Monday, November 24, 2008

Off to Work

Before I get dressed and ready for work, here is Psalm 11, that I read this morning:

Psa 11:1 To the choirmaster. Of David. In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, "Flee like a bird to your mountain,
Psa 11:2 for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
Psa 11:3 if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
Psa 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD's throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.
Psa 11:5 The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
Psa 11:6 Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
Psa 11:7 For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

I highlighted Psalm 11:3. That phrase means "what do the righteous do when everything falls apart, all the foundations of civilization and government fall apart", according to my ESV Study Bible (my own words of what I read there). It makes sense to me, and is quite apropos in these days of history that we are living in.

The answer to the question? Psalm 11:4-7. The Lord is the REAL foundation and He remains in place unmoved by the failures of men and their organizations. That is who the righteous (the believer) looks to - the Lord who sees all, knows all and who loves His children.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Wounded Friend

I have a blog friend whom I read every day, every post that she writes. She is one of my absolute favorite blogs because she is a wonderful testimony for faith in Christ under pressure. Christians can write all day long about what they believe, but when the rubber hits the road, I want to read the words of someone who has already been down the road of suffering ahead of me - and is Victorious in Christ!! Someone who reflects Christ more every day in her attitude and in the witness of her blog.

The blog I am talking about is Coffee, Tea, Books and Me. Recently, the writer of this blog posted one of her "stock up the pantry" entries. The point is that times are economically hard and getting harder, especially for those on fixed incomes or very low incomes. This lady is in that position and continues to persevere beautifully under the load. She has pitifully little to stock up with - as in, money, to buy those items one needs extra of, so that when prices go up and up, you have enough of that item to keep you and your family for a while.

She and her husband have visited area food banks to supplement their food needs, something she may have to do more of in the future, as they are on a very low fixed income.

Because her blog is meant to be a comforting, loving place, she does not give every detail of her life, so she doesn't mention how dire their circumstances are at times. If you have any discernment at all, read between the lines, and you'll have an idea of what this lady is up against. I have been reading her blog for a couple of years now, and every once in a while, some nasty self-righteous person visits and posts a judgemental, accusing, hurtful comment. Usually these people are named, "Anonymous", since they have probably only visited once or twice. Blogs are very personal things. If you don't like what someone says on a blog, don't read it and - for heaven's sake - don't post comments there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today's Bible Reading

I don't have to work until late today - I go in at 11:00AM. That gives me plenty of time to soak in the beautiful, cool morning sun (we had a reinforcing cold front last night that brought the pre-sunrise temperatures here to the 40's). My computer is in front of a window that looks out towards the southeast, so the sun comes pouring in, shedding it's clear light on my pink and salmon colored Bougainvillea, s well as the mostly green Cape Honeysuckle that Iggy the Iguana lives in. The cape honeysuckle blooms bright orange flowers, but I have to fertilize and water (and I haven't done so) so the blooms are not so plentiful. I can also see purple Mexican Petunias from my window.

The bottom photo is what I see when I sit in my chair at my computer and look out the window. The top photo is what I see if I stand up and look out. It is beautiful, and a gift from God.

Here is a photo of Iggy's brother. I couldn't find Iggy, the original - he had moved since I first saw him this morning. It was COLD this morning for an iguana, so he is soaking up as much sun as he can get.

Anyway - you may be asking what the heck this has to do with Bible reading. I look out my window, it is impossible not to give thanks for the glory that God has given us, even in these uncertain times. How peaceful and beautiful it all is viewed from my little window. I can even see green monk parakeets on the electrical wires behind my back yard. They are getting ready to come down and eat some black oil sunflower seeds I put out a little while ago. They are gregarious and fussy birds. They often get into tiffs over placement on the wire or on the feeders, and when they do that, the noise is quite loud and raucous.

Back to the original purpose of this post. Here is what I read from "Valley of Vision" first to get my mind in gear for the Word:

If you own this book, it is on page 282, and the prayer is called, "God All-Sufficient":

"O Lord of Grace,
The world is before me this day,
and I am weak and fearful,
but I look to thee for strength;
If I venture forth alone I stumble and fall,
but on the Beloved's arms I am firm
as the eternal hills;
If left to the treachery of my heart
I shall shame thy Name,
but if enlightened, guided, upheld by thy Spirit,
I shall bring thee glory.
Be thou my arm to support,
my strength to stand,
my light to see,
my feet to run,
my shield to protect,
my sword to repel,
my sun to warm.
To enrich me will not diminish thy fulness;
All thy lovingkindness is in thy Son,
I bring him to thee in the arms of faith,
I urge his saving Name asd the One who died for me.
I please his blood to pay my debts of wrong.
Accept his worthiness for my unworthiness,
his sinlessness for my transgressions,
his purity for my uncleanness,
his sincerity for my guile,
his truth for my deceits,
his meekness for my pride,
his constancy for my backslidings,
his love for my enmity,
his fullness for my emptiness,
his faithfulness for my treachery,
his obedience for my lawlessness,
his glory for my shame,
his devotedness for my waywardness,
his holy life for my unchaste ways,
his righeousness for my dead works,
his death for my life."

That is so very powerful for the days in which we live. The world is a very scary place these days, but God in in control, and He is my Father, so what have I to fear?

Next, I read Luke 5:1-11, where Jesus recruits Peter, James and John. First, Jesus has a huge crowd following him. Peter, James and John are off washing their nets after an unsuccessful night trying to catch fish. I wonder what they are thinking as they see the crowd approach. Jesus sees their two boats and asks Peter to take Him out a little ways from land in the boat, which Peter does. So there is Peter sitting in the boat with Jesus, as Jesus teaches the huge crowd - giving the Gospel message which at that time still included the possibility that the Jews would accept their Messiah right then and there (although God knew they would not, but it was offered anyway). Peter must be sitting back, listening to the whole thing, and he is believing. The crowd must be jealous a little because Peter gets to be so close to Jesus during this entire teaching - right in the boat with Him. (Of course I always picture a small canoe sized boat, but that wouldn't be accurate if they are trying to bring in a net's haul of fish, so it must be some size larger than that for sure!)

