Monthly Archives: September 2014

Promises, Promises

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Broken Promises

2 Corinthians 1:20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

My son asked me recently if he could have his buddy, Josh, over for an afternoon of guy time (i.e. LEGOS, Wii, snacks, running in our meadow). I said my usual “Let me ask daddy and check the family calendar.”

“Promise?”

“Promise what?”

“Promise that Josh can come over.”

“I’m not promising that. I have to check our schedule.”

“You always say that and then we never have time.”

Sigh. He is right. We have a busy schedule. Four kids and their activities plus my husband’s schedule; then add my schedule to the mix; all that can make for a full calendar. We even keep our kid’s activities limited so we can have most of our dinners together and keep our criss-crossing of the Carson Valley to a minimum. Our triplets attend Jr. High and our oldest attends High School…18 miles apart. We do a lot of driving.

What struck me was his perception that I didn’t keep my promises; promises that I am careful NOT to make. I’m a big chicken. I don’t like making promises that I am fairly certain I can’t keep. I don’t even make New Year’s Resolutions. I know that by January 3rd; it’s all over. I’m going to eat the chocolate.

When I was a girl, I made lots of promises. My best friend, Patty, and I made all kinds of promises about being friends forever. We even promised that if either of us died; then the other would get all of our stuff. (Okay, what kind of morbid child was I?) I know I engaged in lots of “pinky swears”. What was I promising; I can’t recall. Childhood promises are easily forgotten.

As an adult, the few promises I have made include my wedding vows and the promise to raise my children according to God’s Word to the best of my ability. That’s pretty much it.

When we look in God’s Word, we find the promises of God. Lots of them. The beauty of a God-breathed promise: it will not be broken. Ever.

Here are a few of the Lord’s promises. (In no particular order)

  • Reconciliation
  • Forgiveness of sins
  • A helper-Holy Spirit
  • Love
  • Strength/endurance in difficulty
  • Daily provision
  • Hears prayers
  • Daily help with burdens
  • Escape from temptation
  • Wisdom
  • Rest
  • Peace
  • Comfort
  • Never leave you
  • Guidance
  • Eternal life
  • Heaven

God made a lot of promises and He kept them. He fulfilled every single one in the person of Jesus Christ. Christ is the “Yes” to God’s promises.

 God is a promise keeper. He is faithful to His promises when we are not. We are the beneficiaries of His promises through Christ. His grace and faithfulness allows us to say “Amen!”

Now, we have a tendency to reduce the word “amen” to a simple “So be it”; but the meaning is deeper than that. According to Baker’s Dictionary of Biblical Theology, “The idea of something that is faithful, reliable, or believable seems to lie behind the use of amen”.

So when we say “amen” to the promises of God, we are saying “That’s the truth!”

Look at the verse now:

2 Corinthians 1:20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are completely fulfilled in Christ (the “yes”). And so through Him, “That’s the truth” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Take courage, my friend. You may be going through the fight of your life. You may be floating on cloud nine right now. Your circumstances could change tomorrow, in a split second. Rest assured, God is unchanging. He is steadfast. He is faithful. He is a promise keeper. That’s the truth!

Entitled

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Reposting this as I think it may be even more relevant today than it was 4 years ago when I first wrote it.

An Ordinary Girl Living an Extraordinary Life

My husband and I are co-writing a Bible study together on The Beatitudes.  It’s been a fun challenge to write and research each beatitude; but, also, to learn.  As I was writing about “blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”, I was struck by the lack of meekness, not only in myself, but in society, in general.

There is an entire generation coming up who have no sense of meekness.  No humility. No deference to others. No sense of their own limitations. They believe that they “deserve” to get things which they have not earned.  A sense of entitlement is rampant. This is most clear to anyone who has ever watched “American Idol“.  I am amazed at the talentless, tone deaf people who get up to sing and are outraged to be told that they have no singing talent. They are shocked!  They have been…

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Quote-Oswald Chambers

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Hands of a person raised together in prayer with bible

Never discard a conviction. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to have brought it to your mind, it is that thing He is detecting. You were looking for a great thing to give up. God is telling you of some tiny thing; but at the back of it there lies the central citadel of obstinacy: I WILL NOT GIVE UP MY RIGHT TO MYSELF-the thing God intends you to give up if ever you are going to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.–Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Undivided

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Holding Hands

1 Corinthians 1:10

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

When I read that verse, the first thing that comes into my head is “Good luck with that!”

Seriously, no two people are ever always 100% in agreement, 100% of the time.

I heard a quote awhile back. I don’t remember who said it. It went something like this: If you and your spouse never have a disagreement; then one of you is unnecessary.

A young couple couldn’t figure out why they should go to pre-marital counseling because they are so in tune with each other. They never disagree. They get a long so well. They’ve never had an argument. Finally, their wise grandmother said, “That’s because you’re not married yet.”

So what do I do with this vexing verse? How would this work in relationship with my fellow Christian sisters and brothers? How would this work out in my marriage?

In January, Dr. Phil and I will celebrate 23 years of marriage. We have actually known each other for almost 30 years. Let me tell you: we have had some disagreements. We have had some very emotional conversations and intense confrontations. What we haven’t done is scream, degrade, call names or become violent.

If we look into the wording of Paul’s letter; we find that he is not calling for uniformity but unity: going in the same direction for the same purpose. We may travel by different means but our destination is the same.

When Paul uses the word “divisions”; this particular use denotes “tearing apart or a breach”. Picture a gaping hole or a deep chasm.

When we disagree, are we creating a greater distance by the use of inflammatory language, yelling, or name calling? Are we tearing apart trust with our attitude or unwillingness to listen? Are we breaching the hull of our marriage with hurtful words and malicious accusations?

Instead, Paul is encouraging us to be “perfectly united in mind and thought”. The use of the phrase “perfectly united” denotes “healing a wound or making whole”.

Wow. Think about that for a minute. We can disagree without wounding someone. We can disagree and have healing and wholeness. We can have different ways of approaching a problem and not diminish the value of the other person.

Now, lest you should think that I am a marriage expert. Let me set you straight: I AM NOT A MARRIAGE EXPERT. I am still learning. I fail at listening and trying to understand. I get wrapped up in trying to be “right”; so that I end up being wrong. It’s a long process that I will never have down perfectly. But I keep trying. And a gracious Lord and a forgiving husband continue to love me.