Blog Archive

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Not Fair

This Tuesday thru Thursday, focus will be on three key principles of the Christian life.

"Wealth consists not in the abundance of our possessions,
but in the fewness of our wants."
~ Unknown

Not Fair

"Your Father in heaven ... makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."
~ Matthew 5:45 (NKJV)

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)

Yet again, I knew the topic of today’s post well in advance. Yet again, the Lord gives me the message afresh in the day I write it.

Yesterday my children expressed disappointment for what they perceive they lack. But they knew better than to cry "Not Fair," because I’ve explained countless times that God is certainly not fair.

The Lord does not give to us with the measure we deserve—as He would if He were fair. He instead blesses us when we’ve cursed Him. He repays our evil with good. He returns our apathy with love.

Jesus is the only Man Who might have legitimately said, "Not fair." The Son pleaded, "Abba, take this cup from me. Yet not my will but Yours." The Father said, "No. I will not take from You the cup of My wrath. You will die for sin committed by others, that they might live for Me and bring Me glory."

The unspoken argument against "Not fair" did not prevent my sympathy with my children’s frustration in perceiving their upbringing a little different than some of their peers. I remember well my own childhood lament to God of "Why me?" because I felt despair in being something other than "normal."

So yesterday I spoke to my children not of the material wealth I’ve often described in comparison to others. I instead explained the many opportunities they have and that I did not. I found myself in tears when I told them that their imperfect parents will fail to give them what they might like. But they will know the Lord. They will have the knowledge needed to excel in life. They will be equipped as they’ve been gifted.

They graciously received my words. But my heart remained heavy, because I do not want our children to grow up perceiving themselves in want of even non-material wealth. I want them to find the same contentment I have regardless of how "normal" or not their own lives prove to be.

In His goodness, the Lord brought to mind words I’d read just hours earlier by my esteemed friend Billy Coffey, in a post titled "It’s Never Easy Being Normal." I had commented on his post in jest that pandemonium would break out among my children if the claim of "normal" came from the mother who is anything but.

Then the Lord whispered that in this life, it is indeed normal to experience hardship, injury, and loss. It is normal to feel loneliness, inadequacy, and turmoil. It is normal to be a gratuitous sinner in need of gratuitous grace. My God reminded me of plans to share that the world only claims it wants "fair" from the Father Who is anything but.

I felt depth of gratitude for my Lord and Savior, that He has given me such great material and spiritual wealth both.

And I felt that maybe, I'm normal* after all.

Dear Lord, You've chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, the weak things to put to shame the mighty, base and despised things to bring to nothing things that are. Thank You for defining "fair" and "normal" on Your terms, not ours. I love you so much.

*(but not too much :D)

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sowing and Reaping

This Tuesday thru Thursday, posts will focus on three key principles of the Christian life.

"What goes around comes around."
~ cliché

Sowing and Reaping

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
~ Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)

"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."
~ Luke 6:38 (NKJV)

Call it a cliché. Call it karma. Call it poetic justice.

The fact is, God's Word does say that we reap what we've sown.

This does not mean that bad things won't happen to good people. It doesn't mean that wicked people will never prosper. It is simply a principle of God as certain as gravity, which He will bring to pass in due time.

What are you struggling with right now? Anger? Bitterness? Impatience? You do well to give in quickly to the righteousness the Holy Spirit is trying to accomplish in you. The longer we persist in unpleasant behavior, the more likely we are to see it crop up in our own lives from others.

What would you like to reap right now? Attentiveness? Forgiveness? Love? Try to sow seeds of that gift in the lives of others, and wait for the Lord to return it to you. The more generously you sow, the more generously you will reap.

Jesus said so.

Oh, Lord—I'm greedy for blessing! I want to reap it abundantly. It's not that You haven't been generous. It's because You have been so generous that I long for more of Your favor! Please let us see what we're sowing, be it good or bad. Please work in our hearts wherever You know we're struggling to sow good.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Monday, September 28, 2009


This piece was scheduled to publish as a Friday Freelance at the end of this week. In deference to my friend Doug Spurling—(and because I have a class to teach that I need the time to prep)—it instead appears today.

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
~ Henry David Thoreau


Friday's Part I ended with a literal cliff hanger. My dear friend Gwen Stewart and I sat at the edge of a mountain drop-off, in a stick-shift vehicle (my preference for mountain driving). I needed to back up toward the precipice, then pull forward just after the further backward roll necessary to engage the clutch and gas pedal on a steep upward slope.

Though the situation was not entirely safe (but hey, neither is life!), my concern about the drop paled next to my concern for terrified Gwen, who already exhibited alarming syptoms of distress. I might have preferred to evaluate the driving situation for the safest way to get around the corner, but taking the time and going through the motions of doing so would have put Gwen over a different edge.

I owned the requisite skill and experience for my move, so I made a spit-second decision to simply take action before Gwen might realize the potential danger. I must move quickly, but not so quickly that I stalled the vehicle and had to roll back even farther to try again. I spoke calm and distracting words to my dear friend while nonchalantly moving backward then curving forward. No more than three seconds elapsed from the moment I realized I had to back up to the moment we were again ascending the valley wall.

We were soon above timberline, where trees no longer offered Gwen an occasional respite by mitigating her view of terrain and height. She scarcely breathed (not good at the low-oxygen high altitude), drawing air just long enough to periodically ask how much farther.

