Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving

 and into his courts with praise:
 be thankful unto him and bless his name. 
 Psalm 100:4 (ESV) 
This past year I have become more aware of my lack of being thankful.  As I approach this season of Thanksgiving, it invites me to reflect not on what I am grateful for, but on why am I grateful?  It is easy for me to rattle off ten things I am thankful for, but it takes deep soul searching to give one reason why I am thankful. Searching for this one reason is the longing of one’s soul to be fulfilled. And after searching, and only then, can a sincere longing to be thankful for ten things be realized. The sons of Korah clarify this longing in Psalm 84:2. This Psalm centers around a longing for the courts of the Lord. In fact, the Psalmist makes it clear that “my soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God”. 

The history of the sons of Korah comes from the Old Testament in Numbers 4. The Sons of Korah had specific duties concerning the Tabernacle. “This is the service of the sons of Kohath in the tent of meeting: the most holy things” (Numbers 4:4, ESV).   “…as the camp sets out, after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things lest they die. These are the things of the tent of meeting that the sons of Kohath are to carry” (v.4:15).  When it was time to move, Aaron and his sons, the priests, were to gather and to cover the articles from the Holy of Holies to be transported through the wilderness (v.1-15).  The sons of Korah were to carry the holy articles and not to look upon them or they would die.  God had given them a specific task to work in the courts concerning the Tabernacle.

We can see the rebellion of the sons of Korah in Numbers 16. The scriptures tell us that they were not satisfied with the duties they were assigned, therefore, they rebelled against Moses and Aaron.  “Is it too small a thing for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the Lord and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, and that he has brought you near him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And would you seek the priesthood also? “(V.9-10). Then the earth opened and swallowed the sons of Korah and they perished from the midst of the assembly (v.30-35).

A remnant from the Korahites was spared and we can see this in Psalm 84. These descendants were musicians given the service of song, who understood the wickedness of their father’s sins.  The new generation chose to dwell in the courts of the Lord and accept their service and duty to Lord.  “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (v.10).

Why am I thankful?  Because my soul has found a dwelling place in the courts of the Lord and I can sing about the joy of the living God. What am I thankful for? I am not longer thankful for ten things, but for everything God’s brings my way.

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house. The holiness of your temple! (Psalm 65:4)

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Change of Heart


The good news is that the kingdom of God, came down to make a way for us to live with Him forever. Jesus suffered, died, and rose  from the dead and now sits on the right hand of the Father. I am amazed that He loved me so and suffered on my behalf, but, can I also love others while I am suffering?

Living in the gospel story exposes the heart. To love others means that our hearts are vulnerable and open before others. At times we love conditionally as a result our hearts expose a truth we normally would not want to face-selfishness.  This exposure often leads to despair.  We often pray for relief to escape from the love God's has for us, his unconditional love. We have this tendency not to embrace God's love into every part of our lives. We want to run from the truth  But, if we stay true to His love that has been given to us and stay in communication with the lover of our souls, The gospel comes into our circumstances, even to the point of changing us to love others unconditionally. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

  Waiting for my son, Michael, to come home  to visit. I am looking forward to hearing about his many adventures in Japan and Saudi Arabia.  I truly miss sitting down and talking with him. He is serving in the Air Force in Okinawa, Japan. Looking forward to having our family together even if it is for a few weeks.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thanksgiving is squeezed in between Halloween and Christmas

Blink twice and the season of Thanksgiving is gone. Store shelves are scattered with pilgrims and turkey decorations sandwiched in between the most celebrated holidays of the year-Christmas and Halloween.  If one wants to purchase Thanksgiving decorations, they are on sale because it is time to clear out for Christmas.

What ever happened to giving thanks?  I am not confined to giving thanks to one month out of the year. Scripture says to "Rejoice in the Lord always".


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fainting Goats

But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been dismayed (fainted); therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.  (Isaiah 50:7)

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. (Isaiah 40:29)

This past week I have been feeling that my strength has been depleted. At times, I have lost courage. I felt paralyzed by fear and in fact, I also felt quite weary. As the week went on, my devotions became real to what I was facing-I was fainting.  I came across this story of " fainting goats" in my reading. It was very interesting and I decided to do some research on this phenomenon.  I looked up the word faint.  Faint means loss of courage, deprived of strength, loss of firmness that is effected by fear. Okay, I admit that I had all of these symptoms.

Next, I researched  "fainting goats"   A "fainting goat" is a breed of domestic goat whose muscles freeze for  about 10 seconds when the goat is startled and results in the animal collapsing on its side. When startled, younger goats will stiffen and fall over.  Older goats learn to spread their legs or lean against something when startled and often they continue to run about in an awkward, stiff-legged shuffle.

I can truly say that I freeze and am paralyzed at times because of certain situations. Now I am going to lean on God's word more and pray and not faint. Yes, I will continue to walk with an awkward shuffle. But God's way of walking is different from the world's way of walking. One might say it goes against the norm.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Where Are You?

                              Where are you?

   God never gives up on us, even after we sin.  Our tendancy is to run    away from God when we are convicted of our sin. We feel  ashamed. God continually calls us , yet we hesitiate to turn to him.  Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden and the scripture says that after Adam and Eve ate the fruit, their eyes were opened and they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord. Then the Lord called Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:6-10). God saw everything Adam had done and immediately spoke to him. I am thankful that when I blow it, God is there calling me to him.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Three Children in the Early Years

Matthew, Marissa and Michael