Kitfany's blog listings. DAUGHTER OF THE LIVING GOD Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://community.beliefnet.com/kitfany 13 DAYS UNTIL EASTER-ONE LIFE AS IT WAS MEANT TO BE LIVED.

ALL DEATH WAS SHATTERED BY THE SHEER FORCE OF ONE LIFE AS IT WAS MEANT TO BE LIVED.

  

 

 "You are a king then? " Pilate asked.  "You say that I'm a king,"  .  "Jesus replied I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify of the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice."   "What is truth? said Pilate.  After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told then.  I find no grounds for charging Him."

John18:37-38

 

 

 

Which doctrine of Christ is most important?  I would say the doctrine of his sinlessness.  Some would argue.  "What about his resurrection?  Surely that is more important than his sinlessness?"  Of course, in many ways the Resurrection created Christianity.  If the Resurrection created it, though, the sinlessness of Christ authenticated it.   If Jesus arose from the dead but only as a sinning savior, could he truly save?  In what way could a sinner's resurrection liberate the rest of us who need to be set free from our sin?  To help us, Jesus must first be our moral superior. 

 

Humankind has always struggled with sin.  Even though the Greek religions carved their gods and goddesses to be ideal --- well formed in body, strident and tall, a picture of what humankind was supposed to be --- their gods were capricious and indulgent.  No wonder their religion did not live.

 

Jesus, however, was sinless.  Even Pilate could see that this man was not a criminal deserving of death.  After hearing the witness against Jesus, Pilate said, "I find no grounds for charging Him."

 

Pilate may not have believed Jesus was sinless, but in some way he seemed to sense that Jesus was morally superior to him.  Pilate spoke more than he knew.  There was literally no fault at all in Jesus.  He was, indeed, a lamb without spot and without blemish.  He was the sacrifice offered once and for all for our sins.

 

Almost every religion has some sense of sin and has devised some ritual of forgiveness --- always to no avail.  The writer of Hebrews admitted that the ancient blood-sacrifice system of the Jews was also ineffective. If the sinner's trust was merely in the ceremony:  "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4).  What can be done, then?  The apostle Paul wrote that God made one "who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him"  (2 Corinthians 5:2.1)

 

Jesus truly is the no-fault Savior.  Because He was the perfect Son of God, your imperfections are covered by His blood.  You are forever free!

 

 

PRAYER:

 

Lord, have we forgotten that it was your perfect life, which covered our imperfections?  Have we forgotten that the blood of your perfect sacrifice healed our sin?  Because I am so sinful, I treasure a Savior who was tempted in all points like I am and yet lived without sin.  Because of your sacrifice, my own sin is now removed as far from me as the east is from the west.  [It is now in that perfect blood of the lamb and whose name we pray.] Amen!

 

For additional Bible Reading:  Hebrews 7:23-28

 

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Mon, 11 Apr 2011 03:56:38 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/kitfany/blog/2011/04/11/13_days_until_easter-one_life_as_it_was_meant_to_be_lived._ http://community.beliefnet.com/kitfany/blog/2011/04/11/13_days_until_easter-one_life_as_it_was_meant_to_be_lived._

ALL DEATH WAS SHATTERED BY THE SHEER FORCE OF ONE LIFE AS IT WAS MEANT TO BE LIVED.

  

 

 "You are a king then? " Pilate asked.  "You say that I'm a king,"  .  "Jesus replied I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify of the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice."   "What is truth? said Pilate.  After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told then.  I find no grounds for charging Him."

John18:37-38

 

 

 

Which doctrine of Christ is most important?  I would say the doctrine of his sinlessness.  Some would argue.  "What about his resurrection?  Surely that is more important than his sinlessness?"  Of course, in many ways the Resurrection created Christianity.  If the Resurrection created it, though, the sinlessness of Christ authenticated it.   If Jesus arose from the dead but only as a sinning savior, could he truly save?  In what way could a sinner's resurrection liberate the rest of us who need to be set free from our sin?  To help us, Jesus must first be our moral superior. 

