Friday, January 29, 2010

When God is All You Have...

My niece, far away in her dorm room in Pennsylvania, posted her status on Facebook for all to read last weekend.  It was just enough information to inspire me to write something for my blog. So,  Katie, muse comes from many different places and today I will venture outside the status box of Facebook and connect to God.
 write something:  Katherine Henry   "A house full of condiments and no embarrassing."
Katherine Henry
I don't know exactly what  she was talking about, so maybe I will assume it was about her dorm area fridge.  Sounds like it could be the posting of a hungry college student who gets her meals from "The Commons."

I started thinking about condiments and the three basic ones I pictured inside this  fridge were Mayo, Mustard and Ketchup.

Imagine your fridge for a few minutes as your spiritual place, the place you open for sustenance, the place to partake in delectable morsels to satisfy a hunger, a hunger for righteousness.  There in front of you is the Mayonnaise, the main ingredient is  eggs, full of protein to help build a strong body.  An Egg has three parts to it, The shell, the yolk, and the albumin or the white, yet it is an egg, Some have used an egg  to get a mind picture of the difficult concept of  God as triune,  Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Mixed with the eggs is vinegar.  Vinegar is used in healthy ways to kill germs, both inside your body and on your kitchen floor.  It cleanses. Then we have the oil, anointing the soul, deeming us worthy of His Grace.  There He is, God in your fridge.

So God has presented himself to us as we open the door to seek to fill our void.  He comes in a wide mouth jar, easy to open but we just need a little faith to turn that lid, pop open the jar and slather on His goodness.  Next to the Mayo, a jar of mustard which comes from one of the tiniest seeds on the planet. Jesus in His parables compared the mustard seed to the Kingdom of Heaven.  From a small tiny mustard seed, from just a speck of faith, God will empower us with His strength.  From that seed of faith sown into the garden of our lives, sprouts  garden plants with large branches able to give shade and bear fruit.

And lastly, there stands the ketchup bottle.  God is with us in all three persons, He has cleansed us and we have received His grace.  Our mustard seed faith has allowed us to grow.  As we pour out the rich thick ketchup, we are reminded where it came from, it is  the fruit of the vine.  The fruit manifests itself in our lives by our service, by our love for others and by our disciplined lives seeking after more of what God wants for us, seeking out to bring Him glory.  Seasoned with salt, scriptures remind us that we are the salt of the Earth, equipped to bring God's flavor to all who wish to taste His goodness.

Next time you go to open your fridge and all you see are condiments, think on this, .  "When God is all you have, maybe God is all you need."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Contemplating Content

Hi everyone.  I took a few days off from my blog.  I posted quite a bit in December and now just sort of being a sponge, contemplating my content for this New Year.  Faithwriters also started back up again last week.  I did write a story for the new category which was titled OW!  (Some people thought this said owl, so we had a few bird stories.  What a hoot!....sorry....had to....)  Unfortunately, because of some new prerequisites, I was not able to post it on time.  So, I guess that leaves my blog as a place to post my story.

While talking to my neighbor the other day, we were both  sort of whining... which we both hate...both feeling a little frustrated, but we know we are both blessed...Then after we both got it out of our system, we shared praises how the Lord has done so much and how he continues to bless us both.  As our  little "funk" started to dissipate,  that word...the one God's been thumping in my head since Christmas came tromping back into my thoughts.  TRUST.  

