I wrote about the events that happened Dave originally on September 17th. Today I wanted to give you an update. It's been a little more than a week now. I can say that just by acknowledging my struggle aloud, I felt a release in my heart. Then as I meditated and prayed about the situation, asking God to continue to heal my mistrust or lack of acceptance to His plans, I felt a peace grow inside my heart. It took less than a day.
Then, on the next day, my husband said, "Wow, Dave's lump has really gone down." I'd shaved the area before trying to drain it the week before, so the lump had been extremely obvious against his bare skin. Skeptical, I looked at Dave and sure enough, the lump had decreased in size by half overnight. Dave's lump had been visible about four days before I tried to drain it initially, believing it was a growing abscess. Many may not know, but for several years I was a veterinary technician at several clinics and studied as an undergrad preparing to attend Vet School. Fixing minor issues like the draining or cleaning of wounds was nothing new to me. My experience in this field is why I chose to try to initially drain the wound.
As I examined Dave, I wondered how much his current situation was created to make me aware of my internal faith issue that God wanted to deal with for my healing. Over the next couple of days, the lump has continued to decrease in size. It is currently the size of a shooter marble. I continue to pray for Dave's complete healing from this issue, whatever it may be. And now I also have a peace that regardless of whatever comes in the future, that God has a good plan for me and Dave. I am honestly a little surprised to feel this constant assurance where once my broken heart had only skepticism. I know this is the power of the Living God working within me. And I know, given the chance, He will do the same for you!
We cannot live in Christian community without transparency. Yet, too many of us go to Sunday church or meet with other Christians with a mask on. We come smiling, ready to put forth a positive face and attitude. Unfortunately, entering a world of smiling faces may not be an honest reflection of our walk with Christ.
Sinners entering into such an atmosphere may feel rejected, like we cannot understand their pain and struggles. If we fake joy or happiness to appear what we are not, we build barriers between us and those needing Jesus. Saints may also feel insecure about admitting their failures or struggles to other Christians. This insecurity leads many to put on a mask to appear that Jesus has completely fixed their life. Sometimes, all these masks look like everyone else has their act together and you're the only one failing. As a result, you might fear judgement should the truth be known you don't feel much joy right now or you are struggling with a sin. If we create an environment where everyone is allowed to wear masks, we undermine the power of the Gospel.
The Gospel is for our darkest hours, our trials and temptations, and even our complete and utter failures. Christians must be able to safely express the darker side of life with each other without fear and rejection. In order to grow in our walk with God, we must be free to express the not-so-nice things of life without condemnation, in a safe environment where we are protected by love. Fear of not wearing a mask prevents many from experiencing the freedom that comes in true Christian community. Freedom where we can ask and receive help at any time, for any thing.
Every person has faults. We who are spiritual should be in the process of edification and restoration for everyone around us, especially the household of God. And we must be willing to work from a humble place of remembrance that our own sins have been forgiven. Operating from love and humility, we will avoid the temptations of gossip and pride and fulfill the Love of Christ. When we create a culture of love, humility, and acceptance each other's areas of strength and weakness, the family of God will pray for each other and experience unimagined victory together!
Masks may be comfortable, but the rewards of living mask free are SUPERIOR.
A mask free life can:
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Inspired by Ms. Cowman, I've been thinking about the Christian walk and how it relates to the Emmaus Road experience of those first two disciples and to me personally. The result of my mediation is my own original poem entitled The Emmaus Road for obvious reasons. I wrote it in a formal rhyming couplet pattern with a syllable 12-13-12-13 design. I was originally thinking of the power of the numbers 12 and 13: 12 for the original disciples and 13 for the disciples plus Jesus. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
The Emmaus Road
by Sharon Aubrey © 2018
Lord, we walk in blindness on the Emmaus Road,
Emotionally wounded, our hearts a heavy load,
Confused we move forward, each step a precious ache;
Life’s journey moves us forward, for no one it will wait.
We walk towards a city, our destination clear,
But first we travel valleys with frustrations and fear.
Our path winds onward, up steep temptations and strife,
Then trudges slowly, the beaten tracks of daily life.
We see a rest stop, where we pause to be refreshed,
A glimpse of truth is given; we gain a second breath;
The road along the heights of victories we walk,
Exploring bits and pieces, of puzzles we do talk.
Drawing near to the house, we turn to ask you in
Humbly you entered, as one without burden.
The meal satisfied more than body by the bread,
For breaking it we saw you had risen from the dead.
Our hearts filled with great joy, we hurried to our feet
Returning to the former path, we walked down the street.
No more are hills and valleys, no more heavy loads,
For Christ was among us on the Emmaus Road.
Our path is now made strait, from a perspective change,
A shift into the Spirit, temporal things are strange.
A secret we will carry deep within our hearts,
Our Savior is alive; nothing can keep us apart.
His love an endless spring from which we draw supply,
His eternal Spirit now dwelling with us inside.
Our joy unspeakable, no worldly man can take,
Our mouths proclaim His glory, not even Hell can shake.
Bold with every step, we walk the road unafraid
Looking for other sheep that have turn aside or strayed.
The Good News we proclaim to all who will but hear,
Jesus Christ the risen Lord calls all of us come near.
Come to Him for salvation, forgiveness of sin;
Don’t delay! The God of Love is welcoming you in.
Nothing you have ever done or could ever do
Is stronger than the precious blood of Christ shed for you!
© 2018, Sharon Aubrey
While everyone is celebrating Palm Sunday today... the truth for 2018 is that this Sunday isn't really the "Palm Sunday" of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. While it is technically the fixed date the Church decided to celebrate, it isn't based on the truth of the crucifixion or resurrection as identified in Scripture.
