Tag Archives: Romans

ADVENT 2017 – HOPE #3

It has been one of those nights when all I’ve done is find one podcast after another (and should I  mention that I really don’t like to listen to them at all .  I am a visual learner who does much better watching body cues and facial expression while I listen). Podcasts that popped up in various ways and yet – all related – tied together by theme and content. And now, they are all tumbling around in my head as I am watching seasonal, up-lifting movies, praying off and on, working on a Christmas stocking, and enjoying the colorful lights that decorate my house.

I am blessed. Blessed beyond time. Blessed with unending HOPE.

And yet – I yearn for more.  Yearn to understand more.  Yearn to peek over the balcony in my own world. I can see my cover picture on FB. It is entitled, “Heaven’s balcony” by Ron DiCianni. When I first saw it, it struck me that this has always been the way I pictured angels and my loved ones as they look down from heaven at the rest of us – – – a time of peeking over the rails of clouds into the murky world below.

Can you imagine what Heaven’s balcony looked like when Zechariah was in the temple? At the annunciation to a young girl? At the moment when John leapt in Elizabeth’s belly? On the night of Yeshua’s birth?

Can you imagine them seeing the HOPE that shown in the eyes of a weary couple – in a place – a place they had never envisioned as the perfect spot to birth a babe – let alone – their baby?

“And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”~Lk 2:6-7

HOPE.

Whether it is a balcony full of angels blowing golden trumpets – – – a choir of heavenly voices – – – a multitude of candles forming a humongous star – – – on that blessed night, there was HOPE. A gathering of notes. An accumulation of lights. A stairway of prayers from heaven to earth. “…a kingdom come…”

HOPE.

“And the word of our God stands for eternities. And this is that word by which you have been evangelized.”~1 Pt 1:25

This is not at all what I was going to write about tonight. As it often is the case, the pictures change in my head, and the words change with them. We celebrate the memory of HOPE during this season, but the great news is – HOPE remains in this murky world. Scary as it seems at times. Frightful as the world turns upside down. Humbling as the knees fold.

But for those “poor in spirit, mournful, meek, hungering/thirsting, merciful, pure of heart, peacemakers, persecuted” – – – HOPE remains in this world and I yearn – yearn for even more HOPE.

“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”~Rm 8:24-25 [google images/Ron DiCianni art]heaven's balcony

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GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #26

Gratitude is precious. I know because my heart is bubbling over with Gratitude Attitude.
 
Our 3 year old choc lab was sick on Thanksgiving. Not bad sick, just off her feed. By Saturday, I was cuddled on the floor beside her non-moving body and destroying the full box of tissue beside me. Needless to say, trying to sleep on a cold wooden floor – not to mention trying to get up and down from said flooring – or being awakened by a barfing dog tends to disrupt the sleep patterns of any senior citizen. 
 
By last night – not only was my sleep disrupted – I was off my feed and praying – – or maybe I should say crying and groaning – – a lot.
 
“In this way also The Spirit helps our weakness. We do not know what we should pray for, whenever it is necessary, but that Spirit prays in our place with groaning which is unspoken.”~Rm. 8:26
 
The power of prayer is far beyond my understanding. When I was young, I saw my parents in deep prayer a few times. Twice with my dad. Three times with my mom. Prayer changes people who pray. It changes those around them. It changed me.
 
While being mentioned over 260+ times in the New Testament, the name of the Holy Spirit is only mentioned 3 times in the Old Testament; instead it is commonly referred to as the Spirit of God over 88 times. However, it is interesting to note that King David, after being chastised by the Prophet Nathan and becoming “poor in spirit”, says, “Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me.” Ps 51:11
 
When we are shattered into shards of our former self, when we look around us and see the ugliness we have created, when our heart aches so deeply that the world spins into darkness, when no words seem adequate – let alone coherent or effective, that is when the Holy Spirit speaks for us – – to us – – replacing the ravages of the storm with the Peace of the Father.
 
I’m not sure how this whole pet thing works in the scheme of the spiritual realm. Who has eternal souls and who doesn’t. What I do know is that we are all created to glorify Our Father. From the tiniest particle of matter to the complex forms of humans, we are handcrafted in love and heard – – – even if the answer isn’t what we wanted to hear when we started the conversation.
 
