Saturday, April 28, 2018

Roots Revealed

I had my DNA tested a while back and discovered some roots I had no idea existed.  I knew about the Scotch-Irish and Norwegian roots.  Dad always said we had Cherokee, which turned out not to be true.  The unexpected DNA was the trace amount of Jewish, but the surprise was Polynesian, who'd of thunked it!  It causes one to ponder what are my roots and what condition are they in?

Recently I discovered dental issues that needed taken care of.  After going in for a root canal I mentioned a couple teeth that had root canals and were giving me problems.  The Doctor thought that odd as teeth with root canals shouldn't be a problem.  He took an amazing 3D xray and diagnosed infection at the base of the dead roots that was causing bone loss.  Needless to say not a good prognosis.

The procedure to correct the problem was quite spendy, well into the thousands of dollars, especially in Alaska.  With no dental insurance getting it done near home was the last option.  Several people recommended going to Mexico, something I really, really did not want to do.  Fortunately my dentists receptionist's son had graduated from dental school near where my sister lived in Arizona.  The expense was a lot less so off to Arizona I went.

Little Miss OCD that I am proceded to fret over the details.  Very clearly I heard the Father's voice speak to my soul;  I got this Rhonda, let me do this for you!"  I wrestled with letting go and letting God.  He won out as I surrendered to trusting His ways are better than mine.  Step by step He proved faithful to His word, that testimony I'll save for another time.  The testimony in this piece focuses on root work.

The plan for dealing with the root problem was to start by extracting the worst of the two offending teeth we knew had "issues."  Molar #19 was my first root canal thirty years ago.  At that time I'd opted not to have a crown put on, in retrospect not the best decision.  Fifteen years ago it broke off into pieces, had to basically be glued back together and crowned. The crown was resting on an amalgam filling which caused amalgam to rub off and permanently "tatoo" my gum grey.

The day of the extraction arrived.  Nick and Logan, my very capable dental students, (supervised by a Dentist) reassured me they had consulted with the instructors and should they run into any problems the oral surgeon would be there at a moment's notice.  The chair was raised to where they stood at either side.  Nick began the numbing process, it took an extra shot to get me as numb as I wanted.

A rubber dam was placed in my mouth and as the procedure began they explained every step.  Nick worked on the extraction as Logan assisted.  I heard them say the crown had come off, then only part of the tooth.  At that point they called in the instructor dentist.  He suggested a method & tools for extracting the remaining potion of the tooth.  They followed his instructions and part of the tooth came out.  They called him back in, he recommended the next thing to try.  More tooth came out but there was a small, stubborn piece of the root that didn't want to be removed.

Again the dentist came in, he advised it would take bone removal to get all the root out.  By this time my jaw was sore from being open so long. Giving it thier due diligence they still couldn't get that little bit of root out.  The dentist was called in and while he finished taking out the root, Logan massaged my jaw.  They had to call for more bone graft material.  As I lay there waiting I asked God what lesson was there to learn from this difficult extraction.

I saw Logan and Nick as the disciples sent out two by two.  They encouraged one another's strengths and what one didn't know the other did. They worked well together.  The Dentist/Instructor reminded me of how the Holy Spirit works.  He is called our teacher and as such does a beautiful job of instructing and then leaving us to apply what's been learned.  We can call on Him often and when the need arises He'll step in and show us how to finish what we've begun, and does it so graciously.

The most important lesson is when root work is being done make sure it is all removed.  For if one teeny, tiny little piece is left it will contaminate and infect what surrounds it.  Which reminds me of how a root of bitterness defiles many.  Once the root is removed new material must be put in it's place to restore and complete the healing process.  Old things must pass away so all things can become new!

I think of the "roots" in my life God has removed; which should produce new fruitful heart growth. Those "roots" I self-righteously and zealously cling to invariably inhibits Christ-like heart growth. Ultimately that's what I want my roots to grow is healthy Christ-likeness, not the hodge podge of what my DNA roots revealed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Perfected Weakness

Don't you just love it when life throws a curve ball?  Such a ball can take may forms.  The car breaks down, an appliance needs replaced, an unexpected illness stops us in our tracks.  We feel the need to name and claim it in order to prove we believe God is in control.  We search high and low for knowledge needed to solve the problem all the while praying emphatically for God's deliverance and the enemies defeat.  Meanwhile we feel our strength slipping away into an abyss of anxiety, doubt or fear.  Without realizing it a choice presents itself do we muster up a false faith or let God's power be perfected in our weakness.  Hmm, oh what a choice!

I think the secret for making that choice lies in our ability to wait for the Lord.  I could quote chapters and verses that validate that statement, thereby stirring up a false form of faith.  Instead I want to weave together His written word into a word made flesh and dwell among us and learn a how to gain strength through waiting.

