Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Windows

This is the view from my desk in the morning when the sun is just coming up.  (I really have to chop off that dead palm branch stretching across the view.....)

These are double windows.  The lighter blue glass is on the left and the darker blue glass with greens and reds is on the right.  Sometimes I see birds and squirrels in the palm tree.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Lesson

I am finally returning to the right road after wandering off on a side road of my own understanding.

And all of a sudden the Lord is showing me where I have really been.  Everyone who grips this life and its' problems with their own two fists and refuses to allow God to either lead or comfort them takes off on this path.  This is a mental battle, a battle of thought.  Will I accept the Lord's will and submit to Him, gritting my teeth even, or will I refuse and clutch my independence to myself.

This diversion has a long and time worn history.  One of the classic examples of it is the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt.  If ever there was a people who were fighting God, it was them.  As it says in 1 Corinthians 10:6  concerning the Jews in the wilderness, "Now these things became examples for us, so that we will not desire evil things as they did."

And so they are examples to me.  I understand their arrogance and frustration as they were led into the desert and kept there by God, provided and cared for.  They didn't like it and didn't want to be there.  They blamed Moses, they blamed God, they were cantankerous and crabby.  They wanted something the Lord would have given to them in His timing, but they wanted it in their own.  I also understand that they believed in the Lord and had eternal salvation.  They were afraid of Him and had bitterness toward Him at the same time. I understand only too well how they shook their fists at God (when they thought He wasn't looking) and said things like, "You have brought us out into the wilderness to kill us here."  That statement was self fulfilled.  No He didn't bring them into the wilderness to kill them.  But by their disobedience and lack of faith, they brought about their own death there.

And so they paid a terrible price.  God became angry with them and their generation died in the wilderness.  They were not allowed to come into His rest in the land.   

I was lying in bed last night saying my prayers and suddenly it came together in my mind.  They were not allowed to enter His rest.  The thing they wanted most desperately and about which they were so bitter was the very thing they prevented themselves from achieving.  Rest.  Blessing.  Peace.  My eyes flew open and I just sat there realizing that the Holy Spirit has been trying to talk to me for a while and I just could/would not hear.  

I am listening now by the grace of God.  I will not die in the wilderness or be forbidden to enter His rest.  I see where a short time ago I was blind by my own volition.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


I have often looked at the words "A Nest Amid Thorns" on my home links page and then looked away full of guilt.  It's not like I don't have anything to say, but it is often not the type of thing I want to put on a blog, or know how to put on a blog in a creative way, and so I turn away.

Then I thought of making a whole new blog, but I love the look of the one I have.  After all, I tweaked and tweaked the basic Blogger format until I had the right background and colors.   With me, once something is the way I like it, it rarely needs change. 

And so, today, instead of turning away I clicked.  And then I wrote. 

What's new?  I'd like to say that everything is coming up roses, but then I'd be making things up.  Things are 

I'm getting older as is everyone who has their present residence as planet Earth.  So nothing surprising there.   However, as one reaches their 60's, body parts, as I like to say, begin to fall off.  What really happens is that our bodies, a temporary dwelling place, begin to break down.  If you are particularly attached to your body - and most of us are - you are nonplussed when the process begins in earnest.

I'll just list a few things without description and then we'll be done with this subject.  Overweight by about 50 pounds at least, sedentary at home and at work, suffering from depression, diverticulosis causing diverticulitis, various joint and muscle aches and pains, numbness and tingling.

Now that we've cleared that up you know enough.  The worst part of above?  Depression.  It takes motivation and covers it in gray, which exacerbates all the other issues.

Next?  Poor financial decisions over a lifetime leading to having to pay the piper now.  Enough said about that.  No one beats themselves over this worse than I do myself.

What to do?  Only one thing. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

That's Proverbs 3:5,6    One morning last week I had to repeat this over and over to myself as I drove to work.  I thought of each phrase, especially "your own understanding."

This part of the verse means a lot to me.  I was raised to almost worship intelligence, being "smart".  If my mother wanted to make me blush with pleasure, she would tell me how intelligent I was because I knew she held that virtue most highly.  She could give me no better praise.  

Unfortunately, the Bible tells us not to lean on that.  It might mislead us;  what we think we know is often disproved later.  To make matters even more ludicrous, our minds are like a tiny ants' when compared with the mind of the Creator of the Universe.  If we place what we think we know above what He has said in His Word, then at the very least, we have problems.   

I have always found my experience to be much more real  And therein lies my difficulty:

"Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him."  (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

And so, I am choosing faith over experience, immersing myself in His Word more than I have in the past, but not as faithfully as I should.  After all, I am a work in progress.

Don't you think the details above - the problems of life, aging, self-brought difficulties - make the perfect situation for God's touch?