Then we came face to face with an 8x8 emperor bull elk, which stood a car's length from the road. In a small meadow which temporarily distanced us from those cliffs, Gwen's fear was briefly allayed. On his own protected turf, the bull took no heed of us while we admired his majesty against the backdrop of regal mountains. After several moments of rest, we again braved the sheer drops which brought us to the end of the dirt road at the visitor's center.

The two of us exited the vehicle to take in the spectacular view. I held my friend's arm as we walked around the building. She took one glance toward the cliff and faltered. I put Gwen safely back in the truck to breathe whatever oxygen her lowlander lungs might find, then alone approached the edge, stepping much closer than I would have allowed her. Morning sun danced with intoxicating grandeur across the valley floor some 4,000 feet below me.

The next leg of our journey took us onto Trail Ridge Road, at 12,183' feet the highest continuous road on the continent. We traversed the path which straddles the ridge, taking in alternating glimpses of the Continental Divide's two domains. Gwen shook her head and asked how anyone might look upon what she saw and claim atheism.

The surreal view defied adjectives. Gwen's fear gave way to awe, and then tears. I'd known all along that her soul needed to not just see, but experience those mountains. Our friendship assured me that I could take her there, and push her to the limit of herself without going too far.

We both met God on that road. Gwen tells her own story of the journey to a chasm. Mine? I heard the Lord whisper, This is what I do for you.

The Lord knows there are experiences we need to grow—to more fully appreciate life. He understands our dread of what we consider insufferable. He knows the way is safe, despite the dangers, because He will not leave us on the path He's already traveled. He will speak reassuring words even as we tremble with terror. He will navigate with us what appears impassable.

He will push us to the limits of ourselves, but will not force us to go as far as we might if we pull back. He will reveal to us wonders which our minds have not conceived. We will be compelled to glorify Him by as much as we do take in.

He is the Friend Who will not permit us to remain unchanged by the journey.

I will not leave you orphans;
I will come to you...
you will know that I am in My Father,
and you in Me, and I in you...
Peace I leave with you,
My peace I give to you...
Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid.
~ John 14:18,20,27 (NKJV)

FOOTNOTE: Lest it appear that I paint myself a hero and Gwen a weakling, I shall this Friday tell you of the chasm from which Gwen deftly rescued me.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hope Loudly

"The phrase ‘Don't get your hopes up’ is a subtle assassin of faith.
We are called to hope loudly."
~ @prodigaljohn via Twitter

Hope Loudly

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.
~ Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
~ Psalms 130:5 (NKJV)

substance >noun 3 solid basis in reality or fact

evidence >noun 1 information or signs indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid

Faith and hope are thought of in the realm of the abstract and intangible. The author of Hebrews says otherwise.

Faith constitutes our evidence—our proof—of things which exist, but lie outside our view.

Hope is the deposit on yet unfulfilled promises. The substance of hope—its solid basis in reality or fact—lies in faith.

We are never without hope when we call to mind that Jesus undisputedly demonstrated at Calvary a love in which to place enduring faith and establish our hope.

The only part left is the waiting.

In the waiting, hope loudly!

Father, You are Hope personified! You have proven Yourself in too many ways to number. You never fail us. Overshadow our hearts with patience as we wait for the fulfillment of all hope.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Agony of Separation

"We will remember not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let me sing for my beloved my love song ...
What more was there to do for my vineyard,
that I have not done in it? ...
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel ...
They have lyre and harp,
tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,
but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD,
or see the work of his hands.
~ Isaiah 5:1,4,7,12 (ESV)

My love for family always catches me by surprise with how deeply separation hurts.

The agony of separation from my estranged brother John remains a cause of ready tears. Of all the hurts and fears I've known in life, worst has been the pain in longing for family and fear of separation.

God longs for fellowship with us. He speaks love to us in the light and shadow of dawn and dusk, in the melody of birdsong and cricket chirps, in the voice of thunder and rain. He blesses us with material abundance and eternal treasure. He stands at the door and knocks, waiting for us to make time for Him to meet us in places of highest joy and deepest sorrow and everywhere in between.

All He asks in return is our love.

It's easiest to meet the Lord on the Sunday mornings set apart to Him. It's as necessary to our souls in every other hour of the week. In our failure to make time for fellowship with our Maker, both He and we surely experience agony of separation no less than any other grief.

Father in Heaven, Beloved Bridegroom, Precious Paraclete, in the three of You is the fulfillment of our every longing. Please ease the sorrow of separation from those we love, but not so much that we forget to long for fellowship with You. Please enable us to love You ever better.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Freelance: FRIEND Part I

"It is difficult to say who do you the most mischief:
enemies with the worst intentions or friends with the best."
~ E.R. Bulwer-Lytton

One week ago I was in Colorado with a dear friend, Gwen Stewart. I mentioned on last Friday’s post that we flew there together with plans to visit the mountains. Seeing the Rockies was Gwen’s idea. Entering Rocky Mountain National Park was mine—before I knew that Gwen is terrified of heights. Once I learned, she reassured me that she fully intended to enter those mountains, despite the high cliffs and sharp drops which lay there.

While we waited for our flight to take off, Gwen and I contemplated the
Rock of Ages mentioned in Isaiah 26:3-4. We then flew off into the sunset that our plane would chase west for another 1300 miles. Gwen had threatened to squeeze all life from my hand in her fear of flying. Not so. She found the flight peaceful, and my hand still works.

