Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Train Truth

This is an odd little tribute to thankfulness.  I just came downstairs after getting my little grandone down for nap.  He'd gotten up late, they spent the night last night, and his momma had to work this morning and  so I was hoping we'd get to spend all day together as we only get him two or three days a week.  I really like having him around.  Back to nappytime - he was unable to keep himself together, even two minutes of wait without letting whiny goblins loose, and so I, admitted I was wrong  to try to keep him up, and set out to put him down.  Part of the process, was a whimper that included, "I want you to read this book to me" - after we dealt with the way it was asked for - we began the book.  It is not only as classic, but it a hardback big book.  The sheer size is makes it one of C.'s favorites - just one problem...the book's general message, if left unattended, is one of a humanistic moralism.  Have you guessed the title?  What if I told you it involves a train, or four? Got it now?  Yeah, that's right - "The Little Engine that Could".  Underdogs, even sweet underdogs, triumphing in rugged individualism presents problems in the light of Truth. When questions and connections start rolling through the mind - a few discombobulates show up.  Like, ummm...I can do anything if I put my mind to it.  Or, what about, the idea of mercy - does it emanate from a person's choices or is it rather, a gift of God. 
When seen in the perspective of God as our motivator, we still cannot do anything, but yes, we can do the impossible, things we've never attempted - and it rightly leads to the good of others.  Motivation is the key, and desires are from whence all actions spring. 
When my grandone was looking at the large looming page when the Little engine is headed up the mountain, there were rocks all around the ground and even between the tracks, he exclaimed, "Oh, no!  He's gonna crash - he can't get around the rocks!"  I responded, "All he needs is for his wheels to stay on the tracks. He shouldn't look at the rocks."  Isn't that just like us, Jesus is our track, when our wheels are stayed on Him, the rocks are no danger.  It is if we go off the tracks - then we are lost...or at least until  the Engine Master sets us aright again. 
Mercy, is a beautiful thing, and God uses all things to accomplish and work in us His will, even the acts of evil, that we or others perpetrate.  God gave me a beautiful picture of that yesterday- but ah! that's another story. Back to the merciful Little Engine...I think I can, and I thought I could - are most often whispered, spoken or shouted emanating from a heart of self pride.  But there is a place, that God brings his children to when they can in humility say, "I think I can," and when God has brought them to a place they formally believes impossible to top-ple...there is a time they say, "I thought I could," and if the place is private, there heart will scream, "With YOU all things are possible." And if in public, it will be declared aloud, "Great is Our God, for He has done mighty deeds"  And we are left, right where we should be, in grace, in obscurity, and with a faith that has one more memory stone of the faithfulness of loving and kind God that has called us to be messengers of His mercy and grace to a desperate people.
There are other spiritual truths: like the engine who was too proud and lofty or the engine who had too much important work to stop to help the the likes of the lowly.  These traps are the ruts on either side of the tracks to every christian - best not to get off track; but when we do, and we will, good thing we have an Engine Master who set aright in bringing us to repentance.

 Maybe it's the two-year old teacher in me, maybe it's the questioner in me, or rather, maybe I'm just thankful that He is at the center of all God stories - even the ones that were written to exclude Him.
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ I am content with weakness."
Boasting in weakness = Humility
Sake of Christ = It's about Him - He brings His Kingdom
Contentment = Seeing our weakself in Him
Power = Comes in weakness

Thursday, November 15, 2012

No imitations needed...

Imputation is not an imitation...
     It is not about me -
          It is always about Him...
               that changes everything.

Then, I am in Him, His character imputed into me...
     Then I become about the other, as is He
            And loving one another
                  As He does...
                       AND that changes everything.

The Gift transforms us into gifts as He imputes His gifts of grace and love -
   We become His gift to a world...
         But we strive not, because then it is of us -
   We are His and He makes us
         We yield, submit, as He prepares us corporately to be His bride.

"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
Jude 21-23

The do is to rest on Him, and we learn the rest gets done.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A parable of pumpkins...

I love decorating for the seasons, especially Christmas - best season of ever; but fall is nice, too. This morning I was looking at my porch with its pumpkins and wreath and thanking the Lord, who harvest is plentiful, even with lessons.
But I need to back up, I went to the porch to deliver the big ol' marked down pumpkin that I picked up on yesterday's zip through the grocery store.  As I set it in the place of the other pumpkin, I noticed that its bumps and irregularity fit it perfectly to the corner of the top step of my stairs. Hmmm...funny, thought I.
It is true that some of things that fit us for our place are the bumps and scars that are so unseemly to the world.  If I had been looking for the perfect pumpkin - I wouldn't have chosen that one, yet it deep burnt orange, tall, and plump - just lovely and the squarishness of part even with its scars might aptly fit to my highest stoop. Which it did...hmmm.
The creator allows us pain filled scars and bumps to coincide with gifts and loveliness in other areas to fit us to the stoop he has designed for our habitation. So often I have embraced the bumps and scars or worst, yet, the gifts and accomplishments in other areas without seeing, it is wholeness, the entirety of it, that brings both beauty and usefulness. The idea of seeing God's hands moulding us in the blessing and adversity - and refusing to give up either. Refuse blessing? ANYONE? Refuse adversity? Everyone?
I find I can gauge my thankfulness and belief of God's sovereignty with this very question. Now, I am not saying that wisdom doesn't compel me to pray and act for the relief of adversity and sorrow.  But when God's answer comes back, "No, this is my will concerning you."  Then what?
Decision time: Do I trust that the bumps that I incur will be for my good. That He is good. That He is acting in my best interest and that give me blessing instead of adversity would be the act of an unloving Father - which He will not, and cannot be?
Funny ol' pumpkin with its scars and bumps...fitted for its place.