Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Permit It To Be So

"Permit it to be so." These words were spoken by Jesus to John the Baptist. Why would the Lord, a holy deity, make such a statement to mere man?

Jesus was coming to be baptized by the baptizer - John the Baptist. John thought that Jesus should be baptizing him, after all,  in John's mind, Jesus had more significance than him and he was the Way that John was preaching about. However, Jesus saw things differently and said, "...Permit it to be so."


The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.
14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”
15 But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.[a]” So John agreed to baptize him.
16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened[b] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.
17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Matthew 3:13-17 [NLT]
Two things happened here:

  1. Jesus chose to obey the will of His father by being baptized.
  2. John chose to obey Jesus and baptized Him.

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In choosing to obey, both John and Jesus were partakers in what can only be called a supernatural experience. The heavens opened and the Spirit of God was visible. Then a voice spoke declaring God's pleasure with his Son.  This happened to Jesus, but John witnessed it. To witness the supernatural is as close as you can get to partaking in it. To witness the Spirit of God descending on anyone, let alone Jesus is transformative. To hear that God was well pleased - defies words. But this is what happened.

When you, "permit it to be so" in response to Jesus, amazing things can happen for you also.

If Jesus could permit it to be so, why can't you?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Shepherd of My Soul - A Different Kind of Love

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This song was sung at our wedding 26 years ago; until recently, it was my first time hearing this song.

A wedding ceremony is celebratory yet solemn, so we stood there and listened to the words of the song - hearing it but not paying it too much mind as we were focused on being married.

I don't know why this song was selected as it doesn't seem to follow all the romantic notions of a wedding; on top of it all it was sung by the Young People's Choir (today they would be called the Youth Choir.) But I did appreciate the lyrics of the song.

For whatever reason, for the first time in 26 years I woke up singing this song.

Shepherd of my soul I give You full control
Wherever You may lead I will follow
I have made the choice to listen for Your voice
Wherever You may lead I will go
Shepherd of my soul I give You full control
Wherever You may lead I will follow
I have made the choice to listen for Your voice
Wherever You may lead I will go
Be it in a quiet pasture or by a gentle breeze
The shepherd of my soul is by my side
Should I face a mighty mountain or a valley dark and deep
The shepherd of my soul will be my guide

As I thought of these words I realized that the Shepherd of our soul has been our guide and we have allowed Him to guide. Through thick and thin, through ups and downs He is one of the few constants in our lives. Because of this constant, there are other constants - our love for each other has only grown; it has never disappeared. Our feelings may have changed over time but what binds us together is as sure as the day we took our vows. To others looking on this may look atypical as we are not huggy huggy lovey dovey type. We struggled with pet names for a long time, and these days our hands intertwine when we pray. Yet when we go through the times that inevitably we all go through - we don't think of leaving each other. We know we can ride it out and it won't always be this way. We know we have a Shepherd of our soul that guides us and we know we love each other.

So on that day many years ago, though I had never heard this song I imagine the Youth Choir was celebrating our love by requesting that we always let the Shepherd be our guide. Thank you.

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. Psalm 23:1 NLT
May the Shepherd be your guide in all the relationships of your life.

Have you ever heard this song? Is there a particular song that helps you in your relationships?




Friday, February 13, 2015

Precious Life

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Sometimes life really throws you for a loop. At this current point in time, I am dealing with four deaths, in the space of two weeks of people that were very close to me. All death is hard, but it is even harder when you had a  relationship with the person. It's also hard when you weren't close to the person, but you see how it impacts those that are close to you.

Humans, being who they are tend to take people and things for granted and don't recognize what they have until it's no longer there. Within my family, we have a strange, and sad dynamic. I am one of eight children and I wish within my heart of hearts that as adults we would be able to talk deeply, listen earnestly, laugh joyfully and hug freely with each other. But this is not the case. After our oldest brother's death, there is an open wound among us. This wound may have been there before, but it has become more noticeable over time. This wound is painful, divisive and hurtful, because it has never been treated.

An open wound is an injury involving an external or internal break in body tissue, usually involving the skin. Nearly everyone will experience an open wound at some point in his or her life. Most open wounds are minor and can be treated at home. The main complication from having an open wound is the risk of infection. (source: http://www.healthline.com/health/open-wound#Treatment3)
With all of these deaths, I wish the open wound in my family could be healed. I wish we could truly put feet to our faith and love and forgive, as forgiveness is amazing.

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Life is too short; may we reach out to the salve that is available and use it to soothe and heal our wounds. May we treasure the family we have while we have them.


For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:1,11 [NLT]

How do you cherish your family?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Words Are Things of Little Cost

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Life is short and very precious. I am on an impromptu visit to the East Coast dealing with a spate of deaths in the family. Due to the weather my flight was cancelled. As I sit here working from home my dad and I are having sporadic conversation. He's lived a long life but one of the things he remembers is the words from the hymn below that he learned in Sunday School. The first time he mentioned this poem to me was about two years ago. At that time I wrote the entire text down, because I could not find it when I googled it. Today I googled it and found the actual text.

Prayer for Daily Grace- by John George Fleet
Words are things of little cost
Quickly spoken, quickly lost;
Witnesses at God’s right hand,
And their testimony bear
For us, or against us there.

Oh, how often ours have been
Idle words and words of sin!
Words of anger, scorn or pride
Or deceit, our faults to hide,
Envious tales,of strife unkind
Leaving bitter thoughts behind.

Grant us Lord from day to day,
Strength to watch and grace to pray:
May our lips, from sin kept free,
Love to speak and sing of thee
Till in heaven we learn to raise

Hymns of everlasting praise.

My dad learned this in Sunday School and these words, the words of the poem have stuck with him. It is the fact that words are precious, and once said they can't be unsaid. It may be why he appears quiet and tries to be so careful when he speaks. But he also acknowledged we've all made mistakes with our words.
Going forward, I'm sure I'll always hear his voice in my head saying, "Words are things of little cost, quickly spoken, quickly lost.." in that very strong Bajan accent.

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19 [NLT]

Are you careful with your words? Is there something you do that cautions you before you speak? If you were reckless with your words, what do you do to correct the situation? 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Simple Lesson - Application

In this day and age there is information everywhere and it's much more accessible than it was in the past. The information available today runs the gamut from worthwhile - how to be a good friend, to useless - DIY hacks.

Since there is nothing new under the sun, a lot of worthwhile information is found in the Bible.
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However, because we are inundated with so much we have become obese with information. We're not using the information we have received. We are at the point where we need to start applying the information that we have gathered.

Be better people, don't lie, don't steal, enjoy life, live peaceably with all, and don't be anxious.

These are simple lessons that are found in the Word that are foundational to our growth.

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. Jeremiah 17:7,8 [NLT]
Remember, "Large streams from little fountains flow, tall oaks from little acorns grow."(excerpted from a poem by David Parks)

Let's start applying the Word. How do you apply scripture to your daily life?