What do I know for certainty? My wife loves me. So does my favorite dog–Tilla. Probably Coco, his sister. Maybe, that needs to be enough. Two dogs and my wife. Maybe, that should be sufficient. Let me bask in that love. I did nothing to earn that. Of course, I did not mention Jesus. He loves me, too. I don’t know why you can feel so separated and so alone sometimes?

Give us today our daily bread.  The prayer we give every day is God satisfies our daily needs.  This is illustrated by one of Jesus’ parables.  A farmer had a great crop and he built a gigantic store house.  And Jesus came to him and called him a fool.  Jesus informed him his time has come.  You don’t have to stock up.  He will take care of us every day.  And it is a day at a time. That should be our prayer:  He fulfills all our physical needs a day at a time.  Each day you face.

Everything is given by grace I am reminded again.  And the spirit of mercy.  Both are closely related.  You can’t have one without the other.  My wife has gone through a hard time with me, again.  And I know I don’t deserve her forgiveness.  I have done nothing to deserve that.  But she has bestowed me with that.  And all I can do is to thank the One above me for that gift.  So Jesus thanks, again for that free gift.  Grace and mercy.  I did nothing at all to deserve that.  So, thanks, again.  Everything is by grace.

I don’t have to stockpile:  God will always provide for our needs.  It says in the Bible He will only provide food and shelter.  I don’t need a backup for every item I use in the house.  I was making a list and there was no need to buy everything on that list.  I crossed off some items I will not run out of immediately.  I am reminded of a parable Jesus related:  a farmer had an exceptional crop and built even greater storage bins and Jesus said something to the effect that you will not be around to enjoy the fruits of your crops.  He wants you today.  Your time has run out.  You have to have faith God will provide for your needs and sometimes He will do it a day at a time.  When God provided food for the people who Moses led out of Egypt, the manna could only be used that day.  You had to have faith He would provide more food the next day.  I do not have to stockpile my goods.  ‘Give us our daily bread’ the psalm says.  A day at a time.  That is all we can pray for that God provide for our needs a day at a time.

The “church” is not the building.  It is the body of believers.  Invisible but real nevertheless.  Unified by the belief in Jesus Christ, that He died for us and our sins.  If you are looking at the building and consider that the church, you are looking at the wrong place.  It is always the “body” of believers.  When two or more are gathered, that is the body.

‘Give us each day our daily bread.’ (from the Lord’s Prayer) (in the New Testament).  We are to pray that each day Jesus will give us what we need.  We have to take one day at a time.  And do not look too far ahead.

Yes, God will provide for our needs.  One day at a time.  We have to deal with each day as it comes.  That is all we can pray for–each day that the Lord gives us.  Each day is a gift.  Food and shelter; that is all He promises us.  And He does that a day at a time.  That is how we have to pray–each day at a time.  ‘Give us each day our daily bread.’

The church is not the building it is the community–invisible but real nevertheless.  And there is one body.  There is way too much division between churches.  I am much more comfortable with the idea there is one body.  You can go anywhere and meet another believer and there is that connection.  I attend a Lutheran Church but I consider myself a Christian.  And I am much more comfortable with that.  Too much attention is made out of issues that don’t really matter.  Every Christian is a snow flake.  To God (and Jesus) every person matters.  The church is an organization where members and non-members are both welcome.  Every person is welcome.  We are all sinners.  There is no getting away from that.  The body of believers is always invisible.  It goes far beyond the buildings they meet in.  Some thoughts on the Church.

Every Thing Is By Grace

Author: siggy

Every thing is by grace.  God really does not owe us anything.  On Christmas eve, a gray partridge (a Chukar partridge) appeared and fed on the ground and stayed for at least an hour.  I spotted it from our living room window and excitedly called my wife so she could see it too.  I never had seen one before and it took me awhile to properly identify it.

Finally we let out our four dogs.  They had to go out and we delayed it so they would not flush the bird.  I was amazed the bird simply froze near our big white pine and the dogs never spotted it and ran right past it.  Finally the bird ran across the yard, through the fence and disappeared.  We were curious whether the quail-like bird will come back (very similar in size to a bobwhite).

I got up this morning and put on my L.L Bean moccasins my sister bought me.  I had forgotten how comfortable they were.  Now I have to keep them out of reach of my dogs.  They could destroy one in one bite:  they are leather, very temping for one to chomp on.

There are plenty of gifts still to be opened.  Lynelle is not up yet.  I was feeling very grateful and thankful for everything.  I know everything is by grace.  Over two thousand years ago a baby was born in a manger.  We do not deserve Him.  And He died for us.  And it is a free gift.  That is totally by grace.  I did nothing to deserve it.  It is only by grace.

When death is knocking at your door, money fades in importance.  It is so easy to delude ourselves:  that your time on this earth is forever.  But when the realization comes it is running out (often due to illness or old age) your money (and possessions) are no longer that important.

All of a sudden other things come to the forefront:  your relationship with loved ones, maybe your legacy also.  Your possessions which maybe you spent a lifetime accumulating do not matter that much.

