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Friday, October 10, 2008

Thanking God for His Provision

This picture was taken in January, but the weather rumors would have this year's wood dusted with snow by morning.

My husband owns his own business. He does landscaping, landscape maintenance, painting, fence building and such. One of the perks of this business is that he brings home plenty of firewood. Tonight, I am very grateful for this. In my town, it has turned unseasonably cold, it has even snowed a bit and there is a pretty hefty storm working its way here.

Today isn't the first day of the year we have turned on the furnace, but today is the day the furnace has decided to not work. My husband noticed this afternoon when he came in that the temp was only 62 degrees. (I was off taking care of stuff, so I was clueless.) He went downstairs to check the furnace, did something to it and thought it was taken care of, nope. This evening he realized that it was not working at all.

Bottom line:
Our furnace is out and it's a holiday weekend, so the furnace peeps won't be back on the job until Tuesday. Neither of us is willing to pay those lovely weekend/holiday rates, so we will be spending some cozy hours near the wood stove. Should make for a sweet time.

Forgiveness follow-up:
Because of my last blog and something a friend has been dealing with, I have been thinking more on this subject. When someone sins against us, how do we respond? With shock? With sadness? With disappointment? With indignation? Yes; depending on who it is who does the sinning, our response can be any one of these. What that response is depends on how serious the sin is, how severe its impact on our lives and/or those we love and how close we are to the one who sins.

When we find ourselves taken unawares* by sinful thoughts or feelings, our responsibility is to stop them in their tracks, ask for God's forgiveness and move on to the pure and holy.

Having said that, I would also submit that not all negative responses to sin are sinful. When a person sins against us, it is right for us to be shocked, sad, disappointed or indignant because sin is an affront, not only to us, but to God. And yet in Luke 23:33-34 we see that God's response to sin was to take its punishment upon Himself and make a way for forgiveness,

"When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, 'Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.' And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves."

We can see the fruit of Christ's work on the cross in Paul's instructions to us in his letter to the Romans (12:14-21) where we learn how we must respond to sin and why,

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath {of God,} for it is written, 'VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. "BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

This is a tall order but by God's provision we can forgive others.
*When I say taken unawares, what I mean is that we are all sinners and therefore sinning comes naturally. It is what we do with those thoughts and feelings that separates us from unbelievers and when what we do is right, it is only by the grace of God, with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

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