 

Humankind has always struggled with sin.  Even though the Greek religions carved their gods and goddesses to be ideal --- well formed in body, strident and tall, a picture of what humankind was supposed to be --- their gods were capricious and indulgent.  No wonder their religion did not live.

 

Jesus, however, was sinless.  Even Pilate could see that this man was not a criminal deserving of death.  After hearing the witness against Jesus, Pilate said, "I find no grounds for charging Him."

 

Pilate may not have believed Jesus was sinless, but in some way he seemed to sense that Jesus was morally superior to him.  Pilate spoke more than he knew.  There was literally no fault at all in Jesus.  He was, indeed, a lamb without spot and without blemish.  He was the sacrifice offered once and for all for our sins.

 

Almost every religion has some sense of sin and has devised some ritual of forgiveness --- always to no avail.  The writer of Hebrews admitted that the ancient blood-sacrifice system of the Jews was also ineffective. If the sinner's trust was merely in the ceremony:  "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4).  What can be done, then?  The apostle Paul wrote that God made one "who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him"  (2 Corinthians 5:2.1)

 

Jesus truly is the no-fault Savior.  Because He was the perfect Son of God, your imperfections are covered by His blood.  You are forever free!

 

 

PRAYER:

 

Lord, have we forgotten that it was your perfect life, which covered our imperfections?  Have we forgotten that the blood of your perfect sacrifice healed our sin?  Because I am so sinful, I treasure a Savior who was tempted in all points like I am and yet lived without sin.  Because of your sacrifice, my own sin is now removed as far from me as the east is from the west.  [It is now in that perfect blood of the lamb and whose name we pray.] Amen!

 

For additional Bible Reading:  Hebrews 7:23-28

 

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0
STRENGTH FOR TODAY – HOPE FOR TOMORROW

 

 Hello, My Dear Beloved Child of God.

Today you and I will take a walk together by the ocean.  I want you to picture yourself walking with me in this beautiful special place…. Just for a moment in time, I want you to stand and gaze into the clouds.  If you look closely you can almost see a heavenly city.  Jesus once said that heaven is just a stone’s throw away.

As we stand here, I want you to quite your anxious thoughts, surrender your entire being to our Heavenly Father, and let the silence and stillness prevail in your heart and mind as you listen to His voice … for He is speaking to you, right now in this moment.

 

What follows is Taken from Discovering Joy – Daily Meditations For Friends of God – by Marie Chapian – A Heart for God Devotional:

 

 

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,

Nor will the flame burn you.

For I am the LORD YOUR GOD,

The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

(Isaiah 43:2-3a)

Do not be afraid of suffering.  You are born and nurtured by My Spirit, equipped for every situation: Do not accept suffering as your lot in life.  You were born to overcome.   Understand this, in wisdom:  You are in a transient world where evil abounds.  You will never eliminate pain, but it cannot defeat you.  No suffering goes unseen by My omnipotent eye of mercy.  Suffering that is born with Me must in time bring joy, and deeper communion with Me.

Joy will not always reward your activity in My service, but it will come when your suffering is patiently and bravely borne.

1 Peter 4:12-13; 2 Corinthians 12:9: John 16:33; Isaiah 61:7; Hebrews 2:10

End Devotional Reading (page 63)

 

Response Prayer:

 Most Gracious and Adored Heavenly Father – Our cherished Abba –

As we travel through this life, there are many thorns along our paths.  Please hold our (sometimes trembling) hands as we walk the roads we must travel.  We know that Thou art with us… we know that there is nothing that can overtake us and hold us captive – for in You is our deliverance and comfort.   Yes, we have, and shall experience pain, but Your love and mercy keep us and heal us.  We, like little children, cling to You as we enter unknown passages in our lives.  It is in You that we live and have our being.  We thank you again, and again, for your faithfulness, mercy, and love.  We ask that you strengthen us in our growing faith in You – for You alone are our salvation.  To You alone be the glory, the honor and the praise,

For YOU are our

 LORD and our GOD,

The Holy One of Israel, our Savior.