Trust, a small but powerful word.  God has been teaching me mightily as I have been considering many new ventures in certain areas  which require of me, nothing but Trust...As I am contemplating my content for my Faithwriter  "Ow!" story,  I came across a chapter in Psalm 73 about a guy named Asaph.  He was upset about why the wicked people of his day,  those who mocked God in all their behaviors,  just seemed to continue to prosper while the  good, God fearing guy like him, just couldn't get a break. He was pretty busy being envious. He knew this was not right and went to God and confessed his thoughts and God revealed to him a lot of wisdom.  Our Christian walk is not easy and God holds back for a reason.  He is sovereign and His ways are best.  After we've tried to figure things out our way and relied on our own resources and put  our trust in everyone and everything except God, He patiently waits for our humbleness to return.  I am thankful that God wants to teach me this lesson(s).  I know this is a year that I will be trusting Him for many things and learning how to keep that trust front and center.  Last week while walking across campus from one class to my next, my thoughts and conversation with God was just that..."God, help me to trust you today with all that I have been worrying about."  As that last word whispered silently within, a bright shiny "heads-up" penny met my path with the words stamped on it...In God We Trust!  I have had this happen before when I am walking and praying and God just sort of puts that penny in my path.  This particular penny was really shiny.

So here is my take on Asaph in 2010. Next time you see a penny in the road, it just may be a reminder from Heaven to trust God to see you through. He knows the ending for the righteous so let's get that same eternal perspective going, for we are not citizens of this world.   CV.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version)

 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
       and lean not on your own understanding;
 6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
       and he will make your paths straight.

Revelation Roads
Psalm 73

Oooow! Stubbed that same toe again.  If I could just concentrate on my own walk here instead of gazing over there at the other side...

I know I believe in a good God.  He must see my good intentions.  I know He knows that I love Him.  This path I have walked most of my life is full of slippery pebbles, uneven ground, and snakes hidden in the crevices.  I have fallen many times; scraped and bruised up, thus the scars. The last major fall had me hanging over a cliff, but through strength I did not know I had, I managed to hoist myself back up.  I touched my scraped hands and shredded skin wondering how long they would take to heal.  Now, I am distracted once again, looking across at the paved road where I see many travelers in nice vehicles zooming on towards their destinations.  Rising up in my heart, a curiosity like heartburn.  Ow!  The lump in my throat and the dryness in my mouth cause me to start to cough, almost gasp for relief. 

"Do they ever feel pain, God? They all look so happy and healthy. Do they have accidents; get stopped at roadblocks, run out of gas?"

I know I believe in a good God.  I can see light.  All along my path the obstacles are avoided when I am focused.  I gaze again across the road, shivering at the darkness and fog hovering all around the other side.   I engage closer and I see road rage, stolen vehicles, and everyone on cell phones.  Billboards scream out what they should wear, what they should eat, where they should go, what they should buy, who they should listen to.  They do not listen to you Lord.  They are wicked people yet their riches seem to multiply and their travels do not slow.  Mocking God, they continue on their way. 

Ow! I feel this pain.  "Why did I want to go over there?   God, you are good.  Bring to me understanding. I come to you on my scabbed knees."

Revelation comes into my heart.  I understand the destiny of the wicked.  That road over there...leads to eventual destruction, an eternal separation from God.  Lord, Your light shines into my own foolish thoughts.  A bitter taste is left in my mouth from the burn of ignorance, my envy.   I ask for your sweet taste of forgiveness. Lord, guide me to my glorious destiny.  Wisdom shows me the finality of wickedness. I choose this road Lord, I will continue this road.  I am sure more "ows" will come, but I will say instead, hallelujah! Pain brings awareness Lord, that you have something to teach me.  You are my sovereign shelter, the binder of my wounds, and the strength of my heart.

I know I believe in a good God and I will share to everyone about the wonderful things you do. 

Coleene VanTilburg
Jan. 12, 2010


Friday, January 1, 2010

Goodbye 2009. Welcome 2010!

It's Two Thousand and Ten
A time to begin once again,
To reevaluate a goal,
Maybe find a new role.

Is it writer, is it teacher,
Step out and be a preacher...
New wife, new mother,
A new grandchild to smother?

Some need to get a movin'
from sittin' and chewin'
   And some need to chill 
  Just learn to be still.

Whatever you resolve to improve this New Year
May God have His hand in which direction you steer.
"For I know the plans that I have for you, 
Prosperity and Hope in a future." May your dreams all come true!
Love to All 
Coleene and Family