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Posts Tagged ‘Faithful’

“Then God said,

Take your son,

your only son, whom you love

—Isaac—

and go to the region of Moriah.

Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.””

Genesis 22:2

Those emboldened words make my heart skip a beat. That a loving God, Creator God, would ask such a thing of a father who has been told for so many years that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky?

abraham-and-isaac-on-mount-moriah-275x206

I was reminded of the story of Abraham the other evening, as I was catching the first part of the Bible mini series (a five-part mini series, shown on Sunday evenings on the History Channel … but I watched it on YouTube).

Although the Bible does not give an emotion-filled account of Abraham’s choice to listen to, and obey the message from God, I can only imagine the agonizing that he felt, that he experienced when God commanded him to sacrifice his son, through whom Abraham had believed God would fulfill his promise to make him the Father of many nations.

Abraham was an old man when this story enfolded. He probably appreciated the blessing of awakening each morning, still able to watch his son grow and still able to teach him how to be all that it is to be ‘man’. The son through whom Abraham’s name would continue to live, long after his earthly end.

To have put this hope for the future of his name upon his son might have caused Abraham to forget where his hope really was … in El Shaddai  … ‘God Almighty’ or ‘God the All-Sufficient One’. Maybe, as he was looking to the end of his life, Abraham was looking more to Isaac as the All-Sufficient One?

Whatever the reason for this ‘test’, God knew what Abraham would choose to do when He said,

Take your son,

your only son, whom you love

—Isaac—

and go to the region of Moriah.

Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

God was not looking for Abraham to shed the blood of his son … blood that was his (and Sarah’s) . God was looking for Abraham to prove his commitment … to put his money where his mouth was.

What a test!

Reading this account of Noah and Isaac reminded me of 1 Corinthians 10:13:

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.

And God is faithful;

he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

But when you are tempted,

he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

Although God’s instruction to Abraham was not a temptation, the principle is still the same;

God will allow us to have struggles, temptations, testings … but never more than He knows we can handle (sometimes I wish He did not have so much faith in what I can handle) … and He IS faithful … He will provide a way out!

*This is a re-post, of a re-post, from a few years ago. The story of Sarah, Abraham and Isaac have always captivated me.

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“Then God said,
Take your son,
your only son, whom you love
—Isaac—
and go to the region of Moriah.
Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.””
Genesis 22:2

Those emboldened words make my heart skip a beat. That a loving God, Creator God, would ask such a thing of a father who has been told for so many years that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky?

abraham-and-isaac-on-mount-moriah-275x206

I was reminded of the story of Abraham the other evening, as I was catching the first part of the Bible mini series (a five-part mini series, shown on Sunday evenings on the History Channel … but I watched it on YouTube).

Although the Bible does not give an emotion-filled account of Abraham’s choice to listen to, and obey the message from God, I can only imagine the agonizing that he felt, that he experienced when God commanded him to sacrifice his son, through whom Abraham had believed God would fulfill his promise to make him the Father of many nations.

Abraham was an old man when this story enfolded. He probably appreciated the blessing of awakening each morning, still able to watch his son grow and still able to teach him how to be all that it is to be ‘man’. The son through whom Abraham’s name would continue to live, long after his earthly end.

To have put this hope for the future of his name upon his son might have caused Abraham to forget where his hope really was … in El Shaddai  … ‘God Almighty’ or ‘God the All-Sufficient One’. Maybe, as he was looking to the end of his life, Abraham was looking more to Isaac as the All-Sufficient One?

Whatever the reason for this ‘test’, God knew what Abraham would choose to do when He said,

Take your son,
your only son, whom you love
—Isaac—
and go to the region of Moriah.
Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

God was not looking for Abraham to shed the blood of his son … blood that was his (and Sarah’s) . God was looking for Abraham to prove his commitment … to put his money where his mouth was.

What a test!

Reading this account of Noah and Isaac reminded me of 1 Corinthians 10:13:

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.
And God is faithful;
he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted,
he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

Although God’s instruction to Abraham was not a temptation, the principle is still the same;

God will allow us to have struggles, temptations, testings … but never more than He knows we can handle (sometimes I wish He did not have so much faith in what I can handle) … and He IS faithful … He will provide a way out!

*This is a re-post, of a re-post, from a few years ago. The story of Sarah, Abraham and Isaac have always captivated me.

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As the school year is coming to a rapid end, those of us who work in schools tend to become reflective about the year that has past. We wonder if we taught everything that the students needed to learn. We wonder if the students learned everything that they will need to succeed.

Earlier this past week I was speaking with a young man who is graduating from high school. I have never been assigned to work with him, I have never assisted him in a classroom setting, in no way have I ever been responsible for any part of his education. In spite of the fact that there is no direct connection to him, I have gotten to know him a bit by saying hi and connecting in the hallways.

This young man has not been successful in an academic sense. He was not a ‘good’ student. I would guess that he did not have the best handwriting in elementary school, the best understanding of algebra in middle school, or the best essay writing skills in high school.

From what I have learned, over the years, from talking to him, from watching him, and from hearing about him from others, I believe he will be immensely successful in life … and it has little to do with schooling.

This young man is kind … I have seen how he treats others.

This young man is hard working … I have seen his acts of service in the school.

This young man is responsible … when asked to do a task, he shows up, and does it.

This young man is humble … he does not do things for praise.