The after-dark drive to our Estes Park hotel spared Gwen a clear view of the winding road up Big Thompson Canyon. Then we entered the national park well before dawn to hear elk bugle. At sunup, we embarked upon familiar-to-me Fall River Road—the narrow 15-mph dirt road which hugs the side of the valley wall until it meets Trail Ridge near its 12,183' elevation point. The single-lane road is uphill only, so one commits to the entire 9-mile trip once it’s begun.

Our four-wheel drive pick-up with a manual transmission proved ideal for the steep hairpin turns, which I've never seen more deeply rutted. The higher we climbed, the fewer the trees to obstruct a breathtaking view of the valley bathed in alternating shadow and horizontal rays of dawn. The sheer drops accentuated the view—exhilarating for me and terrifying for Gwen.

The only thing fearful to me was Gwen. She took something for a migraine, and evidenced alarming anxiety about those cliffs. I closely clung to the inside of the road. But on a road that narrow, hugging the mountain wall doesn’t mean much. When I asked with concern about her breathing, she explained that she sometimes experiences asthma. If measured, her blood pressure and pulse would have surely dismayed a physician. Gwen assured me that she had her inhaler, and that she trusted no one more than a veteran like me for the drive.

I took the drive at a crawl in proximity to cliffs, occasionally pausing to take in the view. Each pause meant starting again from a standstill, with a slight backward roll for the split second it took me to release the brake and engage clutch with gas pedal. I continually spoke words of confidence and peace to Gwen, all the while determined that she enjoy the sights of a lifetime.

We reached a particularly evil looking cliff at a hairpin turn. I stayed to the inside for Gwen’s sake, and found myself halfway around the wall before I realized I’d cut the sharp turn too tightly. I had no alternative but to back up, on a steep downhill, toward the cliff, then make one of those quick standstill starts uphill which would require just a little backward roll. I wished to perform my maneuver too quickly for Gwen to ascertain any danger and panic. But too quick a start would stall the engine, and put me even closer to the cliff with the next start.

I’ve filled a page. Enough for now. I’ll continue next week and tell you what a Friend we have in Jesus.

You will keep in perfect peace
The one stayed upon You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For Yah, the LORD,
Is the Rock of Ages.
~ Isaiah 26:3-4 (author)

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Power of Words

"What's in a word?
Consider the difference between a wise man and a wise guy."
~ Anonymous

My friends, I beg you to watch out for anyone who causes trouble and divides the church by refusing to do what all of you were taught. Stay away from them! They want to serve themselves and not Christ the Lord. Their flattery and fancy talk fool people who don't know any better.
~ Romans 16:17-18 (CEV)

But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "... I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
~ Matthew 12:25,36-37 (NKJV)

Consider the power of words.

With words we impart to others the power of knowledge or undermine truth.

With words we can steal hope or inspire faith.

With words we can cut others to pieces or build them up.

The pen is mightier than the sword because the sword can only take life. With words we have the power to destroy the lives of others, or to restore the lives of others.

With nothing more than His Word, the Creator fashioned the entire universe and everything in it save mankind, Whom He created with His touch and kiss of life.

With the Word made flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ, God has redeemed our souls.

Father God, what great power you entrust to us with words. We are not worthy or able to use them aright apart from You. Please conform our hearts to that of Your Son, that we might be able to exalt You and edify others in the use of our words.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

God of All Comfort

"God does not comfort us to make us comfortable but to make us comforters."
~ J.H. Jewett

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
~ Romans 15:5-6 (NKJV)

[The] God of all comfort ... comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NKJV)

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
~ 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NKJV)

We are instructed to glorify God. Indeed, the Westminster Catechism teaches that "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."

We can do so by allowing our light to shine before men with good deeds. We also glorify God in extending comfort to those around us which reflects the God of All Comfort.

How do we share comfort unless we have intimately known the God of All Comfort? How do we intimately know His comfort unless we have suffered?

In great suffering is great comfort. The greater our suffering, the greater our opportunity to glorify God in it.

Father God, we are a people who have too often made our chief end to evade suffering. Please keep us mindful of our purpose to glorify You. Please extend to us the grace which embraces suffering and seeks out Your comfort. Please make us ready to extend comfort, and to rely on You to know how.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What Is Sin?

"Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great."
~ Mark Twain

Why do you show contempt for your brother? ... resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way... let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another... whatever is not from faith is sin.
~ Romans 14:10,13,19,23 (NKJV)

"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea."
~ Mark 9:42 (NKJV)

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."
~ Peter 4:8 (NKJV)

Whoever has been born of God does not sin ... In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
~ 1 John 3:9-10 (NKJV)

Romans is the greatest study of theology ever written. As Paul nears its conclusion, sin is brought down to simplest terms: If you cause someone to stumble—if you do whatever is not from faith—it is sin.

The opposite of causing another to stumble is to edify (literally "build up") another. It is motivated by love. When we walk in Real Love, our desire is to bring restoration and edification and strength to those around us. Even when they sin, love does not seek opportunity to condemn, but desires to do whatever will cover that sin.

Regardless of what the world says, not everyone is a child of God, but only those of blood—Christ's blood. This is how God's children are known: when we practice righteousness, and when we love our blood brothers and sisters.