Last night, after I had moved Koay’s body close to the couch so I could still pet her and lay on the couch, I had peace (and not just because I was more comfortable on the couch). Somewhere in the midst of sniffling and ranting and groaning, His Peace encircled me and my eyes were able to drift shut.
 
Our Father doesn’t send bad things to us. He is all goodness and love. It is our world that is “crap full” (as mom used to say) of bad apple choices and the resulting mutations of creation. What He does promise is to weave bad things, good things, even the mediocre, minor-things-we-don’t-even-notice together for the good of those who love Him.
 
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”~Rm 8:28
 
We were blessed today and our Gratitude Attitude grew 10 times larger. At 3 AM, Koay lifted her head for the first time in a very long afternoon-evening of darkness. She drank some water that I held for her, then her head fell back on the blanket with a plop. When next she woke me at 6 AM, it was because she had squirmed her body even closer to my hand and curled her head my palm. I got up and offered her some food that I had been trying to feed her for 24 hours. 
 
She ate.
She has been eating, drinking all day.
Better yet – no barfing.
But best of all? She wagged her tail. She had not wagged it for 3 days.
 
We are still keeping her close. Feeding her small portions throughout the day. Making sure she has plenty of water. And – we find that in all things, we see a blessing. The illness had kept her off her torn ACL leg, and now she is putting a little more weight on it.
 
So before I go to bed and try to catch up on all the sleep I have missed over the past two nights, I will take her outside and sing my own song of praise and Gratitude that we get to walk together one more day, find more new life that continues to blossom in the NC sunshine, and hopefully – walk a little further every day after that.
 
God is good and worthy to be praised. [personal photos]

 

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #14

Tuesdays are usually an easy day for a Gratitude Attitude.

I get to see the Grands. How easy is that for Gratitude? I get to listen to the Grands babble all the way home about the wonders of the day. I get to teach the Grands piano. Every good boy does find… FACE! I get to be torn a half-a-dozen different ways as the Grands want me to see new favorite things or the new favorite power ranger on a poster or favorite American Girl doll (and accessories) in the Christmas catalog or the new chicken coop or the new addition to the clubhouse (that they made all by themselves).

Phew!

After piano lessons (and an impromptu composition by the Grandson that made this Grandma’s heart glad), while the Grandson was busy getting ready to go to the first practice of a new basketball team with Coach Dada and Sis, Grand daughter snuck me away to show off the new excitement outside. Chicken coop – check. Addition of a second floor to their stylin’ clubhouse – check. Conversation on the narrow, leaf-strewn, stump-laden path – – – priceless.

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.”~Is 11:6

“Grandma, you sure do walk slow.”

“Yep. Old creaky, knees slow me down a bit.”

“Wow, I’m waiting and you still are behind me.”

“Don’t get smart, kid. I can only go as fast as the shovel.”

The shovel was my makeshift walking stick. It actually worked pretty well. But the best thing was Grand daughter turning around – waiting for me. At least three times on our short walk, she turned back to look at me with her smile in her eyes, her legs sticking through the giant holes in the knees of her pants – leaving her pant legs flapping in the wind at the back of her legs as she ran ahead of me in her polka-dotted rain boots.

It is the way of the best memories in this life. A simple day. A simple walk. A simple expression of love. A simple – priceless – treasure chest memory.

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” ~Is 45:3

It is good on days like these to do a little “pondering”. To think about those riches we store away in our treasure chest. It is part of the Gratitude Attitude. Ponder. Wonder. Walk forward on that crazy path with a shovel as your staff and laughing in joy with the “Child” who is truly leading you.

Gratitude is like that. It is all in the Attitude.
Can you see Him?
The lamb and the lion by His side?
It is knowing He is there. Knowing that He is waiting for your slower steps to catch up. Joy in His eyes. Prayer shawl around His shoulders. Ready to take the shovel when it isn’t needed any more and that smile…..that smile in His eyes just for you.

 

It is all in the One leading the way down that path. The riches we gather on our way that have been stored in secret places just waiting for us to arrive –  gift from Him to all who choose to follow. Hearing Him call our name. Now that truly is the Gratitude Attitude that governs my life. Blessings!Be! 

