Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Protector

God is our protector and shield. He is our ever present help in trouble. He is always with us, and He has given his angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways.

How many times have you heard this? A lot? So have I, and I believe every word of it. God gave us these promises in His divinely inspired Word. It is completely true. We can count on it.

Despite all this head knowledge, however, do you become accustomed to the goodness of God? Is His protection something we have taken for granted? Do you thank your Heavenly Father for His protection simply because you have heard it in prayer so many times that it rattles off your tongue?

It is too easy to become relaxed and ungrateful.

I woke up this week.

It happened fast, and the danger was past before I had time to pray or think. It was almost over before I knew there was any danger. Let me explain.

I enjoy riding my bike, and I combine cycling with my newspaper delivery job six days a week. My route has become a special time of consideration, prayer, and, on occasion, singing praise songs to God. My songs are never loud or technically difficult. They may not always be real songs. Words are changed around, new lyrics are tacked on to familiar melodies, or common words might be given a new tune. I have fun, and even when my voice is tired or strained, it can be hard to stop once I begin!

On this particular day I was singing words like:

You are my Protector
You are my Shield
My Heavenly Father
My Guardian and Protector

It isn’t poetical, but it was heart felt. As I alternated between humming and singing – all the time tossing newspapers unto one porch after another – the word Protector kept coming up. It wasn’t intentional. I was only half thinking about it. Other words would break up the monotony, but Protector kept coming to my mind and tongue.

I turned onto an alley and headed toward my next street. A sharp turn came – the same turn I have gone around hundreds of times before. An almost new privacy fence shielded my view of the way ahead. I was going fast. This was an opportunity to shave a few seconds off of my time. Tea and a book awaited me at home. The wind was rustling the trees. I couldn’t hear.

Bam. A truck jammed on the breaks just yards in front of me. My bike veered to the side of the alley and narrowly missed hitting the heavy pickup truck head on. We had both reached the turn at almost the same moment. Neither of us had been able to see the other.

I steered my bicycle around the truck. He continued driving. I rode a few feet before stopping – the delayed reaction of my near miss overcoming me as I sat there in the middle of the alley. The realization of how close I had come to severe injury – possibly even death -- dawned on me. The natural response was a deeply felt prayer of thanksgiving.

"Lord, I was singing earlier about how you are my Protector. I did mean it, and you were more than faithful. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for keeping me safe."

You see, I believe we are in danger more often than even we know. How many times has something similar to my story happened to you? I am sure we can all think of times that something terrible almost happened – but it didn’t. God is great! He is our Protector and Shield. Trust Him. Praise Him. He is worthy of all honor and praise. I will keep singing! What about you?

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;

I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91:11-16

Read the rest of Psalm 91! It is so encouraging!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

He is Alive!


He is risen!
He is risen indeed!

The picture was taken at our church Easter Pageant.

Friday, April 06, 2007

His Sacrifice


Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”
Matthew 26:26-29

"Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all."
Isaiah 53:4-6

Read the rest of Isaiah 53. It is all so good that I wanted to post all of it!

I took this picture of the Lord's Supper last week at our Easter Pageant.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday


So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”

John 12:13

The pictures were taken this week at the annual Easter Pageant put on by my church. My sister Susanna is in the top photo. I like to think that she is playing the part of the biblical Susanna – a follower of Jesus Christ.