We come to You in the name of Our Lord and Savior – Jesus the Christ who is our Redeemer.  Amen

 

From His Daughter’s Heart:  Kitfany

2 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Sun, 31 Jan 2010 21:39:10 -0600 http://community.beliefnet.com/kitfany http://community.beliefnet.com/kitfany

 

 Hello, My Dear Beloved Child of God.

Today you and I will take a walk together by the ocean.  I want you to picture yourself walking with me in this beautiful special place…. Just for a moment in time, I want you to stand and gaze into the clouds.  If you look closely you can almost see a heavenly city.  Jesus once said that heaven is just a stone’s throw away.

As we stand here, I want you to quite your anxious thoughts, surrender your entire being to our Heavenly Father, and let the silence and stillness prevail in your heart and mind as you listen to His voice … for He is speaking to you, right now in this moment.

 

What follows is Taken from Discovering Joy – Daily Meditations For Friends of God – by Marie Chapian – A Heart for God Devotional:

 

 

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,

Nor will the flame burn you.

For I am the LORD YOUR GOD,

The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

(Isaiah 43:2-3a)

Do not be afraid of suffering.  You are born and nurtured by My Spirit, equipped for every situation: Do not accept suffering as your lot in life.  You were born to overcome.   Understand this, in wisdom:  You are in a transient world where evil abounds.  You will never eliminate pain, but it cannot defeat you.  No suffering goes unseen by My omnipotent eye of mercy.  Suffering that is born with Me must in time bring joy, and deeper communion with Me.

Joy will not always reward your activity in My service, but it will come when your suffering is patiently and bravely borne.

1 Peter 4:12-13; 2 Corinthians 12:9: John 16:33; Isaiah 61:7; Hebrews 2:10

End Devotional Reading (page 63)

 

Response Prayer:

 Most Gracious and Adored Heavenly Father – Our cherished Abba –

As we travel through this life, there are many thorns along our paths.  Please hold our (sometimes trembling) hands as we walk the roads we must travel.  We know that Thou art with us… we know that there is nothing that can overtake us and hold us captive – for in You is our deliverance and comfort.   Yes, we have, and shall experience pain, but Your love and mercy keep us and heal us.  We, like little children, cling to You as we enter unknown passages in our lives.  It is in You that we live and have our being.  We thank you again, and again, for your faithfulness, mercy, and love.  We ask that you strengthen us in our growing faith in You – for You alone are our salvation.  To You alone be the glory, the honor and the praise,

For YOU are our

 LORD and our GOD,

The Holy One of Israel, our Savior.

We come to You in the name of Our Lord and Savior – Jesus the Christ who is our Redeemer.  Amen

 

From His Daughter’s Heart:  Kitfany

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0
YOUR GREATEST GOAL FOR 2010  

 

 

WHEN WE FAIL TO PLAN -

WE IN ESSENCE PLAN TO FAIL

 

As we greet a brand new year, let us, while making our plans,  consider our eternal  goal and align our hearts, minds, actions, and activities  accordingly.   Remember, we must acknowledge God in all our ways, and He will direct our paths.

 

Heavenly Father... you have purposed that we enter into a brand new year.  You have purposed that we live, for you have given us a reason and a purpose for living.  We thank thee, we give you praise and honor.  Help us to go forth in this brand new year with the joy of the Lord in our hearts and the strength that your love supplies to our souls.  In Christ Jesus, our savior, we pray.  Amen

May you have a blessed new year!

From His Daughter's Heart - Kitfany

 

2 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Fri, 01 Jan 2010 03:21:32 -0600 http://community.beliefnet.com/kitfany/blog/2010/01/01/your_greatest_goal_for_2010 http://community.beliefnet.com/kitfany/blog/2010/01/01/your_greatest_goal_for_2010  

 

 

WHEN WE FAIL TO PLAN -

WE IN ESSENCE PLAN TO FAIL

 

As we greet a brand new year, let us, while making our plans,  consider our eternal  goal and align our hearts, minds, actions, and activities  accordingly.   Remember, we must acknowledge God in all our ways, and He will direct our paths.