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”~Rm 8:14 

[google/Greg Olsen art]

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #13

Only a couple of things rummaging around in this crazy brain, and both of them throwing me into into a stumbling, humbling Gratitude Attitude. Gratitude because lessons make me think. Gratitude because all things work to the glory of the LORD when we get out of the way and let Him carry the heavy lifting. Attitude – because I have to choose it.

The first lesson – don’t talk about ‘obs-tackles’ put in your path by the evil one, (and yes, I do believe in principalities) because ‘obs-tackles’ are bound to appear – almost immediately. By the time I went to bed last night, my “good” knee – formally the “bad” knee back in high school – was aching – – – A LOT. Aching enough to wake me up every time I moved – all night long. Giving up on sleep, I found that sitting, getting up – walking – trying to get anything done – the knee continued to hurt. It seriously put an ‘obs-tackle’ in my way today.

That said, it was a v-e-r-y long day. Long days often lead to self-pity, dragging butt, and eventually, not getting anything accomplished. However, if I get out of my own way and let God get me through it, long days also leads to introspection.

Hence – the second lesson of the day. Devotions destroy strongholds. IF one is smart enough to load them into the finite brain that does all that mechanical stuff in our lives. Over the decades I have finally learned to stop wallowing in myself, shut my mouth and turn off my brain long enough, so that I can feel the Spirit’s nudge. Whew – choice made, and the day didn’t look or feel so long or painful any longer.

“For those who are led by The Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.”~Rm 8:14

After accepting that Christ is LORD of my life, it has been the Spirit’s nudges that has kept me sane and reminded me that I’m not in this battle alone. Even when I get off track. Even when I fall on my knees and feel like I can’t get up ever again. Even when I think I am the smartest person ever. Even when the knee hurts because of my own stupidity…

Even when…

And there, my friends, is my true Gratitude Attitude today. Jehovah-Shammah [The LORD who is there] loves me. Yeshua Christus loves me. Whether I am a mess and ugly as the sin that springs up daily, They – love – me. They love me enough to send a Helper – The Holy Spirit – to be with me always.

Even when…

Even when…

“If you love me, keep my commandments. I will ask the Father to give you another Helper, to be with you always. He is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. But you recognize him, because he lives with you and will be in you.”~Jn 15-17

[google images/Akiane Jesus]

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #4

After a day of starting the transition into Christmas season, giving “thanks” comes much easier than when one was a youngster. One is thankful when one can climb the step-stool ladder and not fall. Thankful that when the knee pops, it still manages to stand strong enough to not let one fall off said ladder. Thankful that the inversion board can remind the spinal cord what shape it should be retaining these days. Thankful for a walk-in tub to spend a relaxing hour – – – well almost an hour. Thankful for note from a former student that makes one cry happy tears. Thankful that God is in His heaven and all is well with one’s world.

“And do not imitate this world, but be transformed by the renovation of your minds, and you shall distinguish what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”~Rm 12:2

Except for devotions, I’ve taken a couple weeks off from “renovating” my mind with “educational, inspirational, motivational” challenging materials. Instead, I’ve been just reading for fun. Reading magazines. Reading fluff books. Reading newspapers. Working a couple puzzles here and there. Reading the back of the Oreo cookie package. (Yes, to all my students and teacher friends who are wondering – I still eat the occasional Oreo…..or two…or three…sigh)

I’ve never figured out why I go in spurts like this. It is as if there is some inner “messenger”, that pings me that it is time to: “READ SERIOUS” “READ FLUFF” “READ-THE-STUPID-BOOKS-THAT-CRITICS-RAVE-OVER” “READ NOTHING” (Well – I am thankful that last one hasn’t happened for a long time, but it has happened periodically in my life.)

But as I was typing that last sentence, I realized that “thankfulness” is ultimate renovation of the mind. Every morning when I wake up, I take a few minutes to stretch (trying not to let the critters know that I am awake because they are very distracting when they are bouncing on me) and express my awe at seeing this world anew all over again. That simple act changes the lens of the eye, making everything brighter – clearer – almost unblemished. Not an easy thing in this world these days.

