With fall around the corner one pastor reflected on farmers and their harvest. “Farmers reap a harvest in the fall because they planted in the spring.” Making a spiritual application with a profound twist he said, “You cannot sow un-forgiveness and expect to reap forgiveness.” In my mind failing to forgive is a personal, internal issue between believers and the Holy Spirit...and I place sowing a category of being a deliberate act. I’ve not considered, although I should have, that we can unconsciously sow un-forgiveness, as well as other sinful attitudes. Paul said, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Gal 6:7 NIV).
September 20, 2017
I visited a Pentecostal church and as I settled into the pew I had an immediate feeling of homecoming. While I have no connection to the denomination, I do have a relationship with the pews themselves. For over 30 years I sat in these same pews at my previous church. Apparently when my old church was remodeled they passed the pews on to the Pentecostal church. The Lord blessed me with wonderful unexpected memories. “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3 NIV).
September 19, 2017
Late Sunday evening our community experienced an extended period of lightning and window rattling thunder-bumpers. As I watched and listened I wondered what these particular thunders were saying. John reported, “And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.” (Rev 10:4 NIV.)
September 18, 2017
My mother-in-law’s upright freezer resided in her garage and was layered with dust. As I prepared to move the freezer to my house I removed the contents and started to wash down the outside, but after one swipe it was obvious the water would be filthy in no time. Remembering how I was taught as a child to wash dishes I switched course and started on the inside first. For all practical purposes once the inside was clean, the freezer was clean…especially considering that it was going back into a garage setting. Jesus said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean” (Matt 23:25-26 NIV).
September 15, 2017
As elderly folks relocate to assisted living or nursing homes it is often up to the children and grandchildren to dispose of their lifetime collections. My 94-year-old mother-in-law, who just moved in with us, is in remarkably good shape for her age. While we physically moved her possessions, we are leaving it up to her to sort, discard, save, or give away her treasures. She continues to say, “Why do we save stuff? Why did I keep all these things?” I’m reminded of the parable about the rich fool. The man produced a good crop, but lacked storage space, “He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods” (Luke 12:17-18 NIV). The fool’s life was demanded of him that night, so not only was all his planning for naught, others were left to either benefit from, or dispose of, what he had prepared for himself.
September 14, 2017
Friday my mother-in-law moved in with us and that night our water heater died. Of course it was weekend and we needed a specific type of water heater. On Monday the plumbers located the right unit in a town 200 miles away, but it was inadvertently shipped to Denver rather than Montrose. Laundry piled up, we heated water on the stove to do dishes and took showers at the homes of family members. Last night we rejoiced when we had hot water for the first time in five days. However, God has a way of putting our trials in perspective and I need look no further that Texas or Florida to realize that five days without hot water is really not that big of a deal.
September 13, 2017
I visited the Quaker Silent Worship Group who have no introductions, announcements, hymns, prayers, or preaching. For an hour we sat in meditation with only a cough, a sneeze and stomach growls breaking the silence. The lack of a preacher might be explained by a poster on the wall which read, “Be patterns, be examples in countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them. Then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone (italics included).” George Fox, Quaker 1624-1691. There was no mention of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or any higher power. However, the Spirit within me spoke loud and clear, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalms 46:10 NIV).