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Archive for November, 2017

Though unseen to the naked eye, though not coverable with bandages, though no cast can hold all the pieces in place, and it is more difficult to rationalize taking a sick day, we all have had experiences or exposure to the invisible wounds in life.

hidden woundsFor some they are the hidden illnesses, with debilitating pain, causing physical exhaustion.

For some they are the internal, chemical imbalances of the brain, bringing with them a heavy sadness that just will not lighten up.

Then, for others, the wounds are not only invisible, but also unrecognizable, undiagnosable, leaving a person to conclude that no one believes them, that it’s all in their head.

 

In his book, The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis has said, “Mental (or all invisible) pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “my tooth is aching” than to say “my heart is broken.”

To add to the wisdom of Lewis’ quote, “the frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden” making the load heavier, to the point of exhaustion, physical illness, and even incapacitation from daily activities.

David, in Psalm 56 (v. 8), was in danger. Though this was an outward physical danger, with regards to be being pursued by one who wanted to kill him, his expression of how he felt and responded to this threat was one that those with invisible wounds would be able to relate to:

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
    through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
    each ache written in your
book.” 

We see in this verse that David knows and understands that the one who loves him most keeps his tears of pain (both physical and mental), and that every ache is recorded in a ledger … meaning that God sees, he knows that the pain is real.

In this God is verifying that it is not all in his head.

In this God is verifying that it is not all in your head. He sees, he keeps track, he records each tear, each invisible ache. Those wounds are not invisible to God … YOU are not invisible to God.

 

 

 

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Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 6.53.18 PMThis past week was one where I came to understand and appreciate afresh the church as the love story that God intended.

Loving and sincere well wishes to hubby, after his resignation, from people near and far.

Visits from caring people, when one of a family member spent a few hours in hospital.

Messages from my co-ordinator at work, letting me know that there was someone on ‘back-up’ should I need to stay home the next day with my sick loved one.

True care for each other amongst our kids, all dropping everything for each other.

Offers of prayer from all around the world.

In the Greek and Hebrew language the word church is translated as meaning called out or assembly. In neither case does it refer to a building or institution, yet that is often what we think of when we hear or say the word, church.

The early church came together (assemblies) to worship the God who had come, clothed in human skin, to redeem his creation.

In John 13:34-35 (The Message), Jesus gave a new command to his followers (aka. those who would be the early Christian/Christ-following) church:

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

The Matthew Henry Commentary speaks to that verse:

“Before Christ left the disciples, he would give them a new commandment. They were to love each other for Christ’s sake, and according to his example, seeking what might benefit others, and promoting the cause of the gospel, as one body, animated by one soul. But this commandment still appears new to many professors. Men in general notice any of Christ’s words rather than these. By this it appears, that if the followers of Christ do not show love one to another, they give cause to suspect their sincerity.

Showing love to one another is the most distinctive action we can determine to do, in order to set ourselves apart, in order to be called out (to be the church).

By loving each other we mirror the way Jesus lived, we show his love to the world. If we do not show love to one another … are we truly called out? are we truly His church?

I am so thankful to be surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, who walk the walk, talk the talk, and be the church.

 

 

 

 

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This week marks the five hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses, presumably on the door of the Wittenberg Church. To be honest, that was really the limit to what I knew of him until recently.

Though my knowledge is still lacking, I have grown in appreciation for his message in the 95.

In my quest to know and understand more about the history tied up in Luther’s most popular writing, I watched an interview with Eric Metaxis (author of “Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World”). 

In the interview he stated, 

“He (Luther) didn’t care what Luther thought. He cared what is true, what does God say, what does the Bible say? And if we find a place where the church has veered slightly from what the Bible says, we have to go with the Bible.”

bible

Luther knew that he, that humans, are not the authorities on truth. It is the Word of God, the Bible, which is our only source of truth.

An English translation of no. 62 of the 95 intrigued me greatly:

“The true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory and the grace of God.”

Luther wanted the the Church to realize and the world to know that the Word of God, the holy scriptures, were the the greatest treasure that we have, for it is in and through them that we are introduced to our redeemer who saved us by his grace.

Luther was not just pulling words or thoughts out of nowhere, for his sixty-second theses came from his intense study of and familiarity with the very Word of God. Such references as 2 Timothy 3:14-17:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

There is not greater treasure in this world, and, unlike Luther’s world of five hundred years ago, we have that treasure in our homes, churches and in thrift stores. Now we just need to open it.

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