Thursday, November 14, 2013

Another Glorious Sunrise

Another glorious dawn at the Snuggery. Grateful for God's grace.

"Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young." (Isaiah 40:10-11).

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Prepare The Way!

The sky was aflame this morning. However, by the time I was dressed and outside the the glorious view had half faded. An opportunity was nearly lost! At the dawning of this new day I was reminded of the invitation of the prophet to get ready to meet my God. He will be present in every circumstance that I face. It is crucial that my heart and mind is clear from all worldly distractions and that I cast my cares upon Him.

A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 40:3-5)

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Location:Fourth Chute Rd,North Algona Wilberforce,Canada

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Pondering Pain

The past three weeks have been filled with physical pain for me. It has been a drawn out process of multiple medical examinations and tests (from Winnipeg to Pembroke) that has resulted in a definitive diagnosis that I have a strain of the Shingles infection called Ramsay Hunt syndrome (Herpes Zoster Oticus). This occurs when the herpes virus infects the facial nerve near one of the ears. In my case the right ear. The result is extreme pain, a rash, hearing loss and facial paralysis. The period of sickness can vary depending on early diagnosis and treatment. In my case not early enough. So the illness and symptoms may last for weeks or even months.

It has been a trial dealing with the extreme pain and paralysis. The experience has given me a lot of time to contemplate about suffering. Mostly the question, "Why?"; or, "For what purpose is God allowing me to suffer at this time?" First of all it is crucial for me to affirm that at the foundation of my belief system is a God who is in sovereign control of every single event in my life: whether good or bad; painful or pleasurable; in prosperity or poverty; in sickness or well health. The Bible I read describes God as the ruler of all. He is not shackled by evil or the consequences of sin in this world; neither is He bound by the free will of humans. Although I cannot comprehend it, I am convinced that He is the Lord of the good and the bad in my life and yet remains blameless of being evil. Here are a few examples from the Scriptures that affirms this truth.

When God granted Satan permission to strike Job's body, "Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head." In despair Job's wife urged him to, "Curse God and die." Yet Job responded by looking to God as the ultimate cause of his suffering: "Shall we receive good from God, and we shall not accept evil?" (Job 2:7-10). The writer of the book of Job closes the last chapter by referring to Job's loss and suffering like this: "Then came to him all his brothers and sisters . . . and comforted him for all the evil that he LORD had brought upon him." (Job 42:11).

From the burning bush God said to Moses, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?" (Exodus 4:11).

The prophets assert this truth about God's character as well. Daniel states, "He does according  to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him,'What have you done?'" (Daniel 4:35).

Isaiah affirms, "He declares the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all of my purpose.'" (Isaiah 46:10).

Jeremiah asks the rhetorical question, "Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the LORD has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?" (Lamentations #:37-38).

In Amos's argument that the LORD is bringing severe judgment upon Israel, he employs the reasoning of cause and effect to conclude, "When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?" (Amos 3:3-6).

I may not fully comprehend the "Why?" of pain in my life, however, this one thing I am confident of: it happens for my good and for God's eternal glory. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28).

On the conviction that God is good and God is good and does govern all things to accomplish his purpose, I now can seek the Scriptures for revelation as to what those purposes might be in my own life. God does explain in his word some reasons why there is suffering in our lives. In the following posts I will attempt to share some of my ponderings over my pain in past few weeks.

I'll close for now with these comforting words penned by the blind hymn writer Fanny Crosby:

All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Go Far Together

African proverb: "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together." "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil." (Ecclesiastes 4:9). We been driving this unit for 18 months and have covered 477,000 kms!

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Location:Voyageur Route,Sables-Spanish Rivers,Canada

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Promise of Better Things to Come

In the last book of The Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee wakes up, thinking everything is lost and discovering instead that all his friends were around him, he cries out: “Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead! Is everything sad going to come untrue?”

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Location:Great River Road,,Canada

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Morning is Ours

The early morning belongs to the Church of the risen Christ. At the break of light it remembers the morning in which death and sin lay prostrate in defeat and new life and salvation were given to mankind. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together.

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Location:ON-41,Bonnechere Valley,Canada