Tag Archive | Silky

Focusing on Joy: Hebrews 12:2

buddy-seahawks-12-4-16

Here in the Seattle area most people look forward to watching the Seahawks football team play. As I am typing, fireworks are blowing off, signaling that the Hawks have scored. Buddy is less than enthusiastic about the fireworks, however, and is cowering near my feet.

“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”–Hebrews 12:2

Jesus was able to endure the agonizing pain and humiliation of the cross because His focus was on the end result, the great joy of reconciling humankind to Himself, removing the sin barrier separating us from God. His sitting down at the right hand of the Father symbolizes, (I’ve been told by spiritual authorities I respect), the finished work of Christ on the Cross. There is nothing to add to His work. “…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;”–Apostle  Paul, Romans 10:9

As Christians, we have something far more wonderful to look forward to: Our lives have a very happy ending.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”–Apostle Paul, Romans 8:18

Our lives are like fairy tales. There are great dangers and sorrows to be faced and overcome, but in the end (as in most of the traditional tales) there is a happy ending. I encourage you to imitate Christ and keep your focus on the end game, the goal line: our joyful eternity with God.

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.”–God, Isaiah 65:17

One day, all of these present sufferings will pass away and we’ll live in never-ending joy.

God bless you this Christmas Season.

Dawn and Buddy

NASB Version of the Bible quoted from.

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Preparing For Life’s Storms: Psalm 62:7b-8

bud-yellow-raincoat

In the Puget Sound area we’ve been warned by the local news media for several days that a dangerous windstorm was coming, perhaps the worst in 10 years with potentially 70mph winds. The last time the land was soaked with rain for several days and then the wind blew furiously, tens of thousands of trees came down. I couldn’t drive to my home after work till the few hundred trees that had come down across the main street in front of the openings to my housing development were cleared.

It was supposed to hit at 3PM. It’s 5:30 and we’re still anticipating it may arrive.

Since it’s so difficult to find a raincoat that fits Buddy, I snapped up a raincoat last month when they were first set out onto the rack at the local Mud Bay pet shop. Buddy is a Silky terrier, which means he has an extra long back like a Corgi, so it’s difficult to find a coat that covers his rear area but isn’t too wide around the waist. This little coat has straps that wind around his legs and snug ties around the waist. You can see from the photo that Buddy is a good-natured dog.

Sometimes, no matter how well we think we are prepared, the storms in life come and catch us off guard. There is no weather service to warn us about the trials or temptations that may arrive in the future to derail us.

“The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”–Psalm 62:7b-8 NASB

One way God is a refuge for us is when we pour out our hearts to Him. There is no one who understands our situation or knows our mind like God does. There is no one like Him who listens so attentively without condemnation (Romans 8:1) and has the power to lift our spirits and change our circumstances. He is our mighty Counselor (Isaiah 9:6) and Helper (John 14:16).

In the midst of life’s storms, God is your best friend, ready and willing to listen. “Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.”–1 Peter 5:7

No Greater Love: Luke 23:33-34

donut-bud

One day I came home from work and was greeted by Buddy, proudly displaying his new prize: my donut. I immediately forgave him and laughed. After all, it was my fault that he snagged the donut as I set it down upon my bed when getting ready for work and then forgot it.

I much admire Jesus’ great love for us. When He was hanging from the Cross, in unbelievable pain and agony, His focus was on the welfare of others:

“When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they do.'”–Luke 23:33-34 NASB

When I’m feeling cranky or stressed, it’s a challenge for me to remember God’s great love and patience for me and that I’m supposed to demonstrate that same love to others. How often I’m tempted to repay evil for evil, or insult for insult, to strike back at someone who’s done evil, forgetting that I once was condemned, deceived and far from God, till I was given a saving knowledge of Christ because of God’s mercy. I was tempted not to pray for a wicked public figure (not a politician in case you’re trying to guess who it is), but God reminded me that He loves everyone and so I prayed for his soul.

After all, to someone as pure as God is, we’re all pretty rotten, yet every day He gives us a beating heart, air to breathe, a lovely day and evening sky, all the blessings of nature, and, in general, a government that maintains law and order. I have no right to be irritated with someone else because we all need God’s mercy.

I’ve been thinking about Judgment Day lately, how those in leadership who think they’re getting away with evil, and refuse to repent, will discover there is no escaping God’s judgment. I feel sorry for them and pray they’ll repent, because it is going to go hard on them. Perhaps this Great Day will not only include a summary of our sins if we’ve not accepted Jesus so that they’ll understand why they’re sinful in God’s eyes, but perhaps also a recitation of all the great love He shows each person every day that they never noticed or acknowledged: Escapes from harm, healing from disease, enablement to make a living, a restraining of wicked impulses that helps them to choose good and maintain their relationships, friends and pets who love them, etc.

And they’ll mourn because they’ll realize they’ve rejected spending eternity with the most loving, generous being Who was, is and will ever exist.

God waits to bring judgment because He is showing remarkable patience, “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”–2 Peter 3:9

I’m very thankful, since I wasn’t saved till I was 28 years old, God was patient with me.