Sunday, January 26, 2014

Soul For Sale

He restores my soul;  He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  ~Psalm 23:3     
     This is a real advertisement from Craigslist for the Hudson Valley that I came across last August.  It reads:  Authentic human soul,  $800,  I am offering my genuine human soul on loan for 1 year in exchange for $800 cash.  Legitimate offers.  Serious buyers/investors only.  Will type up contract.

      I came across the advertisement, saved it, because I wondered about it, and then in the press of returning to school with the kids,  I completely forgot about it until I found it on my computer while looking for something else.  I wish I could tell you more about the advertisement, like why someone would decide to sell their soul at 3:00 in the morning, or how they decided their soul had a market value of eight hundred dollars for one year, or even, if there were any takers.
     This is not the first time a soul has been offered for sale.  A man from Ontario, Canada attempted to auction his soul on eBay. His listing was cancelled under a longstanding eBay policy that specifically forbids selling your soul.  Bidding had reached $20.50.
     What is the price of a soul after all?  Jesus came “at just the right time,” for the purpose of redeeming us.  He came to purchase us off of the auction block of sin.  He didn’t casually disregard us, or forget about us because He had other things to do.  He knew the cost.  He was the cost.  We were bought with a price.
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life ...,  but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  ~1 Peter 1:18-19     
      Jesus willingly paid the complete debt for our soul on Calvary’s cross two thousand years ago.    With love, He ransomed us, redeemed us, and restored us.  He gave us value, and it is far greater than $800 a year.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16
     While we were bought with a price, we are offered the precious gift of salvation freely.  We can not pay for it, work for it, or be good enough for it.  It is ours as a gift, freely given from a loving Father.   We are all just one breath, one heartbeat, one illness, or accident away from eternity.  There is no greater gift than to have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb of God.  Not for one hour, not for one year, but for all eternity.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy   ~Psalms 107:1-2 
     Have you given Him your soul?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I Am a Grateful Wife

     Do you know those movie dream sequences where two lovers joyfully run from opposite ends of a grassy field into each others arms?  Well, our marriage has never had a moment like that.  Pat has never rode a white horse and rescued me.  He has never drawn a saber and clashed his way across a room full of villains, climbed the highest tower of a magical castle, or slain a fire breathing dragon.  Most fairytales end with “and they lived happily ever after.”  And that is the point - they lived after the wedding.
     Pat has lived with me at my best and worst, which is considerable, for 34 wonderful years. I need his love and counsel.  His support and discernment.  His presence and willingness to jump in wholeheartedly with whatever scheme I’ve come up with.  Have three children, then three more.  Change diapers, load car seats, build swing sets and swimming pools, put up tents, chaperone field trips, go to summer camp, and watch ball games.  He’s gone out in the middle of the night to get medicine, ice cream, and pepto bismal.
     The villains he has fought are not found in fairytales.  He has unplugged toilets - the yucky ones.  He has killed spiders and trapped snakes and bats while I have cowered in the corner or stood on a chair yelling frantic instructions.  Pat has put together cribs, cabinets, beds, bicycles, and chicken coops.  He has been vomited on, cried on, and worn baby spit on his shoulders.
     Pat has never ridden a white horse, but He has rescued me.  He found me when my car was stuck on a highway and battled traffic to get to the scene of my accident because I said that I was uninjured, but scared.  Pat has brought me my glasses and lunch at school when I have forgotten them on the table on my way out the door.
     He has endured chick flicks.  He has done the lighting and sound for school plays for 500 students. Not one of them were his.
     And when the dragon called cancer came to call.  Pat held me and comforted me and took me for second opinions. He kept track of medications after surgery and let me nap when I felt like it.  He bought me a $25.00 sandwich on a hot dog bun after a stressful day at Sloan Kettering.    
    He gives me technical support for my computer woes.  He tells me repeatedly about stocks and target lines until my eyes glaze over, in the hopes that one day I’ll understand.  He makes me laugh.
     We’ve been in planes, trains, and automobiles.  On his mail route, I sat in the drivers seat while Pat drove the car from the passenger seat.  He has taken me on endless road trips where he has been afraid to stop for fear that I wouldn’t get back in the car.  I do not travel well.  Each week, he makes sure my gas tank is full.
     And then there are boats.  My land lubber husband has braved fishing and sailing in the ocean, and even kayaking on the Wappinger’s Creek at flood stage.  We lost a camera, prescription eyeglasses, sneakers, and a sweatshirt on that trip.
     Pat knows my faults and forgives them -often.
     Pat stands by my side in church, at home, and in life.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.  if one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.  ~ Song of Solomon 8:7
     I am a grateful wife.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Book Review: The Invisible Girls