Father, You've poured out upon us the greatest love. You are love personified. In You is all goodness. Please make us Your goodness and love to one another. Please keep us from sin.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Competing with God

"The church that is man-managed instead of God-governed is doomed to failure."
~ Samuel Chadwick

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters... Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand... Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
~ Romans 14:1,4,13 (NIV)

Whatever is not from faith is sin.
~ Romans 14:23 (NKJV)

"The Holy Spirit ... will teach you all things."
~ John 14:26 (NKJV)

Paul moves on from the discussion of submission to authority to address quasi-authority and disputable matters.

Throughout his letters, Paul clearly establishes what constitutes overtly immoral behavior which is dishonoring to the Lord Jesus and inappropriate for those who are His. Galatians 6:1 teaches that if someone is caught in a sin, someone spiritual should restore him gently.

But here in Romans 14, Paul brings up how to handle disputable matters. A believer is not to condemn or judge whomever he or she sees as weaker believers—particularly not over disputable matters which are not immoral.

Although we can offer counsel or help give directions to a person searching for guidance, God is the first Authority. He is able to make His will known to a person through His Word and Holy Spirit—and He is able to make the believer stand. The voice of the Holy Spirit must be the believer's first Teacher and Helper. Each of us must learn to recognize His voice, to distinguish it from the voice of Self or satan, and to live out our actions by faith in God.

If we impose our opinions upon other believers as false quasi-authority, we compete with the voice of the Holy Spirit, and serve as stumbling blocks.

Father, I confess that these words are written by one who has competed with Your voice in times past. Please help all of us in moments of stillness to read Your Word, listen for and recognize Your Spirit's voice, and heed You. Please show us if our counsel competes with Your Counselor.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

God Needs You

"A friend is someone who helps you up when you're down,
and if they can't they lie down beside you and listen."
~ Unknown

So God created man in His own image ... male and female He created them... the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.
~ Genesis 1:27,2:7 (NKJV)

"You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants ... but I have called you friends."
~ John 15:14-15 (NKJV)

Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross.
~ Matthew 27:32 (NKJV)

How could God possibly need puny man? It seems unthinkable.

Yet only through mankind is the Lord’s attribute of mercy made known. Only in us showing how unlovable we can be is the depth of His love manifest. I daresay that the greatest commandment—love the Lord "with all heart, soul, mind and strength"—is given because God’s love is too great to not need an object to receive it and to return it.

In the story of Simon of Cyrene we see Jesus in need, for no Roman soldier would have compelled Simon to show mercy to Jesus unless Jesus was too weakened by abuse to require it.

The Creator of the universe might have called upon angels in His hour of need. God in human flesh might have chosen by divine power to never visit the place of need. But Jesus nonetheless humbles Himself and enters the place of need.

Simon thus joins Jesus on the path to Calvary so that Jesus does not walk it alone. In His hour of greatest distress, God is in fellowship with mankind.

The privilege of accompanying Jesus to Calvary is also ours. Simon was compelled by an armed soldier. We are compelled only by love. We have no greater fellowship with Jesus than to daily take up a cross of our own.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You Need God

"Everyone has at least one secret
that would make you cry if you knew it."
~ John Warnock

I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
~ Mark 10:15 (NIV)

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
~ Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

The mature adult faces life and takes it on with confidence in his or her capability.

The grown-up who faces life with the heart of a child looks about with bewilderment, fully aware of his or her utter incapability to take on life alone. Only in this place does one say, "I drop my sword and look up."

Dependence on Jesus for salvation, for capabilty, and for life itself is the only way to enter the kingdom of God. We do not enter His kingdom when our days in this world are left behind, but when we leave behind dependence upon this world.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Friday, September 18, 2009

FRIEND (Prologue)

"A dreamer is one who can find his way by moonlight,
and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."
~ Oscar Wilde

If all went according to plan, one of my best friends and I spent Wednesday evening on a plane to Denver. Then yesterday morning well before dawn, Gwen Stewart and I listened to elk bugling before we traversed Trail Ridge Road, the highest through roadway on the continent at 12,183 feet above sea level, and my old stomping grounds.

I love dizzying heights and Gwen is deathly afraid of them—the difference between a frequent-flier Colorado native bred in the low oxygen environment of high altitude, and a lowlander who lives near a manmade "ski area" called Mt. Holly with a elevation drop of 350 feet—less than half the height of a Denver skyscraper. (Don’t even get me started on that.)

But Gwen has placed her
Trust in God (and my mountain driving). If you're reading these words, yesterday went too long for me to tell you about it in time for today's post. You’re getting a pre-scheduled message I wrote several days ago, while I was still only dreaming of the thrilling wonders I could hardly wait to share with Gwen.

Or, perhaps Gwen’s fear proved valid, and we’ll see you all when you join us in heaven.

Either way, the next two days’ posts are already in the queue. Stop back tomorrow! :D

Contrasting points-of-view (from fans of Mt. Holly), questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Debt of Love

"The debt of love never diminishes when we pay it."
~ Henry Jacobson

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law... Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
~ Romans 13:8,10 (NIV)

"But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles."
~ Matthew 5:39-41 (NIV)

But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?
~ 1 Corinthians 6:6-7 (NKJV)

God's Word is a fascinating study in contrasts.

