Thursday, June 30, 2011

Poetry of Praise

Righteous are You, O Lord,
And upright are Your judgments.
Your testimonies, which you have commanded
Are righteous and very faithful.
My zeal has consumed me,
Because my enemies have forgotten Your words.
Your word is very pure;
Therefore Your servant loves it.
I am small and despised,
Yet I do not forget Your precepts.
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Your law is truth.
Trouble and anguish have overtaken me,
Yet Your commandments are my delights
The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting;
Give me understanding, and I shall live.
[Psalm 119:137-177] [TSADDE]

Blessings. e.c.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Promise...perhaps just for today

I hereby promise to cease and desist complaining about the (lousy) rainy weather here in western Washington. The reason being...for this (sort of) repentance, is this: Thinking of Minot, Joplin, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, the folks along the recently flooding Mississippi River, frigid New England, water shortages in the Southwest, hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, and half-mile-wide tornadoes that tear up whole towns like an airborne rotary mower... There is really little or nothing to complain about, though complain I do. My neighbor was right when he said, "I love the weather here, when you compare it to what's go'n on in the the rest of the country." He's right.
So, no more complaining.
Unless of course it rains on the 4th of July...which it almost always does.
Note: this will be the last weather-related post for 2011. e.c. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What to Wear...What to Wear?

On any given day I don't spend a lot of time wondering what to wear. If it's not raining the choice is easy; work clothes. There's always work to be done on the property.
Today's answer to the question comes from the Apostle Paul; this clothing never needs changing, cleaning, or laundering, and never goes out of style. In fact, the longer you wear it the better it looks; and it wears well. 
"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection."[Colossians 3:12-14] [NKJV]
Enough said. e.c.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Real Coin, Really Lost

This is a true story. A man I know inherited a coin collection; gold coins. Generous soul that he is, he decided to give each family member one coin. Somehow, one happy recipient "lost" his coin before leaving the house.
Everyone in the family looked and looked but alas, no coin. He that received the coin felt terribly badly about losing it; he that gave, gave again after a week or so with consoling "Don't worry about it" words of kindness.
It was...I think...two months later, while looking for a particular DVD that the real coin that had been really lost, was found.
We serve a loving and generous God who loved His children so much that He gave the most valuable gift in His treasury; His only Son. And if we choose to accept the gift we will inherit not just one gold coin...or a bucket full...but eternal life. We will walk where gold is used for paving the streets.
Each of God's children is more valuable than a gold coin; more valuable than all the gold in the world. Think of the price that Jesus paid for our salvation...God (in Christ) died so that we can live for eternity. He comes looking for us; searching in all the "lost" places for even one soul who will believe and accept the gift.
What is our answer to Him who came seeking to save those who were lost? Do we want to be "found?" e.c. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Kind of Unkind Kindness

Yesterday we traveled to the city. I guess Olympia is "the city;" if you live by a lake in the woods (as we do) any more than two people is too many.
Anyway...there we were in Lowe's waiting to check out when I noticed the man behind me had no cart and I couldn't see what he wanted to purchase. "Do you need to pay for something?" I asked. Without saying anything he opened his hand and showed me what he was buying. I don't remember what it was, but it doesn't matter; it was one small item.
Feeling large-of-heart and wanting to showcase my pious, Christian self I said "Why don't  you go ahead of me." Without saying a word  he went ahead..and it was then I got irked. Thinking "he should have been grateful and said 'Thank you'...or 'Thanks'...anything but silence. It was then I opened my mouth and said "You're welcome." No, not in a snide or rude tone...I had already been rude. It was more of a teacherish, parenting kind of way. Looking at me, he spoke very softly, thanked me and expressed his (extracted) appreciation.
Well, my wife witnessed the entire episode and quietly pointed out that if one does a kind deed and then is upset and rude about it, the kindness is undone.
She was right.
My poor wife; the index finger on her right hand is arthritic from pointing out my misdeeds and rude words over the last 54 years. (Sigh)...there have been many, and I am slowly bleeding out from their small bites as they come to mind. Satan 1, Ed, 0; Jesus Christ gets a 10...a perfect score. Thank you Lord. e.c. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Only a Word

