Monday, December 23, 2019

 Nothing like a wrapped present to build excitement in the heart of a child.  Our grandchildren ask us every time they are over if they can open their presents.  Ace and I get excited too for we know what the presents are and we know they will love them.    They did not shop for their gifts or pay for it,  we did, it's theirs, free and clear.  We don't expect them to pay us back, or buy us something in return.  

You know I am still excited over the gift I opened on Oct. 20th,  1980. In fact I want to give this gift to all I meet.  Instead of being under a tree this gift was nailed to a old rugged cross,  it's package of flesh torn and bleeding.  The bow made into a crown of thorns dug into the wrapping.  There was nothing pretty about the package and the way it was presented.  Yet it contain everything to give me eternal life. 

 I believe God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit gets excited when ever this gift is presented to someone.  They wait, hoping it will be accepted.  

There is no plainer truth taught in the Word of God than salvation being a “free gift” (Romans 5:15,18; 6:23). If I were to offer you a Christmas present, but with the stipulation that you must be willing to take a bath, it would not be a gift. Why? Because I have clearly implied that I expect you to take a bath to get the present. A gift is defined as something given voluntarily without any payment in return. 

The thief had nails through both hands, so that he could not work; and a nail through each foot, so that he could not run errands for the Lord; he could not lift a hand or a foot toward his salvation, and yet Christ offered him the gift of God; and he took it. Christ threw him a passport, and took him into Paradise. D.L. Moody (don't you just love this quote?)

One more quote from Mary DeMuth book, Everything. 

We cannot fully satisfy a holy God. Our redemption is an outrageous, initiating act accomplished by God alone. He pursued humanity to such an extent that His feet landed on earth, and He chased after us until He rescued us at the cross. We did not climb onto those wooden beams. We could not receive the nails that pierced those holy hands. We who are not kingly wore no crown. We could not drink the cup of God wrath. "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 5:6. God did what we could not . He sent His beautifully sinless Son to take our place, to satisfy for all time God's wrath upon sin. "For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. II Cor. 5:21

God transforms, He creates, He  thinks otherworldly thoughts,  He dares to redeem an obstinate world. If we camp in that place, remembering the gift we could never, ever pay back, we will live astonished lives, and our growth will be the best kind---the kind that emerges from gratitude, from thinking rightly about God.

What a gift!

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Cruising Along

All last week I kept thinking what can I draw from this adventure of cruising to Mexico?  Below is a few words I put on my facebook wall.   I try to post almost everyday a quote or some encouraging word. 

Cabo Cruise Ship. Large cruise ship anchored off the coast in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico royalty free stock imagesJust want to say I missed you all as we were on a cruise for a week and laid our cell phones aside and did not even take our computers with us. We went to Mexico with some friends from church which always makes it fun. Of course, all have been asking how we liked it?

Cruising is the most relaxing way I have ever traveled. Mexico was not new to us since we been before on a mission trip. Life on a huge ship is different, like not having to cook, clean, and being waited on all the time was very different. It took us a couple days to get over being overwhelmed because we were not doing anything. As our son says, we don't know how to relax. We had a room with a balcony which we loved. I did get another chapter done on my book sitting on that balcony, the weather down south was wonderful. 

As I ask God to show me the deep part of what I was feeling I soon realized we were traveling without a purpose. We travel all the time to meet missionaries, go to conferences, meetings, visit our supporters and family which to us has a purpose. But to travel just to travel.  There is was, the deep part...we were traveling just to travel. God knew we needed to experience this wonderful feeling and once we got use to it, we relaxed. It's called a Lord willing as we save our pennies we will go on a cruise to Alaska in couple years or three, that cruise takes a lot more pennies. 

Or if  we are still physical able maybe to Israel, Rome, and all the place Paul traveled to by ship to share the sweet gospel, ( I am pretty sure it will take pennies from heaven for that one.)

I am still not caught up with emails, facebook messages, and settling back into land living but just wanted to say hello and share God's goodness to us.

A few added words that came after I posted on facebook.  As much as I like cruising I don't really want to cruise through life.  I don't want life to be all about me.  Ace and I both did not totally feel normal as we cruised along the ocean.   Most  people only wanted to talk about themselves, I wanted to talk Jesus. Only one person was open, she sit by us and told me how many cruises she had been on.  So when my turn came I stepped through the open door and told how even through this was my first cruise I had lived in a couple of other countries.  Then she said, are you are missioinary?  Wow, the door blew open even wider, but before I could ask my standard next question,  are you a believer? She said, I love New Tribes Missions, love what their missionaries do, we support some.  They are the real missionary going into remote place telling the gospel.   I had not even mention the mission I was with.  Instantly we both started talking at once seeing if we knew some of the same people.  Sadly I had to go, I had an appointment to keep. You know I did not even get her name and I did not see her again while we were on the ship.  My heart was encouraged though, I wanted to talk to everyone then about Jesus.  I never had another open door so I went back to relaxing for the sake of relaxing.  It was good for Ace and I to let our friends see we could do that since they were such a part of getting us to go on the cruise.  

How many of you have been on a cruise, what was your favorite thing about it, where did you visit, would you do it again? Thanks for listening to me rambling on and on.