Glory in the Cross

Galatians 6:14.  “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by wwhom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

I love this beautiful verse, so simple and clear. I cannot and must not glory in myself.  The only cause I have to boast is in the cross of the Lord Jesus.  It represents that I, as a believer, should have been crucified to the things of this world, and the world must be crucified to me.

Hoo Boy!

On my present journey to better health, I need to get more exercise.  What I really mean is that I need to GET some EXERCISE!

Walking hurts my back after a very short time. I detest calisthenics.  Don’t think I’m up to lifting just yet.  Maybe later.Of course, the son who could help me with that has gone and moved to California. . . .

Anyway, my doctor and I agreed that swimming would be an excellent choice, since it’s non-weightbearing and I have always loved to swim.  So I joined the local YMCA, and this afternoon I dipped my toe into the water for the first time in maybe 25 years.

The pool looked excessivley long from my perch at the shallow end.  Does anyone have binoculars?

A woman on my right was happily knifing back and forth. A gentleman on my left was doing a very comfortable-looking backstroke.  I kind of felt as if the lifeguard was waiting for me to DO something–besides standing in water up to my shoulders watching other swimmers.  So here we go.  Deep breath, push off, get the rhythm going. Stoke, stroke, breathe. Hey!  I still remember how to do this!  Made it all the way to the other end pretty comfortably.

But then I had to go back, and I knew I wasn’t going to make it doing the crawl, so I turned around and employed  my backstroke.  That went well.  Stop and rest.  Go again, side stroke.  Stop an rest, other side back. Crawl again, gulped water about halfway down the lane, flipped over and backstroked the rest of the way. Stopping after each lap to catch my breath was a good choice.  I think I did a total of 10-12 laps, which actually makes me feel pretty proud of myself. I’d been afraid that one lap would do me in.

Okay, so I figure I’ll have the time and opportunity to swim two, maybe three days each week.  I can feel it in my shoulders, legs, arms right now, and a little in my back. Not bad.  Right now I’m sitting in my living room easy chair, using my laptop, enjoying a small Granny Smith apple with some low fat string cheese.

Really living the life these days.

A Fair Show in the Flesh

Galatians 6: 12-13.” As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.”

Making a show in the flesh refers to circumcision and to the outward rituals of Judaism which any unsaved man could keep without being restricted otherwise.  Weak Christians were tempted to go back to Judaism because they could escapte persecution and more easily conform to the outward appearance of righteousness without really commiting themselves to anything.

The Judaizers desired that Christianity become just another Jewish sect, reflecting on all the outward working of keeping the Law, and bringing glory (they thought) to Judaism itself.

I Think I Need a Therapist

This morning my mind is occupied with something other than a Friday Counseling Issues Post.

First, for the second time this week I was rudely awakened by machines. Three days ago, around 3 a.m., I heard a very unpleasant, rhythmic bleepbleepbleep, unrelenting and loud. I stumbled out of bed and followed my ears (there’s a visual for you) to the living room, where my cell phone was guilty of the racket. Somehow or other, the alarm had been set.

I didn’t do it. Not on purpose. I have no idea how it happened. Mumblegrump. Shuffled back to bed but didn’t sleep soundly. Had to be up at six.

Last night, I was in a blissful sleep coma when once again I hear beepbeepbeepbeep, high-pitched, unrelenting, and annoying.  I considered finding a hammer.

It was our microwave.  It has a “reminder” feature on it that I’ve never used. Terry had mentioned last night that he’d accidentally bumped it, but thought he had it turned off.

Apparently not.  I informed him this morning that if he ever does that again I WILL wake him up and he will be assigned to the doghouse for an indefinite period of time.  Grrrrrrrgrumblemump. What really ticks me off is the way he snorts and chortles when I threaten him with dire consequences. He is not properly respectful of my powers.

But now to get to the real thorn under my saddle.  I finally waved the white flag of surrender with my doctor and volunteered to see a dietician.  I’ve made a concerted effort for the last five months to drop some flab, and have gotten exactly nowhere. My doctor is delighted, as if she thinks the dietician has a magic wand that melts fat.

Thing is, it’s not that I don’t know WHAT to do.  I just don’t WANT to do it. I’ve eaten piles—yea, verily, MOUNTAINS of salad in my lifetime, and I’m still fat.  I hate being fat. Hate it with a passion. I’ve done every diet known to mankind, and a few that aren’t.  I’ve lost lots of weight over the years, gained it all back and then some when I go back to eating like a normal person.  What really bugs me is that I’m married to Jack Sprat.

Jack Sprat could eat no fat; his wife could eat no lean. And so, between the two, they licked the platter clean.

So this morning I’m going to pay someone to tell me what I already know. What I’m hoping is that having one-to-one accountabiity will help me stay on the straight-and-narrow. And my doc says this woman has lots of great ideas that I may never have thought about.

Here I go again.

Do Good

Galatians 6:10-11. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.”

Paul wrote this letter from prison. He had very little freedom of movement, and apparently he did not have his usual access to an amanuensis, or scribe.  Most of his epistles were dictated.  This one, he wrote with his own hand, and it must have been difficult. We know his eyesight was failing.  The idea that his comment refers to the extremely large size of the actual letters is not founded on anything in the manuscripts or in any scripture text.  He was simply pointing out that what he had to say was so important that he decided to go ahead and write the letter himself, without his usual secretarial help.

He also admonished the Philippian believers to be sure, whenever they had the opportunity, to treat all people well, and especially fellow believers.  Be generous, he said.  Be liberal in giving and helping.  Uphold each other  in word and deed.

Love one another.

Faint Not

Galatians 6:9. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

My job may seem like a walk in the park to some people.  I don’t work hard physically.  I have a nice office, comfortable and attractive.  I work with pleasant people, other therapists who  have the same heart that I do.

So then, why do I come home on Tuesday nights completely drained and ready to fall apart?

Because I am physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally weary.  Listening all day to people who are grappling with giants in their lives is exhausting. The work I do makes me keenly aware of how we’ve turned away from God’s Word, from purity and morality and just decency. There are times when I really don’t think I can get up on Wednesday morning and go do it all over again.

And then there is a victory.  Or one of my coworkers has a heartwarming success. Or one of my clients sends me a note thanking me for all the help I’ve given them. So I go on.

I go on because at some point I get to reap the rewards of pouring my heart and soul into someone who is suffering, offering that person God’s promises and His love. Now and then I get to lead someone to the Lord.

If we don’t quit, don’t give up, keep on pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, we will reap the reward of our labors.

Sowing and Reaping

Galatians 6:8. “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”


Following up in the simple principle of sowing and reaping, Paul teaches that those who never come to Christ, who continue to please their flesh and never come to repentance, will reap the destruction of the flesh. They will not spend eternity in heaven with God.

But those who, having come to Christ for salvation and begin to walk in the Spirit, desiring to please God, have been truly born again and will reap eternal life.  It’s simple, really.

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14.

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.