THE SACRIFICE


sacrificeHe came to give his sacrifice. But he had nothing to offer.

“Lord,” he said, “I have nothing to offer you.  Not even a sparrow.  How can I be forgiven without a sacrifice?”  He  sat at the temple gates weeping. With no grain, meal, wine or not even a quadran– a quarter of a farthing– to buy even a half a sparrow to offer to his Lord.

“Lord,” he cried out once more in his anguish, “ I am a peasant.  I have nothing to offer you.  My life is meaningless. I barely have enough to keep me from starving from day to day. I am not a beggar but I am not a rich man.  What  can I give you, Lord, that would be worthy of your love?”

“Do you think I need bulls, or rams, or even sparrows to prove your love for me?  Those things are mine anyway.  That was just my way of having the people atone for their sins because they don’t really understand my love for them.  Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find.”

“Ask what , Lord.  Seek after what? I just don’t understand.  What am I to do to please you?”

“You just have to give of yourself.  Give yourself to me and I will pour out my love on you so much you cannot contain it. Seek me and righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. Trust in me. You have already shown your willingness to please me and your humility in your attitude. Go and your sins are forgiven.”

The man looked around.  He was  physically alone and knew that he heard from God himself. He left the temple area not laughing at the others for their lack  of faith and understanding, but smiling knowing that his God was pleased with him and that he was loved for who he was.

©  Simply Consider This, 2013.

PERFECT WORLD


heaven-on-earthIn a perfect world
There would be no sadness,
only joy would be found.

In a perfect world
There would be no hate,
only love and peace.

In a perfect world
There would be no greed,
only giving and sharing.

In a perfect world
There would be no race,
no color difference.

In a perfect world
There would be no religion,
no arguments about belief.

In a perfect world
There would be no disease,
no pain, no hurt.

In a perfect world
There would be no hunger,
all would have enough to eat.

In a perfect world
There would be no loneliness,
all would be included.

In a perfect world
All would be perfect,
sounds like heaven to me.

©  Simply Consider This, 2013.

MAY I ASK WHO’S CALLING?


Telephone

Ever not sure of who you are speaking with on the phone?  When I call my daughter’s house, at times it is hard to know if I am speaking with my daughter or granddaughter because they “sound” so much alike – I must question them, okay, is this Stacie or Hannah?  Even though  I am the one who gave birth to Stacie, since she moved out of the house and started a family of her own, we don’t communicate or see each other every day. Knowing her as my daughter, completely…. but if I don’t talk to her every day, I can mistake her for my granddaughter. Why? Because the closeness of every day living, communication and personal interaction with her has changed.  We still love each other, but the intimacy of every day life we once knew is not there anymore.

The amazing thing is the closer you draw to a person, the more time spent, the more intimate you become, the easier it is to “instantly” know their voice.  For example, my husband calls. I instantly recognize his voice, after all, we have been married for over 25 years and very much in love, still. We share so much with each other, dreams, disappointments, good times, the not so good times, we’ve been through a lot together – know what we like and dislike – we even finish each other’s sentences or speak the same thing at the same time.

Why? Because of the time we have intimately shared together.  Same applies to our relationship with God.  The longer we’re acquainted, (more than just an occasional 2 hr, one day a week encounter), the more time we spend with Him, the closer we become and the easier it is to recognize His voice.

The more time we spend with Jesus has it’s definite benefits…we began to think like Him, understand Him, love Him more and more as every day passes. Then it becomes a necessary part our lives…like the air we breathe, we have to be with Him.

Ah, to be so intimate with the Savior…has your heart ever yearned to be with Him like an unconsoled lover? Just to hear Him breathe, listen to His heart beat, to know the sound of His voice.  To sit quietly and wait upon Him, to share your life with Him.  Do you know what God sounds like?  When was the last time you spent some serious alone time with Him? (crisis time doesn’t count)  When was the last time you craved (just got to have) to be with Him?  Craved Him, like a parched soul craves refreshing…oh, that we would become so desperate to be with Jesus that we would crave that intimacy…heavy the heart would be without the time spent together.

How can we know our Father when we don’t spend anytime with him?

©  Simply Consider This, 2013.

ON MY DESK


Desk

On my desk lies several objects.

A pamphlet informing me of the changes made to my insurance benefits.  Two out of date losing lottery tickets.  A closed Bible.  A mechanical pencil with no lead.  A pair of glasses  which I rarely use.

Who is my protector and healer?  Who is my provider?  Who is my teacher, my peace, my guide?  Who gives me the ability to express myself?  Who helps me to see things clearly?

Maybe its time to make some changes.

©  Simply Consider This, 2013.

JOY


playing on playground

playing on playground (Photo credit: Children First)

As I sat on my front porch today, thanking God for the minimal pain I was feeling in my old tired bones, I could hear the children in the schoolyard playing,  Their laughter and unbridled joy filled the air as they played their games of tag and kickball, swinging and sliding, climbing and running and laughing.  Taking a recess from the rigors of learning.
Then it occurred to me that I needed to play more.  I’m not sure exactly how to go about that at my age.  It has been years since I have played for the sake of playing.
My life is wrapped around the seriousness of life and when I’m not dealing with that at work, I am dealing with my “self“.  How to improve.  How to make an impact on my family and others. What can I do to be a better person, Christian, husband, father and friend?
Maybe I just need to take some time to play.  To laugh with unbridled joy.  To learn to enjoy the time I have instead of trying to improve it.  To look at life with an open mind instead of trying to figure it all out,  To believe with the innocence of childhood and to forgive like today is my last.  To become a child of God instead of a student.
© MC Andrews and Simply Consider This, 2013.

LESSONS FROM MY DOG


Border Terrier

Border Terrier (Photo credit: onkel_wart (thomas lieser))

I came home from work today and my little dog, Sally, didn’t come to greet me.  When I called her over I found out why.  She had found what dogs love most–something dead to roll in.  The smell could curl your nose hairs and nearly turn your stomach.

I sprang into action at my earliest opportunity (which was only a few short minutes) and began to run bath water to get her cleaned up.  She was not impressed with the amount of scrubbing which took place, but it was necessary if she wanted to stay in the house.

After the bath, she was once again great to be around but the guilt weighed heavy on her as she hid in the corner.  I made sure that she knew that I wasn’t mad at her and that she was just doing what dogs do, but she could not be in my presence in that odorous condition.

She knows that I love her (as much as any human can “love” a dog) and will always be there to protect her and provide for her in whatever way I can.  She will never go hungry and all of her needs will be met.  Sometimes she must think that I place demands and restrictions on her that she just can’t seem to live up to.  But even when she messes up and I call her on it, she still wants to be near me.

Does this all seem familiar?

If only I could learn that devotion from my dog.  To trust and obey even when I know that I’ve messed up, believing that no matter how bone-headed I am, there is still a Master who loves me,  is aware of my shortcomings, and is still willing to pick me up, clean me up and accept me as his own–always.

Lord, help me to be half the man that my dog thinks I am.

© MC Andrews and Simply Consider This, 2013.