j3 divine designs

Musings

Yes! You Can!
Yes! You Can!

This is a really good message from Peachtree Presbyterian Church. The Holidays can be stressful at times and planning our goals for the new year can be too! Just remember, Yes, You Can!

O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,

 for those who fear him have no want.

—Psalm 34:9

 In Psalm 34, David is an aging teacher offering the wisdom of his life to a gathering of children and young adults. He begins by charging them to:

Fear the Lord.

We know that the fear of the Lord is not dread, but reverence. So why use the word fear? In part it is because of the visceral intensity that the word fear carries. Similarly, God intends for our relationship with Him to be more than just a pleasant association, but rather a life-and-death passion. This kind of fear-packed reverence has been illustrated in this way:

An unfaithful husband fears that his wife WILL come home while a faithful husband fears that his wife WON’T come home.

A fear-shaped reverence for God cannot conceive of life apart from God.

David goes on to make the curious announcement that those who fear the Lord lack no good thing. Is he kidding? Lack no good thing? Need has a different shape in every person’s life. Every person you will ever meet, every person you will encounter today is a beggar at some life-and-death point in their life. D.T. Niles used just the right words to describe us:

Christianity is one beggar telling another where he found bread.

This sense of beggarly-lack ignites in us all sorts of explosive habits, fears, perversions, heartaches, and desires. We once hauled our tent trailer and 4 children 3 ½ hours over a rutted road in the wilderness of northeast Nevada. Friends had told us of a beautiful, remote campground. The last half mile descended a treacherously steep and twisting ribbon of road. I was afraid to start down for fear the weight of the trailer would push us over the cliff. But our friends had included a penciled map and in caps had written with exclamation points, “YES, YOU CAN!!” That’s what David means when he says, you will lack no good thing. God will supply you with just exactly what you need at the moment you need it. Every word in the Bible is part of God’s great YES, YOU CAN assurance to all us beggars.

David goes on to add that this YES, YOU CAN from God is so profound that it elevates the way we speak and purifies our behavior.

And when the Christmas season ends, be careful not to tone down the intensity of your life with Jesus and pack it away in the attic until next year.

Take this from King David, a man who as much as anyone who ever lived, had been bullied about by his inner-beggar and had learned that the fear of the Lord was God’s way of saying, YES, YOU CAN!

Questions for Further Reflection:

Where in your life do you think of yourself as a beggar?

How does this deep sense of need influence the way you live?

How does it impact the way you respond to others to see them as a beggar just like you?

Prayer:

O Lord, I wish I wasn’t needy. I wish I had it all together in my life. But that’s not the way I am. Teach me the way of humble reverence toward you, toward others, and toward myself. May my need find its fulfillment in the vast wonder of your love. Amen.

Psalm 34:9-14

O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,

 for those who fear him have no want.

 The young lions suffer want and hunger,

 but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

 Come, O children, listen to me;

 I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

 Which of you desires life,

 and covets many days to enjoy good?

 Keep your tongue from evil,

 and your lips from speaking deceit.

 Depart from evil, and do good;

 seek peace, and pursue it.

Copyright © 2016 Peachtree Presbyterian Church, All rights reserved.

 

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Mini Mangers
Mini Mangers

Why are tiny things so cute and lovable? Human babies, animal babies, doll houses...Maybe God made us sensitive to small things so we would be gentle with them. Or just admire them more than other things.

This Mini Nativity is the perfect tiny gift for Christmas. It can be wrapped in a special small box or placed in a stocking.  Stocking gifts are so much fun! It's like digging for treasure. In them awaits a lot of fun and silly gifts, but one or two special gifts, and of course, the traditional orange in the toe of the stocking. 

Made of solid pewter, the eleven-piece set has characters that are only 1 1/4" high. 

Each child would love his or her own so that they can play with it during the Christmas season and hand it down as a new family starts.

Merry Christmas to you and your family from j3 divine designs!

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We'll be at the Pace Fall Fair!
We'll be at the Pace Fall Fair!

We are very excited to be included in the Pace Fall Fair this year on Saturday, October 10th from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Come see us! We are also taking pre-sales before that you can pick up during the Fair. If you pre-order and want to pick up your items the day of the Fair, just click "local Pick-up" and you will not be charged for shipping. Looking forward to seeing you!

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Devotional - What Will People Say?
Devotional - What Will People Say?
June 22, 2015
Stay Focused
Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? (John 12:5)
 
“What will people say?” 
That can be a crippling question. To be constantly taking an opinion poll in your own mind about your actions or opinions is to be rendered silent and impotent. If you live your life trying to insure that every review is glowing, you’ll live your life anxious and disappointed. There will always be critics. And the best way to live with the critics is to be very clear about your calling. 
What has God given you to do? What is the defining aim of your life? Stay focused on that and let Jesus deal with the critics.
 
Focus: A Case Study
William Tyndale was a wanted man. You would have seen his picture prominently displayed in every post office in England. He lived as fugitive for over a decade, moving about in Germany and Belgium, always looking over his shoulder. 
His crime: Translating the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into English. 
Tyndale fled England in 1524 and published his English New Testament in 1526. The pages were smuggled back to England in bales of cloth. After years of a cat-and-mouse existence, Tyndale was arrested on May 21, 1535 and eventually executed on October 6, 1536. His executioners were merciful: they strangled him to death before setting his body on fire.    
 
During his imprisonment, as the weather grew colder, Tyndale wrote a letter asking that the commissary of the prison allow him to have a warmer cap and coat as well as a piece of cloth with which to patch his leggings. The tone of letter is humble, not a list of demands. But there is one request that reflects Tyndale’s full devotion to the task that had defined his life. 
In addition to his request for ordinary creature comforts, Tyndale asked that the commissary “kindly permit me to have the Hebrew Bible, Hebrew grammar, and Hebrew dictionary, that I may pass the time in study.”     
It is remarkable that in the final days of his life this man never wavered from one thing that made his life meaningful. We do not know if his request was granted. It isn’t likely. But his focus is clear. Tyndale was not easily bullied.
 
Answering Critics
As Mary knelt low to anoint the feet of Jesus she spoke not a word. Hers is the central action of the story, but her act of devotion is carried out quietly. 
The noise, the talking, comes from a critic. Judas doesn’t approve. He couches his criticism in the form of a question — a blend of common sense financial concern and social activism. The perfume could have been sold. The money could have served the poor. All of this is true, but hardly truthful. Judas is posturing to mask his own greed. 
It is noteworthy that Mary never answers the critic. Jesus does that. Mary’s focus is on Jesus, and she will not be bullied or distracted from honoring and serving him. 
This is not easy to do. We often hear the voice of the critic, even if only in our head. We imagine the reactions, the mocking, the unhappy assessment of what we’re doing or how we’re doing it. Asking for feedback is a good thing. Listening to hard truths from others is healthy. But living to please the critics is not. 
Mary of Bethany and William Tyndale show us a focused life — a life focused on Jesus and serving him. How will you live this way today?
 
Prayer:
Grant to us, O God, the gift of a focused life – confident in who you have called us to be, clear about what you have for us to do. And make us bold to live this life, intent on serving you rather than winning arguments or fighting critics. Help us to walk as Jesus walked, we ask in his name. Amen.
 
Mark H. Crumpler
Pastor for Teaching and Spiritual Formation
www.markthis.blogspot.com
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