26 December 2008

Is His glory in you?

In Psalm 26 David said, “Lord, I love the house where You dwell, the place where Your glory resides.” (vs. 8, HCS)

The house where God dwells. The place where His glory resides. Sure. That works well when you think Tabernacle. Or Solomon’s Temple. A real building. A temple made with hands.

Think of “going to God’s house”. Going to behold His glory. Loving the house where He lives.

But don’t think of a building made with hands. Don’t think of bricks and mortar. Don’t think about fragrant cedar wood or beautiful purple curtains. Don’t think about the building where you meet to worship with other believers. Don’t think about pews and a pulpit.

Think about you. Yes. You. As a disciple, as a follower of Jesus, as one chosen to be part of the Bride, He wants to dwell in you. He wants you to be the place where His glory dwells.

Skeptical? Find it hard to believe that you are to be the dwelling place of God? Struggle to think that God would want His glory to actually reside in you? (Reside means live in case you were wondering.)

I admit I really don’t feel like a place that is always fit for the glory of God. Do you? Aren’t we taught that we must be humble. That we are only His unworthy servants. Yes. It’s true. But then there is this other part that is so often missed. I have proof. Check this out:

"Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body." (I Corinthians 6:19-20 Amplified)

Wow. So if I take the whole counsel of God and really believe what God says, it means that I am the temple of God and the glory of God should be dwelling in me.

What an amazing thought!!! So what about Psalm 26 in light of I Corinthians 6:19-20?

“Lord, I love the house where You dwell, the place where Your glory resides.”

Hmm. More deep pondering.

I don’t know about you, but I love being the temple of God. I love walking in the Spirit. Sometimes it’s very scary. It’s far from predictable. There are days of waiting. There are days of wondering. But the faithfulness of God is so comforting to my heart.

May the glory of God rest in you.

25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

The audacity of hope.

I haven’t read the book by President-elect Barack Obama. But I’ve been struck this Christmas by that phrase.

The audacity of hope. I know about the audacity of hope. My audacity of hope arrived as a tiny baby to a young Jewish couple. He was born in a small town. Smelly shepherds visited him. Wealthy kings from the east brought him uncommon gifts.

My audacity of hope is the Creator of the universe coming as a baby. Being laid in a manger. Getting colic. Like I did when I was a baby. Having his diaper changed. Like me. Getting blisters. Like me. Catching frogs. Like me. Going through puberty. Like me. Being tempted. Like me.

But at that crucial point the similarities end, for He is my Jesus. Fully God. Fully man. And yet without sin.


The audacity of God sending His only Son as a baby rather than a conquering King. The audacity of choosing Mary, a betrothed virgin. The audacity of Bethlehem as His birthplace. The audacity of the 12 men who were His closest friends. Fishermen. A tax collector. A betrayer. The audacity of the love of Jesus even for His betrayer. The audacity of Jesus’ conversations with the Pharisees. The audacity of His chosen manner of temple cleansing. The audacity of His choice of dinner companions.

The audacity that the Creator would allow those He created to crucify Him. And yet, He lives. The audacity of life. The audacity of Hope. He is my High Priest. My Deliverer. My Intercessor. My Hope.

So many people come and go in this world of blogging. Sometimes I look at the map and wonder who the people are who are reading and lurking. My husband kids me about the messages I preach online.

So if you’re a regular here or if you’ve just dropped in for the first time ever, please leave me a comment. I’d love to know who you are and why you like to visit my blog. It's your Christmas gift to me. :o)

And if you don’t know the Audacity of Hope, I hope you meet Him this Christmas. I’m sure the greatest gift you could give Him would be yourself.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!!!

23 December 2008

Christmas Stuff Part II

Sunday my pastor/husband finished his message from Isaiah 9. 

