Campfire Thoughts

 

We camped this weekend. It was incredible to meet the campers around us. There were retired couples who have loads of time to travel from place to place. They had very interesting and unique stories. There were working people who were taking advantage of a long weekend away and who were often seeking a safe outlet for the frustrations or joys of their lives. There were families who were vacationing with their kids. Kids being kids they were more than happy to regale us with lots of family history!

We all happened to converge on one particular campground at the same time. We will probably never see these people again, but for one night we occupied the same space in the world.

We speak with our new friends of our adventures, the good, bad and ugly. We introduce our families and meet theirs. We sit around a campfire and share whatever version of S’mores is popular at the moment. We gladly and enthusiastically talk of our “toys” that are along with us, whether they be Harley’s or side by side’s or horses or of course, our faithful dog companions. You name it, we love to share those stories. It is humans connecting in a comfortable, enjoyable and un-encumbered environment.

How often does that happen?

As we talk with these kindred campers, we have the perfect opportunity to share exactly where our hope lies and why it lies there. Do we do it? It is hard to step over that line sometimes because you know that there is a very real possibility that the conversation will not be welcome, and that would be, well uncomfortable.

However, is it worth being uncomfortable to plant a seed of gospel in a life that might be devoid of that? Or maybe the seed has already been planted and you will be the water and sunshine that makes that seed sprout, is it worth it then?
Maybe the reward we are seeking with a weekend away should not lie so much in the fact that we get to light a campfire, as it should be we get to light a fire for Jesus. The true joy lies in watching that fire take off and burn!

Dottie
…………..and so I ride

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The Love of God

You know, a lot of the time it seems that we humans really don’t like ourselves that much.  If we hold ourselves with such contempt it makes me wonder how in the world God loves us so much?

Is it just me that wonders this stuff?

Rich Mullins said it so perfectly, when we are hurting and life just isn’t going well people like to say everything will be ok because God loves you……………so what…………God loves everybody and our lives are still a mess. That comment really struck me as almost brilliant, in a perverted sort of way.

When we come to the end of our days are we going to be able to say with all honesty that we knew the depth of God’s love for us?

Think about it.

How many of us can let go of enough control in our lives to experience the true depths of God’s love? Do we have the capacity to understand the multi-dimensional, multi-layered, depth and width of a love like God has for us. Are we brave enough to experience that kind of love?

I have thought a lot about hope and faith in the last week or so and I have come to the conclusion that the love of God is not always apparent to us but just because we can’t see, feel or touch it doesn’t mean it isn’t there and doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Letting the true depths of God’s love wash over us is an act of faith I think, it is believing God loves us, living like God loves us even when it is hard to discern that love. We are finite beings believing in an infinite love. That is difficult at times.

I have to break it down to what I know (you know, the research thing).

This infinite God has intervened personally for me, He became finite (human) and walked the same world I live in. He not only walked under the same sun, moon and stars as I do, He gave all that up and died for me. The kicker is He lived a pure, sinless life and died for me, who certainly never has and never will live a sinless life.

Jesus didn’t die a peaceful death surrounded by people who loved Him. Agony doesn’t even begin to describe what He went through.

It is so often said that God gave his only son for us, but I think that is the biggest understatement of all time. When I stop to think of the real depth and width of that gesture I start to get an inkling of His love for me. He reached down from heaven and touched my life personally with the blood of his Son.

I read somewhere and never thought of it to much until tonight…………that the love God has given us is not a philosophical observation or some scientific concept. It is so much more than that, it is a living, breathing thing that joins us with our Lord.

I don’t think we can ever hope to even begin to understand the depth of a love like that. Do I believe He loves me like that? Yea I do because I can feel His breath on my shoulder when He whispers in my ear “I love you my child not in spite of who you are but because of who you are. You are a child of the Most High. “

I dare you to believe it.

Dottie

……………and so I ride

  1. Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.Love of God

Hope and Faith……….do we dwell there?

Life has been just crappy lately. I think that it would be easier to deal with life sometimes if it made sense and we could figure out what in the world God was doing and why. However, it doesn’t always work that way. It is certainly easy to lose “hope” and “faith” when life is spiraling out of control and events don’t make any sense at all.

We are taught after all that God loves us and God protects us. It just doesn’t feel that way sometimes.

We have all railed at God and wondered just how big he thinks our shoulders are.

We pray, spend time in the Word, go to church every time the door opens and yet it seems that you are being singled out and punished in cruel and unusual ways. Then the next thing you know hope is gone and your faith just quits working ……………or so it seems.

Now the glowing hope and faith that burned inside you is being replaced by doubts and suspicions and you are just tired. Hope is lost and faith no longer has a place in your heart to call home.

I read something today that got me thinking and frankly made me a little ashamed of myself. Have I been not giving hope the amount of attention in my life that I should have been? It certainly seems like most times when we speak of hope it is little more than lip service. I’ll be the first to admit that hope wasn’t one of the things I placed very high on my list of important things and for some reason I placed faith far ahead of hope.

The author of these amazing thoughts hit it square on the head. “ The fact is, faith won’t function without hope. After all, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1) He went on to say that when hope is lost, faith loses its aim and no longer has a mission to accomplish, scattering uselessly in any and every direction.

That was a brilliant reminder of where my mind needs to be in these dark, difficult days. The author said to let hope come alive with expectation and not desperation. Lose yourself in what God is about to do in the situation instead of fearing what will happen if He doesn’t perform like we anticipate.

That sounds like sound advice to me.

Don’t lose hope, don’t lose that gift that God gives us that what He has promised us WILL come to pass in our lives. Oh sure, this situation, or the next or the next may not turn out like we want it to. But we can be assured that this situation and each and every situation that we face, turns out the way God intends it to.

Find the peace that God promises, interestingly enough some days peace does not look like happiness but happiness is fleeting where Gods peace is constant and everlasting and a true blessing.

We might not believe it, it might not feel like it but God is in control of what happens in His children’s lives. I have faith that God is with me no matter what I am walking through and I do not journey alone.

Dottie
………………and so I rideHope and Faith