He is the young man who will grow up contributing to society.

He is the young man who will grow up caring for his parents.

He is the young man who will grow up supporting and loving his family.

He is the young man who you would want for a neighbor.

He is the young man who knows that he has nothing in this life without working hard, being responsible and being faithful to his commitments.

He is the successful result of parents who loved him and who modeled a life well lived. His success is the result of having the benefit of being able to participate in a program at school that allowed him to earn a portion of his credits by doing the manual labor he so loves (and is probably amazing at). He is the successful result of an inner strength of character that kept him going to school, just because it is a hoop we all need to do to be part of our society.

I wish I had had the opportunity to work with this model young man … I bet he could have taught me something!

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Being home in the summer gives me good opportunity to see life from a different perspective.

My alarm clock does not often get set (yet I still often awaken at nearly the same time), meals during the day are replaced by a constant grazing (and, in some cases, I might just look like a cow by the end of summer), evenings are often spent outside around the propane fire pit, laundry is minimal, and there is simply no reason to leave the house most days.

One thing that has not changed, but has become more obvious to me, is that I have a stalker … in my house.

I awaken in the morning, and he lays near my chair, while I pound on the computer keys.

I move to the kitchen to fetch my desperately desired coffee, and he follows me there.

I move to my bedroom to dress, and he moves his repose to the mat outside our bedroom.

I move out to prune back the roses or the grape vines from the entrance to our deck, and he is awaiting my on the other side of the screen door.

I go to the basement, and he follows.

I come in from the garage, and he is napping on the other side of the door.

I feel as though our theme song is the one below:

And, by the way, my stalker is NOT hubby!

What my faithful stalker/guard dog keeps reminding me of what Moses shared in Deuteronomy, then was shared again in the book of Hebrews, that God said:

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake (give up/abandon)  you.”

Just like my fluffy, fun-loving beast, God is always there … over-seeing, protecting, being a presence. And, just like my beast, nothing will take His attention away … He is always faithful … even when I am not.

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images-2I am awed by the manner and intricate detail with which my God makes efforts to encourage me, teach me, comfort me and communicate with me.

There have been times when I have opened my Bible, or another book of words written hundreds of years ago, and it is as though the message were hand picked for me, for that exact moment in time. There are innumerable instances when I have cried out to Jesus for help, only to turn on the music to hear a very perfect response.

In these unexpected times of oneness with my heavenly father, I am left with one main knowledge … He loves me … He, the Creator of all life, and the perfecter of all beauty, mystery and wonder truly loves me, and will never leave me alone.

This communication and communion of intimacy happened again just days ago. I was not particularly needy or downcast, but I was lowering my head and asking for His encouragement. As I opened up to my social media there on the screen was the message that as soon as I started to read I knew it was for me, for my eyes, my heart, my soul.

The status was written by a Laura Lynn Tyler Thompson, an author, speaker and television host (700 Club Canada) whose status updates are always filled with encouragement, but it is never drivel that seems forced and fake. She wrote:

“No matter what you are facing, there is a powerful place of profound relationship that is offered to those who would steadfastly seek the Father.

Psalm 25:14 “The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning.”

God’s covenant to you is that He will NEVER leave you or forsake you. Though man, jobs, locations and circumstances may all change and bring discontent and concern, your God is faithful to the very end. You have no need to worry that any dread, anxiety or fear would take hold of your situation. Talk to the bad thoughts and tell them to take a number and get in the line-up to ‘not listening’. Give no place to negative and disturbing contemplations of our natural mind. They bear no validity to truth. Having done all stand in Christ alone. Your victory is being devised by far greater forces than what has come against you.”

Then, just hours after reading and pondering her words, the words of a song came on the radio, and although I do not believe they were written with this intent, I heard them as though spoken to my heart from my Savior:

“Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone

Cause I’m going to make this place your home”

He loves me … He, the Creator of all life, and the perfecter of all beauty, mystery and wonder truly loves me, and will never leave me alone.

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Cat or Dog?

Comparisons between cats and dogs are often extremely hilarious … and accurate. Cats have been largely viewed as intelligent and stand-offish whereas dogs have been viewed as dumb and faithful.

In the past we have had cats who, when we had been away for a number of days, would greet us (if you can call stretching on the sofa a greeting) with a sneer, followed by an arrogant walk to the litter box. Then, they do not acknowledge us for days.

We have only had one dog, but, when we return home to her, after a number of days (or weeks), she comes running to us, is excited enough to leap from her own skin, and does not leave our side for days.

The cat acts resentful for not being tended to, and upon our return, would only communicate bitterness and resentment.

The dog forgets what is past, and is so thankful to have her people back in the den.

I have learned that I (gulp) am a cat.

When I have been hurt, or am feeling untended to, or ignored I often respond like a cat would. I avoid the ‘offender’, or stick my tail up in the air and walk away, when they approach. I, like a cat, try to make them feel the way I have felt.

I wish I could be like my dog, who can forgive AND forget.

I think that maybe the dog, who we see as dumb, isn’t so dumb after all. Maybe the dog knows we will fail, so it is not a shock when we do. Or maybe the dog understands unconditional love. Or maybe, just maybe, the dog sees us as more valuable than they see themselves, and so they are able to love with a consistency that says more about how committed they are to us, than how deserving (or not) we are to receive their love.

Just sayin’.


					

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