Tag Archives | Sirach

the RIGHT leader

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Oh wow, did this one hit hard.  Our nation is in a precarious position as far as I am concerned.  Those of you who are older probably remember other times when it felt like America was in crisis, but I don’t.  I am concerned for our government and the leaders our citizens are choosing.  I know there have been other scary seasons, and this one may not be any different, but it still makes me wary.  All I can think is that sometimes, throughout the Bible, bad leaders rose up.  Bad leaders led to a fall, and then a cleansing.

But mostly, this verse makes me trust.  God will raise up the right leaders.  He will make Jesus more and more apparent.  He will bring people to point us to Jesus.  God knows what needs to happen.  He will protect His believers –it may be that He will protect us from the evil by taking us to heaven, and we must accept that plan.  He never promised that we wouldn’t face persecution and struggles here.  Not once.  In fact He promises we will.   So we must look to the end, and plan our choice.

And in the face of an uncertain future on Earth, trust that He will carry out His plans for good.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Friends and wine

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How perfect is this at this time in my life????  I am writing this during one of my last weeks in Illinois (working ahead so there are posts when I am away from computers).  And I am enjoying wine with a lot of old friends.    Many times this year I enjoyed the opportunity to break bread and share drinks with old friends from other states, other seasons.  Each time, we sat and talked like we had never been separated.  Not only did it make me cherish those friends more, but it comforted me as I readied to leave friends in Illinois.  For I knew, I will never abandon them, I just won’t see them as often.   And I knew I would be returning to friends in Iowa.

This verse comforts me as I prepare to make new friends as well.  When we moved to Illinois I had this crazy notion that I needed to make friends immediately, ones that I could share everything with.  I don’t feel that way this time.  I understand what the writer means–it is okay to let new friendships ripen on the vine and let them age until they can be fully enjoyed.  I can’t expect too much too soon.  And I shouldn’t forsake the old while waiting on the new.

Hopefully this comforts some of my old friends as well.  You will always have places in my heart, and in my home wherever that may be.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Remember the end

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I think this is pretty darn true.  If I would stop and consider how my actions are going to impact the future, I might make some different decisions.  Too often, I think we as humans only consider the here and now, and we forget to consider how sins of today might change our tomorrows.  How they might affect our eternity.

I do believe that God has plans for us on a day to day basis.  I do think He affects the minutae of our days.  But more so, I know that His plans are for the end of our lives.  He wants us in the here and now, but He really wants us to plan for the end– when we have the chance, and the choice, to be with Him.  Our life on earth is so tiny in comparison to the option of spending eternity with Jesus.

How is what we are doing today affecting that future?

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Wisdom

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If you can’t read my chicken scratch here are the words of Sirach 6:14-17 on wisdom–

Come to her with all your soul and keep her ways with all your might.  Search out and seek and she will become known to you and when you get a hold of her do not let go for at last you will find the rest she gives and she will be changed into joy for you.  She will become a strong defense and her collar a glorious robe.  her yoke a golden ornament and her bonds a purple cord.  you will wear her like a glorious robe.  

I already had this sketch with the long skirt covered in a garden, and when I read these verses I knew that they belonged with her.  Each of the flowers reminded me of a different bit of wisdom, a memory, an opportunity, whether good or bad, to learn and grow.  To turn the bad ones into beautiful  chances to grow in joy.

I want to wear wisdom as a glorious robe.  I want to seek out wisdom and let it hold me until it fills me with joy.  Doesn’t that sound lovely?  How different would our world be if everyone looked at wisdom this way?  If we let learning change our hearts for good, instead of bitterness and anger?  If we all cloaked ourselves in the gloriousness of love?

I am praying for that.  For all of us.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Confident

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Here is the kicker though with all of that sin–we have to stop the cycles of sin.  We can understand that God melts it away.  We can be thankful for that.  But part of that gratitude is RESPECT to God, and not adding more sin on top of more sin on top of more sin.

We cannot take advantage, we can not be entitled, we can not be irreverent.  We can not think that we can battle sin with sin.

We must do the exact opposite of those things if we are to live in the joy that God promises.  Otherwise we aren’t truly saved from the despair of our own world, but just living on the edge between the two.

We must be grateful for every opportunity to act in love, be respectful of the joy and peace that can be so easily shattered, and try our hardest every day to battle sin with choices to love, be kind, be patient, to see our hearts.

Are you letting layers of sin build up?  Are you holding them all together and saving them up?  Are you adding to the layers each day?

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Wisdom

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Oh people.  What is happening in our nation?  And what is making the news is only the tip of the iceberg.  We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

While the media covers everything going on in other countries, sensationalizes our election process, and glorifies silly celebrities–our citizens are starting internal civil wars.  Our cities are ravaged by people shooting each other for reasons of race, religion, gender, and career.  My heart is breaking.

As Christians now is our time to turn to God even more, to Jesus, and what the Bible teaches us.  Love, forgiveness, gratitude, hope.  Not blaming, not judging, not hate.  Please, please, please do not spew the hatred of these other people, please do not let the devil turn us and make us sin right along with them.

Open your heart to the wisdom of God.  Let it warm your body from your very heart and radiate through every pore.  His is the only true wisdom.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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