 

Heavenly Father... you have purposed that we enter into a brand new year.  You have purposed that we live, for you have given us a reason and a purpose for living.  We thank thee, we give you praise and honor.  Help us to go forth in this brand new year with the joy of the Lord in our hearts and the strength that your love supplies to our souls.  In Christ Jesus, our savior, we pray.  Amen

May you have a blessed new year!

From His Daughter's Heart - Kitfany

 

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0
LIVE THE MIRACLE

 

 

 

LIVE THE MIRACLE

 

Hello loved ones.  I have been greatly challenged lately with many obstacles… how about you?  I have missed being here for you and in the spirit, I am embracing you and telling you that I have missed you… and I am deeply sorry to have been so inconsistent in my encouragement.  I am saying to you… I love you.  As I sat in church today, I had a sense of remorse over having not taken the time to write to you… Please forgive me.   I have come to share a message that I pray will bless and give you insight and joy!

 

I want to share a work that has blessed me and others recently.  It is taken from DISCOVERING JOY – DAILY MEDITATIONS FOR FRIENDS OF GOD – A HEART FOR GOD DEVOTIONAL BY MARIE CHAPIAN.

 

As you read this message from our Heavenly Father, I want you to personalize this message by saying your name at each new paragraph.

 

 

Scripture:  “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you; surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  (Isaiah 41:10)

 

The Message

 

I want you to be called strong.  Be ready to handle snags and hindrances.  Prepare yourself to be full of My grace.  Understand what patience means.

 

I want you to inspire and emanate goodness;  to live in honesty, to handle the unmanageable, solve the unsolvable,  calm the unruly, love the unlovable.

 

No one can accomplish these by human strength.  But you are able because you and I are one.

 

Do not miss the joy of discovering My abilities in you.  Live your life as a miracle, even in imperfection and chaos ---- live each moment as a unique event.

 

There is life and purpose.  Live in Me,

And you live the miracle.

 

Zechariah 4:6; Philippians 4:13; Colossians 3:12; Romans 10-12-13

 

 

Our response prayer:

 

Father God,

 

How patient you are with us.  You know us much better than we know ourselves.  You designed us to look to YOU, to love YOU, to be one with YOU, and we miss the mark so often.  Please forgive us.  We give You last place on our personal agendas so often, and when we are in trouble, we want your instant attention!  Lord God, we praise YOU today for your patience, your kindness, and YOUR great intelligence and ability to teach us ---- please help us pay attention.   

 

We say thank YOU.  We ask that YOU teach, guide and lead us in being constantly aware of our most important and highest goal.  Our goal is to seek first YOUR KINGDOM and all things will be added to us.  Please continue to remind us that entering YOUR KINGDOM is our primary goal. 

 

This we pray in the name of JESUS CHRIST, our Redeemer and Savior.  Amen

  

Loved one, are you ready to live the miracle?

 

 

From His daughter’s Heart - Kitfany

2 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Mon, 21 Dec 2009 07:56:45 -0600 http://community.beliefnet.com/kitfany/blog/2009/12/21/live_the_miracle http://community.beliefnet.com/kitfany/blog/2009/12/21/live_the_miracle

 

 

 

LIVE THE MIRACLE

 

Hello loved ones.  I have been greatly challenged lately with many obstacles… how about you?  I have missed being here for you and in the spirit, I am embracing you and telling you that I have missed you… and I am deeply sorry to have been so inconsistent in my encouragement.  I am saying to you… I love you.  As I sat in church today, I had a sense of remorse over having not taken the time to write to you… Please forgive me.   I have come to share a message that I pray will bless and give you insight and joy!

