Friday, August 30, 2013

Far more than a butler

When we pray, we need to remember who is listening. We have a real relationship, but we're not equals, We need a huge dose of respect for our heavenly Father. He dwells “in unapproachable light” (1 Tim. 6:16 NKJV). He knows the end from the beginning, and He knows our thoughts and hidden intentions far better than we do. We often treat Him like a butler or a fairy godmother, but He's nothing of the kind.— Christianity Lite, page 81

<idle musing>
God is far greater than a heavenly dispensing machine! When we treat him like that, we sell him and ourselves far short of the relationship he wants with us. It would be like getting married just so you have someone to do your laundry and wash the dishes! That's not a relationship—you can hire a servant for those things!

It's the same with God. Sure, he answers prayer and gives us all kinds of blessings. But that's not the point or the goal of the relationship. We were created for far more than that! We were created for fellowship with God.
</idle musing>


Prayer is the umbilical cord between heaven and earth. When we pray, we're tapping into God's heart, God's will, and God's power here and now.— Christianity Lite, page 78

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's overwhelming

When we look into the abyss of our struggles, we first frantically try to control the people and the situations. Sooner or later we realize all our efforts are useless. The problem is much bigger than anything we can handle. When we pray, we bow in humble admission that we're powerless. Pride insists that we know it all and can make it work out, but humility acknowledges there's a far greater power and far higher wisdom than our own.— Christianity Lite, page 75

<idle musing>
Some people never get to the point of acknowledging that the struggle is too great. Others just give up, overwhelmed by the immensity of it all. The wise person is the one who in humility acknowledges that only Christ can handle life with all its complications.
</idle musing>

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

False promises

New technologies promised to make our lives simpler, easier, and less troubled, but today our lives are more complex, full of things that need to be fixed, and clouded by worries over the added activities and responsibilities. The levels of stress are exceptionally high, even among those who have plenty of money and are the envy of their friends.— Christianity Lite, page 72

<idle musing>
The false promise of a fake messiah. Technology is a marvelous thing—but it can never fix the problem of a broken relationship with God.
</idle musing>

Friday, August 23, 2013

What's wrong with this picture?

Most of us can talk for hours on the phone with someone who has no ability to fix our problems, but we find it hard to spend more than five minutes in prayer with the One who has all power in heaven and on earth. Claiming to be too busy is a lame excuse.— Christianity Lite, page 69

<idle musing>
Yep. Might be because we don't really believe God has the ability to answer...what do you think?
</idle musing>

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Things that make you go hmmm...

I was reading in 2 Corinthians yesterday and came across this:
Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” (2 Cor 8:13-15 TNIV)
<idle musing>
Sure sounds like the classic definition of socialism to me: "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." Granted, that is impossible among the unredeemed; everyone is told to grab for everything they can in this life. But, shouldn't it be the goal among the redeemed?

Unfortunately, I don't even see it being attempted in most of the U.S. church. Sermons are preached about the evils of socialism; people are encouraged to follow the American Dream. Precious few sermons are preached on self-denial or death to self. Significant chapters of scripture are conveniently ignored.

The early church was known for its giving—and not just to believers! I suspect the American church of the late twentieth to early twenty-first centuries will be known for its selfishness and lack of generosity... Just an
</idle musing>

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Move that mountain

Going to church doesn't move mountains. Singing praise songs doesn't move them. Giving money doesn't level them. And certainly worry doesn't bring them down to size. We can be involved in all kinds of activities in the church but still have mountains that can't be moved except by prayer and fasting.— Christianity Lite, page 67

<idle musing>
But that doesn't fit in with good-time christianity! Self-denial? You've got to be kidding me, right? : (
</idle musing>

Monday, August 19, 2013

By what criterion do you chooose?

Plenty of people choose churches today with one criterion in mind: they're looking for a pastor who will tell them what they want to hear. They want pleasant messages about God's love and promises about God's blessings. They'd like to be entertained by wonderful music and inspiring stories, but they sure don't want to invest time and passion in prayer.— Christianity Lite, page 66

<idle musing>
Can you say "itching ears"?
</idle musing>

Friday, August 16, 2013

What about you?

Many modern people don't pray because they trust advances in technology and medicine to solve their problems.— Christianity Lite, page 62

<idle musing>
What about you? Is your god really technology? When you have medical issue, to whom do you turn?

Our response to that question reveals our real god.

Or, suppose you lose your job. To whom do you turn for financial support? Emotional support?

