Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Total Living

I have been to three men's funerals in the past few weeks. All leaving an indelible mark of Christ in their path.

The first man was only 21 years old. But the wake service went on and on as classmate after classmate gave testimony of his friendship, his influence and his joy of life with God.

The next man was a seasoned Chinese elder in his church. The greatest tribute that was given is how much he loved his family, especially his wife of 60 years and how much he loved God and wanted all to know Him as he did.

The third was a veteran soldier- actually a Brigadier General in the Philippine army. But he also was a governor statesman, teacher, and a man of Christian integrity who refused to take bribes and even advances in his career if it meant compromising his faith.

I just finished reading Beth Moore's book on the life of David. David, like each of these three men was not perfect but a man after God's own heart. Let me quote you something that Beth wrote that my heart resonates with:

Satisfy me not with the lesser of You
Find me no solace in shadows of the True
No ordinary measure of extraordinary means
The depths, the length, the breadth of You
And nothing in between.
Etch the words upon my heart, knowing all the while
No ordinary roadblocks plague extraordinary miles
Your power as my portion, Your glory as my fare
Take me to extremities
But meet me fully there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dancing With God

I just received this and it is a beautiful way to think through guidance from our gracious Guide Master- God:

When I meditated on the word Guidance,
I kept seeing 'dance' at the end of the word. I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn't flow with the music, And everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky. When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead, Both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back Or by pressing Lightly in one direction or another.
It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, And attentiveness from one person And gentle guidance and skill from the other. My eyes drew back to the word Guidance.
When I saw 'G': I thought of God,
followed by 'U' and 'I'.
'God, 'U' and 'I' dance.'
God, you, and I dance.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

30 years and still going

It was 30 years ago yesterday that I stood in my long white dress at the altar and spoke my wedding vows to Richard. Sometimes it seems like a different life time ago and other days it seems like only a very few years ago. I love what someone wrote on my face book. “We believe that birthdays come and go whether you like it or not (and usually we don't like it), but that wedding anniversaries represent achievements - marriage is hard work - and so need to be celebrated.” Amen!

So what has made our marriage work? – other than God’s grace! We are far from perfect but here are a few things that help make our marriage into what it is today.

Respect for each other and embrace our differences- and there are many!
Divorce isn’t even joked about in our home.
We accept each other as we are and not try to change each other- that is God’s job!
We try not to assume what the other is thinking- but share or ask.
We give each other space
We affirm each other’s gifts
Try to keep short accounts when things are not right
Talk about money
Celebrate special occasions

Bottom line as we individually work at keeping close to God, we are closer to each other.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

There but for the grace of God…

A few mornings ago, Richard and I woke up to a shouting and screaming match coming from the street below our fifth floor apartment window. There is a 24/7 bar/restaurant open across the street and often we hear happy noises, but this was anything but happy.

One woman had another woman pinned to the ground and both were screaming at each other. It was all in Tagalog and I couldn’t make most of it out but it was something to do with one of the husbands. I have a feeling a wife came in the early morning hours to find her husband and found him with this other woman. She was a large woman and VERY drunk. It took a couple big men to haul her off, put her in a tricycle (motor bike with side car) and send her home to sleep off her stupor and rage.

As I stood watching this scene from our window, I prayed for all those involved. There were many hurt that night and not just from the physical punches!

I couldn’t pass judgment as God quickly reminded how depraved we all are!!

I went to my Bible to start my morning devotions (even though it was only 5 am). I am reading through the Bible and was starting Romans. 1:24 “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.” THEN 3:12”All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." BUT 3:21 “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

So the only reason why I am blissfully sleeping with my husband of 30 years and not pinned on the street by a jealous woman is GRACE- God’s grace!