Thus, while I am thankful for many things tonight, I am especially thankful for the “renovation” of my mind. It is part of the reason, I call this series the “Gratitude Attitude”. Gratitude is an attitude – – – IF we let it be. Thankful for the long line ahead of us for it gives us time to pray for those in front of us. Thankful for the lack of money because it helps us notice the pennies in our pocket. Thankful for the challenges that seem way too hard to accomplish because it makes us question, focus and hopefully – pray.

“You are from God, children, and you have conquered them [challenges/worldly spirits], because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”~1 Jn 4:4 Aramaic in Plain English 

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ANI LO

Weather perfect. Patio swing while reading a book even more perfect. Watching the humming birds and the butterflies dart around the garden beyond perfect. Days to whisper, “Ani Lo. Ani Lo.” These are the kind of days that make one forget that the gates of the original perfect garden are locked and guarded by the flaming sword of an archangel.
 
The curse began on that day. Hiding in the bushes. Furtive glances. Rebellious excuses. Until that one special day when the curse was broken. But once again – the Bride rejected the gift. Locked, hidden gates until the Bride gathers her wits (which – even now – seem to be severely hampered by the Bride’s own selfish desires), makes the journey through the desert to the Promised Land with shouts that reverberate against the land, “Ani Lo. Ani Lo.”
 
“The entire people raised their voices and cried out,
and the people wept on that night.”~Num 14:1
 
By Jewish calendar, tonight’s sundown is the beginning of the 9th of Av. A cursed day. A day when the Jewish people rejected their Father’s gift and mourned their fate instead of rejoicing at the wedding feast of their people to a new land.
 
Actions have consequences.
 
Jewish tradition teaches that a day which should have been spent rejoicing and dancing became a day for mourning and rending of clothes for real. A day that continually brings sadness to the Jewish people. A day to fast and remember that actions have consequences.
 
There are many incidents recorded in Jewish His-story on this day.The first temple (423 BCE) – the second temple (69 CE) – both destroyed on the 9th of Av. Continuing through the centuries like a slithering serpent always striking the Jewish people on the same day. A few of many:
133 CE – final Roman conquest.
1290 CE – Jews expelled from England.
1492 CE – final date the Jewish people were allowed to live in Spain.
1914 the War to end all wars that continued into WWII and the Holocaust began on this date.
 
“…but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”~Rm 5:3-5
 
Rabbi Yeshua was raised with Jewish traditions and His-story. He understood that actions have consequences. His actions broke the curse but not the people. He couldn’t demand they accept His wedding gift. After all, free will was a gift from the beginning. All He could do was offer the gift and wait to hear her response…
 
“Ani Lo. Ani Lo.” [google images]

42 SEGMENTS

Most mornings find me walking with the dogs and Hubby busy doing something important – like earning money for us to spend on the fixer-upper or bartering for mushrooms from a local grower in our neighborhood. Each of us on our own separate journey and yet – a joint journey as well.

“I remember how eager you were to please Me
as a young bride long ago,
how you loved Me and followed Me
even through the barren wilderness.
In those days Israel was holy to the LORD,
the first of His children.”~Jer 2:2-3

Jewish traditions have the people studying the Torah and holy books every week of the year. They do it in order; each week dedicated to teaching and reminding them of the depths of the journeys – massei – that they have taken together as a people both in the past to the present day. The studies are taught the same week year after year.

The interesting thing for me is that rabbinical wisdom says these 40 years are the blueprint of each individual’s spiritual journey as well. Our own personal journey in the desert – the dry place far from the Source of Life. The blistering of feet on hot sand of choices. The parched throat from lack of not drinking from the streams of living water. A place where the physical challenges the spiritual – pushing the individual/tribe forward to fall – to find its knees of – teshuva/repentance – to stand once more in the shadow of the cross.

Jewish wisdom says that there are 42 segments of the tribal desert journey – good and bad – as there are 42 segments in our personal desert journey – good and bad – but all leading to a reunification between the Father and His prodigal children.

