Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Favorite Fragrance

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•Are the places you go filled with Christ’s fragrance because of you? “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.

For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

To one we are the smell of death; to the other the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?”
(2 Cor. 2:15-16)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Is your glass half full or half empty?

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form and you have been given fullness in Christ.” Col. 2:9-10 (NIV)

“Everything of God gets expressed in Him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without Him. When you come to Him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.” (THE MESSAGE)

My Alaskan daughter-in-law, Joice, prefers her water without ice. She can drink a FULL glass of water (and our glasses are fairly large) in no time flat. I’m amazed, because, I like my glass full of ice and then add water, then I drink only a little at a time. My husband likes ice also but can gulp down a full glass quickly.

I know water is good for me and I try to stay hydrated; sometimes I succeed. Depending on how full I fill my glass, the water becomes a part of me and I am saturated with it. If I fill my glass and don’t drink it, it is just another exercise in futility. The water is there but it’s not doing me any good, except that I can talk about how good it is and how good it is for me, but until I drink it, it’s irrelevant to my body’s betterment.

---Christ in all His fullness, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit lives together in Christ Jesus, my LORD. All I need to do to know God is to look at Christ and continue to look at Him, His Life, His Message, and His Love. The more I realize His fullness; His fullness is realized in me. I don’t become Him; I become a reflection of Him as I realize my completeness in Him. That is really hard for me to swallow.
Christ is the FULLNESS of the Godhead, the Deity. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They forever existed throughout eternity; THEY ARE ETERNAL!

Could that be why Jesus instructed the woman at the well in John, chapter four, that He would have given her living water, if she asked (v. 10)? She was thirsty; He stood by Jacob’s well.

He told her, “…whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) continually within him unto (into, for) eternal life.” (AMP, v.14)

Can I take in all the fullness of the Godhead, the Deity, in one gulp? In one sense, when I surrendered my life to Christ, I did accept ALL of Him into myself. It has, however, taken me many years to consume all the goodness that is He and I haven’t begun to know it YET. My heavenly Father invites me to look at Christ more closely, know Him more intimately through His Word and Prayer, to drink from that eternal well that never runs dry. Will I fill my glass to the brim with Him today and drink all of His goodness? Will you?

All the FULLNESS of the Godhead dwells in Christ…and I am complete (full) in Him.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Heart Thoughts

Life Changes
Is it just me or does the time change do more than ‘spring forward’ and’ fall back’ on the clock? It takes my aging body a while to adjust to the differences in waking to darkness in the mornings and waiting til darkness falls to feel that the day ends or is ‘in the gloamin’ as our Scots friends may say. My circadian rhythm gets all wacky-do! (That daily rhythmic cycle of activity based on my 24 hour life experiences is messed up, not to mention my sleep pattern).

Weather changes, time changes, fashions change, people change, grandchildren change as they mature, people change, relationships change, political figures change their minds, political parties change their platforms, our government changes, global changes, the earth shifts, morality changes; everything is changing. The old saying, ‘nothing is as constant as change’, truly speaks to the times in which we live.

Our life has changed drastically in the last three years. After eleven years in a wonderful pastorate, we moved to our place of marriage origin and changed gears completely. Now we reside in Greer, living approximately six miles in opposite directions from our children/grandchildren. It’s rather like a triangle.

Dennis pursued teaching opportunities as well as interim pastoral positions due to his aversion to the word ‘retirement’, and some of those things took place. I experienced two surgeries quite unexpectedly and was thankful I could recuperate without too many responsibilities to interfere with the healing process. We’ve enjoyed our grandchildren and their parents more than we ever had privilege to do before living this close to them.

Change occurred about six months ago in the form of an interim pastoral position at Bellview Baptist Church about six miles from Woodruff, SC, and about twenty=two miles from our home. Did I say change? Woodruff is where we lived when Dennis coached football and track 43 years ago and then again 39 years ago we returned there to coach once more. My older son, David, quipped, “Well, Mom, third time is the charm”. It was that second return that began our ministry years as we changed along with the youth group at Woodruff First Baptist and attempted to lead them toward a closer walk with Jesus.

Change, but then again familiarities from long ago keep popping up. People we knew back in the day, places we frequented are quite changed. Some things remain the same…but not many. Long story shortened, Dennis is now full time pastor once again, at Bellview. Life changes.

So, what is life if not change?
What is life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away”. (James 4:14)
Life is a splendid gift---there is nothing small about it.” (Florence Nightingale)
Jesus said, I AM the way, the truth and THE LIFE”.From these few quotes, we may assume that our lives are short, but splendidly large in the process, nevertheless our lives do vanish quickly. It seems the longer we live the more swiftly the vapor vanishes.

Ms. Nightingale surely speaks truth that life is a splendid gift; so sad that many don’t see the relevance.

The fact that Jesus IS LIFE AND LIGHT (John 1:4-5) brings a smile and somewhat of stability to that vapor that so quickly vanishes away. For the Apostle Paul,”to live is Christ, to die would be gain.” (Phil. 1:21) Living…dying,
Changing, forever changing.

AH, but here we have it: Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.”strong> What an absolutely comforting unconditional TRUTH to grab hold of and hang on.

In our world that’s gone mad with change, Jesus is the same. WHO? JESUS! WHAT? He doesn’t change! He doesn’t love me less or more tomorrow. He doesn’t change the rules in our relationship from day to day. Jesus never fails; He never changes and He is not going to change. He’s the Rock you can cling to when there is no other hope. He will forever be the Good Shepherd, the Way, The Truth, the Life, The Bread of Life, The Son of God, and My Savior. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. You can ‘take it to the bank’ if you’re of a mind to do so…but remember, the banking institutions change quicker than I can change clothes. Just settle it in your heart of hearts: Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever!! My old friend, Corrie ten Boom, used to say, “God said it; I believe it and that settles it.” Alleluiah!