Thursday, May 31, 2012


On my way into the city I always pass a scrap metal recycling yard. Huge heaps and heaps of twisted, rusted, discarded metal and steel obscure the landscape. I imagine what purposes these pieces of thrown-away fragments once served. Some were, no doubt, shiny family automobiles, or the pride of a young driver, or school buses that transported energized and noisy students on their daily runs to and fro.

Other pieces probably served to heat or cool food in new kitchens, or to wash and dry clothes. There lies a twisted baby highchair and a rusted old backyard fence. The squashed bodies of vacuum cleaners and filing cabinets no longer can be recognized. Each item, once useful and carefully handled by owners, now no longer serves its original purpose.

I realize that I, like that old metal, was thrown on a scrap heap of sin and ruin one day, and that God thought, “I’d like to salvage that one for a new use!” He could see what no one else could. Indeed, He called me to accept His salvaging process so that He could change me completely and forever.

The King James scriptures put it this way in Titus 3:5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved [salvaged] us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

When I look up the term Regeneration in the dictionary, I find this definition: a renewal or reform of a person to a better, higher or more worthy state. The definition of Salvage reads: something extracted from rubbish as valuable or useful, to save from wreckage.

How grateful I am that God, through Christ, saw me available for His purifying and reforming process, and in His love and creativity salvaged me from the wrecking ball for a new and greater purpose. I will never look at that scrap yard the same way!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tho' The Wrong

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget that
though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.

by M. Babcock

King Nebuchadnezzar had determined to kill Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, so he threw them into the firey furnace. To be sure they wouldn’t escape, he heated the fire seven times hotter than usual, and bound their hands and feet.

But God…is the Ruler yet.

King Darius, persuaded by his administrators and advisors, threw Daniel into the lion’s den. To make sure he wouldn’t escape, they brought a stone to cover the mouth of the den and the king sealed it.

But God…is the Ruler yet.

After Jesus was buried, they rolled a huge stone across the opening of Jesus’ tomb and set guards so that He couldn’t escape.

But God…is the Ruler yet.

The Roman magistrates in Philippi imprisoned Paul and Silas for freeing a young woman from devils. Not only did they strip and beat them, they severely flogged them, put them into an inner cell of the prison, and fastened their feet in stocks, to make sure they didn’t escape.

But God…is the Ruler yet.

HE always has the last word!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Look

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. Luke 22:61-62

The Kindergarten teacher had them trained. When she gave important directives to her students, she would say, “And I mean…” to which they would respond, “BUSINESS!” The corresponding “look” expressed her serious expectation, and from then on, all she had to do to remind them of her orders was to give them the “look.” They could read her solemn warning, as well as her disappointment, merely by reading her face. After all, as HER students, she counted on them to not betray her confidence.

Even the apostle Peter needed reminding with the “look” that Jesus gave him, and in that moment, He remembered the warning and saw the disappointment in Jesus’ eyes. How often has the Lord instructed us about a serious matter that He has expected us to obey, only to experience disappointment with our forgetful behavior and our betrayal of His confidence? Do we neglect in the first place to see that He means BUSINESS, and think like Peter did that he had the situation well in hand, not needing the reminder.

The Lord knows us so much better than we do, can see ahead the dangers and pitfalls to which we readily fall prey, and often speaks to us through His word concerning the matter. How much better to heed the warning than to have to deal with the “look” of disappointment that He gives us when we fail Him. What a joy instead to see His look of pleasure when we listen closely, heed His word, and take each matter seriously that He brings to our attention. Has He recently spoken a word to you, as His child, and in so many words said, “And I mean BUSINESS!”

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Fly

Little fly upon the wall,

Ain’t you got no clothes at all?

Ain’t you got no shimmy shirt? Ain’t you got no petti skirt?

Poor little fly,

Ain’t you cold?

(as told to me by my Grandma Raymond)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Nest

One fine May day, similar to this one, I drove to the local garden shop to pick out my yearly “annuals” to plant around my house. I had decided to hang a planter on my front porch, so I chose one with pretty blossoms and lush green leaves.

Once home, I used a ladder to hang the plant high enough that it wouldn’t collide with the heads of those who unthinkingly strode into its path. Even though I could barely reach it, I could use my long necked watering can to reach in and provide it with nourishment.

I enjoyed the plant for a few weeks, but then to my surprise, I saw a bird flying into and out of the foliage. “How strange!” I thought. I continued to water the plant, but more and more, I would see the bird fussing whenever I approached. As the summer wore on, it became obvious to me that this furry creature was a mother, sitting on her eggs IN MY PLANT! All the more reason to continue to water it.

As time progressed, the mother bird became more and more aggressive, flying at my head every time I would try to get near the plant with my watering can. This didn’t just happen a couple of times. It occurred over and over, until I decided avoidance of this dive bombing creature was healthier for me!

Sadly, the plant dried up, the leaves withered, and in the hot Connecticut summer, the baby birds died. I guess you could say this mother bird committed a “sin against the remedy.” If she had allowed me to continue watering the plant, she would have had a nice shady dwelling for her little ones. Instead, by her own unwise choices, they died.

People can be like this mother bird too. God sends us good things that He designed to build us up, to draw us together as His people, to nourish our young, to be a joy to us. And what do we do? Sometimes, we, like the mother bird, cast these things aside in our human wisdom. Jesus wept over Jerusalem for their unwillingness to accept His good things. In Matthew 23:37-38 we read: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate.

Lord, help us to discern the difference between that which You have sent to enrich our lives with Your grace, and that which would be damaging. Forgive us for shutting out those whom You have sent to bless us and help us to know You better. Help us not to “sin against the remedy” You provide.