Monday, July 27, 2009
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
We need to do this, not out of pleasure so much as out of desperation. Our desperation should lead us to heights previously unknown, in the presence of God.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
So I said I would be posting on Tuesdays and Fridays, but for the past two weeks I have only posted on Wednesdays, and it looks like that's about to happen again.
The above is actually a photo of my daisies. I photoshopped it to death... cropped it, played with the colors, then distorted it with washes and effects. I'm sure many would say I ruined it.
The daisies, by the way, are weeds. They grew in my garden, and I left them. Here's hoping they don't utterly overtake everything next year. I also have Shasta daisies; they have not bloomed yet, and when they do, they will be quite a bit bigger, but they won't last as long as these have.
I tend to second-guess myself and wonder whether I am doing the right thing. Should I photoshop my pictures? Should I leave the wild daisies to grow in my garden? Should I keep daisies in my yard at all, since I am allergic to them? Why didn't I wear sunglasses to my son's graduation, since my eyes are itchy and watery from my daisy allergy which is provoked by the daisies I keep in my garden?
I could drive myself absolutely batty worrying over these things. Sometimes I do.
Today in VBS we studied Peter's denial of Christ.
The thing that deeply comforts me is that Jesus warned Peter and, at the same time, reassured him that it would come all right in the end: "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31)
"I have prayed for you..." What awesome words of comfort. And Jesus prays for us, too. "Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." (Romans 8:34b)
Jesus prays for us, but, you know, we pray for each other, too. Although it is a wonderful feeling to know that my Lord and Savior prays for me, it is not quite as astonishing as the fact that He knows and controls the future. Now THAT is what really makes me feel safe and secure. Look what He said to Peter: "When you turn back..." Not if you turn back, but when you turn back. Jesus knew that Peter would turn back to Him after his failure, that he would be restored, that he would grow and become effective for the Kingdom, carrying out a powerful ministry.
The same is true for us. We do not have to beat ourselves up and fret over our mistakes. We need to confess our sins, receive His forgiveness, and move ahead with confidence in His power and grace, believing that He is the God who creates beauty from ashes, that He can use every circumstance in our lives for our good and for His 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)