Our Plans, His Purpose.

September is a time when we gear up, we refocus, and get back to our regular responsibilities. We live in a culture that encourages us to plan, make goals and look ahead to the future of what is to come. No matter what your plans are, or what your desires are for your life and for this Fall 2014, we would all benefit from committing not only our plans, but our hearts to God.

Whether we are facing immediate decisions regarding our work, finances, relationships, or are in the midst of waiting for an answer or an opportunity, we all need to be reminded that we stand on the firm foundation that we have built our lives upon, which is our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He is our hope and our future.

Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Join me in this prayer.

“Almighty God, my heart longs after many things, strives for many comforts and in the midst of everyday life I so easily get distracted from walking closely with you and following your ways. I acknowledge my tendencies to do things my own way and tirelessly direct my own paths. God, sometimes it can be scary to trust you, but then I’m reminded that in you there is no evil and in you there is only good. I ask that you would give me spiritual sight and understanding to see where you are at work in my life and circumstances. I submit my plans and desires to your perfect will. I voluntarily lay down my idols at your feet and ask you to break the hold they have on me. You alone are worthy of worship and you first are worthy of my love and devotion. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Written by Sarah Rutledge 

Joseph of Arimathea – Good Friday

by Cyril Guerette

“That night was thick with frightening tricks.
I thought I might be sick at the sight of the victim’s body.
Though we ought to fight the wicked Gotti wannabees,
they bought off the mighty bickering potty-mouthed authorities.
These godly Pharisees grin broadly and stare at me,
I begin to carry out the hottest commodity – the sin therapy –
Me!  A man from Arimathea,
My heart starts to beat oddly, like arrhythmia,
It’s no myth he lifted me up,
and the gift of the cup at the last supper was super,
This is just a hiccup in the pericope,
on the path to a fantastic victory; if you get my gist,
Particularly when within my fists is the grist of the Bread of Life,
Dead tonight, but if what he said was right
we’ll be fed by light on Sunday.
And one day this run may become
a monumental moment of  honour,
on our knees at the atonement.
Opponents were fumed as I performed the adornment of perfume,
profuse aromas were prefuse in the tomb,
and although there would be nothing to exhume
when the stone was removed,
I presumed on my own to ensure the fumes loomed.
They were a boon to the power of the flowering bloom
that would soon consume doom.
With two of the women I helped Him assume a costume of linen,
like when the Beginning was clothed in flesh garment.
Even then, robed men from the Orient anointed Him with ointment
and an armament of ornaments;
so at his murder, myrrh and dense frankincense,
make intense fragrances.
His mother’s frank thanks are tense between tears.
I interfered with a fierce:
‘It is you who deserves gratitude
For your son’s piercing Servant attitude
That’s a dude whose side I’m on.’
But I couldn’t hide the despondent insecurity
And it worried me, if not Him, whom would secure me
the correspondent purity?
Surely the preponderance of the populace, turned hurriedly,
yearning horridly for opulence.
Hence, He knew from the start when the herd heard hard words
from the heart they’d depart …
He’d say:  “This is a saving saying:
We must choose to loose either our murky merchandise
or our perky paradise.”
And with that rare advice,
he mounted the cross that spared our lives.
But it has not amounted to a loss –
He’ll be repaired/revived!
He said he would survive,
hope has arrived,
He provided an antidote to the ill of hate.
Still, it’s late, I’m feelin’ faint,
there ain’t nothing left to do but wait …
and watch till He Resuscitates!”

We, like sheep…

“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s path to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

How often are we convinced that we must produce, manage and construct our lives to satisfy ourselves? Fuelled by fear and desperation, we can become determined to create our own way and supply our own needs; not truly believing that God is able and knows what’s best for us. Sadly, in the end we will discover that our own attempts at self-sufficiency paled in comparison to the living springs of water that Jesus offered us.

This is an excerpt from a real life shepherd’s experience with sheep. Instead of allowing themselves to be led to drink from clean water, they took the first pocket of diseased slime they could find:

“The snow-fed waters were flowing pure and clean and crystal clear between lovely banks of trees. But on the way [to the stream] several stubborn ewes and their lambs stopped, instead, to drink from small, dirty, muddy pools beside the trail. The water was filthy and polluted not only with the churned up mud from the passing sheep but even with the manure and urine of previous flocks that had passed that way. Still these stubborn sheep were quite sure it was the best drink obtainable.” – Phillip Keller

In what areas of your life are you drinking out of muddy, waste-filled waters instead of the fresh living stream of life that God provides? He is trustworthy, he is capable, and all he requires from you right now is a willing heart to be led by the great Shepherd.

Come, Holy Spirit.

– Sarah Rutledge