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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lighten up! - A Morning Lesson from 2011...

Dear Saints and Praying Friends:

While visiting friends many years ago, I discovered this cross-stitched embroidery in a frame on the wall. It made an instant impression on me - I laughed my head off! As I recall it was made by our friend's grandmother many years ago. And of course I had to take a picture of it for you to enjoy as well. :o)

But after the humorous element subsides, the message grows serious and is a good exhortation for us all. These words of Jesus from Matthew 22:14 were few, "For many are called, but few are chosen." But they are profoundly significant and challenging to us today.

Thankfully God's mercies are new every morning, and every new day He gives us presents new opportunities to grow in our knowledge of Him and to walk in His ways. They are not only are merely opportunities, but are also responsibilities.

Last week in the chapel my curiosity was piqued by the shadow from this ceiling lamp in the top of the arch of the window to the left. Why would it be higher than the lamp itself? The early morning sun was shining down, not up, so how could this be?

There could only be one explanation, the sunlight had to be bouncing off of something. So I marched outside with camera in hand to prove my 'theory' and explore what could have such a shiny surface. I couldn't imagine a gravestone having such a perfectly reflective surface.

To my surprise and delight, I found that the best of man's handiwork had been embellished by the One Who knows how to perfect things indeed! The rainfall during the night had pooled on the surface and had this brilliant effect and blinded my eyes with light. I don't think even a glass mirror could have produced such a dazzling result.

While I gazed in admiration of God's doings that so surpass our abilities, lots of things came to mind. First among them was the scripture in Ephesians 5:14 says, "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." Now here is something worth getting up for. What an amazing promise!

And there are many many more. Jesus, the light of life, has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). And earlier in Ephesians.5, verse 8 says, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light." Do a search on "darkness + light" and you will be greatly encouraged.

There is a price to be paid (read Romans 6 and 12:1-2) - but it is SO worth it!

And just at that out-of-place shadow caught my attention, so can our lives draw the attention of the people around us that still walk in the darkness of this world. That is what we're called to do. The words of Jesus in Matthew 5:16 say it best. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven"

People running to humble themselves at the foot of the cross of Christ is one of the best ways to glorify our Heavenly Father, wouldn't you agree?

Longing for more of His light in our own lives, and in the lives of all Christians everywhere,

Dick & Gladys

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Praise the Lord! He reigns forever!

ontherock.jpgDear Friends:

"Say among the nations, 'The Lord reigns.' The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity." These words of Psalm 96:10 are a good exhortation and encouragement in the times we are living in. As global events seem to make our world shake every which way, it is an amazing privilege that we get to stand on solid ground.

Like everyone else we were shocked and dismayed to learn of the horrific incident in Las Vegas. Such unprovoked and unthinkable aggression that devastated the lives of so many innocent people just seems too impossible to be real. But tragically it is all too real and intensely painful for every person directly affected. And it is painful for the rest of us as well.

And we cry out like David in Psalm 61:1-2, "Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

Sadly, this was just one more of countless tragic happenings around the world. And how about the many more that we never hear about? They make us ask ourselves, "fallfoxglove.jpgWhere is righteousness and justice? What is going on in this world?" And just as sadly, we must recognize the answer as stated in Isaiah 53:6. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way..." This is the simple and uncomfortable fact, both for individuals and for nations. And the Lord will judge each one with equity and truth.

And yet in this same placfallsweetwiliam.jpge we see the greatest of God's interventions made crystal clear. Isaiah says in the previous verse 5, "...He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." In sending Jesus, God provided the only solution.This is what people need to see, and this is why we need to faithfully pray for revival.

And this also is why we must continue to proclaim among the nations His invitation in Isaiah 45:22, "Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other." We are called as ambassadors to boldly speak out Jesus' own words in Matthew 11:28, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Thank you for joining us as we pray and long for the nations to hear and recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd.

Dick & Gladys


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