Sunday, July 19, 2009

Psalm 37:3

This is something I did in my IBS class back in April 2007 , and I just came across my notes so I thought I would post it.

Psalm 37:3 - "Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness."

Now, I was studying the word "cultivate," which in the Hebrew is "ra'ah" meaning "to break up in preparation for planting," or "to imply oneself to improving or developing" and the word is also used for "pastor" or "feed."

This reminded me of one of my favorite verses, which is Hosea 10:12, which reads "Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you." As you can see, I emphasized the area that makes me think of cultivating.

So, this all led me to looking at the Psalm in different translations. Now when I first read the verse in class, I read it in the NIV which reads, "Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture." My first thought after reading this was, "hmm... enjoy safe pasture, kinda gives me the picture of putting my feet up, sitting in the lawn chair in the shade and enjoying a cool drink of somekind. Really taking it easy." However, that didn't fit my picture of cultivating at all. So then I looked at the NASB, which I quoted above and then the NKJV, which says, "Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness." and a picture started to form in my head... let me put the verses all together in the order that I see it working;

1st - "Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness." (NASB)

2nd - "Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness." (NKJV)

3rd - "Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture." (NIV)

Do you see the picture I see? First, you must cultivate, then you can feed, and after that you get to enjoy the safe pasture.

To me this verse, using the three different translations, can be applied this way:

A relationship with Jesus takes work on our end. It is not just all about "kicking it back" and "enjoying our safe pasture" first we must cultivate our fallow ground, get it ready for planting, for improving, and then we can sow with a view to righteousness, we can seek the Lord and feed on the faithfullness and mercy of Christ, with a hope of the promise to come, which is eternal "safe pasture."

Just my thoughts. Hope they make sense. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Pouring out of Grace

I hear this phrase a lot.

"God poured more grace on me today" or "The Lord has poured out more grace on me today" or something along those lines, and a couple thoughts hit me, so bear with me as I try my best to put my thoughts down to be understood...

My first thought was, is this phrase even in the bible? And this is what I found... Not really. The closest phrase I found was in the New Testament. 1 Timothy 1:14 to be exact, and only in the NIV as far as I can tell, and it says this, "The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. "

So, I went to the Greek and a literal transliteration of this passage would read, "Increased beyond but the favor of the Master of us with trust and love the in Christ Jesus," or in other words, as the NASB puts its, "and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus."

Now, it doesn't look like the word "poured" was even really in the original Greek, but even if it had been, notice it says, "was poured" not "is being poured," as well as, "was poured out on me abundantly." In other words, you received more than you deserved.

Which leads to my second thought. When someone says, "The Lords poured out more grace on me today," to me it implies that somehow you ran out from what he had given you previously. It was like the Lord gave you a supply of grace, you sucked it dry, and the Lord slapped himself upside the head saying, "Wow. I never saw that coming. Better give them some more." Uh, I don't think so. The bible says that the Lords grace is sufficient! (2 Corinthians 12) That means, it is more than enough, it is ALL you need! You can't run out! In Psalms 45:2 it states when grace has touched your lips, you are blessed FOREVER! Not just for a day or so, but FOREVER!

The Lords grace is MORE than abundant!

So, all that to just say this, is the Lord pouring more grace out on you today? or are you just taking hold of, accepting more and more, the abundant grace that you have been given in Christ Jesus?

Hmm? What do you think?

Thursday, July 2, 2009


It has been awhile since Julie and I actually posted anything other than pictures of Dixon. If we did nothing else, the photos of our boy would be fine, however I thought we should maybe take some time to say a few words about how life has been lately. It has been an interesting last couple of weeks to say the least.

First, a little bit about Dixon :)

He is a little boy now. At 15 months old now he bares no resemblance to the infant he was just a few months ago. Now he walks. Yes, for almost three weeks now he has been toddling around everywhere. He is very independent and doesn't really want you to hold his hand as he walks. Like all of us when we first ventured out into the unknown on our own two feet, he started quite wobbly and had three major bumps to show it. First he smacked into the corner of the shoe rack and hit himself right behind his left ear, then the next day he fell backwards and landed on the metal strip between the carpet and the linoleum. His last major spill was when he fell face first and punctured his lip with his tooth. All major "Owies" I assure you. He has been much more stable since those, but we know that this is just the beginning and we are preparing ourselves for the scrapes and bruises to follow. Though I wasn't too worried about him, I was a little worried about whether Julie and I would survive this "learning to walk" stage. Yikes! I am pretty sure that my hair will be completely gray soon...

This last weekend he had his first hair cut. That changed him overnight. I swear we came home from Eastern WA, with a different boy than what we left with. He looks so mature it is scaring me. He expresses himself very well now, both in facial gestures and in voice. He is already more technically minded than his folks, has figured out how to use the iPhone and our MacBook, plus he can turn the Xbox 360 on, as well as the TV. Not only that but he can of course get into all the cupboards and drawers. He loves to help organize the towel drawer :) The other day he took my car keys and walked to the door and was trying to "unlock" the door so he could go outside I guess. I just had to laugh... so I guess I better watch him and make sure he doesn't try and take the car for a spin...

We love him! he is our little boy and he is growing up way too fast!

In other news, we lost someone who was very dear to us. Julie's grandma passed away on Saturday, June 27th. Grandma Violet is an amazing woman, who is now living life eternally with her savior Jesus Christ. We were blessed to have her in our lives, and we were blessed to have seen her just the week before and be able to tell her we love her.

I will always remember how, just 6 days after Dixon was born, Grandma Violet (with Aunt Launa and Aunt Kay) drove over the pass in the middle of the night just to come see Dixon, her new great grandchild. I was quite surprised when I received the phone call from Julie telling me we had visitors!

Here is a photo from that Visit in April 2008.

We will miss you Grandma Violet! Love You!

So for now, Julie and I are busy as always. Between my working at Kenmore Camera full time, our work for Community Northwest, which is our ministry here at Keeler's Corner, and our time with Church, we manage to fill most of the hours in our day. Though stressful and tiring at times, we stay faithful to the path that the Lord has laid out for us, knowing that seeds are being planted and that love is being given. We are extremely thankful for the blessings that the Lord gives us daily and hopefully soon we will find time to catch up with our friends that we miss dearly. We keep you all in our prayers and we thank you all for your prayers!

Rich, Julie and Dixon :)