him with our lives.
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Psalm 4 :8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
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blessings,
Rob Smith
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"Death is inevitable.  Life is a choice!"

John 11:25
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."


Monday, June 18, 2018

Fw: makes all the difference

Psalm 1:
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
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Webster says that to meditate is to "engage in contemplation or reflection".  In today's busy, driven world we don't often allow time for 'contemplation or reflection'.  We're more likely to experience 'consternation and reaction' as we walk through daily challenges.  Taking time to quietly consider can seem like 'a waste of time' when we could be 'actually doing something'.
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But, as we read in Psalm 1, it makes all the difference to take time to meditate over God's words to us, preserved in the Bible.  More specifically it makes the difference between a life that leads to fruitfulness and lasting effectiveness and a life that leads to dissipation, distress and even destruction.
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This is because, as we spend time carefully considering God's word, we are giving Him a chance to enter our personal world and into the innermost spaces of our heart and mind.  We get to know Him and He knows us.  In that knowing there is healthy growing.  It makes a difference that compares a tree full of sap with chaff...the seed coverings that are removed when wheat is threshed and are thrown away.
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Taking time to meditate in God's word makes all the difference between finding life or being scattered and lost.  Time well spent!
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blessings,
Rob Smith

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"Death is inevitable.  Life is a choice!"

John 11:25
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Fw: Father's Day

Psalm 68:
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
    is God in his holy habitation.
God settles the solitary in a home;
    he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
    but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
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Tomorrow is the day we celebrate Father's Day.  It is also the day of the week when we bow before our heavenly Father.  Psalm 68 reminds us that He is the loving father of those who have no earthly one to care for them...the fatherless, the widow, the lonely, the prisoner.  He sees each one and extends unconditional love and the opportunity for an eternal home with Himself.
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Psalm 68:18
You ascended on high,
    leading a host of captives in your train
    and receiving gifts among men,
even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.
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And our Heavenly Father sent His Son to rescue us and lead us ...so we would find Him...despite our rebellion from Him.
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Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord,
    who daily bears us up;
    God is our salvation.
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Happy Father's Day to our father in Heaven...who carries us through each day and loves us unconditionally.
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blessings,
Rob Smith

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"Death is inevitable.  Life is a choice!"

John 11:25
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."