The Christian life is a balance between Christian liberty which allows us freedom to live free of law, surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ, and a life best blessed when lived as taught by Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, manifest in principles of the Bible.

Submission to authority is one principle. So is the concept of being willing to suffer for the sake of righteousness. Yet we are not to compel suffering of others, because God expects us to defend the weak from their oppressors—oppressors who are often those in authority.

How do we reconcile all the Bible's contrasts without conflict? What trumps rock-paper-scissors in a three-way contest which comes up tied?

The law of love trumps all.

God has poured out upon us such abundant love that we are forever in love's debt. The commandment "love thy neighbor" doesn't have exemption. We are to love the weak and defend them when it's inconvenient and without payoff, even at the cost of personal sacrifice. We are to love the authority, and not only give in to unreasonable demands (if they do not violate morals), but even "go the second mile." We are to prefer being wronged for the sake of love and unity, rather than raise conflict among Christians.

Christ set the ultimate example of suffering for the sake of righteousness to give us liberty. Among His last prayers was for unity among His followers. He said we'd be known as His by our love.

Liberty and unity and love will never be reconciled with living for Self.

Consider yet another contrast: Salvation was purchased at the highest possible cost and is given as a free gift—but carries an eternal debt of love.

Lord Jesus, Your grace commands our love. We cannot love You too much or follow Your example of love too extremely. Please lead us in Your footsteps.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Response to Unrighteous Authority

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
~ Declaration of Independence

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil... But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
~ Romans 13:3-4 (NKJV)

Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!"
~ Acts 5:29 (NIV)

"The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works ... For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders ..."
~ Matthew 23:2-4 (NKJV)

With the authority entrusted to rulers comes the power to execute authority, and the responsibility to use that power righteously. Failure to do so inevitably leads to an authority's demise. (Biblical examples abound.)

The founding fathers of the United States unequivocally affirmed in the Declaration of Independence their belief that Great Britain's "absolute Tyranny" compelled a "duty to throw off such government." But they first stated their belief "that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes."

Defiance of authority comes with a cost, and perhaps a penalty. We are wise if when we consider defiance we consider its penalty. Departure is another option, whether departure from a spouse, a local church, an employer—or even government, if one is willing to go into exile. If we prefer departure to defiance, we do well to evaluate not only the cost of broken relationship, but also if the alternative relationship (or lack thereof) really offers greater advantage than escaping whatever we suffer in the present relationship.

When does an authority's abuse of power rise to a level which warrants defiance?

Years ago, before he was my pastor, I heard Dean Stewart teach: "Civil disobedience is justified when government commands what God forbids, or forbids what God commands." He spoke of government authority. I would apply the principle to any authority.

I've observed Christians challenge authority for trivial matters, whether a wife resisting husband, citizen defying civil ordinance, or Church member scoffing at the leadership ordained to shepherd Christ's flock. (Anyone who belongs to Christ is a member of His Church.) Submission can be inconvenient, annoying, and costly. But the Bible says submit to authority, without qualifying "if it suits you to do so."

The other extreme is the belief that you submit to authority at any price. I've known of women taught to allow a husband's abuse in the name of submission. I've observed church elders (none of my present ones) lay heavy burdens upon others which simply could not be borne. We are all witnesses to a government which projects itself as god of provision, protection, and programmed thought—to the point of oppressing the unalienable rights upon which our nation was built.

When does oppression justify opposition? When should a Christian defy authority?

My answer is, "When authority commands what God forbids, or forbids what God commands."

But there is also a trump card to be played. Come back tomorrow.

Lord Jesus, my heart is heavy to think of all the abuse of authority I've witnessed. You've seen infinitely more, and have borne far more grief for it—borne it all the way to the cross. Please enlighten us in how to defend the oppressed, as well as how to uphold authority, and thus honor You.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Authority: Liberty, Equality, Stewardship

"When we do our duty, not for duty's sake, but because we believe
that God is engineering our circumstances in that way, then at the
very point of our obedience the whole superb grace of God is ours."
~ Oswald Chambers

Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
~ Romans 13:2 (NKJV)

I do not permit a woman to instruct, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness.
~ 1 Timothy 2:12 (author)

Yesterday I waded. Today I'll go up to my neck and tackle women in authority and Christians in politics.

I served as a police officer for five years in the 80's. I also served as a "deaconess" in an elder function during the 90's in an aging church short on both male leadership and mature leadership. (I'd been following the Lord a scant 3 years when asked to serve.)

Now having better understanding of biblical principles, I consider neither position God's ideal, and don't recommend them to women. I don't believe armed combat—whether military or civilian—is the design for women by their Creator. And Paul teaches the wise principle that women not be placed in a position of instructing men what to do. (That qualified, I'll mention that I don't believe "instruction" includes the sharing of information and insight. I accept these from men who have no authority over me, and share them with men and women alike over whom I assume no authority. I try to keep a quiet spirit in doing so—unless I speak to an audience of women and turn on the preaching.)

Women are in no way inferior. Scripture emphasizes their equality to men. Though women are not to have dominion over their husbands, they are invaluable in key leadership positions. If a woman is in a position of authority, any man subordinate to her does well to respect her. Such a role hardly qualifies as immorality, nor does it undermine truths vital to salvation. God still uses His people wherever they are. The Bible simply establishes an order of men having authority over women, and life is best blessed when lived with the Lord's guidance.

