Sunday, July 14, 2013

Happy Binkying Bunnies, Batman!

We have two house rabbits, Mimzy and Mikante. They are such interesting little critters.  I had this stereotype of rabbits being gentle, quiet wee beasties.  They think they are big and strong!  With their tiny mouths they can get a good piece of skin if you dare to enter their territory uninvited!  Our two bunnies like each other, they lick each other and snuggle one another ..... through their cage walls.  When they are out together, the fur flies, and fights ensue along with my rising blood pressure as we try to separate them.  They are very territorial!

Last night we were changing their cages, which is a rather time consuming ordeal.  They had made such a mess of things.  Hay was strewn all about, bottom of their cages were just messy!  When they get in their clean pens, they binky.  A binky is a sign of great happiness.  The running bunny jumps with a mid-air twist! It is quite an acrobatic feat. A bunny that binkies is a happy bunny!  Upon Mimzy and Mikante returning to their pens, the binkies ensued!  We had two happy, binkying bunnies at home.

While we were changing and making everything new and fresh, it reminded me of Jesus.  Yes, even chores like that make me think of Jesus.  Our Savior makes us clean.  We are given His righteousness in exchange for our messy sin.  He washes us clean in baptism, not just a removal of dirt, but a deeper washing; a washing away of sin.  Now, that is good news!  For the sake of Christ Jesus, your sins are forgiven!

Binky away!
Mimzysaurus Rex in clean cage

Mikante greeting me

Sunday, July 7, 2013

You Son or Daughter of So-and-So

I'm a few days behind in my bible reading plan, so this morning I was able to catch up.  1 Chronicles was my beginning book.  I groaned, thinking of reading all those names.  Son of so-and-so, son of so-and-so, over  and over for chapter upon chapter.   There are little nuggets that stand out among the lists of names, such as the musicians who served in the temple, or the warriors who fought many battles.

It dawned on me that each of us is a son or daughter of so-and-so.  Geneologies were important to show who you belonged to and who will belong to you.  Past and future connections.  For Israel, it was a tie to the promised coming Messiah.  For you and I, while we may not know our geneology, we are connected to people from the past and in the future through our faith in Christ Jesus.

While reading I saw how important family connections are to our Heavenly Father.  So important, they are named in Scripture.  He also names us in our baptism, places the name of the triune God upon us; adopts us into His family; clothes us with His robe of righteousness;  runs out to greet us when we stray, eager to forgive us; desires us to be reconciled to Him.  All of this from the "boring geneologies in 1 Chronicles".

As our own small family experiences growing pains today, I know we are still family no matter the distance between us.  We are close, even though separated by miles.  On the other side of the bittersweetness of today, will be new growth for all three of us.  God is so good to give us families.  In our families we can find an example of the love our Heavenly Father has for us, although these earthly families have faults.   Today, our family can feel the pain of separation that our Heavenly Father felt with His son, Jesus Christ.  We can also see the healing and joy on the other side of that separation!

Thanks be to God for making me a daughter of so-and-so!  Thank you Heavenly Father, for my husband and daughter!  Thank you Heavenly Father for my parents, and my brother and his family!  You have blessed me indeed.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fireworks Firecrackers Freedom and the Fourth

It's loud, explosive and exciting!  That's the 4th of July celebrations in the USA.  It's full of excitement, bright colors and loud sounds. Most of the celebrants begin prior to July 4th.  So the loudness starts days ahead of the actual celebrations.  What does your pet do with the sounds of July 4th?  Ours finds places to hide, she shakes, and she pants.  Her stress is very visible and we're unable to quell that stress.

There are a lot of people like our dog.  Fearful of the goodness of God, they attempt to keep him under control.  God's mercy is feared and people hide from it.  They are afraid of what they think is on the other side of that mercy and grace:  lawlessness.  How do I know this?  Because that was me.  I was afraid that with Christian freedom for which Christ died, I would have sin running my life without restraint!  "If God forgives all in Jesus, where is the restraint?"  So, for a time I cowered under the law and felt safe.

I could no longer fight God's mercy and forgiveness.  Scripture had become clear and the Holy Spirit showed me the truth.  I was afraid of what I was reading.  It went beyond my safe, little, soteriological system.  Limited atonement had fallen to the wayside.  The love of God came crashing in without restraint.  Sacraments were no longer symbols, but full blown reality.  The gospel was free and clear, no longer chained to a flower.  God is not controllable no matter how hard we try.  And that is a blessing!

Are you hiding from God behind a systematic shield?  Let the Holy Spirit show you our Father's mercy and love poured out for your sake, on a cross, there with Jesus.  Then real freedom can ring!