The fires of daily life just reveal our true heart--that's why James could say to "count it all joy."
</idle musing>

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why did Jesus pray?

As we read the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus, one of the most startling observations is that He spent so much time in prayer. He was God, wasn't He? Why did He pray so much? I don't believe it was only because He needed to pray; I think he wanted to pray. He wanted to spend time with the Father, enjoying the give-and-take of love and determining direction for the future.— Christianity Lite, page 61

<idle musing>
The theologians might not like his answer, but I think it makes sense...
</idle musing>

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bored yet?

I have a confession to make. Before we moved to Grand Marais (over 13 month ago now), I was concerned I might not have enough to do. I told Debbie, Jim, and Shannon that. They all laughed. Jim said, "Only if they close the library!"

Well, I certainly haven't been bored! On the contrary, I've been almost overwhelmed at times. Yesterday was the first day in ages that I didn't have proofreading, editing, or other projects hanging over me. And we only had 1 set of guests leaving and one coming in. And because we have guests in the cabin we are trying to paint, I couldn't do any painting.

Wow! What to do? Believe me, there was still plenty, but it wasn't rushed. I was able to organize the hoop house stuff that was just thrown in a couple of stacks earlier this spring. I'm getting ready to put it up in the backyard, so that was nice.

Plus, I was able to modify the rabbit hutches, putting 1/2 inch mesh on the floor instead of the 1/4 inch that I had used. Oh, you didn't know we had rabbits? We have 2 mini-Rexes. We have had them for almost 2 weeks now. I'll try to get some pictures posted later today or tomorrow. Plus, we are taking care of Joel & Renee's 2 mini-Rexes while they are in Alberta. The 1/2 inch mesh allows the rabbit poop to fall through; I don't have to clean the cage every day anymore : )

Today, we only have one cabin leaving and no one coming in! Wow! We're planning on going hiking. We haven't had a chance to go yet this summer. That's about the only downside to seasonal based work like this. When the weather is good for outdoor activities, the guests arrive to take advantage of it. You have to squeeze it in as best you can... But we love it!

Just an
<idle musing>

It's the truth

Don't assume you're powerless and helpless any longer. God has entrusted His power to everyone who has trusted in His Son. If you're depressed, there's a power to give you hope. If you're addicted, there's a power to set you free. If you're sick, there's a power to heal. If you're in a strained relationship, there's a power to forgive and be reconciled. There's a power to overcome your fear, loneliness, self-pity, and suicidal thoughts. You may feel stuck and hopeless, but God's power is far greater than chains of sin, doubt, and disease.— Christianity Lite, pages 59-60

<idle musing>
It's the truth! But do you believe it? If you say you do, but your life isn't reflecting it, then I would say you don't really believe it. Intellectual assent isn't the same as belief—even though our society seems to equate the two.
</idle musing>

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Believe it!

He [God] doesn't send His power to those who don't want it, don't believe in it, and will misuse it.— Christianity Lite, page 47

<idle musing>
Unfortunately, I think he is mistaken in the last part of his statement. I've seen far too many misuse God's gifts over the years...
</idle musing>

Thought for today

What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Corinthians 4:7 NIV)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Who's in control?

Evil spirits don't obey nice sermons, and they don't flee from good programs and beautiful buildings. They only obey the power of God.— Christianity Lite, page 44

<idle musing>
Tempting to think it's our power, though, isn't it? But it's the power of God and all our programs, sermons, and buildings can't conjure that power up. It has to be God.
</idle musing>

Friday, August 09, 2013

Friday's thought

The issue isn't that we ought to be different if we claim to know Jesus; it's that we will be different if our hearts have been transformed by the power of His grace.— Christianity Lite, pages 37-38

<idle musing>
Yep. It isn't by my power or strength; it is all by his strength and power at work in me through the Holy Spirit.
</idle musing>

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Being formed into the likeness

Jesus doesn't want us to insult Him by going to church week after week without genuine change. More and more churches have forgotten they exist to see people transformed. Have we torn the pages out of our Bibles that call us to authentic Christianity?— Christianity Lite, page 31

<idle musing>
In the words of 2 Peter 1:4, " that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature" (NET). The change is via the power of the Holy Spirit—don't ever forget that and try to produce the change on your own strength, though. Dead to self, but alive in Christ Jesus.

That's good news!
</idle musing>

Monday, August 05, 2013

Thought for a very busy Monday

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:1-4 NIV)