2017: Page 249

Page 249 has been a beautiful fall day with the sky changing from mostly sunny to dark gray clouds, and everything in between, multiple times throughout the day.  It was a quiet day as I started with the typical prayer, cleaning, and building prep routine.  I had a few maintenance issues to take care of before turning my attention to some writing and work on promotional banners and material for the Growing Strong retreats.

As I worked, I thought about some of the issues which seem to be dividing the nation I live in as well as the things which seem to bring people together.  I try very hard to keep my posts and my blog from taking political sides because I’ve seen far too many divisions within the body of Christ created by political posturing.  The issue which seems to be the most current division brought into the political spotlight caught my attention not because of the issue itself, although I believe it is a serious issue that every Christian should prayerfully consider and seek out truth in how Jesus would have them treat others, but it was the wording in the title that caught my ear — Deferred Action.  

While people are yelling about whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, I thought about a God who chose to defer action in response to the sin of mankind.  When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, the punishment of death became obvious as God made garments of animal skin to cover mankind’s nakedness.  Later, when God called the people of Israel to Himself, it would be the sacrifice of an animal — a perfect lamb — that would defer the penalty of sin for another year.  God chose to defer action because He had a plan, announced to Adam and Eve in the garden, that would restore mankind to Himself and make a deferral of action no longer necessary.  It was in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus that the penalty for sin was paid in full and the action of God against sin was carried out.  God deferred His action until the time was right and through His action all people could come into a right relationship with Him.

Even today, I am thankful for God’s deferred action as I do not immediately receive the punishment my sin deserves.  Instead, God allows me to come to Him in repentance to find forgiveness, mercy, and grace.  Perhaps if all people would focus more on our need for forgiveness, mercy, and grace than on our need for action, we would find ourselves surrounded with far less anger, hatred, and conflict in our nation and in our world.

By mid-afternoon, I had finished the Growing Strong banner files and placed an order for them.  The day had begun early, so it was time for a late lunch on my way home.  At home I spent some time relaxing and looking at some ideas for a late anniversary trip.  Our wedding anniversary is later this month, but the September schedule is pretty full so we’ll make use of the fall break in October to do something . . . i.e. go somewhere and take lots of photos. 🙂  As the sky cleared early in the evening, I went outside to wander around the front yard looking for a photo for today’s page.  These happy sunflowers were willing to pose for me, so they became today’s photo.

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • Changing seasons can bring turmoil and/or beauty . . . sometimes you just have to choose which you will focus on.
  • If you take care of small maintenance needs, sometimes you can avoid large maintenance needs.  This is true of life as well as buildings.
  • Faith is difficult, at least for me.  It is hard to move forward when there are still unknown details to work out.
  • Politics will not change the hearts of people — at least not for the better.  Only Jesus can do that.
  • Grace and mercy triumphs over anger and hatred . . . but only when they are put into daily life practice.
  • Celebrating life is best done together.
  • I wonder how often I post yellow flowers as my day’s photo?  Today’s photo makes me want to sing “If you’re happy and you know it . . .”.  

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