“But he who looks into the perfect Torah of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” ~Jm1:25

I really need to study this desert journey of the Jewish people instead of just giving it that cursory nod that I have in the past. Looking at the different segments of their journey and comparing it to my own faltering – stopping dead in the desert – throwing down the tablets of law – finding the stream of living water – energized enough to start the journey once more.

Most of the time when I am walking the dogs, I keep my eyes focused on the next hill, cars that are coming a little too fast down the our road, or how close I am to that promise land in the middle where I can sit on the swing on our neighbors’ porch and see the neighborhood world from a different vantage point.

Jewish wisdom also says that as the journey progresses, the less we see overt miracles. Hence the name – a journey by faith not by sight. As long as I don’t lose faith in that Land of Milk and Home/the Promised Land or the One who is preparing my room, I know that no matter how challenging or scary the journey is – how much my knees or feet hurt – how thick the dust storm is that clouds my sight, I will make it. The Living Waters supply the Word that keeps me from thirsting for I know ‘…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Rm 8:28

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me”~Jn 14:1

[google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #69

Fall is beyond wonderful. Cool days. Cooler evenings. The earth warmed with colors that wrap around each creature busily tending to things before the winter cold settles in for a season.
 
I love it, and I love watching the changes in our little house in the woods. Leaves haven’t really started falling yet in NC, but they are starting to add a little color. Pumpkins are off the vine. Garden is mostly cleaned up. However, there is still a little grass that I need to disrupt that got a foothold during the heat of the summer.
 
A new phase has started on the re-model so hubby moved most of the dirt and mulch a couple days ago, and today – I got busy. I smoothed out an area in the front. Hauled fallen limbs into a pile and started to find the shape of the earth under the leaves and garbage others had left behind. While I work I always have questions running around my mind. ‘How has the land changed?’ ‘Did slaves work this land before me?’ ‘Did Native Americans ever wonder across this piece of ground and sit awhile?’ ‘Did Confederate or Union soldiers battle here?’
 
I’m still learning about this small piece of earth. We know that we probably won’t stay here as long as we did at Covenant Woods in OH, and that’s okay. We hope we leave Eli Covenant a little better for the next family who chooses to settle here.
 
In the meantime, there is plenty to do before winter. Winter shrubs to plant. More dirt to move. A small retaining wall and fire pit to add. A Grands’ overnight or two. Laughter following mistakes. Goals to meet before the holydays really settle us in for the winter.
 
In the meantime, we try to remember to keep our eyes on the One who created the seasons and blessed us with this path to walk. Some days are easier than others. And – once again I wonder – how could this little 1942 booklet have known what I needed to read today in 2016.
 
1942 Daily Rations: “To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are.”~Romans 6:15-19
 
“What contrast we have here- – – law and grace, servants and free, iniquity and holiness. Men have long debated the question, whether there is such a thing as real freedom. A man sits in an automobile or airplane. Before him are gadgets of various kinds. How much freedom has he? If he obeys the laws of the machine in their use he moves freely where he wills. If he attempts to work these gadgets contrary to their laws he ends in a crash. I had an elder once, a very meek man, whose job during the last war was to push a huge truck containing high explosives from one room to another. The pay was high but the danger was terrific. If he had obeyed the law of carelessness the thing would have blown him and the whole plant to atoms. Because he obeyed the laws of right care he and many others lived to see the war end in victory. The law of righteousness is the Creator’s plan. Obedience brings life disobedience brings catastrophe.
 
“Prayer: Heavenly Father, we love thy law. Help us to obey it, for in our own strength we are bound to fail. Work thou in us to will and to do of thy good pleasure, through Christ our Lord, and he alone can save. Amen.
[google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #37 & #38

Sometimes – life just gets in the way…and that is okay. God opens our eyes in different ways and on different levels (which is always great for a Gemini who tends to wander off and get lost when she starts daydreaming).

Today and tomorrow are catch-up days since I took two wonderful days to spend with my childhood singing sister. So – 2 Rations – back to back because their wisdom is too precious too skip.

1942 Daily Ration #37: “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind [An Aramaic version translates “means” in this as well]. This is the great and first commandment. And a second liken unto it is this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’~Matt 22:37-39

“It has been written: ‘If religion ends with the individual, it ends.’ Verily. But if it does not begin with the individual, it never begins, and has no being. Religion is an individual matter in its roots but a social matter in its fruits.

