Light on the Rock Blogs

The blogs are short articles, almost like a “sermonette” compared to a sermon. They are on a variety of topics, please enjoy.

DON’T GET ON THAT TRAIN

Several years ago, when we were living in Washington State, I was invited to my nephew’s wedding on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland.

Who could resist that? I took my younger daughter along and we planned to travel by train. I grew up in England and we had traveled by train all the time. I knew trains. No problem, right? Wrong!

The plan was to fly to Manchester, take the train to Leeds in Yorkshire, and spend a few days with my parents before heading off to Edinburgh, Scotland to do some sightseeing before taking the train on to Glasgow.

The day arrived for us to start our journey to Edinburgh. After dragging our suitcases up one stair and down another (no escalators, really?) we finally arrived on the platform. The train pulled in and we boarded. We had barely settled in for our lovely scenic ride through the English countryside when I heard over the loudspeaker: “Next stop, Doncaster.”  “Doncaster? Oh No!”  I thought to myself. “I think we’re going the wrong way.”  After consulting with a passenger and verifying that we were indeed bound for London, we grabbed our bags and got off the train - in Doncaster. Not exactly where I wanted to be.

In a much humbler attitude, I finally managed to get us to our preferred destination, and we spent several fun days in Edinburgh and then beautiful Loch Lomond. It was a memorable trip, in more ways than one.

A cute story, you might say with a chuckle, but I do have a point.  

Have you ever heard the expression, “I lost my train of thought”? Well, of course you have. I am sure you’ve even said it a time or two, or three or a hundred. 

Have you ever been thinking a thought, or even been in a conversation and you stopped and asked yourself how did we end up here? You know how it goes - you’re thinking about the weather, which reminds you of a time when you slid off the road in a snow storm, which reminds you of the Lasagna that slid onto the floor, which reminds you of a co-worker who made 20lbs of lasagna for her husband’s hunting trip, which reminds you of your boss, which reminds you of the doll house he was building for his granddaughter which reminds you of the doll house your Dad made for your children…..  and before you know it you have arrived at the land of pleasant memories, and feelings of joy and blessedness.

But a train of thought can also take you in the opposite direction to a place you really did not want to go.  You’re thinking about the weather, which reminds you of the flight that was delayed due to a thunderstorm, which reminded you of how you missed connecting with an old friend which leads you to thinking that nothing ever goes right for you and before you know it you are in the land of bitterness and regret.

Some people believe they cannot control their emotions. They assume emotions just appear out of nowhere, of their own accord. What they fail to understand is that their emotions are driven by their thoughts. Suppose you look out of the window and see that it is raining. You might think, “I’m so glad it’s raining, my garden certainly needs it, thank you God for the rain” which leads to a feeling of being blessed and happy. Or you might think: “It’s raining, now I can’t go out and weed my garden, which means I’ll have to do it tomorrow instead of going to visit my daughter. Why did it have to rain right now….?”  leading to feelings of frustration and resentment.

You can control your emotions by controlling your thoughts. Scripture tells us that controlling our thoughts is not only possible, but advisable.

2 Corinthians 10:5 says “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

We can choose to think negative thoughts or positive thoughts.  Scripture tells us to choose the latter.

Philipians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things”.

In Proverbs 23:7 it says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”.

Our thoughts are our life so it would be wise for us to make a more conscious effort to monitor what we allow ourselves to think about.

Back to the train. I have begun a practice (and I am by no means perfect at it yet) that when my thoughts are going in a negative downward spiral, I say to myself, “I am not getting on that train.”

However, as my experience in England showed me, it is not enough to just get off the train. You must get on a train that is going in the opposite direction. You cannot just stop thinking a negative thought. Try it. It is almost impossible. You must replace the negative thought with a positive one.

Sometimes it is just enough to start thinking about something else. Sometimes you need to flip the negative to a positive. But if you find that hard to do, try filling your mind with the words of God. Arm yourself with an arsenal of positive scriptures, or affirmations, that you can recall at a moment’s notice. Maybe have them written down and easily accessible to you. You could even try to whistle a happy tune or song of praise.

