Friday, October 26, 2012

We Don't Always Understand ~

 It's not by chance I had this waiting for me to read this morning,


I'm pretty sure it wasn't just for me so I wanted to share it with you!


What I Am Doing You Do Not Understand Now

by Jon Bloom | October 26, 2012

Peter watched Jesus make his way toward him, washing the feet of other disciples.
It had already been a confusing Passover. Jesus had been unusually burdened, close to tears all day. The atmosphere during the meal was charged with ominous anticipation.
Peter had grown used to Jesus doing and saying unpredictable things. But what Jesus was doing now was wrong. He was the last person in the room who should be washing feet.
All of Peter’s life he had been taught that feet were dishonorable members of the body. They were usually dirty, frequently smelly, and among the most likely members to come in contact with things that the Law declared unclean.
Outside of immediate family, feet were washed by slaves and servants—ideally non-Jews so as not to subject any of the Covenant People to such humiliation.
And one never insulted an honored person by pointing one’s feet at them.
But here was the Messiah, the most honored Jew to ever walk the earth, stripped like a common slave with a towel around his waist willingly handling the unclean feet of his disciples. This was backwards. If anything, Peter should be down there washing Jesus’ feet.
When Jesus got to Peter he smiled at him and reached for his feet. Peter pulled them back. “Lord, do you wash my feet?”
Jesus loved Peter. The Rock never did anything, right or wrong, without jumping in with—or in this case withholding—both feet. He knew what Peter was thinking. So he replied, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
Unwilling to subject Jesus to such dishonor Peter said, “You shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus’ countenance became dead serious. “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
The shock of this statement stunned Peter for a second. He was trying to preserve his Master’s honor. But Jesus was essentially telling him, unless you let me bear your dishonor, your uncleanness, you can’t be my disciple.
Well, he didn’t understand what this all meant, but Peter would leave no doubt about his trust in and love for Jesus: “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”
Joy radiated from Jesus’ eyes and smile. And as he washed Peter’s feet he said, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean.”
Then he paused for a moment and looked into Peter’s eyes. This beloved man was unknowingly about to face the most difficult, grievous, and glorious three days of his life. He would benefit from this reassurance: “And you are clean.”
Then his eyes dropped back to Peter’s feet and he resumed washing. “But not every one of you.”

Two lessons from this account in John 13:1-11:
First, much of the Christian life is spent trusting Jesus now and understanding him later. Jesus typically does not feel it necessary to explain on the front end why he is doing something the way he is doing it. And, like Peter, when it looks wrong to us, we are tempted to object to the Lord’s will.
God understands and is patient with our confusion and even our deep wrestling or grief. But he wants us to trust him, and not grumble or question in unbelief (Philippians 2:14). God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). His purposes for bringing or not bringing certain things to pass often extend far beyond us—maybe even generations beyond us.
So during those times we need to remember Jesus’ words to Peter: “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
Second, what Jesus is bringing about in the sometimes confusing, sometimes very painful work he is doing in our lives is sanctification. He is washing our feet. He not only bathes us, completely removing the guilt of our sin in his cleansing work on the cross, but in love he keeps forgiving us (1 John 1:9) and disciplines us so that we will share his holiness (Hebrews 12:10-11).
Our understanding his purposes in a particular providence tends to be not as important to God as our trust in his character. So together let’s continue to “trust in the Lord with all [our] heart, and…not lean on [our] own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Because one day we will understand. And we will, with great joy, proclaim, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works” (Psalm 145:17).

Hoping you were needing this today.
He is so's what echos from my heart today.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Some Many Types of Taters!

What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes,
he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.
A.A. Mine, author of Winne-the-Pooh

Yep, I love potatoes.  
Growing up potatoes of some form graced
our dinner table every daily.
Boiled, baked, mashed, fried, scalloped,
no matter the form there were never enough.

I'm the gal that would go out to dinner and just order mashed potatoes and gravy
and it was thanksgiving in my mind.
 Totally satisfied.
Come to think of it, 
Thanksgiving I only add the other stuff because it's what the meal requires of us.
I really only want the mashed potatoes....
maybe a nice hot roll with too much butter on the side.

