Reflections by the Pond

#781: A Delightful Path

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October 10, 2016

Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
Psalms 119:35

Is it any wonder that those without Christ look so contemptuously on those of us with Him? Is it at all surprising that they might, at least, scratch their heads with befuddlement over the philosophies and ways of the redeemed?

#780: From a Glass Darkly

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October 3, 2016

Humility is an unappetizing meal that few voluntarily select from the menu. We would far rather expound on the small chapbook we know, than confess to the vast libraries we do not. Man's brain may be larger than a sparrow's, but in its earthbound form it is still too small to hold much of anything at all.

The brain's limited capacity is further reduced by all the dubious information we pour into it every day. Even when we pay a visit to today's digital storehouses of knowledge, the information we come away with is often so corrupted as to be of questionable worth. Pick a topic, any topic, and listen to the mindless drivel people think they know about it...

#779: Face to Face

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September 26, 2016

As wonderful as it is having Christ in our heart and head, He remains invisible to us. No one on earth today has the slightest idea what He looks like, and except for a handful of disciples, even those who did see Him on earth, have any idea what He looks like now. Today He is our Master and Lord—but not one of us has ever heard His audible voice. We worship Him—but it is always in absentia; we are with Him in spirit, but never in person. We have to imagine Christ Jesus upon His throne; we have to imagine the One before whom we bow in adoration...

#778: What Does He Want

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September 19, 2016

For this is the will of God, your sanctification.
1 Thessalonians 4:3a

Among those who acknowledge that He exists, there are perhaps an infinite number of opinions or questions regarding what God is all about. Who is He, really? What is He really like? and Why does He do the things He does?

Whatever He is, whatever He is like, whatever He does—why? Why does He bother?

#777: Time Away

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September 12, 2016

People often use a vacation to break away from the steady, unrelenting rigors of their occupation—something to break the monotony, or bring physical or mental relief. People sometimes need a break from troublesome people, but God is not troublesome. He is not a weight upon our shoulders. He is not someone who drags us down, but someone who lifts us up...

#775: Living Seriously: A Glorious Ascent

(Last in a Series)

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August 29, 2016

The Dance begins at the cross, and it is there that our love is periodically renewed. But beyond this, our Life-Dance with Christ is conducted in the mundane normalcy of everyday life. The Dance is played out amidst business meetings, changing diapers, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, mending children's clothing, taking out the garbage, working the third shift, and in the marriage bed. The Dance is a tapestry of spiritual love woven intricately throughout the highs and lows, the disappointments and ecstasies of the believer's life.

The Dance is a glorious ascent from the leaden soil of earth into the gravity-defying arms of Jesus. It is not escapism, but a re-energizing of truth in a Maelstrom of lies; it is a raft of peace in a churning sea of discontent. For the Christian, eternal life with God and the present indwelling of the Holy Spirit are automatic; the Dance with Christ, however, is optional...

#774: Living Seriously: The Dance

(Fourth in a Series)

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August 22, 2016

Our invitation to the Dance comes from the cross. Everything begins there. The cross is the navel of all eternity: everything before the cross accelerates toward it, while everything after looks back to it as its source.

The Christian's deep, visceral longing to be with the Lord is based—at least in part—on what Christ did at Calvary. Our love for Him is based on the spiritual and historical truth that He loved us first, with a love so profound and complete as to cast into shadow any similar expression of man...

#773: Living Seriously: Eternal Life

(Third in a Series)

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August 15, 2016

Many believers, and just about all unbelievers, think of the relationship between earth and heaven as reaching a point where the former ends and the latter begins. This is my life now, but at some point I will die and cross the threshold into my eternity. But the truth is that our eternity has already begun, and for the believer it is an eternity with God. The Christian's eternity with Christ does not begin at death; it begins at the moment of conversion, when the Holy Spirit comes in to dwell...

#772: Living Seriously: Flowing from the Throne

(Second in a Series)

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August 8, 2016

The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
John 4:19-24

Because the telephone is now portable and compact, most people carry it around with them and use it constantly. Practically every other person one meets in public is conducting his or her life with a small plastic device held in their hand. Today, by the blood of Christ, the place of worship is also portable and compact; every believer carries the temple around with him. Yet, unlike the ubiquitous smart phone, it is rarely used...