One greater appreciates authority if it is seen as ordained by God. I thoroughly appreciate from police work the order inherent to authority. With rank came not superiority as a person, but the responsibility for decisions. Everyone is vital to an operation. Subordinates supply information and then obey without hesitation, or order collapses. Barring gross misconduct, they have in obedience liberty from liability—as do subordinates elsewhere.

If government is authority ordained by God, why shouldn't Christians serve there, without suffering the accusation that they fail to "separate church and state"? Where more than government does God need His light? Has He not always held rulers accountable to Himself for righteousness? If He entrusts to a Christian a position of government authority—and when Christians are entrusted with the right to vote—good stewardship exercises that trust for Him.

The Lord gives His children broad liberty to live out their faith. And His Holy Spirit draws us ever closer to His ideals, even as He guides us in that liberty, in equality, and in stewardship.

Father, I've done my best to communicate truth here according to Your Word, and as You've played it out in my life through Your Spirit. Please let my words be received with grace. Please make clear to each of us the way You'd have us live out Your Word and submit to authority.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Submission to Authority

"The law was made for man and not man for the law ...
government is the servant of the people, not their master."
~ John D. Rockefeller Jr.

Submission to Authority

Let every soul be subject to the higher [huperecho] authorities. For there is no authority but of God; the authorities that exist are ordained by God... a servant of God to you for good.
~ Romans 13:1,4 (MKJV)

And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NKJV)

I'd planned a one-day glance at Romans 13. But prayer changes many things. Shall we lay aside the thought that religion and politics don’t mix and wade on in?

I’ll first acknowledge my awareness that some say Romans 13:1 applies only to church authorities, and others apply the text to government exclusively while shunning authority of church leaders placed over us. (It seems we're always looking for a way to evade authority.)

The Greek word huperecho, often translated "governing," literally means "higher or superior." Later in the passage Paul includes the government authorities who collect taxes, and the Bible makes clear elsewhere the authority of church elders—as well as the authority of a man over his wife. (Authority of a master or employer over a servant or employee seems to be a given.)

So in discussing principles of authority, the realms included here will be:
Church (and Workplace)

Authority exists to serve as God’s minister—for our good. Government exists to serve and protect its people. Church leaders are to care for the flock in the sacrificial example of the Good Shepherd. Husbands are to give themselves up for their wives as Christ did for His bride the church, and fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath. In all realms (including business), authorities have a critical responsibility to raise up new leaders.

The next few days will look at: 1) stewardship, liberty, and equality in authority; 2) response to unrighteous authority; and 3) what trumps authority.

Father, how grateful we are for You as the ultimate authority—all powerful, all knowing, all loving. Please guide our understanding of the authority You ordain as ministers for our good. Please lead us in righteous exercise of authority and proper submission to authority.

BTW (by the way)—I've been honored with a guest blogger spot today by my Favorite Fish, Shark Bait. Stop by his delightful sea haven for some Real Love from me, and don't hestitate to leave a comment saying that Faithful In Serving HIM (FISH) is what you want to be, too.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Heaven's Strength of Joy

"Joy is the serious business of heaven."
~ C.S. Lewis

"... Thy kingdom come ..."
~ Matthew 6:10

"This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
~ Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)

Now when [Jesus] was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."
~ Luke 17:20-21 (NKJV)

My dear friend Gwen Stewart recently wrote a piece on Heaven to explore what we expect it to be like. (Click the link to see all the responses.)

Whatever else we imagine Heaven to be, we know without a doubt that the business of Heaven is Joy. It is other things such as Peace and Love and the Presence of God. And all those things come down to Joy.

If we have been born again into the God's Kingdom of Heaven ...
If eternal life is not something we wait for but something we have ...
If the kingdom of God is something not searched out but found within ...

... shouldn't we be employed in Heaven's business of Joy?

The Power to manifest Joy resides within the heart where Jesus is enthroned. In yielding to His Joy we have strength.

Lord Jesus, You taught us to pray for Your Father’s kingdom to come. We long for Your kingdom on earth when You return some future hour. Please shine through us so that Your spiritual kingdom is visible in us for this present hour.

[Note: if sorrow clouds your joy, I invite you to stop by Shortybear's Place, the blog of another dear friend. Denise has many afflictions. Her joy shines brighter than perhaps anyone else you'll ever encounter. Her strength in Jesus is abundant.]

Contrasting points of view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Faithful Servant

"True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit.
It is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us."
~ Tryon Edwards

Faithful Servant

'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'
~ Luke 17:10 (NKJV)

'Well done, good and faithful servant ... Enter into the joy of your lord.'
~ Matthew 25:23 (NKJV)

Here in a world tarnished by selfishness and suffering, it can be difficult to see good around us.

Here in our hearts scarred by failure, it can be difficult to see ourselves as profitable servants.

God loves us no less now than when we stand before Him fully perfected. He already sees His good and faithful servants as we will be in heaven.

Heavenly Father, thank You for already loving us with Your full capacity. Help us know and share Your love.

Your questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Friday, September 11, 2009


"I have found that most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
~ Abraham Lincoln

Over the years I’ve been involved in more ministries than I can count. To indulge those who ask me to share more about myself, here's a brief ministry resumé:

I’ve assisted teachers and I’ve taught Bible. Preached for ladies’ worship at the jail and led singing for worship all over. Done silly drama and sacred drama. I’ve spoken before groups large and small. Served as church leader and church go-fer. I’ve cooked and cleaned, served food to the homeless and Bill Gothard alike. I’ve done crisis counseling, and spent hours wherever people simply need a listening ear.

