Struggles

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Many of our struggles come because we do not deal with our sin.

“When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away

Through my groaning all day long.

For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;

My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.”

                                                                                       Psalm 32:3,4

 

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Struggles

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Many times we do not deal with our sins because we do not see them.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way.”

Psalm 139:23,24

 

Struggles

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And many times we do not have a vision for what God is wanting to do both in us, and through us.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do no cast me away from Your presence

And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation

And sustain me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,

And sinners will be converted to You.”

Psalm 51:10,11,12,13

“How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,

How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,

And in whose spirit there is no deceit!”

Psalm 32:1,2

Struggles

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Many times, when we do see our sins, we don’t know what to do with them.

“I acknowledged my sin to You,

And my iniquity I did not hide;

I said, ‘I will confess my transgression to the Lord’

And You forgave the guilt of my sin.

Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;

Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.”

Psalm 32:5,6

 

“…but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I John 1:7,8,9

Thursday

What gets you up in the morning? We’ve all heard people say things like “I love my work so much, I can’t believe I get paid to do this!” Or, “If I could do anything I wanted, it would be just what I am doing.” I have never found the work I could love this much, and, believe me, I have tried a lot of different things. Oh sure, there have been short term projects that would heighten my interest in “getting at it,” like a new knitting project, or a new book, or a garden plan. But with time the thrill fades, and the work becomes simply routine. One morning a couple of weeks ago, I was considering this question as I got dressed, and trying to think if there was ANYTHING that could possibly capture and motivate me so that I just couldn’t wait to get up and get going. The evening before, in my Bible study group we had been focusing on the ten commandments. Then it struck me; the first commandment: “I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me.” As a Christian, I should be drawn to rise in the morning by the most thrilling privilege possible: I get to meet with the God of the Universe!   He tells me in His word to come to Him; invites me to pour out my cares and my needs. He promises to answer me.  All those other things I might get up for, the books, the garden, even what I am having for breakfast can, at times, consume me; they become “other gods” when they are the reason I look forward to the day. I have lost my first love…

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”  

I believe He is coming back soon, and I want to be ready to see Him.   What gets you up in the morning?

North Kitsap ’69

Last summer we had our 45th high school reunion.  It was a nostalgic time, held at the “My Girl” 50’s themed museum near Kingston.  Somewhere around 60 people came, and enjoyed looking at the collections, including cars, but even more, it seemed, enjoyed seeing and talking with one another.  We’re a pretty close-knit group, getting together nearly every summer for a simple potluck at a park, and meeting occasionally during the year to “plan” the get together.  After the reunion I found myself thinking about those who were there, and others who are on the emailing list, but didn’t make it.  And the thought came into my mind to email everybody and share the gospel with them.  Immediately I thought “No, I don’t want to do that.”   I could envision the surprise and offense such an email could generate; “Who does she think she is, using our school email list to preach to us?”   There’s a lot of past shared with these people after all, people you wanted to impress, people who know your secrets, people who might laugh at you…But the idea persisted.  From August and into September….I finally wrote a message, not sure if I would really send it.  But one day I did.  I steeled myself for rebuke, but none came.   Eventually I had about a dozen responses, most of which were encouraging.  A couple of guys had questions, a couple were involved in what I would call cults.  I emailed everyone who responded back; if they had contacted me privately, then privately, if the contact had gone to everyone, then I replied to everyone.

Here is my letter:

It was fun to see so many of you a couple of weeks ago at our 45th. I still have trouble believing that I am 63 years old this year (and so are you!) To watch everyone enjoying each other’s company after all the years apart was pretty amazing. (Not to mention the hula hoops.)

As I look at the news lately from around the world and in our own country too, I am often stunned. Much of it seems really unprecedented in our time. Time may well be short for our world, and I believe we need to respond to God’s urging to “seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.” If you are interested in doing this, I have a couple of suggestions.
Sit down with a Bible (the English Standard Version is a good one) and read the book of John. Ask God to show you the truth.  If you should see your need for a Savior, do what this book says: Believe and receive Jesus Christ, who died for your sins, (John 1:12) and He will forgive you and give you eternal life.

Give your life to Him and it will never be the same.

Love to you all,
Marilyn
birkland8@gmail.com

I pray for my classmates as they come to mind, that they would pick up a Bible and find Jesus Christ.  It’s the most important thing a person can do.  Have you found Him?