Impatient urgency dictates we muster up faith and be strong.  Important courage gently woos us to be still, know He is God and wait for the power of His spirit to strengthen the inner man.  His sufficient grace can then permeate our soul making way for us to yield our weaknesses over to the power that comes with the riches of His glory.  That doesn't mean that the circumstances that led us to such a need cease. But rather provide an opportunity to embrace the power that works within, the Holy Spirit.

In doing so we can then wrap our mind around the possibility that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I recognize yes that I am weak but He is strong, it's not faith I have need of but strength.  False faith is not the same thing as being strong in the Lord and the strength of His might. Then the truth of say Ps 27:14 takes on personal meaning as I wait for the Lord, be strong and let my heart take courage.  I can say with confidence; Yes, I wait for the Lord; knowing strength will come from waiting.

The purpose for my weakness is so that I can be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience with joy.  My faith rests on the power of God for His sufficient grace lets me see that my strength lies in perfected weakness.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Mystery

I like a good mystery novel.  If I want to read pure fluff my go to is Janet Evanovich.  Something with a bit more substance, but not too much, I'll read David Baldacchi.  I'm always entertained and escape into another world for a few hours.  Rarely do I regret or think it was a waste of my time.  On our recent trip through the lower 48 states I enjoyed taking pictures of long straight stretches out the windshield.  Even though we knew our destination it was a mystery of what truly lay before us on our adventure.  This picture was approaching Death Valley, California.  There was an unique beauty we had not expected in such a desolate looking and sounding place.

Death is a mystery.  Christ gave His life to solve this ultimate mystery.  By faith we accept death will not be eternal but the means to eternity.  Because we have so little information to go on deaths path may appear as desolate as this road to Death Valley.  Not knowing what lies at the end of this road keeps many from attempting to solve this eternal mystery.  Or we assume it's not worth solving because the name is daunting.  After all a valley called death? Yet if we make that choice the beautiful mysterious adventure that awaits is well worth chosing 
Death's Valley.  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lazrus' Resurrection as a Prophetic Parable


Revelation

Now a certain body was sick, Revelation of Holy-Time, the village of Forgiveness and Trust.  It was Forgiveness who anointed the Word with ointment, and wiped Word’s feet with her hair, whose brother, Revelation was sick.

Forgiveness and Trust sent word to Him saying, “Word, behold the Revelation whom you love is sick.”

But when Word heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of Law, so that the Word of Law may be glorified by it.”

Now the Word loved Trust, her sister Forgiveness and brother Revelation.

So when Word heard that Revelation was sick, Word then stayed two days longer in the place where Word was at.

Then after this Word said to the Church, “Let us go to Worship again.”

The Church said to Word, “Teacher, the Chosen were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going to Worship again?”

Word answered, “Are there not twelve hours in Day?  If anyone walks in Day, he does not stumble, because he sees the Light of Kingdom come on earth.”

“But if anyone sleep-walks in Night, he stumbles, because Light is not in him.”

This Word said, and after that Word said to them, “Our friend, Revelation has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken Revelation out of sleep.”

The Church said to Word, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, Revelation will recover.”

Now Word had spoken of Revelation’s death, but Church thought that Word was speaking of the literal law which causes sleep.

So Word said to Church plainly, “Revelation is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may purify belief; but let us go to Revelation.”

Therefore Doubt, who is called Twice, said to his fellow Churches, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Word.”

So when Word came, Word found that Revelation had already been in the tomb four days of the night that has come upon us.

Now Holy-Time was near Peaceful, about two miles off, and many of the Chosen had come to Trust and Forgiveness, to console them concerning their brother Revelation.

Trust therefore, when she heard that Word was coming went to meet Word, but Forgiveness stayed at the house.

Trust then said to Word, “Lord if You had been here, my Revelation would not have died.  Even now I know that whatever You ask of Law, Law will give Word.”

Word said to Trust; “Your Revelation will rise again.”

Trust said to Word, “I know Revelation will rise again in Resurrection on the last day.”

Word said to Trust, “I am Resurrection and Life; he who believes in Word will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Word will never die.  Trust do you believe this?”

Trust said to Him, “Yes, Word; I believe You are Alive, the Son of Law, even Word who comes into the world.”

When Trust had said this, she went away and called Forgiveness her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for Forgiveness before Resurrection.”

And when Forgiveness heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Word.

Then the Chosen who were with her in the house, and consoling Forgiveness, when the saw that Forgiveness got up quickly and went out, they followed Forgiveness, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.

Therefore, when Forgiveness came where Word was, she saw Word, and fell at Words feet, saying to Him, “Word, if You had been here, Revelation would not have died.”

When Word therefore saw her weeping, and the Chosen who came with her also weeping, Word was deeply moved in the spirit and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid Revelation?” They said to Word, “come and see.”

