Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Prayers Mixed with Perfume

Do you wonder what happens to your prayers?  I do. Where do our prayers go when we pray. To God? To an altar in heaven?

The Bible writes that they have an eternal essense about them. They do not dissipate like the vapour from an aerosol can. They are more like radio waves that remain. Revelations 5:8 says that "the prayers of the saints" are stored in golden vials (bowls) and presented at the throne room of God before the Lamb.

But first our prayers are mixed with incense (perfume) and then they ascend like smoke before God.(Rev.8:3-3). Perfumed prayers. Now that's a thought.

The Old Testament was familiar with this picture. The psalmist wrote in 141:2 "Let my prayer be set before you as incense." All of Exodus 30 deals with building an altar of incense and the composition of the perfume for the atonement prayer.

Expensive perfume lasts a long time. It's a new thought to realize that true prayer mixed with incense will last longer than our mortal bodies.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

God's Love language

Much is said about people’s different love languages. People don’t understand others because they define love differently.  Five things = love.

Words of Affirmation: This person can be shattered, or feel cherished by the words they hear from someone close to them. “Thank you, you did a good job” means love to them.

Quality time: This person feels love when someone plans time with them, and then keeps this special time sacred. Making an appointment with them gives them anticipation of love. It also gives them something to remember.

Receiving gifts: This person is not thinking about the gift. You put them first! They cherish your effort and thoughtfulness. Not remembering a significant date tells them you don’t love them.

Acts of service: “Let me help you” means I love you to this person. A husband resented his wife asking for help in the kitchen until he realized this truth about his wife. Kitchen time is repairing their relationship.

Physical touch: If the one you love is distant maybe they need a hug. Try a pat on the shoulder, or hold their hand. To this person it shows that you care.

In the midst of thinking about my friend's love languages I wondered how God defined love. Immediately, I knew. John, the disciple said it in II John 1:6 …”this is love, that we walk in his commandments.”

God’s love language was obedience! When we obey him he defines that as love.
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.” John 14:21. Wow!

Father, forgive me for offered you service instead of obedience. Forgive me for not loving you or others. You said these two are the foundations for all your commandments.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chain Reaction

Good choice. Bad choice. Obedience. Disobedience. They always cause a chain reaction.

My son Ron remembers vividly a childhood disobedience that caused a chain reaction. His Dad told him not to play in the separate garage, but he was in second grade and full of energy and action. The garage was storage for valuable things including wooden storm windows taken off for the summer.

A fort in the garage's attic seemed like a great idea. He climbed on top the storm windows stacked against the wall and kicked off to climb up. He went up. The windows went down. One by one they crashed through a metal bucket as he watched horrified. What a long day until Dad came home. Bad choice

Recently as an adult Ron shared another chain reaction. He was installing carpet and went back to a store to quickly pick up something they forgot to send. The only clerk was waiting on an older lady, and Ron walked the floor impatiently.

He said a quick prayer, and felt he was to chill and sit down. Three people he knew came by in sequence and talked to him. The first two people he encouraged and pray with them there in the store. One of them said he wasn't sure why he came into the store. The third person he gave advice on what to buy and saved them $600. Good Choice.

As a bonus he found out that the clerk was helping a widow make decisions after a home disaster.

Decisions are not isolated. They are part of a chain reaction.

Lord, in our busy lives, help us to be obedient to your still small voice. Psalms 37:23.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Internet and Change

The internet came into my world unannounced  and uninvited. It was like a piano being dropped into my living room. It demanded that I cut off old friends and welcome in its friends.

My generation had been brainwashed by literature and life. Long flowing detailed setting were part of the stories we read. Thoroughness, excellence, verbose explanations were encouraged. Writers still thought the line, "It was the best of times it was the worst of times." was pure poetic beauty. Today they would ask you to make up your mind and text it to me.

We remembered the story about the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise won the race because of his slow perseverence. Then we read the revised version of the story on the internet. We found out the hare actually had finished the race, run two other races and was home enjoying the prize money. At this point some of us elders decided that speed might at least be equal with perseverence. The part about money convinced me.Writers like to be published and money paid to you is the seal of worthiness.

The attention span of the world had changed, and the internet was just a vivid illustration of that point. No one had time or desire for anything time consuming. So I said goodbye to old friends and welcomed new. The semicolon was shunned, and the m and n dashes became my new friends. Many adverbs and adjectives were left in isolation to ask each other, "How,When, Where, or Which, What kind of, and How many. I learned that the humble newspaper pyramid was to be my friend. My writing style altered according to the market.

Books that were written without complete sentences, and in an unorthodox way I stopped judging and started taste testing.

Publishers also became my friends.  Publisher answered in three days when stories were sent  by email and it took weeks by snail mail. This resulted in less rejection slips. Publishers with time crunches used  the internet for material to fill their needs.

Facebook gave me friends with similar interests. Interesting friends.

The internet itself is still not my personal friend. But I am winning it over. I am taking a class to learn about it so I don't offend it when I don't understand its language or actions. And I don't laugh at it when it is s-l-o-w. But I do love the irony of it.