Dancing with Simplicity

Simple Living, Walking by Faith
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Christmas…Cancer…Chaos…Calm

  • December 21, 2019 10:58 am

It has been A. Year. And then some.

When a chronic illness struck my husband in 2017, I thought it a bit much to endure. When cancer struck him in 2018, late in the year, I knew 2019 was not going to be easy.

Our finances are in a chaotic state. Some things are undone and have not been tended to. Nothing is as it was, and nothing is particularly in order. Diagnosis led to treatment, treatment led to one rather serious and now chronic complication. We don’t seem to be able to catch up, or catch our breath.

When you think about it, Christmas was chaotic. Jesus was born into messy circumstances, and I don’t just mean the stable. Just setting one toe into this fallen world is to be plunged into chaos. Politics, war, sickness, financial woes, cultural problems all went on then and continue today.

I guess it’s alright to feel out of whack. Out of breath, behind.

There is a Christmas star out there somewhere still. Rising above the world. Angels looking down. Peace on earth. Peace to chaotic, messy homes and families. Peace in financial problems. Peace with family illness overtaking you every day. Elusive peace? Only if it is a peace built on man. Peace that descended from above is different. And I will welcome His peace into my home, during this most chaotic year.

Luke 2:8-14 (NIV2011)
8  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
11  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
12  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14  “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 

Happy Resurrection Day, Easter 2018

  • April 1, 2018 2:16 am

He is risen. If you are struggling with that this Easter, if life just doesn’t seem like this could possibly be true…well, that’s what faith is all about. If you need to learn more, please take time to click over to the Knowing God section of the side bar. Do you know Him? Things may be going along smoothly for you right now, and you don’t really think you have need of this hope. Or, maybe life is a complete train wreck and you’re desperate for His help. Just a reminder. He lives. He rose. He gave His life, enduring the cross, for you. And me. The greatest of sacrifices, from the heart of God. If you need an online Easter service check out Saddleback or Viewpoint church from CA. Two of my favorites!

Luke 24:1-12 (NASB77)
1   But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared.
2  And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
3  but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4  And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel;
5  and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead?
6  ” He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,
7  saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
8  And they remembered His words,
9  and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
10  Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.
11  And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.
12  [ But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he •saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at that which had happened.]

Your Business is His Business

  • December 5, 2017 4:17 pm

As a small business owner since 1986, I am on occasion under attack from those forces of darkness that we are warned about in Scripture.  I run as ethical a business as is humanly possible.  We all make mistakes, but as so many of you do in your business, we try to do the right thing.  In today’s world however, an anger is raging.  A Me First mentality is invading our lives while many of us are struggling just trying to keep their businesses going and to make ends meet. To do the right thing.  I know this is true, many of my online friends have expressed it.  Their prayer requests are filled with God honoring desires that seem to be thwarted.

Social media has made the business owner an open target for attack.  Maybe sometimes criticism is justified, and it can be welcome and put to good use.  But when your peaceful day, where you are simply struggling to do your job, pay your bills and care for your family, is disrupted from an other-world force of rage, or anger or subtle threats then what do you do?

He came to bring peace.  He came during this Christmas season to do so.  He is here to offer that, along with hope and His never ending love.  He told us to ask, to pray and believe He will answer.

Are you struggling with your career, your employment, your business?

Prayer requests welcome. Please feel free to post and share.  I’ll be adding some verses or share the ones you stand on.  Don’t let things ruin your day, your joy your peace. And if you do not know Him, please read the section on the sidebar that addresses that. This is unedited for the most part.  Real honest talk.  God knows your struggles, and I might just understand them too.  If you work hard, if you work to provide for your family.  You gotta keep hope alive. I don’t know much, but I know Him.  He truly is all in all, all that matters.  Keep fighting, keep serving, keep believing.

1 Timothy 4:10 (NIV2011)
10  That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

 

Easter: Hope from Suffering

  • March 26, 2016 10:54 pm

dreamstimefree_186890[1]I often think about one Easter spent in Georgia, somewhere back in the 60’s. My Dad spread blue fur around our hotel room. I’m assuming the Easter bunny was blue. I think that is what Dad was suggesting. He (Mr. Bunny) always took a nice bite out of the carrots I left for him. I believe he did on that occasion as well. Easter was blue fur and bunnies, and carrots with tooth marks in them. And who can forget Easter egg hunts, and being dressed up in patent leather shoes and your finest church clothes?

Those days however, are long gone. What used to be a holiday filled with candy and toys, has now become something much more to me. The Easter story brings hope. Hope of life eternal and grace beyond measure. Hope that streams from putting our faith in the one whose crucifixion we remember. When I decided to become a Christian, to follow Christ, I began to see how the Bible message as a whole became a reason for celebration. The Easter message was there in much of the Scriptures. Scripture was worth studying, memorizing, and above all following.

I would also discover that the most quoted Easter verses did not provide the whole picture. Suffering had to come before joy, fear before worship and God’s plan had to move forward into a message for others to hear. The message of Easter can be found in both Old and New Testament verses. It’s been said; that the message of the New Testament is concealed in the Old Testament. The message of hope therefore isn’t limited to just the standard Easter Scriptures. It is woven through the entire canon of Scripture. Bible verses specific to our Easter celebrations, stand as promises and bring us hope while Old Testament symbolism points to something much more.

It may not sound very hopeful to look at the suffering the Cross carried with it yet Psalm 22 reminds us of the suffering necessary to bring us future hope. Christ’s very words ” My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1, NIV) reminds us that the pain was a necessary part of the process. The whole Psalm bears witness of this. I have always marveled that the words uttered on the Cross (Matthew 27:46, NIV) were recorded in that Psalm long before. We cannot possibly fathom this suffering yet it reminds us of why we have our Easter celebrations at all. His suffering had to come before the triumph. His friends, family and followers had to endure great pain, before unspeakable joy. Though they pale in comparison, sometimes our trials precede our victories. We have to deal with pain in our lives, often before we see the glory on the other side. Entombed in our heart are many trials, many days of suffering and pain.  But Resurrection power bursts through as our heart is renewed and filled with hope and joy.

The four gospel books contain various accounts of the resurrection of Jesus. In Matthew 28 an angel explains to Mary Magdalene and ‘another Mary’ that Jesus’ body is no longer in the tomb.

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. (Matthew 28:8-10, NIV.)

Our worship should flow out of this very scene. Because of what He did for us, these Bible verses that celebrate Easter, can be personalized. We can worship at the feet of the Lord, because of the very fact that the tomb is empty. The. tomb. is. empty. He has risen. Our fear of any situation can be replaced with joy. The joy invokes worship at His feet.

In Luke Jesus left us this word “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke 24:44, NIV). The New Testament hope is concealed in the Old Testament Scriptures. Our Easter celebration is not made up of blue fur, and bunnies. Rather it is a celebration of hope. Hope based on a God who kept His promises, and fulfilled His word. I can live in light of the ‘everything’ that must be fulfilled.

This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:44, NIV).

The Biblical celebration of Easter has to encompass the Cross of suffering, the joy of an empty tomb and the fulfillment of Scripture, past and future. From our own corner of the world we can preach the Easter message to others. We can share Easter verses of encouragement and hope. We can turn our fear to joy, and share that joy with those who need to hear. Be blessed and encouraged this Easter. Our world grows increasingly more troubled day by day. This Easter, embrace your Biblical hope as you live out your day to day life. Take your suffering and turn it to celebration, over the life that was given, and the life that now lives and intercedes on our behalf.

 

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