Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Magic Light

My computer is in a closet.  Yep, right where we used to keep the winter coats, boots, and hats.  That sounds worse than it really is though!  Truly I have a very quaint little office that's just big enough to hold a 5' wide desk with 4 file drawers, a printer and computer, and 2 shelves above full of books and supplies. 

If you look closely, you can see my son's Hero Factory creations on the bookshelves to the right.  Not sure why they are there right now!  Anyway, my little office is quite cozy, with pictures and things the kids have made.

I even have a few momentos from childhood--Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls that my Grandma made, animals I used to collect, and a hedgehog from when my mom and I went to England.  (They fit right in with Ziggy!)  Yeah, I'm still a kid at heart...

So, what does this all have to do with a "magic light" you ask?  Well, since I live, er, work, in the closet, the light was on a pull-chain, with a long string attached, and I guess it really wasn't made to be used multiple times per day.  The switch wore out and we replaced it, but soon started to have the same problem again.  I thought about getting a lamp of some kind, but then I'd have more cords to deal with, plus I'm really partial to overhead lighting.  But short of hiring an electrician, I really wasn't sure what to do.  Then my hubby came to the rescue!

Dave found this little gem in the magic hardware aisles where they have all kinds of gizmos and gadgets and things that make things work.  It's a battery operated remote light switch!  I could take this thing anywhere upstairs and turn on my light!  But of course, that would never do...then I'd need a clapper to find the switch, and then something to find the clapper...  So my son mounted it on the wall for me...just like a real light switch!  I know, I'm easily amused.  (Although, in my defense, even the kids couldn't resist trying it out, as if they had never seen a light switch before.)   After spending several days in the dark, I'm pleased as punch to be rid of the pull chain and have a switch!

Hubby switched out the fixture as well:

Now instead of the generic round globe I have a lovely frosted tulip.
So thankful!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cast Your Burden

Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;

He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
~Psalm 55:22

As many times as I've read this verse, I never caught the significance before, but here is another beautiful, comforting promise from the Lord.  

He doesn't promise to take away our burden; he promises to sustain us.  I find such great comfort in that because it's easy to lapse into self-doubt when it seems God isn't answering our prayers--meaning he isn't making the trial end. 

I've tried to teach my children to not only pray for what they want, but to pray for the strength and the endurance, patience and love to walk with the Lord humbly, no matter how he answers, and no matter what he brings into our path.  

Interestingly, the word "burden" in this verse can also mean, "what he has given you."  We don't often talk about burdens as coming from the Lord, or afflictions as being from his hand--though in the Old Testament that is common language.  Job 42:11 speaks of Job's relatives comforting him for all the adversities that the Lord had brought him--even though Satan did the actions, the Lord allowed it.  

We don't get to see all--we are not God and don't have his perspective, we don't understand why.  But he has sustained me, and walked with me, and carried me, and wept with me for all these years.  I know he cares, I know he's in control.  And this verse reminds me, it's in his nature to strengthen us, to be with us.  I don't have to be afraid that somehow I've fallen from his good graces if he doesn't answer a prayer as I want.  

We tend to think answers should be immediate, healing should be now, promises must be proven.  And yet...Sarah was barren for 90 years, and didn't even have a promise that she had anything to hope for the first 65 years.  The man born blind was blind for 30 years.  The woman who had an issue of blood...bled for twelve years.  The heroes in Hebrews 12 did not receive what was promised.  Surely they all longed and hoped for something different, and likely they even sought the Lord for answers, for help.  Waiting was in God's plan for them.  Sustaining was in his plan for them. 

Daily we learn to rely on him and not the things of this world.  

Oaks of righteousness won't be shaken because their roots have dug deep down for water in times of drought.  They have found water to survive even in the worst of conditions. years of little growth...but the Water of Life was with them.  

But even oaks can die, if they are cut off from the water supply.  That daily habit of casting our burden upon the Lord and looking to him for our sustenance is our life.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Blind Landings - Olympian Faith

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing 
love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the
LORD, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10)

I love watching the Olympics. My heart leaps hurdles with a good performance and
dives in agony when an athlete falls. My eyes were glued to the flying high-bar
performers, and the incredible men’s flares on the pommel horse. I marvel how
anyone can jump off the ground and do a double somersault with a twist.

Then there were the tiny pixies performing perilous feats on a four-inch bar that I
couldn’t even hope to attempt on the ground! "Look at her toss her head back," one
announcer said. "That’s an added degree of difficulty because she can’t see the
beam." Indeed many gymnasts performed a variety of blind landings with confidence
and poise. Though they could not see the beam, they knew exactly where it was as
they somersaulted, twisted and turned.

I find life, too, is full of blind landings. Circumstances pull our heads back or leave us
tumbling through the air, hoping we’ll land safely, though landing at all seems a
perilous journey.

Where do athletes find their confidence? They train. They accept instruction from
their coaches. They focus their minds. And when they fall, they get up again.

Where is our confidence? Proverbs 3:26 says the Lord will be our confidence. We
sometimes fall, but in Christ we have a certain landing spot. 1 John 4:16 says that we
rely on the love God has for us. While the balance beam is only 4" wide, the width of
God’s love is boundless.

Hebrews 4:16 declares that we can approach God with confidence, knowing we’ll
find mercy and grace in our time of need. Christ gives us His righteousness, and "the
effect of righteousness is quietness and confidence." (Isaiah 32:17)

This last word for confidence means a place of refuge—both the fact and the feeling
of safety. Do we dwell in that refuge? I have to confess that I only do sometimes.
God never wavers, and I am always truly safe in Him, but sometimes I forget.
Sometimes I neglect the disciplines of being in training. I don’t work to focus my
mind. My faith becomes flabby instead of continuing to seek God.

But God is a fortress, a refuge, a place where we find rest, a God whom we can
trust. "So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What
can man do to me?’" (Hebrews 13:6)

You might answer, "Man can do an awful lot to me!" Here I think the King James
Version is helpful, as it translates this passage, "I will not fear what man shall do to
me." Why? Because God, and not this world, is my refuge. This echoes David’s
proclamation in Psalm 27:3 that "Though war break out, even then will I be
confident." Solid. Steadfast. Unwavering on the beam of God’s love.

Perhaps your confidence has faltered from a fall. It’s ok. Get back up. We can be
"confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to
completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6) This is the verse I cling to when I
can’t understand what God is doing in Dave’s life. No illness or sin issue or failure or
tragic life circumstance can thwart this plan of God’s. The "confidence" in this verse
means to rely by inward certainty. To believe.

Confidence really unwraps the word "faith" for us. So often we think faith is like
hoping there might be a place to land sometime. It’s shrouded in uncertainty. But faith
truly is confidence; it’s "being sure of what you hope for, and certain of what you do
not see." It is coming to God, believing "that He exists and that He rewards those
who earnestly seek Him." (Hebrews 11:1, 6)

God is coming again; this world is not all we live for. Our reward is in heaven. Let’s
diligently seek Him like an athlete in training. Let’s fix our eyes on Him, listen to wise
counsel—and when we fall, get up again.

We live in a world that can be shaken, a world where mountains crumble and fall into
the sea, a world of wars where we can be besieged. What we have faith and
confidence in, what we rely on must be stronger than this world. In God we have a
love so sure that the world can literally fall apart, and His love is still real, immovable,
ever present. We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken from a God who
cannot be shaken. Have confidence in Him. Rely on His love for us.

May we be solid. Steadfast. Unwavering on the boundless beam of God’s unfailing

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