I’ve prayed alone through the night, led prayer before City Hall and a banquet hall, and prayed when heading up a prayer chain or one-on-one any place.

Lately, I do a whole lot of writing—here and around the blogsphere in chunks, on Facebook and Twitter in nibbles, in manuscripts with word counts to make publishing types cringe.

But in the last year, I’ve hit upon a ministry I take everywhere, all the time. I call it smile ministry.

If I can make eye contact with a person, they’ll receive a smile, and maybe a bright "Hi!" If I can hold eye contact for any length of time, I’ll do my best to elicit a return smile. No one is off limits. I smile at familiar people and strangers, small children, elderly people, harried people, unhurried people, hoodlum types, giggly teen girls, and even men who might return a leer (the rare one who does is quickly discouraged).

It’s amazing how many people don’t make eye contact. We walk through the world accustomed to taking little note of one another. Some people appear socially destitute enough for me to suspect that being overlooked is their norm. I persist with these souls, perhaps offering conversation, until I get them to really see me and understand that I see them. It may be the only validation from another human being they receive for who knows how long.

The smile is genuine—regardless of my mood—for the worth of each human being compels me to set aside any contrary feelings and offer Christ’s light.

"You are the light of the world... let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

I admit to bad moods. I also have little tolerance for them, and grow weary of them quickly enough to shut them down when they sneak up on me.

Usually. But if I get downright depressed I withdraw, lest I inflict my misery on others.

Withdrawal wasn't an option when I abnormally found myself in that condition on a recent Sunday morning. My habit upon entering church is to locate and warmly hug as many people as care to be hugged, then go sing my heart out in praise. On that Sunday morning, I snuck into my pew, then consoled myself with the knowledge that God is still in heaven and worthy of my praise. No problem.

Until I faced a song that wasn’t about praise, but about me: "It is Well With My Soul."

I don't care to sing words I don’t feel. Keeping silent through the first verse convicted me deeply. What could EVER be so bad that it obscures God’s abundant blessings to the point one cannot say, "It is Well With My Soul"?

The only answer I could muster was to sing the chorus, from the heart:
It is well with my soul.
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And when I finished, the words matched my feelings.

Your questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Destroying Enemies

"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
~ Abraham Lincoln

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath;
for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
~ Romans 12:18-21 (NKJV)

Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good? ...
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
~ Psalms 34:12,14 (NKJV)

Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
~ Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)

Ask yourself: how often have you thought life would be easier if any particular person didn't exist? For a person to stop existing (around us) requires death. Wishing a person gone really amounts to wishing them dead. Is this not murder in the heart?

The Lord provides far better ways to destroy enemies.

First, if retribution seems appropriate, consider that the Lord sees the full extent of evil in a person's heart, has all rights of vengeance, and can exact punishment more effectively than we can. Stay out of His way.

Secondly, if we wish to overcome an enemy, the superior force against evil is not evil, but good. If enemy becomes friend by the force of good, is he or she not defeated as an enemy?

Last, we do well to remember that not only does the Bible admonish us that we reap what we sow, but that the good life is found in making peace—if it is possible, as much as depends on us. Not every enemy will make peace. But in the very pursuit of peace we capture the good life.

Father God, we were once Your enemies. You have overcome us with Your love and goodness, poured out upon us with the blood of Your Son. He supplies peace beyond understanding. We thank You for such peace and ask that You enable us to bring it to others.

[Note: I have spoken here concerning individuals. I am neither a pacifist, nor do I condemn pacifists acting according to conscience. I support righteous government's duty to preserve our security, with force when necessary. I also support the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. More about government next week from Romans 13.]

Your questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One Body

"The answer to the question, 'Am I my brother's keeper?'
must always be, 'No! I am my brother's brother.' "
~ Paul Klapper

One Body

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think ... we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.
~ Romans 12:3,5,10 (NKJV)

For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
~ Ephesians 5:29-30 (NKJV)

May I share three of my greatest burdens in life?

The first concerns my five children. I see their love for one another displayed in quiet ways. But out loud it seems they can't stand one another. Cajoling is as good as it gets. The worst? Not fit for public description.

Second is that my eight siblings all live far away. I dearly love them. I'd do absolutely anything within my ability and morals for each one of them, in preference over myself, without concern for any sacrifice. Facebook is a lifeline to my sisters. My brothers? I can hardly stand the separation of both distance and sparse communication.

It makes me want to cry to think of how much I miss my siblings. I want to cry again when I see my children fight. They don't know how brief this time together will be. They don't understand how much they really mean to one another. They're missing out on fleeting opportunities to share love. And they weaken our family when they work against one another instead of together.

I also share the burden of our heavenly Father when those who are His children—tied together by the blood of Christ—waste precious opportunities to demonstrate love and instead tear one another down in our foolish pride.

We are one body. In working against one another, and in failing to build up other members of Christ's body, we weaken ourselves as well.

Our Father in Heaven, thank You for making us Your children! Even when we're trying to show love we can mess up and hurt one another. How much more so when our pride escapes! Please give us Your eyes to see others. Please fill us with Your love, and give us the will and ability to express it.

