Heaven Pt. 126

Mel4

 

“Then I said, “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands,” Neh. 1:5 NLT

I love the fact that we serve a God of covenants. I am studying through the Book of Malachi with our Wednesday night group and this week we had opportunity to discuss the nature of contracts VS. covenants. We learned…

“With a contract, if one agreeing party does something in violation of the contract then it is considered broken. The whole contract becomes null and void. Basically the signers of a contract agree to hold up their ends as long as the other signatories hold up theirs too.

With a covenant, both parties agree to hold up their ends regardless of whether the other party keeps their part of the agreement. A violation of a covenant by one party doesn’t matter as far as the other party’s responsibility to continue to do what they agreed to do.” Purposelydifferent.com

God has made a covenant of UNFAILING LOVE …not a contract a covenant with those who love and obey his commands.  Because God knows our race and its weakness so well He has made himself responsible to hold up all ends of this covenant. He is responsible for His love for me and out of that love for me He even creates love for Himself in me and the ability to obey His commands.  It is only because of his work at all that I can be called one of those who love him and obey his commands. In fact without God’s saving work among the people of the world there would be no group of those who love Him or obey His commands.

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. John 6:44

 

 

9For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

11When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. 12For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

13You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.14He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:9-14

As my friend Angela is known to say, “We serve an amazing God!”

 

Weekly Travel Theme: Distance

Well last week I was at a distance from my computer and could not take part in the weekly travel theme. This week I have once again drawn close to the comforting click of the keyboard and so I can participate in this week’s theme from Ailsa which is: DISTANCE. If you would like to read more posts from a distance go to http://wheresmybackpack.com/2013/08/30/travel-theme-distance/

Here is  my photographic take  on the matter:

We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started. Henry Ward Beecher

We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.
Henry Ward Beecher

 

Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance. Charles Lindbergh

Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance.
Charles Lindbergh

 

I took these photos while visiting the Fruitlands Museum in Ayer MA with our artist’s group.

We talk about heaven being so far away. It is within speaking distance to those who belong there. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Dwight L. Moody

We talk about heaven being so far away. It is within speaking distance to those who belong there. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
Dwight L. Moody

This photograph was taken in the Oude Kerk in Delft, The Netherlands.

 

 

 

Heaven Pt. 125

I started writing the “Heaven” posts on my previous blog in December of 2011. My goal was to look at every verse in the Bible that used the word Heaven and to bring forth a commentary on the place where God’s throne resides. In the last two years we have made much of Heaven together, dear readers. I have to admit it is not just Heaven I understand a bit better through these meditations but the God of Heaven as well. I have at least two devotional thoughts to put forth concerning today’s Heaven verse. I have prayed that God would bless those that read.

Mel4

“Then I said, “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands,” Neh. 1:5 NLT

Sandy Patti sang a song back in the day entitled, “King Of glory”.  In it she asked the question “Who is this King Of Glory?”

Nehemiah 1:5 begins to answer the query for us. According to him the “Lord God of Heaven” is “the great and awesome God…”

That is to say ,”Yĕhovah ‘elohiym shamayim” is “gadowl ‘el” and ” yare’ ‘el”

Gadowl is translated in our text here as “great”. God is GREAT!

Yare’ is translated in our text here as “awesome”. God is AWESOME!

Yeah… those words had little effect on me either. Probably because in our society we make everything ” great”  and “awesome.”

I spill coffee on my pants and say “That’s just great!”

My daughter needs a new muffler for her car and my response is, “That’s awesome.”

 our culture has liberated these terms and turned them into useless slang words akin to “gnarly” and “neato”. So great and awesome can’t really help us to understand who this God of Heaven is anymore. We need other words to help us understand who God is and what He is like.

How about this?

You Oh God of Heaven are Gadowl- That is, Your presence is so large it encompasses every corner of the universe. You are here on Earth and You dwell upon the planets of galaxies beyond the sight of our most powerful telescopes. You presence is so potent and intense I would turn to a pile of ash if I were currently exposed to its fullness. Your voice is louder than all the rivers of Earth combined. You are older than time and more distinguished than all the kings and heroes of Earth put together.

You Oh God of Heaven are Yare’- That is, Your presence makes me shake in my boots. When you are near I am sobered to my core and all my foolish talking dries up. You astonish me with Your creativity, compassion and originality. I can never second guess You and to be honest that makes me a little or a lot uncomfortable. You are the God who takes me out of my comfort zone. I love You and am terrified by where this love might lead me.

