Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another Side to Disdain

     I know this will come as a shock to those who know me in real time--but sometimes people drive me bonkers. Having read Scripture once or twice, I know this isn't a trait I should brag about on a public blog visible to all the world--but you've never met "Sophia."
     Sophia quotes Scripture all the time--you make a statement, she gives a relevant chapter and verse. You do something not up to her standard--along comes chapter and verse. Someone doesn't see things the way she does--perhaps you like Corvettes when she prefers Mustangs, disdain curdles her voice, it becomes whiny, then supercilious (of course--I, the erstwhile English teacher, would have to define that word for Sophia). No one would dare dispute her assertions because she'd have the chapter and verse to prove how much better Mustangs are--the Bible does talk about horses--never autos.
     How are we to love someone like that?
     This morning I discovered a key. Romans 12:17b says, "Have regard for good things in the sight of all men." My footnote from the Nelson Study Bible says, "A Christian should not concentrate on the evil in others, but instead should focus on what is good. By doing so, we encourage others around us to aspire to the good" (1903).
     If I applied this to Sophia I would discover a woman who has raised wonderful children whom she loves dearly--her love is evident in her words and her actions and her children's sweetness. She's been married only once and still loves and respects her husband. She volunteers in church, is reliable and dedicated to both her job and her ministry. As a faithful, loving woman she demonstrates her Christian character.
     How can I not like her?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Blood and the Water

JesusImage via Wikipedia
Hypovolemic Shock

Blood and water poured from Jesus’ side. How can this be? Water doesn’t flow separately from blood? Biologically, Jesus probably suffered  from hypovolemic shock.

The thirty-nine lashes He received would have exposed bone, muscles, sinews, bowel. His blood pressure would drop. He’d lose blood

 Prior to death, the decreased blood flow causes fluid to gather around the heart sack. When the soldier pierced Jesus’ right side, he probably pierced His lung and heart., releasing the fluid. Thus blood and water flowed.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Give Jesus the Dregs

This image shows a red wine glass.
     Dregs contain the least value of anything. Originally it described the left over sediment in wine. Undoubtedly, you’ve drunk coffee or cider or pulpy orange juice, What happens when you get to the end?
     Wine from Bible times was not as refined as today's vintages. So think of Jesus as He drank the Passover wine. When He got to the bottom, and what did He do? He drank every last drop. He gulped the sediment of pride and gossip. He swallowed murder and abuse. He digested self-righteousness and arrogance.
All our sins settled in the waste of wine. In His act, He gave us two choices. We could allow Him to drink it. Or we could allow it to be flung out at us in judgment.
Crucifixion PradoImage via Wikipedia
     Within twenty-four hours, the wine he drank became his blood. The soldier pierced his side and from it flowed blood and water (John 19:34).
     The disciples had to have recalled Jesus’ prophecy from the Last Supper.“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt 26:28). If we don’t allow Jesus to drink our sins, we must drink them ourselves.
     In the hand of the Lord is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs (Ps 75:8).

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Goodness of Imperfect Fathers

Dad, me, Art, Mom
  My father wasn’t perfect—he drank too much and smoked unfiltered cigarettes and died too soon. However, these aren’t the moments I recall. Much of the goodness in me and my family is the direct result of him.

  He adored my mother. I remember him coming home from work and we kids would crow for his attention. We received our hugs and kisses, but then he got to mom. He’d hold her in the kitchen and they’d hug and smooch—none of us existed in that moment. Their love came first.

  His interests centered on his boat—and the boat meant family time. We spent summers sailing the Long Island Sound, picnicking on sandbars, fishing off the boat and cruising. 

  He’d arrive home from work at the same time daily. The great joy of my life was to “surprise” him by walking the half-mile to the main road to meet him.

  These are  heirlooms I can finger, joys that play out in my life today.

Bob, Dad, Janine, Alan
  He consciously taught me not to smoke by showing me the tar his cigarettes produced. Neil bought a boat and it’s the one motorized entertainment I relish. And today, when Neil’s return from work nears, I grab the dog, and walk down the route he takes. I feel a childhood joy in meeting my love.

  Little details of my life show my father’s impact: my love of reading, Of classical music, the joy of learning.

  He taught me faithfulness to my spouse and integrity.

  My father loved anything to do with the sea—was a commander in the Long Island Coast Guard Auxiliary. His dedication to altruistic causes flows in my veins.

  And how about you, fathers? You see your flaws, and honestly, so do your children. But they see your goodness and both will impact them for the rest of their lives. 
Marianne, Mom, Dad, Art, Bob, J-9, Al

  Strengthen what’s good and perfect and true—it will push out the negative.

  And children—what do you choose to remember about your father? You can allow bitterness and unforgiveness to highlight the pain or allow Jesus to help you forgive so you know this man as God designed him to be.

  This Father’s Day celebrate the dad he always wanted to be.