The Invisible Girls  -     
        By: Sarah Thebarge

     The Invisible Girls by Sarah Thebarge is an amazing story of love and hope.  Sarah Thebarge weaves together her own heartbreaking story of her battle with breast cancer at the age of 27 with the story of a family of Somali refugees.  Her life is changed by this small family cast adrift in a culture they do not understand.
     Thebarge honestly describes her feelings during her ordeal with breast cancer.  She suffered from an aggressive form of breast cancer.  Thebarge shares her doubts and fears with the reader.  She says, "Unlike what some people from my church tried to tell me, cancer was not a gift from God; it was more like a demon that escaped from hell."  She emerged from this trial bruised, battered and shaken to the core.
     A chance encounter with a young Somalian mother changes both their lives.  Hadhi is struggling to keep her family of five daughters together in a new world that she doesn't understand.  Simple things that we take for granted caused needless difficulties.  For example, Hadhi didn't know how to use the oven in her apartment because she couldn't read the words on the dial.  She and Sarah form a unique friendship.
     I enjoyed reading The Invisible Girls.  It is a heart touching story that I will not soon forget.

Disclosure:  I am not being paid to review this book.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I have linked the book cover to it's Amazon page.  If you decide to purchase something while you are there, then I would make a percentage (Think pennies.).  You will not pay more for your purchase.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Deep Water

     One day as Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God.  He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.  He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
      When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”  Luke 5:1-5
     The story continues that the men launch their boats out into the deep water and caught so many fish that the nets break.  And from then on Simon, James, and John follow Jesus.
     Can you picture the crowd at the water’s edge, pressing on Jesus so that He asks a fisherman to let Him stand in his boat? Can you smell the salty air and hear the cries of the birds soaring overhead, and the deep rumbling voice of our Savior speaking words of truth?  Then Jesus turns to Simon, who was to become Peter, and asks him to launch out into the deep water.  Jesus didn’t make an announcement to the crowd, or speak to the fishermen in general, no Jesus was in Simon’s boat.  A boat about the size of a row boat, small, intimate. Jesus leaned over and spoke to Simon directly, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets.”
    I don’t know about you, but, I like to play in the shallow waters myself.  It’s familiar in the shallows. There is something comfortable about knowing that the water isn’t too deep.  I like to stay where I can see the bottom.  There aren’t any unknowns in the shallow water.  There are fewer risks.
     Unlike me though, Simon was a fisherman, used to leaving sight of the shore.  But he was a tired, failed fisherman that morning.  He had been out all night and not caught anything.  He had given up on fishing for the day.  He was just starting to get comfortable.  Just about to take a much needed rest.  But Jesus asked him to try again and not just go out a little further, He told Simon to take his little boat and go into the deep water.  It wasn’t the time to get comfortable.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”  ~Isaiah 40:31
     It was time to do something that Simon Peter had never done before.  To launch out into the deep in a leap of faith.  To not be satisfied to stay near the comfortable shore.  To sail on eagles wings.  To put out his nets where the waves had once rolled over him.   It was time to launch into the unknown, into his future with Christ.  To go, just because Jesus said to.  To let down his nets to an abundant harvest, to a miracle, to deeper things.
     Each year I chose a word to consider.  This year my word is Sail.  I want to catch the wind of the Spirit in my sail and launch out into deeper water, to leave the comfort of the shore, to experience a deeper walk with Jesus.
“Now Voyager, sail forth to seek and find.”  ~Walt Whitman
     Put out into deep water.
Pin It button on image hover