In James 4:13-17 it says,
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Therefore, God willing… my husband and I will be taking a trip later this year… and God willing… it’ll be the trip of our life time… we plan to go to Europe… we were going to see our son who lives in Siberia, but his plans have changed and he’s coming stateside for a year… that’s a blessing in itself… to be near to him, his wonderful wife, and 3 of our grandchildren… dare I say it??? .. YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
After a great deal of thought and indeed, prayer… we’ve decided to go to Europe anyway… we already had our tickets… while we’d originally planned to bring son & family to meet us and spend a couple of weeks in St. Petersburg, Russia… we really didn’t want to do that without them… so we had to come up with Plan B.
Our time frame is fixed… time off from work scheduled… and one son getting married in California at the start of our vacation… we only have 3 weeks total… Our budget is fixed… we’ve saved for this for awhile… sorry kids… no inheritance
We considered just renting a car and driving around Germany… my Great Grandfather was from Germany and his mother was from Poland…. but we were concerned about the Euro vs the dollar, and the high cost of gas… after some additional research we settled on a cruise of the Baltic….
I’ll be blogging much more about this in the coming days and weeks… the planning process and pictures and stories we upload during our trip. First things first… “God’s will”.. that’s the most important thing…
I don’t want to be outside of His will for me… why?… because He’s got the whole picture… me? … well I just “see through a glass darkly”… and a very small glass at that… His way leads to the least damaging “bumps”… any bumps in that path are meant for my own good (Romans 8:28). And He loves me… MORE… much more… than even I love myself…. He made me… He restored me to a relationship with Him through His own death on the cross… I am His!
He knows the thoughts that he has towards me are for good and not for evil. I can rest and trust in that!
My girlfriend and colleague was having dinner with a friend last night, she passed out and never regained consciousness… she died… that’s it! She’s gone… she’ll never come to my home again for tea… she won’t be waiting for me Monday morning to go get our coffee together… a morning ritual we had observed for over a year… since I came to this office… I loved her… I’ll miss her…
Her whole life wasn’t very long… she served in the Navy and was currently working on her computer science degree… she was very smart, a very hard worker, she loved her job, her family, and her friends… she loved to fish and to cook… she was in her early 30′s… her life so short.
Scripture says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27.
Elaine has met God now… and if she could reach back, what would she say?
It’s real.. God IS real… the judgement is REAL!…. don’t delay…
We don’t know how short life is…. we don’t know when we will see God… She and I talked often of God’s love for her and she knew the truth.
As for those of us who remain… Will our debt towards God be marked “paid” through Jesus’ death on the cross or will we be judged to be “in debt”?
The question really isn’t, “What will you do with Jesus?” rather… it is… “What have you done with Him?”… at least that will be the question when we each as individuals face God.
My heart goes out to Elaine’s family… who are heart broken over the loss of their daughter, sister, aunt, and her friends all of whom really love her.
I’ll miss you Elaine… Goodbye Dear Friend… I won’t forget you!… I’ll look for you on my appointed day…..
The question is NOT – “What would Jesus do?”
The question IS – “What will YOU do with Jesus?”
Have you ever considered that we (mankind) have a problem with power?
In Tolkien’s fairy tales Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, the primary topic of each is the quest to defeat an evil would-be-lord’s attempt to own all power. In reflection it seems to me that the one ‘thing’ man strives for perhaps more than anything else is power. In some cases it is the quest for power, in others it’s the display of power that fuels our economy and our lives.
Power in all its forms is inextricably linked with pride. We take pride in ourselves when we can exhibit power over ourselves, others, and our possessions. In today’s society many consider power to be a positive thing, such as in being the ‘Master of Our Own Destiny.’
But we are only kidding ourselves if we think power and/or its pursuit is a good thing.
It is power that fueled Lucifer’s quest for God’s throne; power of knowledge that induced Eve to pick up the apple. Often, it’s the pursuit of power that drives men and women in the workforce to climb the corporate ladder, run for office, or own a business. Power is the reason people rape, murder, and abuse other people. It’s power that drives countries to depossess other people of their property and lands.
Look around our world today and one way or another most of us are trying to exhibit power in our individual lives. It is this real quest to own and/or utilize power and its resident co-evil pride that utterly destroys man. It abases us as we try to elevate ourselves to preeminence above God.
Even in our games it’s all about power. The Massively Multiplayer Online-Role Playing Game (MMORPG), The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar the players have characters that achieve “levels”. Each level exhibits its own “power”. When fighting a “bad guy” one looks at their own level and compares it to the “bad guy’s” level to see who has the most “power.” In the Lord of Rings Trivial Pursuit game power is exhibited by knowing more than the other players. These forms of power would seem innocuous at worst. After all, we all enjoy them.
Back to Tolkien’s heroes… they were humble, and this humility gives us (the reader) a sense that their attitude was just and right. In all my readings I’ve not found even one person who expressed that these heroes were stupid or foolish. I don’t think we could understand that it’s better to be humble than to pursue power in and of or for ourselves. We should consider where our sense of morality (right and wrong) comes from. This is an excellent example of myth containing truth.
I agree with Tolkien, that only Divinity has the right to own and exhibit power. Jesus said he is sitting at the right hand of Power. That tells us clearly that it is God who has the right to power. Jesus also said he has all authority… that IS power… real power.
We are creatures not The Creator. If we focus on God first and foremost as we ought and humble ourselves to Him and His guidance He will demonstrate power on our behalf. What a wonderful, peaceful position to be in…. That where The Creator takes care of us (of me)…
On humility… God tells us to, “… consider others as better than [ourselves]..” Christ said, “No greater love hath any man than that he lay down his life for a friend.” We’re also told that the second commandment is “… to love others as we love ourselves.” These actions keep us humble and defeat the quest for power… humility and power are mutually exclusive…
I need to learn to be more humble!