Dreams can be incredibly wild and at other times quite serene. From my own experience a consciousness at stress perhaps has a tendency to lead us into the wildest of dreams. While a consciousness at rest leads us into the more serene. How do we know which ones to hold on to? For me the ones in which my mother appears always gets my attention. She lived to encourage me and anyone she ever encountered. Even today, the Lord knows when I need intervention from the Host High (Sirach 34:1-8, 18-22), her spirit descends. As we celebrate All Saints this Sunday I am grateful for my mother’s presence still encouraging me today. Be encouraged. A consciousness at rest in the Lord always receives its reward.
Yeast; a micro-organism consisting of single oval cells that reproduce by budding. As fungi go, through the process of fermentation, it’s quite useful as the active ingredient in making various other products such as wine, beer, yogurt and bread to name a few. Fermentation is a natural process that has been used long before any one understood how it worked. We are far from knowing every scientific action and reaction that occurs in life. Of the things we do know, I believe God intends us to use that knowledge for the benefit of God’s creation. Otherwise we risk our love for God becoming like yeast that takes what is sweet and pleasurable and turns it into something addicting and toxic. Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees. Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known (Luke 11:53-12:12).
When entertaining, the general rule is; you touch it (with your hands) you eat it. So it’s no surprise that the authorities are stunned that Jesus would sit at the table without washing. As usual the Pharisees immediately judge the situation. We all do it. Dirty hands at the table in this day is simply unacceptable. We are not interested in OPG’s – other people’s germs. In our church there’s only one cup. Some drink from it. Others don’t. They simply take the bread or wafer and dip it into the wine. Then there are those who neither taste the wine nor eat the bread for personal or health reasons. I say it doesn’t matter. Just bring your hope, your struggles, and your thanksgiving. Give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you (Luke 11:37-52). Let not our heart be troubled (John 14:1-4), come and take your place at the table. Everyday, I am ever thankful for God’s open invitation.
To walk in ones own wisdom is like walking with our eyes wide shut, unaware of the darkness and seeing what is not really there. With every day that I continue to strive to truly see, I am gently reminded of that which I have yet to comprehend. So I rely not on my own wisdom but the Wisdom of God. In this way I rest in knowing that I am being guided away from the darkness rather than deeper in to it’s midst. Thank you God for the Light that is your Wisdom. Let it be the lamp that I see every morning and the light by my side as I rest at night.
I was at a very wealthy church for a meeting and noticed a rug amongst a pile of items that clearly looked like they had been donated perhaps from a member of this wealthy congregation. I recognized that my own church could really use the perfectly sized rug to cover an area of our carpet that had been badly damaged and financially we are not able to afford to replace. I was told that the items were part of an annual yard sale. So I inquired about the possibility of purchasing the rug, explaining why the church needed it. A few days later I was told that the organizers for the yard sale needed to have the rug appraised because people give things of great value to this already wealthy church all the time. In my mind it seemed perhaps that this wealthy church didn’t need the rug or the money, otherwise, why was it in a pile of items to be sold (as opposed to being set aside)? From a stewardship perspective, was this not an opportunity to fulfill Christ’s commandment? The parables of the widows mite and the rich fool were never so clear to me as it was at that very moment! For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Luke 12:13-21, 32-34). Lord help me to be a better steward of what already belongs to you, knowing that as I share my fullest tithe with the whole of God’s house, God’s grace and mercy will pour down an overflowing of blessings (Malachi 3:10).
Saturday’s Meditaiton – Sirach 15:1-10, 18
Whoever fears the Lord will do this,
and whoever holds to the law will obtain wisdom.
She will come to meet him like a mother,
and like a young bride she will welcome him.
She will feed him with the bread of learning,
and give him the water of wisdom to drink.
He will lean on her and not fall,
and he will rely on her and not be put to shame.
She will exalt him above his neighbours,
and will open his mouth in the midst of the assembly.
He will find gladness and a crown of rejoicing,
and will inherit an everlasting name.
The foolish will not obtain her,
and sinners will not see her.
She is far from arrogance,
and liars will never think of her.
Praise is unseemly on the lips of a sinner,
for it has not been sent from the Lord.
For in wisdom must praise be uttered,
and the Lord will make it prosper.
For great is the wisdom of the Lord…
The bee is small among flying creatures, but what it produces is the best of sweet things. (Sirach 11:2-20) Some are allergic to bees. However, for those of us who are not, it seems unfortunate that to encounter a “bee” causes us only to think about being stung. Unlike honey bees or other animals, humans aren’t born with those kinds of defense mechanisms. We create or develop them on our own.
Lord God, help us not to judge, examine or criticize merely by what we see or hear. Help us to truly seek out the sweetness that is produced in all of life. Help us also to stand firm by our faith in you and in all that you have allowed us to be for your purpose, in order that we may find rest even in the presence of a bee.
Image from Google
I’d waited as long as I could but the noise seemed to get worse. So I braced myself and made the appointment. As I anxiously waited, finally the gentleman from behind the desk comes in to the waiting lounge and calls out “Mrs. Whitfield!” I look up and reluctantly respond. “We found the problem. It’s a bearing…” From that point on the only thing I heard was whah whah whah…it’s covered under warranty.” On the way home I felt like I was driving a new car. If it hadn’t been chilly and rainy I would have given her a bath because she (that’s right it’s a girl) really needed one. In more ways than one I had been neglecting my car, worrying that I was about to face another bill – and for what! She was covered! We sometimes treat our own life in the same way, putting things off – for what? We forget that we are covered by God’s grace. We forget to commit (our) way to the Lord to put (our) trust in him, and he will bring it to pass (Psalm 37:5). I thank you Lord for you are my stronghold in time of trouble (Psalm 37:41)
With God, anything is possible. Yet, sometimes we don’t know what’s in us until we do something that to us seemed phenomenal. In the beginning, only God knows the phenomenal within us. As we seek God out – the phenomenal is revealed. Christ before us. Christ behind us. blessed are the eyes that see. Luke 10:17-24
A few years ago I visited an elementary school in South Africa. The children there didn’t get a lot of visitors from the U.S. so they had a ton of questions. My niece who was still in college was traveling with us became very popular with the girls and most of their questions were directed at her. Thinking that she was close to their age they clung to her very word. I think they were quite amazed that someone so young got to travel away from home just to visit their school. Whenever I think of my niece at that school, I am reminded that in the midst of so many friends near and far away, God is always who we need God to be, that one friend in a thousand friends – not because we identify with God but because God identifies with us.