What I don't like about potatoes is they are dirty.
I'd prefer they were grown on trees and not in the soil.
I don't care for the scrubbing or the peeling, cutting out the occasional eye.
I just want them when they become clean, white and new!

Got me thinking.
 I, like the potato.....was at one time a root.
As I grew in the dirty soil that was a part of who I was. 
Eventually some eyes began to form here and there.

Jesus took me as I was.
Dirty with such promise.
Beautiful in his eyes!
He cleaned me of the dirt, he pluck out some eyes, peeled away layers of things that are no longer a part of me.
He has taken me and whipped me into a beautiful white fluffy tater he calls His Own.
He continues to refine me through my circumstances.
Bring good from my bad,
 clean me up, peel away layers,

Daily whipped to be new again.
Somewhat like the daily dinner table of my youth.

A more than decent sort of fellow is my God....this is what echos from my heart today.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Say it Now~

For starters can I just say
my California summer should be over right?
In a nutshell my summer has been like one continuous
 Just last week we reached 100 and it's October....well into October.
Today is a wonderful 63 degrees with a light rain, 
I can do this!
Early in October we were part of a family celebration of my brother in law Mickey's 70th birthday.

That's Mickey in his dream car :-)

Two of his daughters, his sister and brother and sister in law from Oregon were also at the surprise celebration.
After we all enjoyed our meal together we went around the table and shared with Mickey
exactly what he meant to us.
Needless to say there were some emotional moments.
He was told what his financial words of wisdom has meant to many.
He was told what a giving, caring man he is and has been.
Personaly, I thanked him for all he did to help my family during the loss
of my Father and more recently my Mom.  There really were no adaquate words to describe
what it has meant to me. 
The next day we all met down on the beach for brunch.
I shared with Mickey a thought I had the night prior.
" Do you realize what a gift you were given?"
I told him he was fortunate to hear what he has meant to those closest to him. 
The things we generally say at a eulogy that most never hear,
were spoken to him around a dining room table.
What a gift to hear those you love express their gratitude and appreciation of you.
Often we hear where we have failed someone in some way, 
rarely do others share what we mean to them.
Do not mistake my point,
I'm not suggesting we be praised and placed on a pedestal for the things we do,
it shouldn't be the motive for doing.
I do because I love.

I am suggesting that in general how awesome it would be if we let others know,
while still with a beating heart and strong pulse,
what they mean to us.  
A Eulogy is great for letting others know about a lost loved one,
but we can tell that loved one now just what they mean to us.

I'm challenging you to tell those around you what they mean to you.
Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) or bless them with your heart felt words 
of thanks, gratitude and appreciation.

My Father made a point to thank his trash man and postman every year at Christmas with 
a card and a little something for each.

I think you would be blessed if you tried this and see for yourself just how much it means to;
a family member, the crossing guard, the custodian, the policeman, a teacher, your pastor, 
your friends and neighbors....the list is endless.

Paul in the New Testament made a habit of letting those around him know that
they were appreciated.

To Timothy, 
" I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day" (2 Tim. 1:3)

Imagine how it would be to hear such a thing?
Gratitude was a big part of Paul's life....
I'm thinking that gratitude should be a bigger part of our daily lives.
Who is responsible for some of your more memorable moments?
Who was there for you in your darkest hour, do they know what that meant to you?
Who encouraged you, provided guidance and support when you really needed it?
Who can you thank for the smallest of things they do to provide a service for you?

Maybe its time to make it a habit of noticing the grace, gifts and time given, that you receive.
Actions do speak louder than words, but oh what a special thing it is to hear it too!
Let me say at this point, 
a big heartfelt
thank you for those of you that have left messages and let me know you were thinking of me
 or missed me in blog land. It's been a challenging several months to say the least.
I just can't tell you how awesome I think you are for taking the time to do so...
Now I'm off to write a few thank you notes....this is what echos from my heart today.