When Jesus is done teaching, he doesn't get back out of the boat. He addresses Peter - He suggests that Peter take the boat out into the deep part of the lake and let down the nets. Peter calls Him "Master" and lets Him know that they had no luck the night before, but because He has asked it, Peter does it. Of course, you know what happened next. The nets filled with so many fish that Peter had to signal James and John on the shore to get in their boat and come out to help him haul the nets up. I'm sure Jesus helped them, too - pulling and tugging on the huge haul of fish.

When Peter saw what had happened and knew Jesus had made it happen, he acknowledged Him as Lord and Messiah. Jesus had his first disciples, and He calmly told them, "Don't worry, now you'll be fishers of men." (not literal - my wording). And the last words in Luke 5:11? "And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him."

Everything. That was it - no more fishing. He caught Peter, John and James hook, line and sinker, so to speak. I wonder what Peter's wife thought of all this. Remember when Jesus cures Peter's mother in law of a fever? So Peter was married. Just put yourself in her shoes - how will they pay their bills, raise their children (if there were any)? Once she met Him, I bet she understood completely. At least I hope so.

And that's my Bible reading for today. I'm off to get dressed and go to work now - where I will need to apply that prayer from "Valley of Vision" at the beginning of my post. I have a great job, but I need Him every minute of every day.

By the way - this is a cape honeysuckle flower. I think Iggy is eating them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Funny Lizard Story

Our internet went down. We have Comcast wireless and our modem is over 4 years old, so we wonder if the modem is losing it sometimes. Also, from where the cable wire enters the house, there are several splitters, so that may be an issue too.

What we did NOT count on was a lizard, a baby iguana, to be exact. It was 7:00PM, and I was ready to relax and spend some time on the internet. My sister called me and wanted me to view a web page she had made, but the internet was sooooooo slooooow, like the Slowskis times 10. I tried restarting my computer, since the first law of Technology Repair is restart. That didn't help; in fact, the modem "online" light just kept blinking and I could now get NO internet at all.

I got to work. I put on my sandals and grabbed a flashlight and went outside to the back yard where the cable wire (we have Comcast) comes from the telephone pole to our house and then the splitter insanity begins. There is a splitter on the outside of the house. The wire goes into the back room, formerly the garage, and outside it splits off, and the new wire heads for the bedroom on the opposite end of the house. It travels up over the screened in porch and then travels along the underside of the roof to a hole in the wall and into my inner sanctum - the bedroom at the other end of the ersatz garage.

I trundled outside to see if any branches from our many overgrown bushes were infringing upon the precious life-bringing internet wire, but I saw none on the old garage side. As I moved to the side where my bedroom/inner sanctum is, I shone the flashlight on the wire and......what is this?? A baby iguana was draped and balanced on top of the wire, fast asleep, his exquisite greenness limp and his eyes closed (or what passes for eyelids on lizards were closed over his eyes). I saw this guy first on Saturday of this past weekend and tried to catch him then.

I'm an animal and nature lover. I just wanted to hold him for a moment - to admire him up close, let my husband photograph him and then let him go. But on Saturday, he was too fast - and I could not catch him.

However, at night, the power is on my side since lizards aren't great at night time sight. I touched this iggy's back claw and he didn't even wake up. I wondered if he was dead, but when I persevered in touching him, he opened his eyes and moved forward a bit, disoriented at what could be attacking him at night.

I was able to reach up and grasp him about the midsection and - I had achieved my goal - I was holding the baby iggy.

Here is one of the pictures my husband took. I was so proud of myself, went right onto the porch and called Hubby so he could rush to get the camera and photo my Iggy boy.

Hubby had been messing with the internet wires trying to get something to work.

Isn't he beautiful? He is shedding his old skin, which I tried to help him with, but when I discovered it didn't come off easily, I stopped, not wanting to hurt him.

All in all - a total win win. I got to finally hold the baby iggy, the internet went back on due to nothing we can figure out - and here I am posting the entire adventure.

I love lizards!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm Still Here

I voted early, and then went to sleep early on November 4. I couldn't stand to watch the talking heads conjecture on and on. When I woke up on November 5, my husband told me Obama had won.

Along with the deepening recession/depression and the sense of catastrophe that wafts in the air, some days stronger and some days not as strong, hearing that a socialist had won the Presidency of the US was a reminder that we are truly in a downturn in this country. Unless Mr. Obama does things differently than conservatives expect, he will bring the last of the ramparts down around our ears.

That said, my Lord is in charge of history, and the US is probably on schedule for an a$$ whooping, since we don't need God, don't believe He exists and our policies regarding the sanctity of life echo that disregard.

I feel darkness around me at work, where many are just thrilled to see Obama win. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is giving me little nudges that the times, they are definitely a-changing, but not for the better.

More prayer, more immersion in the Word, more time with my Lord - in preparation for the future that only He knows. I gain inspiration and comfort from this blog. The lady at Coffe, Tea, Books & Me bids us remember the grace of the Lord toward His children.

We are in the midst of redemption, the time of His coming is getting closer and closer. I can tell you, I am more than ready to call it quits on this planet and move into the Heavenly realm.

If I have any readers left, since I'm not timely in my posts, do any of you feel the same way? A sense of expectancy, a sense of dread? As if we have put our ear to the ground and hear the dull roar of a distant buffalo stampede coming closer? If you feel the same, leave a post.