 

I want to share a work that has blessed me and others recently.  It is taken from DISCOVERING JOY – DAILY MEDITATIONS FOR FRIENDS OF GOD – A HEART FOR GOD DEVOTIONAL BY MARIE CHAPIAN.

 

As you read this message from our Heavenly Father, I want you to personalize this message by saying your name at each new paragraph.

 

 

Scripture:  “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you; surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  (Isaiah 41:10)

 

The Message

 

I want you to be called strong.  Be ready to handle snags and hindrances.  Prepare yourself to be full of My grace.  Understand what patience means.

 

I want you to inspire and emanate goodness;  to live in honesty, to handle the unmanageable, solve the unsolvable,  calm the unruly, love the unlovable.

 

No one can accomplish these by human strength.  But you are able because you and I are one.

 

Do not miss the joy of discovering My abilities in you.  Live your life as a miracle, even in imperfection and chaos ---- live each moment as a unique event.

 

There is life and purpose.  Live in Me,

And you live the miracle.

 

Zechariah 4:6; Philippians 4:13; Colossians 3:12; Romans 10-12-13

 

 

Our response prayer:

 

Father God,

 

How patient you are with us.  You know us much better than we know ourselves.  You designed us to look to YOU, to love YOU, to be one with YOU, and we miss the mark so often.  Please forgive us.  We give You last place on our personal agendas so often, and when we are in trouble, we want your instant attention!  Lord God, we praise YOU today for your patience, your kindness, and YOUR great intelligence and ability to teach us ---- please help us pay attention.   

 

We say thank YOU.  We ask that YOU teach, guide and lead us in being constantly aware of our most important and highest goal.  Our goal is to seek first YOUR KINGDOM and all things will be added to us.  Please continue to remind us that entering YOUR KINGDOM is our primary goal. 

 

This we pray in the name of JESUS CHRIST, our Redeemer and Savior.  Amen

  

Loved one, are you ready to live the miracle?

 

 

From His daughter’s Heart - Kitfany

2 Comments - Leave a Comment
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0
DON'T CLING TO THE FIREWOOD!  

 Life is unpredictable - change is constant - God never changes!  

 

A dear friend passed this on to me, so I am now passing it on to you!  The lessons we can learn from God can be found all around us.... even in the home of a mouse!

 

Abba Father,

We thank You that You never change - in an uncertain world, we can be certain that You remain our constant source for all we need.  We may not know what tomorrow holds, but we know WHO holds tomorrow.  Let us always take comfort in Your ceaseless love and faithfulness to your children.  In Christ we pray, In Christ we remain.  Amen.

 

 

              Don't Cling to the Firewood
                  by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
       www.joyfulheart.com/maturity/dont-cling.htm
---------------------------------------------------------------

They're just a young couple, I can tell. These mouseholders who
have taken up residence in the woodpile are just starting out in
life. They've built a nest under the pile of oak firewood I am
loading into the back of our station wagon.

We had our first frost a few days ago, and had spent several days
winterizing our house. So had this mouse couple. At the bottom of
the woodpile their nest would be dry and warm in all but the
wettest of storms, ready for the young ones that would surely be
coming soon.

I think of my wife and me in our first apartment 32 years ago. So
excited, so optimistic.

These are tiny mice, equipped with miniature jumping legs, their
little bodies only 2-1/2 inches long -- if you don't count the
tail. I must seem like a huge giant as I deconstruct their
carefully built lives, one log at a time.

I feel sorry for them. Such cute little creatures, so hopeful for
the future, yet so filled with terror at what is happening to
them.

"What's going on, dear?" the mouse bride cries.

"I don't know," her husband answers. "Nothing like this has ever
happened before."

He's wrong, of course. Change happens -- constantly. But,
thankfully, it's not too often that our entire lives are altered
forever by external events.

A few weeks after my bride and I had moved into our first
apartment, I received a draft notice: "Greetings from the
President of the United States." Yes, greetings to you, too, Mr.
President. Our carefully constructed lives suddenly took a sharp
turn.