Word wept.

So the Chosen were saying, “See how Word loved Revelation!”

But some of Chosen said, “Could not this Word, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this Revelation also from dying?”

So Word, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a Holy Chamber, and a stone the builders rejected was lying against it.

Word said, “Remove the stone.” Trust, the sister of the deceased Revelation, said to Word, “Word, by this time there will be a stench, for Revelation has been dead four days.”

Word said to Trust, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of Law?”

So they removed the rejected stone.  Then Word raised His eyes, and said, “Law, I thank You that You have heard me. I knew that Law always hears Word; but because of the Chosen standing around I said it, so that they may believe that Law sent Word.”

When Word had said these things, Word cried out with a loud voice, “Revelation, come forth.”

The Revelation who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a veil.  Word said to them, “Unbind Revelation, and let him go.”

Therefore many of the Chosen who came to Forgiveness, and saw what Word had done, believed in Word.

But some of them went to the Temple and told Chosen the things which Word had done.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Unexpected






A wonder is a wonder, to state the obvious.  Signs and wonders are an "it" thing.  We want to know what they are so we can predict what's going to happen next or validate what we believe.  And my or my there are plenty of "experts" recognizing them in the world today. After all remember the blood moons!  Forgive my cynicism but I think if signs and wonders are what dictates our future aren't we missing out on the beauty of a wonder?  God is a wonder!  So when on the receiving end of one of His wonder's shouldn't the reaction be; Aha! Wow! Amazing! Unbelievable!  It's not about what to expect or sign to look for; it's about the joy that comes with the wonder of the unexpected!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Describe God

I love God, He's my Father, Lord, Savior and King. When reading Psalms 91 in Brian Simmons Psalms Poetry on Fire a phrase in verse two caused me to pause: Here's how I describe Him ... I wonder; "How do I describe God?"  I know how I feel, but how would I describe Him?

It's the Christmas season and I describe Him as a baby in a manger.  At Easter He's the crucified Savior.  Both are wonderful images yet I sense I could describe Him as something more than what He is, more of who He is and how I know Him.

I wrestle with descriptors as He's indescribable.  Words like wonderful, marvelous, magnificent all apply but are inadequate for what I want.  To describe how I know Him words like generous, kind, patient, gentle, jealous, passionate are only a start.  To state the obvious; He is love personified. 

Then in Psalm 8, from Poetry on Fire, David describes Him as a 'Fascinating Artist'.  There it is... that's the God I know, He is Fascinating! He never ceases to amaze and astound me.  Just when I think I've figured something out He smiles, then expands and elaborates in such a way I respond; WOW!  I love that about Him.

His artistry is a wonder!  The orange of a sunset, pink sunrises, grey thunderstorms, spring greens, summers bouquet of color, falls brilliance, winter draped in white.  Who but God could have such a diverse creative imagination.  I like that about Him!

The list of adjectives are endless for describing God; perhaps that's why He said to simply call Him I Am.  Yet in discovering new ways to describe Him I'm drawn ever closer to knowing more about His character as Father, Lord, Savior and King; how exciting!

                                                           
                                                                  So, how do you describe God?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Be Also

 
As a kid I loved to imagine I could go to far away places to times long forgetten in search of lost treasures.  Perhaps it was Aladdin's cave where only I would know the magic word that opens treasures door.  Then I'd jump onto a flying carpet, soar through the heavens my heart searching for grander adventures and more treasures.

I discovered worlds beyond my own through the many books I read.  They filled my childhood with wonder filled imagination.  I remember playing in the shadow of a great tree, pretending I was at Solomon's court and asking God if He could make me wise.  I thought it pretty cool that Solomon knew how to save that baby, I wanted to be able to do that.  I love that God heard that prayer and used it to draw me unto Himself, what a treasure!

As an adult I discovered the book that became the guide for life's God adventures.  Along the way we've walked through the valley of the shadow (Ps 23:4), and He has made my feet like hinds feet and set me upon my high places (Ps 18:33).  The doors which have opened, revealing heavens treasures, when I knocked, unlocked with the key of unconditional love, or simply asked in the name of Jesus. 

Within this great read of a book I discovered God treasures which were purchased with His blood and freely given through the Holy Spirit.  Oh the wonder of His favor, the mystery of joy unspeakable and full of glory, the heady scent and flavor of the Spirit's ripened fruit.  John wrote; "And there are many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written (John 21:25).  I imagine those treasured books are in eternities heavenly library where they are read. 

A definition of treasure is the place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up.  Oh what good and precious gifts have I collected over the years, filled my heart's storehouse of faith so that when needed freely I have received freely I will give.  Because I know where my treasure is there will my heart be also. (Luke 12:34)