Thursday, October 8, 2015

"The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away..."

One verse per week memorized and pondered for 20 years... Are you in? #ponderize #ldsconf

My verse: 
"...Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

Oh Job, how I admire your courage. 

Often I get caught up in asking the Lord to GIVE. Bless me with this, bless me with that, please help me to do this, or bless. GIVE to me oh Lord. GIVE. 

The idea of "Taken away" by the Lord is uncomfortable. It's scary. It's usually quoted to describe the idea that even hard things are God's will. This can be seriously painful, and true. 

As of late though, I've been pondering the idea that having things "taken away" by the Lord is NOT a bad thing. 

What things can you think of that we WANT God to take away? 

Sin, hardship, pain, fear, despair. So many things we pray to be relieved of. 

Do you see it? 

Can you feel it? 

The Lord can take away every pain and infirmity. He can erase your bad choices, your mistakes, and your blantant disobedience. 

Oh yes, the Lord, through His atonement has truly taken it all away by taking it on Himself. 

Yes, sometimes God takes away the things we want, or think we need. Often we get upset, and act like the naughty, beligerent children that we are. 

But at the very core of the Gospel is Jesus Christ giving freely of Himself in every way as He gracefully and perfectly takes away. 

It is the absolute balance that we need. It is a masterpiece of perfection. 

It is the gospel in one short verse. 

The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. 

Monday, October 5, 2015


If someone pointed a gun at my face and asked me to live as a liar or die as a follower, what would I do?

What would YOU do?

The news has glossed over the heinousness that was the massacre at UCC in Oregon last week. The fact that the shooter asked his victims if they were Christians or not is a HUGE deal. It is THE BIGGEST DEAL of the thing; not the talking points the media touted. No, not gun control or mental health. Not even the hero who charged the killer, is the BIGGEST DEAL in all of this. *Chris Mintz IS a hero.*

No, the fact that people were martyred is the biggest deal. The fact that these folks looked right in the face of Satan, and told the truth, matters.

It matters because Christ is the biggest deal there is, and for HIM I would give my life.

For HIM these folks stood tall.

For Him I would face down the barrel of gun, knowing it was about to take me away from my family in this life.

For He did it for me already.

And you.

Therefore, as we ponderize on the new lessons and old ones refreshed from conference this past weekend, let us make sure that we are strongly and permanently anchored in Christ. Let's recommit to stand as a witness of God in all times and in all places that we are in, so that no one can doubt we know His name.

Let's pray for our country, for the Lord to protect us all. Let's pray for courage to keep on even when it's hard.

And ultimately, let's make sure that Jesus knows He's our core and center, through how we live and treat others.