You've had some of those turns, too.

   The death of someone very close to you.
   Divorce.
   Loss of a job.
   Failure of a business.
   An illness or injury.

Suddenly, life is not the same and never will be again.
Everything's different. And we try to cope -- sometimes in healthy
ways, sometimes in self-destructive ways.

I keep loading the firewood into the back of the wagon. I'm about
to stack it higher yet when I see one of the tiny mice clinging to
a piece of firewood in the back of the car. Another few seconds
and he would have been crushed. I pick him up by his long tail,
set him on the ground, and go back to get more logs. When I return
he is still at the same place on the ground where I put him --
stunned by these events, barely able to get out of harm's way.

We're so mouse-like sometimes.

Life goes on. The props change, sometimes all too often. We're so
tempted to cling to the props as they are being dragged off the
set. And sometimes we're hurt because of our inability to let go,
so attached to the accouterments of the past that it's impossible
for us to welcome the future.

Change requires courage, great helpings of it. My mind goes to
Joshua in the Bible. For nearly forty years he has been an
understudy to the great leader Moses. Now Moses is dead and
leadership is thrust fully upon Joshua. Ahead is the Jordan River
running at flood stage, and beyond that the fortified cities of
Canaan -- the "Promised Land" that seems so elusive. Talk about
change? Joshua has change swirling all around him.

And God speaks to him a word: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be
terrified, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be
with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).

Our mouse couple looks up as their world is trembling. One by one
the logs that comprise their shelter are disappearing, and soon
only open sky is above. What do you do?

Do you cling to the firewood and risked being crushed by it? Or do
you cling to God's promise to you?

God has promised to be with you wherever you go. He has promised
never to leave you or forsake you. What he asks of you is faith to
overcome your terror. Courage to meet your discouragement. And
confidence to draw on his strength.

Change is a constant. No part of our lives will endure unchanged
for more than a few years, a few decades at most. But the LORD our
God is unchangeable. He is forever. You can put down your roots
into him, knowing that in this way you will never be utterly
uprooted again.

I think of Mr. and Mrs. Mouse. My heart goes out to them. I've
been where they are, and so have you. And I hope that, even as I
am writing these words, they are dragging their nest into another
shelter in the woods to keep them dry and warm this winter. I hope
that Mr. Mouse has finally got over his shock and got with the
program. Older now, and wiser they are.

And if I could offer just one word of advice for them and for you
-- and for me -- it would be this: Don't cling to the firewood.


Copyright © 1999, Ralph F. Wilson. All rights reserved. Copyright
permission to make up to 1000 copies of an article for free
distribution is granted to Christian churches at no charge. The
reprint must include the article in its entirety with the words
"Copyright 1999 by Ralph F. Wilson . All
rights reserved. Used by permission." Articles may NOT be hosted
on other websites, but we invite links to the article on the
joyfulheart.com website. Periodicals pay their usual compensation.
Please inform us of reprints by sending e-mail to
<pastor@joyfulheart.com> or dropping a note to Dr. Ralph F. Wilson,
P.O. Box 565 Loomis, CA 95650, USA.

 

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Fri, 06 Nov 2009 00:56:10 -0600 http://community.beliefnet.com/kitfany/blog/2009/11/06/dont_cling_to_the_firewood__ http://community.beliefnet.com/kitfany/blog/2009/11/06/dont_cling_to_the_firewood__  

 Life is unpredictable - change is constant - God never changes!  

 

A dear friend passed this on to me, so I am now passing it on to you!  The lessons we can learn from God can be found all around us.... even in the home of a mouse!

 

Abba Father,

We thank You that You never change - in an uncertain world, we can be certain that You remain our constant source for all we need.  We may not know what tomorrow holds, but we know WHO holds tomorrow.  Let us always take comfort in Your ceaseless love and faithfulness to your children.  In Christ we pray, In Christ we remain.  Amen.

