The Choice

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. ”

Matthew 25:31-33 (ESV)
There will be many who think they are Christians that will stand before God and discover to their horror that they have followed their own lie and it has led them to hell.
The lie is as wide as a freeway. The truth is as narrow as a footpath.
Or a single person.
Jesus. Real, historical, biblical, supreme, holy, crucified, resurrected, glorified Jesus.

Ordinary Time

My bride and I are fast approaching an important wedding anniversary. (Just never mind which one.) As we prepare and plan for our annual celebration, my thoughts wandered to why we’ve made it when so many haven’t.

There are two major celebrations of love during the year, the anniversary and Valentine’s Day. But if that’s the only time you pay attention to your marriage you soon won’t have a marriage worth paying any attention.

So let’s step up the game. Once a month (or so) we’ll go somewhere and ‘commune ‘. Say my favourite fishing spot or maybe a movie. That’s good enough. After all, we’re spending quality time, right?

No? 

Ok, I can schedule once a week, maybe Thursday morning from eight to nine. Aww heck, let’s make it nine thirty, she’s worth it. We can sing love songs, read old letters and feel good about each other. The rest of the week is mine to do with as I please. 

Does this all seem silly?

Of course. It is. 

What makes a marriage strong is time every day, talking with and listening to each other. It’s learning each other’s desires and wants… And seeking to fulfill them. It’s caring about the other as much as about yourself.

It takes time.

Ordinary, everyday time. 

Ok, you ready? Cinch up your seatbelt, hard right turn ahead. 

Life with God is similar to a marriage. It takes time together. 

We’ve just come out of the holiday season. Many people said some flowery words at Thanksgiving dinner, squeezed in a candlelight Christmas Eve service, got all dressed up for Easter morning, and think they’ve done their duty for God.

Some people go out to the lake or the woods once in a while and call it good. After all, I can worship anywhere right?

A lot of people head to church every Sunday, sing some songs, listen to some (maybe) good words, and leave feeling good about themselves and God,  then live for themselves the rest of the week. 

A life truly lived with God takes time.

Time spent listening to Him.

Time spent pouring out your heart to Him.

Time learning to do what He loves and avoid what He hates.

Time spent loving the people He loves. (By the way, that’s the poor, the down, the hurting, your neighbour, your co-worker, the store clerk, other drivers….)

You can’t do that one hour every Sunday or out at the lake. And you certainly can’t do it just three times a year. 

Go. Spend time with God. 

Ordinary, everyday time. 

Two Things

Two things that truly irk me.
Dishonesty and Avoidance. 
Dishonesty. Shading the truth. Hiding the truth. White lies.  All these say you don’t trust me enough to be straight up fair with you. You feel you need to tell me what you think I want to hear. 
Avoidance. Passive aggressive. Hiding. Silence. All these say you fear me and what I might do if you were honest.
All I can say is that you don’t know me as well as you think you do. And for that I am truly sorry, for I have failed at letting you see who I really am. 

​God is good! 

​God is good! 

In His goodness, He enables us to grow and conform to his goodness. 
Example,  Lynn and I have been planning, for a couple months now ,  a special weekend together for June.  We also have a family member getting married in June, and Lynn casually mentioned today that her sister is coming to visit then. Seems Lynn never connected that it was the SAME weekend. Sigh. (Nor did I.)
Now there was a time <not too long ago> that a situation like this would have led to me losing my temper, berating her, yelling, and generally making a fool of myself, ruining any chance at a pleasant hometime this weekend. 
Instead, God had His hand of peace on me (and Spirit of peace within me), allowing me to just work the problem and come up with the simple (and obvious) solution of just shifting our weekend a week. 
Praise be to God for working His peace into us!

Nature’s God

I stopped today at a little roadside area to walk the dog.  Just an abandoned motel site. But I gradually became aware of the absolute beauty and wonder of the place.

There was a little lizard scampering across the side of the building, apparently annoyed at being interrupted in his breakfast.

There was the snow sitting, glistening in the branches of the pine trees. 

There was the sun glittering in the dew of the grass. 

My first thought was to stop and thank God for all this wondrous beauty. My second feeling was sadness.

Sadness for the people who believe the myth that all of creation is merely an accident of nature. The unfounded story that all that exists just happened to come into being and evolve. The fable that says there is no meaning or purpose to this life. 

But there IS purpose. 

God is. 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Ge 1:1

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. Ge 1:31

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Ps 19:1

The heavens declare his righteousness,for God himself is judge! Ps 50:6

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. Ro 1:20

Four Fires

An ancient Irish monk, Fursey, was once given a vision in which he saw four fires threatening to destroy the world. Some 15 centuries later these same fires still threaten our destruction:

  • Falsehood
  • Covetousness
  • Discord
  • Exploitation

Now, as then, Christ is the answer. 

Where falsehood thrives, Christ says “I Am THE TRUTH, seek Me”.

Where covetousness lives, Christ says,  “I Am ENOUGH, trust Me”.

Where discord reigns, Christ says, “I Am PEACE, rest in Me”.

Where exploitation exists, Christ says, “I Am LOVE, love Me and love others too”.

Traditional Marriage? 

We need to change the label we use for our standard of marriage. 

I just read an article that at heart said so-called traditional marriage isn’t traditional at all. It was portly written, used cherry picked examples, provided no support for its points, and ‘destroyed’ straw man arguments.

In spite of all that, the article was right in one point;

Traditional marriage isn’t traditional.

When we use the term ‘traditional marriage’ we usually mean a marriage built on Christian principles.

So from now on let’s use the term Biblical Marriage. But what exactly is a biblical marriage? It has three characteristics:

  1. Both husband and wife are sold out, bible believing, followers of Christ. 
  2. The husband chooses to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, willing to set aside his own needs and desires in favor of her, placing her and the marriage ahead of himself. 
  3. The wife places herself under the leadership of her husband  ‘as unto the Lord’. She respects and supports him in his godly decisions, even if she disagrees, knowing that he must answer to God.

It really is that simple… and that difficult. 

May God strengthen and guide you in all you say and do.

And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself

Eph 5:21-28 ESV