Now that is just great and awesome!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Blue And Yellow

cees-fun-foto

This week’s fun foto challenge from Cee is blue and yellow: http://www.ceephotography.com/2013/08/27/cees-fun-foto-challenge-blue-and-yellow/

Here are my attempts

Elverson PA

Elverson PA St. Patrick’s church

The Pancake Boat, Wormerveer

The Pancake Boat, Wormerveer

VBS floor

VBS floor

 

Here is the work of a few other artists for you to peruse:

1. http://humantriumphant.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/cees-photography-challenge-blues-yellows/#comment-3928

2. http://shyraven23.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/cees-fun-foto-challenge-blue-and-yellow/

3.http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/cees-fun-foto-challenge-blue-and-yellow/

Pastor Wrinkles: House On Fire 7

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

 

So let’s talk about context today. Context is what goes on around stories in the Bible   sets of verses. None of the biblical writers just suddenly popped onto the stage of life and spoke out your favorite verses. Each biblical character had just come from somewhere and was heading somewhere else when they said or did the things that touch your heart. This is context (or at least a part of it) Understanding the context helps us to gain a better understanding of what may have been going on in the characters head when they said and did the things that changed the world.

Today’s verses are a case in point: Acts 3:1-10

3 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

What prompted this miracle?

Where do you imagine Peter was coming from?

Where was Peter going?

Do any of these things change the story for you?

Share Your World With Cee Cee 2013 Week 29

share-your-world2Hello my dear blogging friends! I have missed you all so much!

I am finally back from my worship leading journey at Special Touch Camp in Hebron Connecticut. It was such a blessed trip and I hope to share in the days ahead some of the incredible experiences God gave me with the wonderful people there.

I arrived back in Winchendon on Friday afternoon, picked up the dogs and headed out to the church. I spent Friday night on my inflatable mattress in my office so I could be up early for C.cada the next morning. Saturday night the dogs and I finally slept home in our own beds in preparation for Sunday’s double services. Monday of course I spent in a semi-coma on the couch watching on-demand. This is my second day back in the office. I had hoped to post yesterday but my boat of good intentions was swamped in a sea of e-mail. 🙂

IN light of all this I thought writing a share your world blog would be a good way to get back into the swing of things.

Here are Cee’s questions:

While in school who was your favorite teacher – what grade and why?

I had so many good teachers., but I think my favorite  was probably Mrs. Boudreau our eighth grade algebra teacher. I had been warned about “Big Bad Boud” by all my cousins and older classmates. I even had terrible nightmares about her that led to sleepwalking the summer before entering her class. I was just sure I was entering the lair of the dragon lady. It turned out she liked me and I discovered I was good at algebra.

Would you accept $5,000 to shave your head or die it bright lime green and continue your normal activities while not explaining the reason for your haircut or color?

Sure I would. $5,000.00 is a trip to Europe. Lime green is not such a bad color and bald as they say is beautiful. I am getting slightly beautiful on top anyway so not much would change.

You are trapped in an elevator, who would you want to be trapped with?

A Chinese take out delivery guy. I am really in the mood for Chinese food right now.

When you are with your friends, do your interactions include much touching—for example, hugging, kissing, rough housing, rubbing backs?   Would you like to have more of this? (Note:  the answers may vary depending on where you live on this wonderful planet.)

A side hug is about as touchy feely as I get these days. I think I am good with this (it’s the New England in me I am quite sure).

For more Share your world posts go to: http://www.ceephotography.com/2013/08/26/share-your-world-2013-week-29-2/

Believing God for Greater Things: An Interview with George O. Wood

This is a powerful article from our general superintendent of the AG in America.

GeorgePWood.com

201304_078_Interview_art The theme of the fall 2013 issue of Enrichment is “Believe,” which was also the theme of the 55th General Council in Orlando, Florida. Enrichment interviewed Dr. George O. Wood about this theme. In the final question, he offered words of encouragement to pastors struggling to believe in their current season of ministry: 

My parents were pioneer ministers in the Fellowship. Their names were never in the “lights.” They were not well known. They were never asked to speak at a district council or General Council — in fact, they could not even afford to go to most of them. They labored in hard places with little visible result. But today the works they established are all flourishing — and some with amazing results. My mother used to say to me, “On that day, God will not ask us if we have been successful, He will ask us…

View original post 39 more words