Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Listen and Look! She’s trying to get your attention.

Proverbs 8:1-3 Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the top of the elevated places along the way, at the intersection of the paths she takes her stand; beside the gates opening into the city, at the entrance of the doorways she cries out

Wisdom does not hide, nor is it hard to find. Notice, like sin, Wisdom still uses the avenue of our senses to get our attention. Whether we like to admit it or not we are much easier external beings, than internal ones. True, the inner life is the one we need and will gain the most from, but that requires discipline. We respond to external things much quicker and easier, which can be a problem if we are not careful. As we saw in Proverbs 7, sin enticed through the senses. However, we must remember that our sense are neither holy nor evil, they are only one of the conduits we have to receive communication. Since they are so easily connected to, Wisdom will take advantage of the easy entrance. The two senses that Wisdom connects to in this passage are hearing and visual. Consider the meaning of top 

Heb “head.” The word רֹאשׁ (rosh, “head”) refers to the highest area or most important place in the elevated area. The contrast with chapter 7 is striking. There the wayward woman lurked at the corners in the street at night; here wisdom is at the highest point in the open places in view of all. [1]

Interesting that wisdom places itself in plain view of all. Unlike sin, which is calculating and picks specific ones to pursue, wisdom desires all to come and take part. Sin entraps, Wisdom invites! Anyone that is looking will see Wisdom. The other sense is hearing. The term used here is one that makes the point that Wisdom is not shy in its desire to communicate. 

The cry is a very loud ringing cry that could not be missed. The term רָנַן (ranan) means “to give a ringing cry.” It is often only a shrill sound that might come with a victory in battle, but its use in the psalms for praise shows that it also can have clear verbal content, as it does here. For wisdom to stand in the street and give such a ringing cry would mean that it could be heard by all. It was a proclamation.[1]

Wisdom proclaims Truth, sin perverts it! So it is important that we allow our senses to be used, the problem is what we do with it next. The disconnect comes with the next “train station” on our track of communication. When our senses are communicated to, we have to make a choice which track do we send that communication to. If we send it to our emotions only, we will react, that is what happened to the foolish young man in the previous chapter. If instead we send that information down the track that leads to our mind first and then our emotions, we will be proactive. Our mind will ascertain what values this data is to our inner man first and then our outer man. 

External living is temporal and in the end very unfulfilling. The inner life weighs the real issues of this world and will take direction from Wisdom that leads to joy, faith and peace. To love Wisdom is to love God, life and yourself!

[1] Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Love…no beginning, yet in a blink of an eye!

Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.

The way time and love works is interesting. When you love someone, you lose track of when that began…it’s like you have loved that person as long as your memory goes back. Yet, at the same time, because life really is a vapor and time moves sooooo fast, it was only moments ago you realized that what you felt for this person was in fact “love”. 
I cannot remember when I “fell” in love with anyone I love. It’s as though that was always the commitment of my heart. Still, in all honesty, there was no “falling” in love, there was “falling” in infatuation! “NO FAIR” you say Nate! Sorry, I will disagree. We live and learn most of the time, I wish we learned and lived! The human heart most times moves ahead of the human mind. So what our heart calls love, really isn’t. Love is based on a decision of commitment and that takes time, plain and simple. This is why this decision should be given time and not rushed into. I know someone will share the example of a whirlwind romance of a few days that has been together for 50 years. I know of a few…but the numbers going the opposite direction toward unhappiness, a destructive and wrecked relationship is far higher…and sad to say the norm. Why should we hope for grace and “maybe” when we can have so much part in the decision. This is what happened to the two great loves of my life. My Lord Jesus…I did not love Him. He first loved me. I was drawn to Him because of my fear of being separated from my Creator due to my sin and because of His unbelievable sacrifice and commitment to me. That was infatuation. When the first bumps in the road hit, I, like many, wondered if I had made a smart decision. The more time I spent with Him, the more I found lovely and worth my commitment of love. Now I cannot imagine a moment without Him and am still awed at why He would ever love someone like me. 

The second love of my life is a woman I shared vows with 34 years ago on the 18th of this month. This too was infatuation at first. Her looks and personality were very attractive. As we grew to know each other, the warts and moods that all humans have became apparent. By then though, time had been taken to know the person inside. Infatuation was replaced by love. I did not keep looking, no need, I had found the person I wanted to spend my life with. It seems that just yesterday I was standing with her sharing vows…3 children, 2 Pastorates, 19 years on the mission field, 3 spouses for our kids and 3 grandsons…in a moment…that we call a lifetime. The most interesting aspect of time and love for me is…yes I love her more each year, but what is really exciting is how much I like her. I really do…I ask her to go with me when I am on the way to the store…just because I like her. She really has become my closest friend after the Lord. This is a gift of time…we need to use it wisely because this is the only season we will have it. In eternity it will no longer be an issue. Thanks Lord for Your love, her love and the time to experience them!
1 Corinthians 13:4–7, 13  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance…Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.