 

 

              Don't Cling to the Firewood
                  by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
       www.joyfulheart.com/maturity/dont-cling.htm
---------------------------------------------------------------

They're just a young couple, I can tell. These mouseholders who
have taken up residence in the woodpile are just starting out in
life. They've built a nest under the pile of oak firewood I am
loading into the back of our station wagon.

We had our first frost a few days ago, and had spent several days
winterizing our house. So had this mouse couple. At the bottom of
the woodpile their nest would be dry and warm in all but the
wettest of storms, ready for the young ones that would surely be
coming soon.

I think of my wife and me in our first apartment 32 years ago. So
excited, so optimistic.

These are tiny mice, equipped with miniature jumping legs, their
little bodies only 2-1/2 inches long -- if you don't count the
tail. I must seem like a huge giant as I deconstruct their
carefully built lives, one log at a time.

I feel sorry for them. Such cute little creatures, so hopeful for
the future, yet so filled with terror at what is happening to
them.

"What's going on, dear?" the mouse bride cries.

"I don't know," her husband answers. "Nothing like this has ever
happened before."

He's wrong, of course. Change happens -- constantly. But,
thankfully, it's not too often that our entire lives are altered
forever by external events.

A few weeks after my bride and I had moved into our first
apartment, I received a draft notice: "Greetings from the
President of the United States." Yes, greetings to you, too, Mr.
President. Our carefully constructed lives suddenly took a sharp
turn.

You've had some of those turns, too.

   The death of someone very close to you.
   Divorce.
   Loss of a job.
   Failure of a business.
   An illness or injury.

Suddenly, life is not the same and never will be again.
Everything's different. And we try to cope -- sometimes in healthy
ways, sometimes in self-destructive ways.

I keep loading the firewood into the back of the wagon. I'm about
to stack it higher yet when I see one of the tiny mice clinging to
a piece of firewood in the back of the car. Another few seconds
and he would have been crushed. I pick him up by his long tail,
set him on the ground, and go back to get more logs. When I return
he is still at the same place on the ground where I put him --
stunned by these events, barely able to get out of harm's way.

We're so mouse-like sometimes.

Life goes on. The props change, sometimes all too often. We're so
tempted to cling to the props as they are being dragged off the
set. And sometimes we're hurt because of our inability to let go,
so attached to the accouterments of the past that it's impossible
for us to welcome the future.

Change requires courage, great helpings of it. My mind goes to
Joshua in the Bible. For nearly forty years he has been an
understudy to the great leader Moses. Now Moses is dead and
leadership is thrust fully upon Joshua. Ahead is the Jordan River
running at flood stage, and beyond that the fortified cities of
Canaan -- the "Promised Land" that seems so elusive. Talk about
change? Joshua has change swirling all around him.

And God speaks to him a word: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be
terrified, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be
with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).

Our mouse couple looks up as their world is trembling. One by one
the logs that comprise their shelter are disappearing, and soon
only open sky is above. What do you do?

Do you cling to the firewood and risked being crushed by it? Or do
you cling to God's promise to you?

God has promised to be with you wherever you go. He has promised
never to leave you or forsake you. What he asks of you is faith to
overcome your terror. Courage to meet your discouragement. And
confidence to draw on his strength.

Change is a constant. No part of our lives will endure unchanged
for more than a few years, a few decades at most. But the LORD our
God is unchangeable. He is forever. You can put down your roots
into him, knowing that in this way you will never be utterly
uprooted again.

I think of Mr. and Mrs. Mouse. My heart goes out to them. I've
been where they are, and so have you. And I hope that, even as I
am writing these words, they are dragging their nest into another
shelter in the woods to keep them dry and warm this winter. I hope
that Mr. Mouse has finally got over his shock and got with the
program. Older now, and wiser they are.

And if I could offer just one word of advice for them and for you
-- and for me -- it would be this: Don't cling to the firewood.


Copyright © 1999, Ralph F. Wilson. All rights reserved. Copyright
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