Friday, January 21, 2011

HEART THOUGHTS... from Helen


"...wash me, and I shall (in reality) be whiter than snow." (Psalm 51:7b - AMP)

"Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;" (Isaiah 1:18 AMP)

As a girl growing up in the lower part of the state, we seldom enjoyed a real snow. When we did, my Mother and I enjoyed walking down our country road on the outskirts of Oswego, leaving our footprints on the "unadulterated snow", as she called it.

Last week we watched it snow and snow and snow, loving every minute of it. It's mesmerizing. So is the opposite, watching the flames of a fire burn relaxes me. When you can watch it snow in front of the fire, it soon becomes paralyzing. The older I get the less I want to do anything when it snows, but sit and watch it and stay warm. I've read numbers of comments about the snow on Face book. Many are so similar to my own feelings that we should put them in a book and call it, Snow Soliloquy. Then we could sit by the fire, watch it snow and intermittently read everyone's snow sayings. In actuality a lot of us did that yesterday with the aid of technology.

But then, we walked on it, took Sadie, our Golden out in it, tromped across the 'unadulterated snow' on our patio and messed it all up. We took pictures of the beautiful 'unadulterated snow' from the road, on the road and from the front/back doors. Now it's not pure and pristine; the stunning snow is 'adulterated,' pock marked with footprints and a lot of other things. Why do you think we feel we have to mess up a perfectly beautiful snow white scene by tromping on it? And then there's the snowmen, snow ladies, snow children, snow angels, and my grandchildren dug a snow tunnel or Alaskans call that an igloo. Five children crawled in, turned around and smiled out at the camera. Definitely a Kodak moment! My other three grandchildren entertained every male child (their parents did) near and far, feeding them all pancakes. Can you imagine all that testosterone in one place? Thoughts and prayers to Lisa.

Beauty and the Beast: Snow and Sin: The beauty of the driven, 'unadulterated' snow and the beast of sin polluting us all. We loved watching it fall and cover all the ugliness: the barren tree limbs, the asphalt road, the dead grass, the un-raked leaves, everything. Now, many want it gone and want it gone NOW. Scrape the roads, shovel the walk ways, and "LET ME OUT OF HERE! I want to be about my normal business". It was fun for a few hours but let's not get carried away with this white stuff. We're southerners; we're not used to it and we've done all the snow things we can do, eaten all the snow cream we can eat, eaten everything we can get our hands on and our mouth around, had a day off from work and school, now let's get on with life as we know it". It is a temporary fix, this snow event.

The Psalmist and the poet prophet, Isaiah, saw snow as quite another metaphor. Sin and snow. Not a thought we care to think about. "Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow". What is whiter than snow? ME! All washed and covered from the stain of sin. Abba Father says, "Come on, let's talk about this sin thing, let's reason together. I can cover your sin as the snow that covers the southeast. You become pure, pristine and 'unadulterated' when you come in repentance, confessing all the ugly, dirty, dead stuff and claiming your snow status"(my paraphrase) This may take a daily cleansing from walking and playing in the world, but my crucial cleansing, my snow is 'unadulterated' and not temporary.

Go find a spot of snow on the ground that is untouched by human or animal. Look carefully at it and thank your Abba Father for providing His Son, the ultimate in snow covering for your sin.

Friday, January 7, 2011


"Let my one desire to be still before you." (Andrew Murray)

"For this reason ever since we heard about you (from Epaphras), we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual understanding." Colossians 1:9 (NIV) parenthesis is mine.

Ever wondered about Epaphras? His name means 'charming or foamy'. Not phony, but foamy.

He labored alongside Paul and in some way served as fellow prisoner. Herbert Lockyer calls him the man who was a giant in Prayer. I'd like to be known for such qualities. Do you have an Epaphras in your life? Epaphras, the Colossian, ministered to Paul in his need and to the church in her need. His prayer ministry is what is most notable about him.

Lockyer: "This giant in prayer knew how to lay all before the Lord, and laboring in secret, made the saints to be perfect and complete in their standing through his kneeling. He "strove earnestly in his prayers" for the Colossians." When is the last time you strove earnestly in your prayers for the saints?

Paul regarded his friend's perseverance as well as his prayers; he was a practical as well as a prayerful man. This man encouraged the imprisoned Paul with wonderfully charming good news of the saints in Colossae, probably resulting in the letter to the Colossians.

I've thanked God many times for persevering, powerful prayer warriors in my life. I honestly don't know what I'd do without them. I'd name them but would not want to omit any of them. Some have gone on to glory, but some still callous their knees in helping me to stand. Of course, my GREATEST INTERCESSOR is Christ, Himself. (Romans 8:34)

At the close of an old year, we succumb to some old habits, perhaps. Along with feeling much older, I've discovered that my prayer time suffers from insufficient time, insufficient listening as I should, over-sufficient distractions of everything and anything. Instead of choosing the better part like Mary, I resort to old Martha's busyness. It's been called the 'tyranny of the urgent'. I've confessed that and am determined to rename and recommit myself to being a Mary... Epaphras in this New Year. (Do you think it possible that they might have known each other?) Should I be successful, I'm thinking I'll see more of heaven in two thousand eleven.