Your questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fashion vs. Foundation

"Craft must have clothes, but truth loves to go naked."
~ Thomas Fuller

And do not fashion yourselves after this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and well pleasing and perfect will of God.
~ Romans 12:2 (EMTV)

"Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say? Whoever ... hears My sayings and does them ... is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock."
~ Luke 6:46-49 (NKJV)

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly ...
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night...
And whatever he does shall prosper.
~ Psalms 1:1-3 (NKJV)

Whether you need an answer to a problem or simply want what you're doing to prosper, what is your source of truth?

This world gives fashionable answers such as, "The heart," "Wisdom of the ages," and "There's no such thing as absolute truth." Jesus calls such "truth" sand, for it shifts with the winds of change and proves unstable.

Jesus directs those looking for a foundation of truth to His sayings—God's Word. Paul says we are able to not simply know, but prove the "good and well pleasing and perfect will of God."

Truth does exist in the world. But it's mixed in with the counsel of the ungodly. How do we know whether or not something is truth and reliable to support us?

If we fashion our lives upon temporal things of this world, we'll be comfortable with this world's brand of truth and will attempt to stand upon it. If we are transformed by the renewing of our minds with the Bible, we'll be familiar enough with genuine truth to recognize the difference between the two.

Whatever truth your life needs right now, God knows the answer, and He wants you to have it. Knowing and living by God's Word is Step Two. Step One is to give your Self—your body—over to the Holy Spirit (yesterday's post).

Upcoming in the last several posts from the book of Romans are highlights of Paul's points on living out the Lord's will. God assures us of blessing in doing His will. And that part about "well pleasing"? His will inevitably proves pleasing to us, too.

Father, we are not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servants! We have no greater earthly treasure than the Bible. Please show us where to find the time to immerse ourselves in Your Words, and give us the desire to do so.

Your questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Monday, September 7, 2009

God Wants Your Body

"Don't be afraid to give up the good for the great."
~ Kenny Rogers

Therefore, I plead with all of you, brothers and sisters, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice—holy, well-pleasing to God—your logical service.
~ Romans 12:1 (author)

For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do.
~ Galatians 5:17 (GNB)

Do you have any problems for which you'd like an answer? Marital struggles, conflict with anyone, financial stress, health issues? Perhaps you have a vision for which you'd like guidance.

God has the answer. And it's simple to obtain. Easy? No. Merely simple. Here's Step One. (Step Two is tomorrow.)

Paul in Romans 12:1 pleads, "Therefore—since we established in the last four verses the excellence of God's knowledge and wisdom—please, I'm begging you, serve as any rational person would: give God your body."

We say the Lord wants our hearts. Jesus said what's in the heart is expressed in the words and actions produced by the body. He asks us to give Him our bodies as a place for His Holy Spirit to reside, that He may produce the thoughts and feelings expressed in word and action.

The Holy Spirit fills as much space as Self has vacated. Self doesn't move out of the body unless it dies. We put Self to death by not feeding its desires, but by instead telling it, "No, you may not have what you want. The body is given to God, for whatever He wants."

[At the moment there's a plate of brownies in the other room calling my name. PERSISTENTLY. There's absolutely no condemnation from God if I eat one. But I've said, "Lord, I need Your help with what I'm writing here. I'm denying Self and asking for Your Holy Spirit to take its place, to empower what my body does right now."]

You may think that sacrifice isn't worth the return, that there must be an easier way, or that you won't like God's answers or method. The bad news is that you may not see the payoff or wisdom in the short term. But in the long term, I promise you will. 100% GUARANTEED.

I can make such a guarantee because the Holy Spirit blesses wherever He's given room.

Lord Jesus, You sacrificed all for us. It is completely reasonable for us to do likewise for You. Please give us the courage and strength to do so. As we do so day by day, may we see You more clearly, follow You more nearly, love You more dearly.

"God Wants Your Body" is the title of a message by Christian comedian and preacher Ken Davis on Romans 12:1. His materials are available at

Your questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fool on the Hill

"Empty hands held high—such small sacrifice.
If not joined with my life, I sing in vain ... "
~ Mark Hall *

Fool on the Hill

For we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake ...
~ 1 Corinthians 4:9-10 (NKJV)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
~ 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV)

I remember the first time I experienced the urge to lift my hands in praise while singing. But nobody in our church did that, so I resisted being a rebel. But during a later conversation, a respected gentleman admonished me to not resist such an urge from the Holy Spirit.

At our present church I often lift my hands while singing praise. I sit in the back to avoid being distracting, because few (if any) of the other 400-500 people do likewise. Yet the shape of our sloped auditorium doesn't obscure me at its top, and I occasionally wonder if anyone thinks me foolish.

My God was once thought a Fool on the hill as He hung upon a cross for six hours, with hands uplifted by nails. He did it for my sake. He did it for love's sake.

If I'm ever thought a fool for uplifted hands, it's far too little to suffer for Christ's sake. I gladly lift my hands for love's sake.

Lord Jesus, thank You that You put Your Holy Spirit inside of us to empower whatever we do for You. Thank You for allowing us the privilege of offering You praise. May each word of our gift of praise be beautiful to You—as much as the sum total of all beauty in the creation You gifted to us.

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
* Lyrics of "Lifesong" by Mark Hall, © 2005 Club Zoo Music