A Powerful Weakness

Originally posted to my blogsite August 8, 2019. We are not only weak in the face or the coronavirus, we are to a large degree at its mercy. We can do what is prudent (social distancing, sheltering in place, 20 second hand washing and sanitizing surfaces), and God would expect us to be wise. But at the end of the day, we still rely on His all sufficient grace, even if things go “south” for us.

The Brew Is A Musing

Screenshot (600)

My Musings – When we are covered by 1) God’s grace, through 2) His Son, we are plugged in to an awesome power base, 3) the Holy Spirit.  But sometimes, (many times) we get in the way of that power by relying on our own strengths, which in reality are weaknesses.  Once we acknowledge that, God’s power is perfected in our weaknesses.

Now for the understatement: “My grace is sufficient” (enough to meet the needs of a situation, adequate).  Enough and adequate, hardly seem impressive.  But the point is, no matter how small or how big the “situation,” God’s power will always be enough.  God’s power is all we will ever need.

My Advice – Admit your own insufficiencies (weaknesses), let go and let God.

View original post

Can You Be Thankful For Nothing?

Screenshot (1506)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:  “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:35–39, NIV 1984).

My Musings – We are all experiencing separation these days.  Separated from jobs, daily necessities, appropriate healthcare, family and other relationships, to name a few.  How comforting to know, for those who are in Christ Jesus, that there is nothing “in all creation” that can “separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Not now (“the present“) or ever (“the future“).  Thus far in this pandemic, many have already faced death.  As the days go by, many more will have to “face death all day long.”  But again, “neither death nor lifewill be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Sadly, there are many that do not have this assurance because they are not “in Christ Jesus.” For this reason, it is important that while the Church has had to retreat in “shelter in place” and “social distancing” that “it” finds creative ways to connect with those who do not share its hope.  And “it” means you and me.

My Advice – Who do you know who needs hope?  Do they see in you the hope that they lack?  Does it make them want to have that same hope?  Pandemic or not.  COVID-19 exposure or not.  None of us know how much time we have left.  So let’s be the light in the present darkness, lighting the way for others, as once upon a time others lit the light for us.

Giving Thanks

Original musing September 17, 2017. Food for thought during these trying times.

The Brew Is A Musing

Giving Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV 1984)

In the middle of a forest, there was a hunter who was suddenly confronted by a huge, mean bear.  In his fear, all attempts to shoot the bear were unsuccessful. 

View original post 341 more words

Saddle Up!

Screenshot (1502)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:9, NIV 1984).

My Musings – This is a charge given specifically to Joshua.  What could he possibly have to fear?

  • He Succeeded Moses, the only person that God spoke with face-to-face.  Talk about a tough act to follow.
  • But because Moses messed up, God did not allow Moses to lead the Israelites into the promised land.  Something that Moses had been anticipating for over forty years.  Better not mess up, Joshua.
  • And now Joshua was being told to cross over the Jordan to lead these “obstinate, stiff-necked” people to battle multiple kingdoms (Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites), drive them out, and take possession of the land.  No small task for a group of wandering nomads.

Yet Joshua “saddled up anyway.”  Why wouldn’t he have wanted to run the other way?  Not because of the subject of his  faith (capability of accomplishing the task at hand), but because of the object of his faith (capability of the One commissioning him for the task at hand). “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Joshua 1:5, NIV 1984).

My Advice – Do you have a tough act to follow?  Are you afraid of messing up?  Do feel inadequate for the task you face?  I know this charge was given specifically to Joshua, but I believe we can appropriate it for ourselves.  “Have I not commanded you?”  If God calls you to it, He will see you through it.  So, “be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged.”  Because “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”  (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV 1984).  If God has indeed called you to it, you don’t have to scared to death. Saddle up. Ride to victory, not retreat.  He “will never leave you nor forsake you.

Where’s Brother Waldo?

Amusing from the past, November 18, 2018. Where’s Waldo was huge when my son was little. How do others find us? Do we blend in or stand out? In what way do we stand out — truth in love, or something a bit less Christlike?

