Posts Categorized: Thinking Out Loud

Forever’s Forever

DSN9118-2-MI looked up from my computer to gather my thoughts and was distracted by a picture that’s been hanging there for years. But it caught my attention as I noticed the date; August 30, 1913. It’s a panoramic picture of a church conference in Morse Mill, MO. There are well over 200 people in the picture. There are a couple babies on laps and there are elderly people sitting. Every age group is represented.

I wondered how far people had traveled and under what conditions. I wondered how long the meetings lasted and what was the outcome. All questions that could no longer be answered. Then I realized – every person in that picture was most likely dead. It was taken over 101 years ago.

I wondered who might know who is on this picture. Were some my relatives? My grandparents could have been there, but my parents weren’t born yet. Who were these people?

My heart was suddenly warmed. All these people had made sacrifice to be at this meeting. It was a matter of faith. I can’t speak for certain, but by this picture I’m choosing to assume that these people had hope beyond their lives.

I’m reminded of Hebrews 11:39-40. After listing faithful people the chapter concludes that all these died in faith not having received what they were promised because God has something better in store, we’ll all be made perfect together.

Perhaps I’ll get a chance to talk with them someday; maybe even share the picture and hear their stories. It’s a good thing forever’s forever.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Holinessing the Profane

DSN9118-2-MI love the story in the book of Exodus where the people of Israel are called to take up an offering so the tabernacle can be made and furnished. The people are asked to give and they give so much that they actually have to be told they have given too much and need to stop.

I never really thought about where they got the stuff to give. They had been slaves in Egypt; a very hard life. But in the 12th chapter it explains that the Egyptians had been very generous to them at their leaving. All the precious metals and materials for the construction of the tabernacle was brought out of Egypt.

I would bet upon leaving that all the wonderful things they took with them were seen as a special blessing. But I would also guess that as the trip lingered those same things became very heavy and a real chore to travel with. After a while it was time for an offering. By this time they have experienced miracles and shame; and miracles. So they give, and give more than enough.

The things from their old life were used to construct the center of worship of their new life.

I’ve been a Christian for a long time. But I remember becoming Christian and that not everything from previous disappeared. The burdens I laid down, the forgiveness I received didn’t just clear everything. I brought tendencies and memories along with me.

The talents and abilities I had previously, I still had. The failures and ethical and moral lapses seemed fresh, howbeit different. God may have forgiven, but He hadn’t removed. The condemnation was gone, but the consequences lingered. Then He used those very things to mold me and take me from the profane to the holy.

The treasures of the exodus from slavery were consecrated and made Holy, and the center of the worship was formed.

The experiences of the past made holy brings me to worship and presses me on to the future.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Credit to the Source

DSN9118-2-MI gave a gift to a friend. I knew it was something they wanted, but couldn’t afford. It wasn’t big or very expensive and I was glad to be able to make the contribution. I did it anonymously so there wouldn’t be any refusing, or need for payback. It made me feel good.

A short time after the gift was given the person approached me and told me how thrilled they were with what they had received. They went on to tell me how they knew who had been so gracious to them. They described all the clues and their understanding of the situations and came to the conclusion of whom had given them the gift. Their conclusion was wrong. They gave someone else the credit for what I had done.

There have been times when I have looked at someone extremely gifted, with a tremendous amount of ability and talent; but they gave no glory or credit to God. In fact, at times they even deny the existence of the one who made them with such extreme abilities. It causes me to have questions.

My friend, to whom I had given a gift, didn’t recognize me as the giver of the gift. But that didn’t change the fact that I was the one. Even though another may have received credit, I was still the giver of the gift.

The fact that someone may deny their talent and abilities as coming from God, or even just ignore the fact, does not change that it is God who gives generously. Although a great musician, a gifted mechanic, a wonderful organizer, a beautiful dancer, a supreme entertainer, etc… may not give glory to God for their talent it in no way makes God less responsible.

When Bezalel and Oholiab were chosen as master craftsmen for the building of the tabernacle in Exodus 35, I wonder how many other talented people might have been available for the job. But there must have been a reason these two were filled with the Holy Spirit. Maybe they recognized the source of their abilities.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Amram’s Legacy

DSN9118-2-MOften times the most little noted person is one that has a major influence. A person’s influence is in no way related to the accolades or recognition they may get in the future. And the most influential people; the ones that are making a constant difference in people’s life and in the world don’t do it for recognition. Their contribution are a matter of their heart; their character; their values.

We’re probably familiar with the story of Moses. As a child he was hidden in the river until the daughter of Pharaoh, Bithia, came upon him. Moses’ older sister watched and then told Bithia she knew of a Hebrew nurse for the child; and Jochabed, Moses’ mother was called to be a nurse and help raise the child.

We often speculate as to Jochabed’s influence, and it is undeniable. But after Moses reaches his fame and has led the Hebrews out of slavery, across the Red Sea; Pharaoh’s armies are destroyed, he briefly recognizes another major influence.

In Exodus 15 Moses becomes the first recorded songwriter and recognizes the Lord’s triumph. But in the fourth line of the song he makes quite a statement, “this is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God and I will exalt Him.”

Little is known of Amram, but Moses recognizes his father’s faith in this little line of song written of God’s triumph over the cruelty of the Egyptians. Jochabed, we know, was directly involved in the childhood of Moses, but apparently so was his father and it was his father’s faith that was an ingredient in Moses’.

Looking back I clearly recognize the roll of my father’s faith in my life. I can only pray that, by the grace of God, my faith has a positive impact for my children.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

In The Qu

DSN9118-2-MI had a query… I read the word ‘quark’ and wasn’t sure what it meant. I looked it up and basically found it is a scientific term for the smallest form of matter. It’s what atoms are made of. One definition said that quarks are the building blocks of life.

I began to think about the building blocks of life. We each see life from our own perspective. We have no choice. We can work to change our perspective and we all have enlightening moments when our paradigms change. But even when we change, even when we have a new perspective, it is our perspective.

We see things according to the sum or our experiences and personalities and other ingredients in our life. The sum total that makes me, me –my foibles, failures, my talents, my gifts, my circumstances, my successes, my very best, my very worst… all the quirks that make me, me. These are the ingredients that God uses to help me understand who I am and what I am to be.

So the questions I am facing is – are the things that distinctly make me, and the pressures and problems I am currently facing, are they the building blocks that God is using to help me determine the reason for my existence?

So my query is – are my quirks the quarks that will define my quest? I think yes. So I (you) must ruminate on the quirks, for they are the quarks God is using to deliver me (you) into His Kingdom (our quest).

Copyright Leadersbridge 2015