The Closet Door

ClosetLike most kids, I was afraid of the dark.  I would turn off my bedroom light and run and jump in bed from about three feet away so the monsters under it couldn’t grab my ankles and pull me under.  I was especially afraid of the darkness that dwelled inside my closet.  Embarrassed to admit it, but I was 40 years old before I could leave the closet door open on purpose at bedtime.  Too many horror movies I guess.

There is another closet where darkness hangs I am still afraid.  It is the one in my heart.  I fear the part of me that does come out occasionally that can lead to monstrous results.  I desire someday I can leave its door open, on purpose, and not be afraid.  The only way that will ever happen is if I allow God to go there and clean out the closet, remove the darkness.

Darkness cannot remain when there is light, and God is: Light.

1Jo 1:5  This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him. (MSG)

That God is light – Light, in the Scriptures, is the emblem of purity, truth, knowledge, prosperity, and happiness – as darkness is of the opposite. John here says that “God is light” – not the light, or a light, but light itself; that is, he is himself all light, and is the source and fountain of light in all worlds. He is perfectly pure, without any admixture of sin. He has all knowledge, with no admixture of ignorance on any subject. He is infinitely happy, with nothing to make him miserable. He is infinitely true, never stating or countenancing error; he is blessed in all his ways, never knowing the darkness of disappointment and adversity.  (Barnes Notes – Bible Commentary)

Joy = Love + Laughter

by  guest blogger Lydia Floren

laughterEveryone loves to laugh.  Why is that?

  • Laughter is infectious.  If you are around someone who is bent over laughing (and also maybe about to pee their pants if they are a certain age), you immediately smile.  And if they keep on laughing, even if they don’t say a word, you start to laugh with them, and try to get their attention to find out what is so funny, so you can share the joke.
  • Laughter, like a good cry, is soul cleansing –but unlike tears, laughter doesn’t usually leave you exhausted or melancholy.  On the contrary, it is invigorating.
  • Laughter is bright. Not in an ethereal-luminous-sort of way, but in a blinding-flash-of-light kind of way.  In fact, you could say

Laughter is audible sunshine. 

Laughter is refreshing, especially when someone is laughing at themselves.  It reminds you not to take yourself too seriously.

  • Laughter is a game changer.When your sense of humor is tickled, and you start to laugh, whatever foul mood, or pity party, you might be experiencing tends to evaporate.
  • Laughter is a gift from God.  Think about it: God invented laughter, just as He did everything else we know and experience.  He programmed us each with our funny-o-meter. And here’s an interesting concept: God laughs.

God laughs?  Of course He does. In fact, I bet He laughs a lot.  No one could create some of the amazing quirky creatures in our world without a lively sense of humor.   He surely chuckles, as any loving parent would, at the many funny things we say and do.  And He must certainly laugh – in that deep satisfied way – when his children step into joy.

You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

                Psalm 16:11  NASB

Joy is the hallmark of a person who lives in God’s presence.  Such a person loves. And smiles. And laughs.    

 You might say

Joy = Love + Laughter.

 

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The Spook Light

hq25_hornet_spook_lightAs I was reading from the book of Psalms chapter 139, this past week, from The Message I was reminded of, “The Spook Light”.  What?  There is a light near the Oklahoma / Missouri border, just south of Joplin, MO. that has baffled people for 100s of years.  This light will appear on this one road in front of you, and if you drive to get closer it will disappear, but then appear behind you.  I saw this light when I was a young child.  I was supposed to be afraid, but instead, I was intrigued.

Psa 139:5  I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too– your reassuring presence, coming and going.
Psa 139:6  This is too much, too wonderful– I can’t take it all in!
Psa 139:7  Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight?
Psa 139:8  If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there!
Psa 139:9  If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon,
Psa 139:10  You’d find me in a minute– you’re already there waiting!

Do not fear God’s presence, but instead, be intrigued.  Look for it.  Seek it.  Embrace it.  Try your best to share that feeling of knowing God is there with you, around you, ahead of you, and behind you.  Even in the times you do not feel God, He is there.  He feels you.  He feels your pain, the moisture of your tears, and the weight of the words you call out to Him.  God is light, but He is no spook light.  His presence is nothing to fear.

Are You Afraid of Sin?

DSC_6087When the serpent was talking to Eve, why didn’t she run?  Today if a serpent was around, most of us would run.  Before Eve’s eyes were opened she didn’t know any fear.  She didn’t need to, with the exception of fearing God, meaning respect Him, and His words.  Here in front of her was sin, evil, the downfall of mankind and the world, yet she wasn’t afraid.

Are you afraid of sin?  Are you afraid of your sin?  A lot people must not be because there is a lot of it going on.  Sinning that is.  Why?  1)  Some people don’t feel what they are doing is wrong.  They justify it in a number of ways.  Real deception is when they think the wrong they are doing is actually right.  2)  The other reason they aren’t afraid of their sin is they don’t know what it cost.  Ultimately it will cost them their life.  Before that it may cost them a good job, a loving family, friends.

All sin must be paid for.  There are only two ways to do this.  1)  Either you pay for your own sin, which means dying eternally in hell, a lake of fire, and utter darkness.  2)  You accept the fact the Son of God, Jesus Christ died on a cross to pay for your sins, which means you will live in eternity in heaven.

Live in heaven forever, or die in hell forever?  Are you afraid of sin now?  You should be.

Rom 3:23   For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (KJV)
Rom 6:23   Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. (MSG)