Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fw: By, through and for




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 7:28 AM
Subject: By, through and for

Colossians 1:16 "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him."
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I spotted the pictured dragonfly this morning right after reading the verse above.  I had been moved by three simple prepositions that described Christ's sovereignty: By, through and for.  This verse proclaims so powerfully and yet so concisely why Jesus has a claim on all of His creation (including us):  All things (even the dragonfly) were created by Him, through Him and for Him.  You can't get around that word "All" and you can't get over the fact that this includes all things "in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible".  It's amazing enough that Jesus created the visible things...but somehow especially reassuring that He also fashioned the invisible things.  And He made them for Himself.
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It is reassuring to remember that we are among "all things" that were created by, through and for Jesus!
-
Rob Smith


Monday, June 19, 2017

Fw: a different attitude




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2017 7:27 AM
Subject: a different attitude

It's interesting to consider how our attitudes are formed.  What are the forces that shape our hopes, our fears, our dreams, our ambitions?  It seems that there are sources within us and from without as well that shape our attitudes.  Jesus teaches on attitudes that are associated with people who are looking to God as the source in Matthew, chapter 5.  Here is one attitude: (verse 5)
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 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
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What a short statement...only 10 words.  But what a contrast to the attitudes that the world presses on us and that can boil up from our own desires.  Our ambition often is more like: "Successful are the powerful, for they shall conquer the earth"...or "Happy are the wealthy, for they shall buy the earth".
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But the meek one is the one who doesn't need to conquer because the great battle has been won already and he is trusting in the victor...the Savior.  And the meek one isn't driven to acquire wealth because he is a child of the Heavenly Father...and his needs are being satisfied.
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"shall inherit the earth"...Rather than striving for things that perish, or do not satisfy, the meek one rests in the Lord.  On the far side of death awaits an inheritance greater than any human ambition can attain.
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blessings,
Rob Smith


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Fw: comfort in sadness




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Saturday, June 10, 2017 7:31 PM
Subject: comfort in sadness

Matthew 5:"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
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My daughter's father-in-law was a wonderful man.  Steve was a Midwest pastor for 40 years in several churches.  He just retired over the past few years and moved to be near family with his wonderful wife Carol.  Then he was diagnosed with leukemia and hardly more than 6 months later he has moved on to Heaven.  Tomorrow he will be remembered in a special service.  There is grief and there is mourning in this family, without doubt.
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The second beatitude throws two apparently contradictory words next to each other...two emotions that do not appear able to coexist: "Blessed are those who mourn".  How can it be that anyone who mourns could also be blessed?  Blessed, is positive...clearly...and seems to mean that from God's point of view there is something that connects the one who mourns with the One who comforts.  It doesn't mean that the suffering and loss are removed but that there is One in Heaven who both understands and is sad with those who mourn.
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Consider Jesus' attitude when he was with Martha and Mary just after their brother Lazarus had died:  
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John 11:33  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"
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When we mourn there is nothing of self left and only God can truly comfort at that time.  From God's point of view His expression and His desire is compassion and comfort.  From the standpoint of the one in grief there is nothing that can be done but receive the most personal of gifts, the personal touch of our Heavenly Father, who is also acquainted with the loss of an only child.  There are tears in Heaven.
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Blessed are those who mourn the loss of Steve.  We trust that each one will feel the comfort of the Heavenly Father.
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with love for Steve, Carol and family
Rob Smith


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fw: Blessed are the poor




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2017 7:14 AM
Subject: Blessed are the poor

Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
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One way of knowing what country you are in is to look at the currency of that place.  There generally is a picture of one of the sovereign rulers stamped or printed on the paper or metal money.  To be poor in that country is to have very little of that money...in fact to be poor means not having enough to meet your needs.
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If your country is the country of the "spirit" that means the most important place you consider home is not a geographical location at all because there is no currency or coin that can buy things of the spirit or meet the needs of the spirit.  The spirit is the inner, eternal part of every person that starts life here but eventually transitions to the spiritual realm for eternity.  The one who makes this realm their place of residence has planted their flag in that place that exists outside the reach of a GPS system and beyond the measure of any clock or calendar.
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And the one who makes this realm their home and realizes they are poor...that is they don't have what is needed on their own to live in a forever place...have made Heaven their kingdom.  And when Heaven is your kingdom to dwell within, then God is your King and you are ready to receive the mercy and grace He would provide to satisfy your poverty.
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And so you are and shall be Blessed!
-
Rob Smith


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Fw: sky and earth meet




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 7:22 AM
Subject: sky and earth meet

There is a place where sky meets earth,
We call it the horizon;
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Appearing as a distant line where heaven
meets the planet.
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But sky meets earth within our frames,
Our Maker came to walk our ways.
He came down and does today!
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For Heaven would be joined with man...
(after all that was the Plan...)
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And reunite us by His hand.
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Can you see the distant line, where
sky meets earth?...now bring it near!
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And as the source of Heaven's love
comes down, comes close and comes within,
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Let sky meet earth within your heart!

 (a song of the Savior)
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Ephesians 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
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blessings,
Rob Smith


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Fw: weathered tree




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 1, 2017 7:07 AM
Subject: weathered tree

Oh weathered tree, you are like me;
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Your twisted trunk has worn the years
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and seasons past-yet you still last,
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With roots that show your anchor's fast.
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Connecting to your life supply-
fed from the ground and from the sky,
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Your summer leaf's the flag you fly.
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You show the wear but also stand
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to bear the mark...the Master's hand.
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Psalm 52:8
But I am like a green olive tree
    in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
    forever and ever.
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blessings to all the weathered trees!
Rob Smith


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fw: the shepherd and the sheep




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 7:26 AM
Subject: the shepherd and the sheep

Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
According to Phillip Keller, who wrote "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23", sheep are very reluctant to lie down.  He said that four requirements must be met before they will lie down:1) They are very timid and must be free of all fear first.2) They must not feel intimidated by sheep around them.3) They must be free of torment from flies or parasites.4) They will not lie down unless totally free of hunger.-I spotted sheep in Colonial Williamsburg Friday evening.  They were all 'standing up' and busy eating the grass at their feet.  Some of the sheep, like the one pictured, were sorely in need of shearing.  They were the picture of harmlessness, and I suppose, vulnerability.  As we consider how "The Lord is our shepherd" we realize that we, also, are vulnerable.  And like the sheep that Phillip Keller described we cannot find complete contentment unless we are free from fear, intimidation, torment or hunger.  In both a natural, survival, sense and a spiritual...heart-peace sense we need a Shepherd's assistance.  Keller discussed how, as a shepherd, his very presence would bring calm, settle disputes and reassure the sheep of protection and provision.-Ezekiel repeats the picture of God as our shepherd in chapter 34.  Here is a passage that restates the thoughts we've just discussed:-Ezekiel 34:15 "I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice."-May the Lord be your shepherd and may you find peace and comfort to also lie down,Rob Smith