The Brew Is A Musing

Screenshot (232)

Romans 12:18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – All too often, whenever a potentially divisive issue is discussed, either the truth is compromised in the name of love, or love is compromised in the name of truth, as if the two (love and truth) were mutually exclusive. They are not. The reason we know they are not is that Christians are called to speak the truth in love.

  • Truth – Being prepared to speak the truth is more than merely knowing what we believe. It also means that we are able to provide clear reasons for why we hold the beliefs and convictions that we do. If we cannot do this, the truth may not be compromised (the truth remains the truth), but our credibility can certainly be questioned.
  • Love – We should also…

View original post 303 more words

Alone, Yet Not Alone

Screenshot (1500)

Then Jesus’ disciples said,  “this makes us believe that you came from God.” “You believe at last!” Jesus answered. “But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.  I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:30–33, NIV 1984).

My Musings – Where I live, we are beginning week two of being “scattered, each to his own home,” which we have “affectionately” come to know as sheltering in place.  Many of you around the world have been at it much longer than we have.  And while I work in an industry that has been deemed “essential” (but not nearly so noble as a front-line responder), I have been fortunate enough to work from home.  Fortunate, because my wife fits into four different high-risk health categories (you can read about her in “All About Eve”), and the less exposure I bring home to her the better.

We all deal with isolation in different ways, some of which are depicted in this Sunday’s “amusings” above.

  • Tom Hank’s in his movie Castaway created an imaginary friend Wilson. More recently, he self-quarantined with another Wilson, not so imaginary.  Coincidence?  Or life imitating art?  Whatever, it certainly was an improvement, despite having to deal with the coronavirus.
  • Some (the toilet paper hoarder) take isolation to the extreme, thinking only about themselves.
  • Some self-impose isolation within isolation (the cell phone communicators), not taking advantage of the opportunity to bond with loved ones.  Of course, this could have been just about anyone’s dining table before COVID-19.  How sad.
  • Others go into total meltdown (fear and hysteria), losing perspective, reason and common sense.
  • Not depicted are those who recklessly throw caution to the wind, putting themselves in needless danger. But more importantly, exposing innocent others by their selfish abandon.

For those of us with an eternal perspective, it is difficult to say at this point whether this pandemic is the express will of God as the “beginning of birth pains,” or the permissive will of God as Satan casts his evil “spells,” knowing that his time is short.  Either way, God is Sovereign.  And we know the end of the story, because it has been revealed to us (“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace“).  Revealed through another who was also spending time in isolation.  “I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: “Write on a scroll what you see.”  (Revelation 1:9–11, NIV 1984).  Is this the beginning of one of the things he saw?

My Advice – Whatever the reason, these are the circumstances that we are faced with.  We did not choose them (although they are one of the consequences of the choice made in the garden).  The question is how will we face them?  We’ve looked at just a few of the “faces” of isolation.  What will your “face” look like?  Will you be overcome, or will you be an overcomer?  Whether in isolation alone, or alone with loved ones, we are not alone in our aloneness. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  Take heart, brother and sisters, and be at peace in this time of distress.  “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”  (Revelation 22:12–13, NIV 1984).

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

 

Do Not Neglect

Original blog March 28, 2018. While many are unable to assemble together physically, we still can in Spirit and in Truth. The Church is in need of our faithfulness now more than ever. Spirits still need to be refreshed, the Great Commission has not been put on “forbearance” and yes, bills and salaries still need to be paid. Let’s not neglect this “opportunity” to show how much we appreciate our Savior, those who shepherd us, those we serve alongside and those who are outside of the Kingdom. The fields are white unto harvest and the sun seems to be sinking low in the West.

The Brew Is A Musing

Nehemiah 10:39 – “We will not neglect the house of our God.”

My Musing – While this verse is talking about physical provision for the temple, we often neglect God’s house in another way. Failing to faithfully attend worship services and fellowship with other believers is a way that we neglect God’s house.

My Advice – Make it your habit to attend church regularly and to associate often and freely with other believers.

View original post