For today, here are some point-form mini-posts:
- My Uncle Bob died on the 9th of August and his funeral was in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan on the 14th. I took my mom to Edmonton and then we went with my brother to the funeral. My mom is #7 of 8 children and Uncle Bob was her younger brother. Now there are two siblings left. It's not easy getting older.
- A young woman in our church invited me to come over and meet with some LDS missionaries yesterday. It never ceases to amaze me how much vocabulary we share with the Mormons, but I pressed them on the nature of God. We can agree on a thousand things, but if we have a fundamental disagreement about who God is, there is no agreement at all. It's monotheist vs. polytheist. If true religion is about what we do, then we have a lot in common. If true religion is about who we worship, then we couldn't be farther apart. Confusing the Creator with the creation is not a small matter (Romans 1:18-21) and that's what the doctrine of the exaltation of man does.
- A couple of phrases in Jeremiah 48 jumped out at me today: You will be like a juniper in the desert! For, because you trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be taken.... This is in a prophecy against Moab, but it reminded me of some of the stories I'm hearing of people that are suffering in this current economic slowdown (crisis, I believe, is too strong a word for our local situation. I don't know any hungry people that are bound in chains because of their debt).
When we were on the coast recently, I was admiring a friend's cedar trees. He said that he had to water them like crazy to get them to look like that. The Lord's pronouncement to Moab was that they were going to be like a fruitless bush in the desert. In other words, the Lord had been watering them. He sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous, but because they trusted in their works and treasures and not the Lord, they were going out on their own (with some help from the Babylonians) and would suffer deserved drought.
When times were good, I had some concerns about people that I know. They were buying all kinds of things on time and living beyond their means. I think they are feeling rather like a bush in the desert now. I hope they learn who the Gardener really is and begin to rely on Him.
Juanita just reminded me of Spurgeon's Morning and Evening for August 13 (she said it was probably in the back of my mind as I was reading about the tree in Jeremiah, and I think she's right. I did read that entry last week). Here's an exerpt:
"The cedars of Lebanon which He hath planted" - Psalm 104:16
Lebanon's cedars are emblematic of the Christian, in that they owe their planting entirely to the Lord. This is quite true of every child of God. He is not man-planted, nor self-planted, but God-planted. // Moreover, the cedars of Lebanon are not dependent upon man for their watering; they stand on the lofty rock, unmoistened by human irrigation; and yet our heavenly Father supplieth them.