Friday, March 28, 2014

In, not Of

I dressed this morning with thought in mind that I'm going to be riding in the car and then running around town this afternoon. For whatever reason, my blue and white shoes were laying in the middle of my floor. Town + blue and white shoes = do-able. I pulled them on.

Kezzia made comment of my sanguine socks over breakfast. I just laughed at her.

However, when I got to work and stepped out of the car, the minute my foot touched the ground I cringed. Because our landscaping around here has been professionally done by rain and melting snow. And all it really is is mud.

Mud + blue and white shoes = ...WHAT WAS I THINKING?

I've gone back and forth between the office about twice today. Muddy, potentially slippery slopes in between. Up and down.

Guess what? My shoes are still white.

I began to think about that a little more as I walked to and fro. Just because of my footwear, I chose every step carefully. I walked ahead, not pausing, but every place I put my foot was chosen beforehand. I walked lightly, unwilling to sink. Unwilling to stop for very long. Unwilling to get the slightest spot on those shoes.

I'll admit, I chuckled. "Why don't I always walk like this? Just because I have on shoes that are okay if they get a little muddy."

That's when it hit me. My white shoes....a white robe. The muddy ground...a sinful earth...

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, keep himself unspotted from the world" (James. 1:27).
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" (1 John 2:15).
"I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil" (John 17:15).

On the mud. Not in the mud.
In the world. Not of the world.

The second revelation came from a post online. A quote from inspired writings about the devil. He wants our worship. But he doesn't try to get it from us like he did from Jesus. He doesn't blatantly ask for it. Instead, he gives us "gifts."

The devil is more determined to get me down than I could imagine.
His all-absorbing interest is how to ruin my life.
He just wants me dead.

But how often do I willingly accept the gifts he places in my path for my ruin?

How often do I, like the fated traveler in the old story, have compassion on a serpent and pick up and place it against my heart--only to be bitten in the end?

I look at this world and see something frightening. Everything that he can, he's using against me. In every way possible.


But. I don't have to be overcome. I don't have to go down. I don't have to get muddy. I don't have to...

Because 2000 years ago, the Son of David crushed the serpent's head. The bite to His heel didn't remain. He is now the Supreme Ruler.

And He calls me, "My Child."

This morning I got a wake up call. Two of them.

It's time to stop picking up the devil's serpents.
It's also time to clean my shoes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Time and again over the past week or three, I've opened Blogger and clicked on the "Create Post" button.

And time and again, I always stare at the empty space...and close the tab.

There's things I want to say.
But I have reasons not to.

There's things I could say.
But I decide they aren't necessary.

There's things that maybe I should say.
But I don't.

So, instead, I sit back and watch.

I watch one friend arrive in a foreign country and immerse herself in culture, in people, in living love.
I watch another return from a different field and berate herself for adapting so easily again to the American way of life--vow to return.
I watch one lead young people to the foot of the cross while accomplishing scholastic feats I would never dare.
I watch some speak words of hope, of challenge, of binding the wounds--and, in turn, see the countless numbers responding like parched souls in a desert.
I watch some give their very lives for the cause of Christ.
I watch some discovering who they are.
I watch others stretching their wings, gaining long-lost confidence.
I watch some grieve.
I watch some rejoice.
I watch some triumph.
Others find peace.
Others lend a helping hand.

As I see what those around me, around the world, are doing, it silences me.

I look within, at my own little life, in my own little corner, touching few with the ripples my pebble creates; and I feel as though I'm missing out on something special.

I'm busy. I'm working. I'm learning, growing, laughing, loving... but....

I feel empty.

I feel as if my own selfish interests have been swallowing up my joy, piece by piece.

So I watch in silence.

To all of you whose lives I've been privileged to watch, keep up the good work. You are inspiring weighty pondering.

And, when you think of it, say a prayer for those who are simply watching.

It could mean the difference in eternity.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Last Step

"It is the last step that wins; and there is no place in the pilgrim's progress where so many dangers lurk as the region that lies hard by the portals of the Celestial City....It is when Heaven's heights are full in view that hell's gate is most persistent and full of deadly peril."

Driving through the silent night, we talked. Our thoughts tended to martyrs, Christians who gave up their lives for the love of their Lord. We talked about the many who have gone before us--those many who would've given ANYTHING to live in the day we do--and how nothing daunted them. 

And we talked about what's coming. How the horrors of the past are but hollow when compared with the future. 

She said it. "But you know, pain only can get so bad. There's a point that it just can't hurt any more than it already is."

I didn't find myself convinced. My pain threshold is low: and my natural self quivers at the word martyr. I said as much, but my chauffeur only said that that may be our lot. And God would see us through if it was.

It was after that that something impressed me to start reading through the Great Controversy in my quiet time in the morning.

As I've walked next to Wycliffe, denounced pomp and apostasy with Huss, and walked toward the stake with Jerome, I've begun to slowly realize that she's right.

On top of that, I've begun to question my love for my Savior. Am I willing--no, not willing, eager--to lay down my life? Do I love Him that much?

The Desire of Ages is next on the reading list. I think I need to know Him more.

It is the last step that wins. 

And if you take that last step in flames--or pain--what difference? 

You just have to take the step. 

And a step only lasts as long as a step can. Because there are more steps to come.