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and the richest person in the whole world, realized that; when he founded with his wife what is today’s largest private foundation pouring in it more and more of his energy and resources (billions of dollars) in that endeavor.

In my case, I can not take my journals, books and music I spent a lifetime collecting with me when I go.  I have to figure out what is truly important in my life.  I do not want to waste time.

Often when someone faces his/her deathbed and realizes the way they spent their time really does not matter.  Your impending death shifts your priorities and also forces you to reexamine your value system.

Too many people die alone because they did not invest time in others.  Did not Jesus say, “When you lose your life, you find it”.  I think that is a paraphrase.

When you are in the dusk of your life, you find out the most valuable commodity you possess is time.  All the money in the world can not buy you one more minute on earth.

That realization forces you to examine your life carefully.  It is never too late to make a change although it is easy to regret the time you lost in fruitless endeavors.  You can never turn back the clock but there is always today.

Telling your partner “I am sorry I hurt you” alone does not cut it. Somehow you have to stop the behavior which has hurt your partner over and over.

Your partner wants you to apologize and it starts there but she/he wants you to stop the offending behavior. Somehow your partner wants to trust you again. Every person is flawed. Nevertheless, if you do not stop hurting your partner you can not be trusted further and the apology comes off insincere.

No one wants to be hurt continually. Yes, an sincere apology starts the process toward healing but the next step is to stop hurting your partner the same way.

I know perfectly how flawed I am but I need to make an sincere effort to stop the offending behavior. When that occurs, my partner can gradually trust me again.

It is so easy to point fingers and excuse your behavior. Human beings are masters of deception. Your partner sees you at your worst. Forgiveness at the end of the day is essential for hurts can fester and causes you to explode at situations that are really nothing to do with the reasons you are upset.

Jesus when asked how many times you should be forgiven said, ‘Seventy times Seven.’ The point is each partner has to forgive the other for hurting each other endlessly. There is really no limit to the times you have to forgive the other.

Nevertheless, your partner wants more than an apology: he or she want you to stop your offending behavior. Then your partner will be able to gradually trust you.

Forgiveness is an essential first step. The next step is to stop hurting your partner. It is so easy to point fingers at someone for breakdowns in communication. It is so easy to rationalize your behavior. As I said in the last blog I wrote the only person you have most control of is yourself.

You can not change your behavior just to influence your partner. That is manipulation. Your change has to be genuine and have no strings attached.

Your partner has to be free to accept or reject your new behavior. It is time that enables your partner to trust you again. That is why I said saying you are sorry does not cut it alone. Yes, you have to first be contrite but then you have to change your behavior. That is the true test and determines first whether your partner will trust you again.

The hardest thing is the world is true communication. That takes time and effort and forgiveness and not every one is up to it. Thus so many divorces. I remember a friend once telling me marriage is work (I was single then). I laughed at his statement then. I am no longer laughing at him. He was right.

You can never run out of love.  You can become drained, physically tired and feel as if you have nothing more to give but those things are under your control.

The well to draw from is infinite.  Love is God.  As long as you continue to tap the source you will never run out of love to give to others.  The powers of the Almighty have no restraints.

I have to qualify that.  Jesus, God, Jehovah however you want to call Him gives us free will.  And that means sometimes our ability to love others is blocked.  But you can always return to the source.  It is always your choice.

There is no one way.  There is but there isn’t.  View your salvation with fear and trembling.  Those words straight out of the Bible indicate not one person can tell you exactly how to find the Master (and follow His will).

So many people try.  It is futile.  Somehow you need to listen to that tiny voice only you can hear.  Love is infinite.  And the Source’s powers are infinite so draw upon them.  Listen to your tiny voice so easily buried.

Humans are masters of deception.  I am not telling you what to believe but to seek Him.  He is the only source of true strength.  The only bottomless well to draw love from.  So seek Him.  You will never run out of love.

It seems obvious but not to some:  you are flawed.  It is important to know that.  People who think they are perfectly fine create havoc around them; for they are not aware how they “mess” up.  And the people who they impact in the process.

The better you are aware of your proclivities, the less this happens.  Each person is prejudiced.  The word comes from pre judge.  The only question is to what extent.  Each person has leanings in one direction.  The better you are aware how you actually think and feel about certain things, the less you become prejudiced.

Words are always one sided.  There is always another side to the story.  Unfortunately sometimes you do not have the chance to rectify the situation.  Sometimes the damage has been done with words expressing one side of a situation.

Civility has a purpose.  Your rough edges get smoothed out.  Manners seem to (???) gone out the window.  Parents are not teaching manners.  They ought to.  Pleases and thank yous are always important.  Telling someone you have messed up, blew this situation is always helpful.

When Jesus was asked how many times should you forgive a person he said, Seventy times seven.  The fact is you are flawed and so is your fellow man.  When he/she makes a mistake we are commanded to forgive that person.

That commandment produces compassion in others.  Yes, each of us remind us of that fact it is easier to forgive others of their transgressions.  We all fall short of the mark.  And there is no getting around that.  So next time some one makes a mistake let it go.  You will be happier.  And so will the person.