Intersecting Life and Faith

Tag: Faith Intersects Life (Page 1 of 45)

Walking in Fog

Much like life, we don’t know what a day will bring, sometimes I’m not sure of my next seconds. I was reminded again this weekend of the brevity of life when two employees of a favorite restaurant were gunned down and killed. Senseless and tragic. It is another example of not knowing what the future holds and the fog that can descend and not lift when life takes turns we didn’t see coming.
Mother’s Day of this year found my husband and I trying to make our way to Maryland after church. Since he had already put in an early morning with doing what he does best, I was in the driver’s seat so he could nap. It was a sunny, beautiful day with no clue what lay ahead.
And in an instant the sun disappeared and fog took it’s place,so thick I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. For what seemed like hours I drove at a turtle’s pace hoping there would be light soon. Even months later I remember the discomfort and tension I felt trying to rush my way out of what seemed endless darkness.
I’m writing months later, so I lived to tell the story, but am continually reminded of discomfort, tension and not knowing what a day may bring, not necessarily in my own life today, but in many of those I love and attempt to have answers for the question of ‘will this ever end?’ When will the fog lift? When will walking in the dark become light? And since I am not God, my attempts at answering fall short.
What I can say is I know the God who is with us in the fog, in the darkness, when we’re not sure the sun will ever shine again, Jesus walks with us, in fact he knows exactly how we feel when we don’t think we can take one more step in some of our very desperate circumstances. I know I am comforted by the fact that my circumstances may change in the coming seconds, but my Father in heaven, is the same yesterday, today and forever and he is Good.
My favorite pastor has been preaching from the book of Habakkuk in a series titled Faith During Tough Times. Yesterday he ended his message quoting Andrew Murray, which I will leave you with.
In times of trouble say:
First, He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place; in that fact I will rest.
Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.
Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
Last, In His good time He can bring me out again–how and when he knows.
Let me say here,(Pastor Rob)
  1. By God’s appointment.
  2. In His keeping.
  3. Under His training.
  4. For His time.
In our changing circumstances and daily living may we trust the One who not only walks with us, but goes before us.

Who Am I That He Would Love Me?

This time of year I am reminded of a question asked not long ago about Matthew 18:12 which says

What do you think? If a man has 100 sheep, and one of them goes astray, won’t he leave the 99 on the hillside and go and search for the stray?

and here is the question

…the shepherd leaving the flock to chase down ONE stray just got to me. I can’t figure why Jesus would not just say ( that one will catch up, and just move on?)  I guess the WHY does He love me so much? Who am I that He would care?

Great questions that are answered throughout the Bible, for the scarlet thread of God’s love for his people begins in Genesis 1:1, ending in Revelation 22:21

But more specifically, 1 John 4:7-21 tells us “in this the love of God was made manifest among us.” What is the “this”?

God sent his only Son…so we might live, live eternally!

There was nothing in us, there is nothing in us that God would love us. But God had a plan to rescue us from the domain of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of Son he loves. Colossians 1:13

While we were his enemies…God sent His Son.(Romans 5:10)

This time of year I know I need to slow down and think about what God really did for me, for us. His plan still is to look for the lost one, the one who needs to come back to the flock, the one who needs to know the infinite, extravangant, beyond belief, love of a heavenly Father. The love of God is our model to follow. Loving and embracing those who may be having their first Christmas without a loved one. Reaching out to those who have experienced devestation this year as the result of hurricanes, floods, mass shootings or ______________, fill in the blank. For so many around us Christmas will look very different.

Can I express the same kind of extravagant love to anyone who comes across my path? Can I take the time to show love to someone that may not be easy to love? Can I tell the best news of Christmas?

God Loves. God Gave. God rescued.
Yes, he loves to look for the lost one..because he loves.

The Aromas of Christmas

Today while flipping through Instagram I saw a post on how to make your house smell like the holidays. A mix of citrus, vanilla, cinnamon, star anise and cloves put in a pan and heated on the stove would create the smells we often associate with this time of year.
And I thought…are those really the aromas of Christmas? And why and when did the mixture of citrus, spice and pine become the scent of the season?
Now lest you think we are Gates Grinches, let me reassure you we celebrate the season with music (started before Thanksgving this year) a Christmas tree( put up the day after Thanksgiving) and all the decorations, a nativity(with a donkey that has no ears), baking, and gift giving. But I think of the reason for our celebrations, the arrival of the messiah. I think of Mary riding on a donkey,great with child. Barnyard animals have a scent all their own, and it’s not anything close to the sweetness of pine and spice. As she and Joseph entered the bustling city of Bethlehem, the sights, sounds and smells would have been mingled with the dusty roads of the city as a census was in progress, and there was no room for them in the inn.
While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
The smells of a cave like barn would not have been sweet either. Cows and sheep munching on hay and straw, smacking their lips as they finish their meal. And you know cows have four stomachs, so they chew, chew and chew some more. Can you imagine the arrival of your child in the midst of cows, pigs, hay and straw? Not the ideal way to welcome a child. But a child had indeed been born,  a Savior who is Chris the Lord. (Luke 2:11)
Well, I’m off to the kitchen to look for oranges, vanilla beans and star anise to simmer on the stove while celebrating the birthday of the Newborn King, thinking of all the aromas of Christmas.
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