For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I blogged about the first part of the message HERE. So last Sunday he spoke about:

Everlasting Father. And yes, it means forever. But it means ancient (as in: times past) and also continuing future. That name only confirms that God has always been and always will be. Now for Father: God as father of his people, head of a household, of benevolence and protection, ruler or chief. The part that interested me most in this is the Hebrew word. Hebrew here is simply "ab". Hmm. Sort of made me wonder about the connection in the New Testament. Abba Father. But also I noticed that this word Father comes as the very first word in the Hebrew dictionary. It's number is H1. Father comes first.

Prince of Peace. Daniel noted that often we think of prince as being simply "the son of the king". A young man who has only the power of a prince, but not the authority of the king. However, when you do the word study you'll learn that it not only means prince, but also ruler, leader, chief, captain, general, commander. And also, Ruler of rulers. Jesus is the Ruler of rulers. 

And peace. It's a familiar Hebrew word: Shalom. It means completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safety, quiet, tranquillity, contentment. But also friendship, with God especially in covenant relationship

Jesus is the Ruler of rulers of peace with God, especially in covenant relationship. 


I've had to ponder these new things I'm learning about Jesus. And be amazed all over again at what can be learned when you dig a little deeper. 

Dig deeper this Christmas and see what you can discover about this Jesus who longs for a "covenant relationship" with you. It's one of the reasons He came. 

17 December 2008

Time for an anniversary

No. It's not my birthday. It's not our wedding anniversary.

It's the Boston Tea Party. December 16, 1773. I thought about celebrating. And I thought perhaps our long ago relative Sam Adams and his friends, John Hancock and Paul Revere might possibly be turning in their graves. (My husband's sweet mother was an Adams. Yes, descendent of Samuel and John Adams. Way back.)

Three British ships moored in Boston's harbor. Ten thousand pounds of tea. Men and boys dressed as Indians (while all along everyone knew they weren't Indians at all). Townspeople standing on the wharf watching it all. Said men and boys being very careful to throw overboard ONLY tea. All other cargo was to remain untouched. They even swept the decks of the ships after dumping the tea overboard. A man caught pilfering tea was sorely punished. 

And last night I read the headlines. Something about all kinds of new tax in 2009 for New York. Tax on this. Tax on that. Tax on something else. 

Tax is why the Boston Tea Party happened in the first place. Free people in a new free world being tired of the king on the other side of the globe finding all kinds of new ways to pay for the things he was doing in England. And taxing tea was the last straw. 

The Sons of Liberty said you could smell the sweet fragrance of salt water tea in Boston harbor. 

So today I remember the Boston Tea Party. I remember all that our founding fathers believed in and longed for. I remember the freedom they fought and died for. I remember. . . 

And today I wonder where our country is headed. I listen. I read. I pray. And I remember that the ultimate freedom isn't found in this country. It's found in the next Country. The Country where the King of kings is reigning. The Country in which is the Heavenly City, the New Jerusalem. The Country where wars will never be. The Country where my Father's economy will never crash (He has streets of gold. Go figure.). The Country where children have enough to eat and mothers aren't afraid of the influence of the kids next door. The Country where father's hearts never have to fear a lack of provision for their families or the ravaging of their wives and children. The Country where the Glory of God is in its proper place. All the time. 

And to think that I started with the Boston Tea Party. 

The Boston Tea Party has only made me long for the true Country of ultimate freedom. I hope to see you there. Maybe we can chat. Over a cup of tea. 

15 December 2008

Christmas at Thanksgiving

We celebrated many things at Thanksgiving this year. First off it was Grandpa Showalter's 90th birthday. And it was Thanksgiving Day. The day after Thanksgiving we celebrated Christmas with the Showalters. 
Daniel read the bedtime Scriptures to Grandpa and Grandma. 

Elsa: eager, faithful kitchen helper

Tristen's new favorite person: Lish
Dad and the brothers bonding.

Grandma and my sister, Kristine. 
If you're interested in updates on the Grandparents you may visit kristineshowalter.blogspot.com.
Grandpa with his birthday cake. Aunt Audrey made one of his favorites: black walnut cake with carmel frosting. 