“Jesus said that all the Law and the Prophets are fulfilled in the ‘law of love.’ High ad creative religion is first of all a consuming, loving loyalty to God and trust in God i the mid and soul of a person. But in the same breath Jesus directed that love outward to humanity, other persons, neighbors. Religion cannot be closed up in private experience. It must begin there, but it must grow outward, sending its branches into an understanding and loving relationship with others. This is the leave of love that will revolutionize human life.

“Read: Luke 10:25-37

“Prayer: Quicken my spirit, O Lord my God, with they holy love. Help me today to be guided by a creative and aggressive purpose to love my neighbor as myself by understanding him forgiving him and asking his forgiveness of e. So may i be faithful to thee. Through Christ, Amen.”

1942 Daily Ration #38:

“Read: Romans 14:10-19

“‘The kingdom of God (or of heaven) is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.’~Rom 14:17

“We wanted to know about the Kingdom, so we bought a book that had gone into eight printings! That had to be good. But the best part was when the scholarly author put out his smoking lamp, threw up the shades to heaven’s light, and made a confession.

“As a child he walked with his nurse a road lied with houses of poor people. From one house some children emerged, bearing little branches of sycamore, from which they had stripped all but the bronze leaves at the top, These they carried as an army with banners.

” ‘Then one of the children, with a gesture of good will, offered a branch to me but I, little snob, turned away, and trudged proudly after my nurse. As I came to a turn in the road I looked back and saw those children standing there, holding the branches in their hands, halted and frustrated by my refusal. They seemed to me very pathetic at that moment. I have done many things since far graver, in the world’s eyes, but nothing that has caused me such regret. I realize now that the Kingdom of Heaven had been offered me and I had rejected it.’

“From all snobbishness good LORD deliver me. ”

[google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #36

In a news article this week, 6,500 people were asked what they would do if they were President. Most of the answers fit right in with the main topics of the presidential race: economics, health care, defense, gun laws, immigration. Of course, for the print article, they included some famous personality responses as well. Some were funny – some serious, but one caught my eye.

Temple Grandin was one of the people included for a quote. She is a professor of animal sciences in Colorado who happens to be autistic. Awhile ago, I was able to hear her speak, have read articles authored by her (and about her), and have watched her TED talks, so when I read her answer, my mind began to wonder.

She said, “I would become Undercover President, just like the show Undercover Boss. To obtain unbiased information, I would call up randomly chosen people and discuss the issues and policies I working on.”

Imagine the answers she would have gotten 15 years ago on September 12th. Imagine the answers she would get today. Imagine how politics might change if this ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking actually happened – not with pollsters, or lobbying groups but by the actual President or other leaders of our country.

Perhaps – like today’s Ration suggests – we would stop ‘picking things to pieces’ and concentrate on the importance of just loving each other, serving our community with the best within us and trusting Our Father who understands what we do not..

1942 Daily Ration: “Why dost thou judge thy brethren?”~Rom 14:10

Read: Romans 14:10-12

“Someone has cleverly said ‘Men and monkeys have a mania for picking things to pieces.’ There is a lot of truth in that statement, especially in regard to the human element in it. Ever so many people spend their time picking things to pieces, and one of their favorite subjects is their fellow men.

“Why dost thou judge thy brother?’ Why dost thou spend thy time picking thy brother to pieces?

“Our Christianity grants us many privileges, such as : living in fellowship with our heavenly Father; walking in the footsteps of the noblest Man he world has ever known; resting our eternal hope in the Son of God. But, one privilege has been denied everyone of us; that of sitting in judgement upon our fellow men. That right has been reserved exclusively by the heavenly Father.

“Why has God denied us the right to judge? Simply because we can only see results and not reasons. We can see the sins of our fellow men, but we can not see the temptations that brought them to the place of sin.

“Prayer:  Merciful God, forgive us for usurping that which is the exclusive right by siting in judgment upon our fellow men. We have only ‘known in part’ and yet we have judged as if we were omniscient Grant me the ability to understand and help than to judge and hurt. Amen.”

[google images]