For 2018, Passover occurs on sundown, March 30. This means the date of Jesus dying on the cross at 3pm would be on March 31st (Nisan 14th on the Jewish calendar). Four days before this event is Nisan 10th, the day the lamb is selected; the date Jesus would have triumphantly entered Jerusalem on the donkey. This means this year, "Palm Sunday" actually is "Palm Tuesday," March 27, 2018. Palm Tuesday doesn't sound as romantic, but it's accurate. Similarly, the day you were born on might originally have been a Sunday, but this year your birthday is actually on a Wednesday. The date of the month you were born remains the same, but the day of the week moves depending on the year.
For those of you who love the Lord, it's nice to know we can still know the EXACT date Jesus suffered and died with little work, but it requires us moving away from the traditions of men in order to find the Truth. It's also wonderful to know we can be positive that before sunrise on April 3rd of this year, Jesus arose from the grave, and the tomb was found empty by Mary. So while you might be celebrating Easter next Sunday... remember on Tuesday morning, April 3, 2018, that this was the actual date almost 2,000 years ago your Savior conquered death! This is Nisan 17, and this is the reason for my newest book: Redemption's Secret.
When you are secure in your salvation and know how deeply you are loved,
then you are fearless to love others.
Generosity isn't about money.
It's a mindset of the heart.
Generous people will always find a way to give,
even when they seemingly have nothing.
May God make us more generous people.
I truly believe when you have a need, God will provide the answer if you ask Him. Though the answer may not necessarily be an easy or fast solution. And, of course you're going to have to put in labor as God provides the opportunity.
When God said, "The Just shall live by faith," He meant it literally!
Last winter my son, Jared, noticed our small arctic entry porch was not warm enough or large enough for him to work on his school project of rebuilding the small engine in his motorcycle comfortably. I told him to pray about God opening a window to provide a new shop for him to work in, as we didn't have the cash to purchase a brand new building and Jared dreamed of working on other mechanical projects. At first Jared doubted me, wondering why would God care about a shed. He had the mindset of many Christians today: God cares only about the BIG things of life. But then I told Jared the truth, God cares about EVERYTHING!
If it's important to you, it's important to God. God may not care about things in the same manner as you do and sometimes He shows us our goals are too low and lifts us up to higher levels. But if something is really troubling you, on your heart continually, or you need something to move forward, then seek God for help. God promises when you need help, call on Him and He will answer.
After explaining this concept to Jared, I trusted the Lord to provide. Believing God would provide the way, I started looking for potential opportunities on Facebook classified listings. Then one day last summer, I came across an ad for someone looking to have an old shed removed. I responded to see if we could take on that project and remove the salvaged wood and other building materials. Then our family with several volunteers from Eaglecrest Alaska Missions spent time tearing down the old shed from the 1940's. We sorted and stacked the materials at our house to be recycled for Jared's shop. Although we still didn't have enough lumber to complete the entire project, we had a good start.
We often tend to believe God must be an ALL or NOTHING God, and our answers must come right now. When in reality, God is always ALL in for our good. He provides everything we need, but often in steps that we can manage. I continue to mediate upon the bible verses about not despising the small blessings or to him who was faithful with little more was added. When we want everything right now, we may overlook what is already at our disposal and the opportunities right in front of us to move forward. While we wait for God to miraculous provide the finished miracle, we miss the steps He's given us to complete that finished miracle. Most of the time, God wants us to take that step of faith first before we see His hand moving. If you doubt this, go back and reread the gospels. How many times did Jesus not heal instantaneously but gave a command to be obeyed before the miracle manifested? Jesus put mud on the eyes of a blind man from birth then told him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. Only as the individual steps were taken was the final miracle shown. First the man came for help, then Jesus spit and made mud to put on his eyes and gave direction to wash in Siloam. Later, the blind man would have to journey to that pool and actually wash before he regained his sight. The final miracle was a result of the small steps the man took and the reactions of God to his faith. First he came for help, then he took the steps necessary as God led to achieve his miracle.
As we step out in faith, more is given.
That's exactly what happened with my son's shop project. In October, we had enough money to purchase the lumber for the rafters, but not enough to cover the roof. Then my sister donated tongue and grove planks her husband had salvaged from a friend's basement remodel. The wood would have gone to waste if her husband had not saved it years ago. But, sadly her husband died the year before, and his project ideas went with him. The wood sat hopeless for a long time before she offered it to us.
With supplies in hand, we started laying out the 16 ft by 30 ft shop late in autumn. It's been a lot of hard work laboring in the cold. From previous experience, I had the knowledge to design the basic wall and rafter layout. Then Jared and I spent a weekend constructing all the walls. On a different weekend, I built the rafters. With help of four friends, we raised the walls and the rafters on another weekend. Then we began the process of sheeting the building. This weekend, Jared and I finally finished the roof and closing in the front loft. We also built barn style doors from scratch to enclose the front bay area. The weather has prohibited building daily or even weekly, but as weather allows, we continue to labor. Of course, we have to dress for the cold weather with several layers of clothing and appropriate outerwear.
All that's left at this point is to install the windows, main door, and a wood stove for heat. But again, God has provided. The windows and main door were donated to us as leftovers from a previous project. The wood stove was also donated from Aunt Linda, which came from her previous house. Everything we've needed has been provided: a little here, a little there. After the exterior structure is complete, we still have roofing to install and painting, but are believing this summer when the weather allows, the materials will become available.
This shop stands as a testament to God's willingness and faithfulness to partner with you as you believe in Him and step out in faith to work with what's already in your hand.
More pictures will be provided later on my blog as progress continues on the building over the next few months.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honor him.
An Alaskan Author, Prospector, Homeschool Teacher, Ordained Minister,
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