Monday, September 21, 2009

The other end of life

8:30 a.m. Today's first project is, now that I have spent a lovely, uninterrupted time with the Lord, to make up a batch of brownies called "Mississippi Muddles" that I had in the cupboard for such a time as this: food needed for the funeral reception of a sister in our church who just passed away. Praise the Lord for school fundraisers and for packages of goodies that come in handy later! I imagine the products have a major shelf life. (I'd better taste a bite of a brownie to see if they are stale)!

Funny how yesterday, my thoughts and life were consumed with beginnings (weddings and babies) but how sharply life takes a turn to the other extreme... how glad I am that my Lord is with me, and all believers, no matter what a day brings! My plan of reading commentaries for the Thursday Galatians study will definitely be interrupted to attend the service, but I trust God to redeem the time and give me the energy and concentration I need to serve my sisters who deserve no less than the best Bible study the Lord is gracious to prepare for us all!

Today's other project, which I can do later, is to prepare my last harvest of tomatoes for making sauce, paste, or ketchup, whatever a few days' cooking in the crockpot produces! We will see how that goes!

Terrie's memorial was very blessed and full of her love for Jesus Christ, and her assurance of heaven, which we there in the congregation share. She now has perfect , pain-free peace, the ultimate reward for those who put their trust in Christ!

And God injected two blessings: Melanie and Henrietta both asked about coming to Bible study Thursday!

4:30 Would that daily life on this planet went smoothly--my first phone call after the memorial came from our son in Long Beach needing the loan of our car! Looks like we'll be traveling there tomorrow morning, so Kriss and Marisela will have it to drive up the coast on their honeymoon. A Saturn is much more fuel-efficient than a sporty Infinity!

This week's Bible study is on Galatians 5:16-26 on the contrast between walking in the flesh--otherwise known as doing whatever you feel like, regardless of God and his Word--and walking in the Spirit--letting the Holy Spirit guide you into becoming the loving Christian He desires us all to be! So as I study my commentaries in great detail, using John MacArthur's Galatians (1987), H.A. Ironsides' Galatians and Ephesians (1941), and Albert Barnes' Notes: Explanatory and Practical (1832-1870), it becomes more and more apparent that while most Christians do not habitually practice gross evil, we all slip into sins--especially, I find, with the tongue! Praise the Lord that the Holy Spirit gives us the power to do the good that exemplifies the child of God: the fruit of the Spirit Himself!

Does this mean that past or present kindnesses will be appreciated, or even remembered by the recipients? Not necesarily, although it's a blessing to see the quality of thankfulness in others and in myself, because that means we are growing in grace! On the other hand, I'm thankful that poorly chosen or even cruel words can be forgiven and even forgotten when the Holy Spirit gives us that ability.

This will be a hectic week, but the time I spend in God's Word is always redeemed by the value it adds to my life, and the ability to not only cope, but be victorious in trials!

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