Is a good memory a good thing? Perhaps. There are things I want to forget...things I long to forget...things, heart-breaking things I pray to forget; but I don't; I can't.
There is a word, and while it's only a word, it touches the inner parts of our being...our soul.
The word is remorse, and the meaning comes clearer when we think about it as not one word, but two words. Morse: From Middle English mors, from Middle French, morse, bite, from Old French, bite. Think of a morsel of food: It's not a meal, just a small bite.
Remorse comes back to bite again and The foolish things we did as children or as grown up children are stuck in muck of our memories. And oh how we wish we could undo the past, and more so with each returning small bite
But thank God, He will not remember our sins. Some of us are cursed with too much memory. The prayer of David is my prayer: "Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindness, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me for Your goodness' sake." [Psalms 25: 6, 7]

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Long Drive Home

It was a long drive home from the memorial service for Evy. There were probably one hundred people in Skokomish Valley Grange; husband Paul...he's 91...children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren. Of course there were lots of friends, who like Evy had been born and and fed from the fertile fields of the valley.
Every once in a while the Skokomish River floods, carrying rich soil over the banks and onto the fields. Where other plants won't grow, in the Skok they don't have much of a choice. Evy didn't have a choice. Like everything else in the valley she grew and blossomed into not just a woman, but more of a character...with character.
Evy never did quite grow up. I don't mean that she didn't grow older, she did, but always kept some...perhaps a lot...of the child that is curious, excited, playful, and sometimes breaks the rules and gets into trouble. Yes; that was Evy.
Our pastor (Jennifer) preached a fine memorial "sermon;" the kind that makes people sit up and think about their own life and destiny. Folks were invited to share their memories of Evelyn, and they did. One old saint (95 years old) was seven years Evy's senior and she had lots to say...mostly about herself and graduating from the eighth grade right there in that Grange Hall.
After the prayers and testimonials we did what people always do after a funeral or memorial; we ate. What is there about food and funerals? It's like a full stomach takes enough blood from the brain that for a while at least you can forget that a precious soul has died and that your turn is getting closer; which was one of the points in Jennifer's wasn't really a sermon, more like a question; "What will be your answer to God's call?" 
Will it be "Thank You Lord!" or maybe "No thanks, Lord. I like it right here where I am." 
I'll spend the rest of the day thinking about that. e.c.                 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Smarter 'n me

I bought a "Droid"... it's a phone...a smart phone. Within minutes of showing off the phone to my wife she said, "It'll take you the rest of your life to learn how to use it."  She's probably right; after 54 years I know that.
Actually, it's not just a phone; it's a computer, camera, video camera, hand-held TV, radio, GPS, telephone directory...and Bible. In fact, there are five Bibles (different versions) including Strong's Exhaustive Concordance! During Bible study at church I just touch the app and there it is...the study lesson, complete with links to all the texts in the lesson.
Why is this important enough to write about it? It has to do with the soon coming of Christ; it's all about Him. Anyone with a smart phone--and that's a lot of people--can tune in to Seventh-day Adventist programming--audio or video--anywhere there is a signal and that's almost everywhere. Speaking of which signs of the times are everywhere; lift up your head, our redemption is drawing nigh.
Here's a question: when in history has the whole world been in such turmoil? militarily, politically, morally, monetarily, ecologically, meteorologically (weather)...when?
The news is bad about the food supply...or should I say...dwindling food supply. Much of the world is hungry and if we are paying attention we can see it's getting worse.
On the other side of the ledger it means that the second coming of the Christ is very near, and that is what believers have hoped for since Jesus left this earth after His resurrection.
Why I-phones, I-Pads, I-Pods, Android smart phones? It is for such a time as this; to spread the Gospel around the world at the speed of light; the truth of God and about God is available 24/7.
One missionary from Madagascar told me that there are cell phones where there is no electricity...really? Yes. One person is responsible for collecting phones in a village and charging them at night.
If you want to watch streaming Christian TV on your computer Google these websites...

These links can be a real blessing. It's the Truth. Check it out. Christ is coming...soon!e.c.