Many books have been written about positive thinking, and it is outside the scope of this little blog to do the subject justice, especially if you are going through a severe trial. But for those everyday little irritations, when you find yourself in a critical spirit or you simply just got out of bed on the wrong side, do not allow negative thoughts to take root. Just get off at Doncaster and get on a different train going in the right direction.

  

Continue reading
5
  272 Hits

Are you happy to be adopted?

As many of you are aware there is a couple in Kenya who have taken such compassion on the orphans in their town that they now care, feed, and educate 28  orphans. Most of them were only 4-5-6-7 years old when they were first brought to the Cup of Water Home for children. Most of them are now in their mid-teens. Thanks to those of you who materially support them they now have a hope and a future. They went from being hungry, homeless and without any family to having a food, clothing, a home, an education, and a family. Two so far have become certified mechanics and one is almost ready to graduate as a nurse. Another wants training as an electrician when he’s older. Thanks again to all of you who have made that possible.

They are so happy. Compared to the kind of lifestyle most, if not all, of you live, they still live in poverty. But they are rich compared to where they came from. Above all, they have hope that they can be more. They adore their adoptive parents. And they are very, very grateful.

On the other hand when I was a child one of my relatives adopted a 9-year-old boy. He was not happy to be in his new home, even though his adoptive family gave him all the love and material things he could want. He didn’t appreciate what they were trying to do for him. I realize it must be very confusing to be in a new home. He kept his own name, his own identity and he kept contact with his birth mother. He never assimilated into the family. As he grew older, he became more belligerent and began stealing from them. As soon as he was old enough, he left to join the army and they never saw or heard from him again, thus abandoning any rights he may have had as their child. He was ungrateful and didn’t want to be adopted.

WE also have been adopted – by God-- but will be full legal children of our Father in heaven, of God Most High.

Ephesians 1: 3-7 NIV “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us”.

Who do you identify with? Are you happy to be adopted by GOD and appreciate the wonder of what your heavenly father has done for you and what he has in store for you in the future? Or do you resist him? Do you choose to keep contact with your former life? Do you hanker after the leeks of Egypt as Israel did, when God took them by the hand and brought them out of Egypt and fed them with daily manna? See Numbers 11:4-6.

So many want badly to have a child to adopt and go to great lengths to adopt a child. And for newborns or private adoptions it can cost tens of thousands of dollars. They really want that child to be part of their family. (And may God bless those who do it.)

Do you know how much God wanted you to be part of his family? He desired you. He wants to lavish his love and blessings on you. He wants YOU in his family. Do you realize and think about the great price God paid to be able to adopt us into his family?

1 Peter 1:18-19  “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

The adopted child in return not only receives the love and resources of his/her adoptive parents, but also a new identity. He/she is now identified with the adoptive family rather than the birth family. Here’s what Abba, our new heavenly Father says to us:

2 Corinthians 6:18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters”, says the Lord Almighty.”

A legally adopted child has all the rights and privileges as a natural child and inherits an equal portion upon the death of the parents.

So do we. We are co-heirs with Christ. Imagine being an heir of God!

Romans 8:17 “and if children, then heirs—heirs of GOD and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together”

Here’s how the NLT puts it:

Romans 8:14-17 NLT  “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father." 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children! 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.”

Those of you who are parents or have adopted a child, do you remember how excited you were and how you prepared a nursery and decorated it and bought cuddly toys and sweet little outfits. God has prepared a place for you too and he can’t wait to show it to you.

John 14:3   “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

God wants you. He really longs for you.

Jeremiah 31:3  “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

God is so thrilled to have you in his family, that Zephaniah says God actually sings to us! How beautiful is that?

Zephaniah 3:17  “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness,  He will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing."

God longs for you. In fact we’re told all creation is yearning for it all to happen – when we’ll be revealed to the whole world as God’s children (Romans 8:18-22).

The question is do you long for HIS love and affection? Do you tell him so? Do you tell others about this wonderful family God our Father has placed you into?

Continue reading
6
  410 Hits

Search LOTR

Who is Online

We have 95 guests and no members online