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Surprising a Loved One

17 May

I wrote this for our church blog.

Tabernacle for Today

Two-red-heartsEphesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  Everywhere I went this weekend, I saw preparations being made to surprise mothers.  At the Navy Exchange flower shop, in the Navy Exchange cologne section, at the bakery where I went to help a friend select her wedding cake.

I love surprises.  Chances are you do, too.  We love to get surprised.  We also love to surprise our family and friends.  This love of surprises seems built into us as a human race.

We often speak of God as the One who provides the pattern for all earthly fathers and truly He is.

However, there are some attributes of God that are very different from earthly fathers, too.

For example, have you ever thought about the fact that we can’t surprise…

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Defeating Fear

3 Nov

Reblogged from our church blog. One of my series of posts on my breast cancer experience almost five years ago.

Tabernacle for Today

Revelation 1:17b, 18:  And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, “Fear not, I am the first and the last:  I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

In most discussions of fear, someone quotes I John 4:18 about perfect love casting out fear, reminding us that fear is not the ultimate state we wish to attain.  True enough, but most of us find ourselves in truly fearful situations, at least once in a lifetime.  I was there just under four years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  And I could have tried and tried all day to perfect my love and cast out my fear but I would not have prevailed.  I needed to have the Lord draw near to me and personally tell me “fear not.” …

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Wisdom to know the difference

19 Oct

Is there one “best way” to evangelize the lost? I would assert no, since everyone is not an exact copy of every other person!

Tabernacle for Today

“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 22, 23).

I had a discussion on-line yesterday with one of my best friends, who lives far away, on this very topic.  She had put up an article about ensuring that our friends know how to be saved.  She likened it to chasing after someone who is walking into traffic, pulling that person back.  She reminded us that that action might not be gentle at the time, but it would be very necessary.  And she was, oh so right!  We pull people out of the fire when they are heading into it!

We segued from that point to the next point–that we tend to get unbalanced in our evangelism.  We have those who go house to house and boldly talk to strangers…

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Growing In Grace

19 Oct

When we speak of “grace-filled living,” what does that look like? A starting point to the conversation . . .

Tabernacle for Today

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and for ever.  Amen.”  (II Peter 3:18)

This glorious Lord of ours wants us to grow in grace as we grow in knowledge of Him and of His ways.  If He wants us to do that, how do we know when we are growing in grace?  What if we are actually going backwards and becoming graceless at certain stages of our lives?  How can we tell if that is happening?  How can we be sure, at any given point in time, that we are growing towards Him in grace?

Is it possible to find out God’s ways, through the Scriptures, and to live them, and thus to live what we could term “grace-filled lives”?  I believe we can.  First because we are commanded to grow in grace, but also…

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What is Shame?

19 Oct

I personally do not believe in saying, “You should be ashamed of yourself.” That statement never produces change in the person hearing it. How much better to realize we all stand condemned before the righteous Son of God and to show appropriate humility and willingness to help people change, as we all need to do.

Tabernacle for Today

I Corinthians 4:13, 14:  Being defamed, we entreat:  we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.  I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

I Corinthians 6:5, 6:  I speak to your shame.  Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you?  no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

Hebrews 12:2:  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What is shame?  When someone says, “You should be ashamed of yourself” what is that person requiring, or trying to require, of…

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Enough to Go Around

8 Oct

It is never the wrong time to talk about God’s love.

Tabernacle for Today

I John 4:7, 8:  “Beloved, let us love one another:  for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God for God is love.”   

I have two little friends at church—the little girls in families with whom I have recently spent some time Christmas toy shopping.  Both of them like to “give sugar” and I am rather fond of carrying them around on my hip.

I have noticed one thing about these two little ones.  These two little girls understand that the fact that they are both special to me doesn’t reduce the store of love I have for each one separately.  Some adults have long ago forgotten the childlike simplicity of this approach to love in the Body of Christ.

You see, outside of the exclusive relationships in Christ’s Body (marriages, parents with their children…

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For you, I’ll always care…

29 Sep

Another one of my posts from last year on the church blog. About loving the lost as God loves them.

Tabernacle for Today

“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?  saith the Lord God:  and not that he should return from his ways and live?”  (Ezekiel 18:23)

“Breathe on me, Breath of God, Fill me with life anew, That I may love what Thou dost love, and do what Thou wouldst do” (hymn by Edwin Hatch/Robert Jackson)

My nineteen-year-old son had a series of “lovies” in his younger years.  A couple of them are still memorable to me.  First, he got attached to a blanket he called “special geggie” when he was around two.  It had been handmade for him when he was born by my friend Kathy and it went with us everywhere.  Consequently, it had to be frequently washed.  It surprisingly did hold its colors and texture well, despite the wear and tear.  As time went by, I found myself growing attached to that blanket, too, to…

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