And beyond these few there are so many pictures of uncles, aunties, cousins, play time, food, Christmas gifts, grandparents, silly faces, food, lounging, cousins, food. You get the picture. I needn't post them all. 

14 December 2008

Who Started This Christmas Stuff?

A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable; and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.

She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year - overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally the elevator doors opened, and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed, she couldn't take it anymore and she stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot."

From the back of the car, everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond, "Don't worry, we already crucified Him."

For the rest of the trip down in the elevator, it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. This year, don't forget to keep "the One who started this whole Christmas thing" in your every thought, deed, purchase and words. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.


I don't know who penned this little story, or if it's even true. Maybe it's a story to make us think. Today my wonderful husband-pastor preached a message from Isaiah 9:6-7. Those verses that tell us a few names of Jesus: Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Too often we read through them quickly. Or we hear someone sing them in all their majesty as part of Handel's Messiah. We have those verses memorized. We know them. But stop for a moment to consider. . .

Wonderful. What is wonderful? "Just wonderful" you say. No, this Wonderful means wonder, marvel, extraordinary, hard to understand. That's my Jesus. He's Wonderful. Maybe kind of like "indescribable"?

Counselor. And isn't your first image the psychologist, the psychiatrist, the shrink, trying to find out what's wrong with someone, the someone who has deep emotional problems and hates their family? Hmm. Try again. To advise, consult, give counsel, plan. That means that my Jesus is open to questions. He wants me to ask. He's there to give counsel and advice. He is my Counselor.

Mighty God. So often the portraits of Jesus almost make me think He's wimpy. Soft hands. Weak face. Wait. He's also the Mighty God. Mighty means strong man, mighty man, brave man. And that means absolutely anything but wimpy. Sort of makes me think rather of a hero. Conquering King. Standing up to the ultimate evil. Smashing the bad guys. Rescuing me.

But there's more. It's Mighty God. And yes, mighty and God are two separate words. The word for God here is the Hebrew "el". And yes, it means "God", but it can also mean "strength and power." So I guess that packs a lot of meaning into "Mighty God" doesn't it. To start out with just "mighty" and then add "God" to it. . .  sort of turns it into "the strong, mighty, brave God Who is full of strength and power". I don't think it's redundant at all. 

Sorry. That's all I've got for now. My pastor says if the Spirit is willing (and doesn't change His mind before next week) he'll finish the message and tell us about "the Everlasting Father" and "the Prince of Peace." 

So if your week gets tough, don't forget your Jesus is Wonderful, Counselor and a Mighty God. Walk with Him. He knows where you live. 

13 December 2008


So, November seems a very long time ago. . . but here at last are some of my favorite pics from the 10 days we spent with dear friends in two different locations. We started out with Darwin and Joan near Remus for Revival services and ended the trip with Seth and Heidi in Fife Lake. And trust me, there were a whole lot of other friends in between!! It was so good to be a Michigander for a few days. . .

Tob and Tristen with Nick
Darwin and Joan (my very favorite picture of them!)

The weather was beautiful the first part of the week. I was really wishing I'd brought flip flops along for the kids it was so warm! The girls helped rake leaves one afternoon after school. 

Another fantastic day was a friend's birthday party! Most of the afternoon was spent outside playing in leaves and riding horses. Pure bliss for these small Hobb(it)s. 

Sophia, Mahlah (the birthday girl) and Emelyne

For some reason the llama really loved Daniel. . . 

That's my boys. ..

It was so good to see Erma. . .
and Robert and Mary.
Then on to Seth and Heidi's home-sweet-home. . . where babies can sit on countertops and taste the dough.
And where good buddies can enjoy the sheer wonderfulness of granola squares before bedtime.

Sweet friends, Seth and Heidi.

So there I shall end for now. I'll try to make sure it's not so long the next time. I've blogged so many times in my head. If only I could get all of them into the computer. . . 
Related Posts with Thumbnails