The Household of God

Ephesians 2: 19. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God:”

Someone taught me years ago that whenever you see the word therefore in the Bible, you need to look back and see what it’s there for.

So I did.  In this verse, it refers to the previous teachings that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile.  His blood has made us all one family, with access to God through the Holy Spirit.  That middle wall of partition is gone.  We are all God’s children when we come to Him for salvation by grace through faith.

Paul is working very hard to drive this point home in these past several verses.  No difference.  One in Christ.  The Church encompasses Jew, Greek, male, female, bond, free.  Women are no longer excluded and restricted to their own section in the church.  Slaves don’t have to sit in the balcony.   We are one in Christ Jesus.


Goodbye, Again

So I had to say goodbye to two of my sons and their families.  Again.

Ken and his family left on Saturday morning, after tearful hugs, assurances of love, wish you didn’t have to go. We did a repeat performance on Sunday morning with Mike’s family. As they filed out the door, I remembered all the times Terry and I said good bye to my mom and dad, or his,  after a visit.  Everyone tried to be cheerful.  No one wanted to make it any worse than it really was.  But I knew very well that when our car pulled out of their driveway and disappeared down their street, my mom would get very busy cleaning, and Dad would find a reason to go to his study.  Terry’s mom would also deal with her tears in a frenzy of cleaning.  His dad would most likely go down to his painting studio and putter, maybe working on a design for a new sign.

We hated the leaving, but we sure enjoyed the arriving. The trouble is, you make a trip like that with the knowledge that there will have to be a goodbye.

Sometimes I get very jealous of my friends whose families never moved out of the area.

That’s not the way it has turned out for us.  Only one of our four children lives about 30 minutes away.  I wish I knew my other grands as well as I know the ones we see regularly.

These wrenching goodbyes help me to understand my mom better, although I think I really did understand her pretty well.  It’s just that the generations pass away, and suddenly you find that you are the grandparent standing at the door waving, tears rolling down your cheeks, as a carload of precious family members pulls out for their long drive home.

It seems impossible.  I am the same age now as Mom was when Dad died.  That still startles me when I think of it.

I find I’m thinking about time a lot more than I used to. When your children’s children are adults, or nearing adulthood, you yearn for more little ones to balance things out—and I suspect it won’t be terribly long before we become great grandparents, if the Lord tarries.

I guess I don’t really have an ending point here.  Just sharing my thoughts and my heart as we wrap up this Christmas season.  It’s been a good one, one of the best.

Just too short.


Access to God

Ephesians  2:18. “For through Him we both have access  by one Spirit unto the Father.”


The first thing that strikes me about this verse is the clear teaching of the Trinity.  Through Him (Jesus, the Son) we have access to God (the Father) through the Spirit (the Holy Spirit). Some people like to deny the Trinity, saying that it is never mentioned in the Bible. While the word itself is not used, the three  persons of the Godhead are often  mentioned throughout scripture. This is one example.

Through Jesus, we both have access. Who is the “both” in this verse?  Like the previous verse, it is  a reference to both the Jew and the Gentile.

The word access here is prosagogemeaning the privilege of entrance.

It is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Son, by the power of the Spirit, that Jew and Gentile alike have the privilege of entrance into the very presence of God.

He Preached Peace

It’s been several days, so let me start by reminding you of the last post in this Ephesians study, which you can find here.  Jesus has put to death the enmity between the Jew and the Gentile through His sacrifice on the cross.  He has brought us together into one body through the Church, when we come to Him in repentance.

Now, the next verse is Ephesians 2: 17. “And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”

Who were those who were far away from the gospel of Jesus Christ?  Those were the Gentiles.  Very few of them had access to scripture, and the vast majority were idolaters.  Of course there were exceptions, exampled by the Magi who followed the star to seek Jesus, of Whom they had read in the Jewish prophecies.

Those who were near were God’s chosen, the Jews.  But notice that they were only near. They had not yet acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah, and though many Jews today have realized Who Jesus was, there are multitudes who do not yet acknowledge Him as the Messiah they so fervently wait for.

Jesus preached peace to both Jews and Gentiles. He rejected no one. His salvation is available to all who believe, who come to Him in repentance for sin, and who seek Him as Lord and Savior.

One More Day

One more day, I think, until I’m ready to resume my regular posting schedule.  Everyone is gone. Ken’s got back home to South Dakota yesterday in the late afternoon.   Mike’s family left yesterday to see friends in Virginia and then travel South to see Janan’s family.  So.  The house is really quiet, and it’s going to take some readjustment before I’m okay with all of them being gone again.

I slept until 8:30 this morning, which for me is most unusual.  I was up around six, but decided I could catch a few more zzzzzz’s.  I surely did  🙂

I need to go swimming today.  I missed three of my regular sessions.  Amazingly, I haven’t regained any of the weight I’ve lost so far.  I don’t go back to work until a week from tomorrow.  I’m going to need this week to recover from last week!

There have been so many blessings, I can’t even count them. Life is changing so fast.  The possibility of every grandchild being present at another gathering becomes less  now, as they’re reaching college age. It could be that some of the older ones will be starting their own families in the next few years, and of course that changes everything.

You know that old saying, “Life is short”?

Guess what?  It’s the truth.  Treasure every moment, especially the times you gather as a family.  As the Bible says, life is a vapor: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth.” (James 4:14).

Here’s another truth that I’m experiencing these days: With every day that passes, I understand more clearly that our experience here is just a prelude to the eternity that will follow. For those who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, it is an eternity to welcome with joy and anticipation.  I do not dread death itself, and even the process is becoming less awful as I approach my 70’s.  I’ve always feared dying of cancer or some other slow, painful disease. Not any more. God gives us  the strength to endure what we must, and even to make the process one of victory (Philippians 4: 13).

All right, I think I’m done for today.  One last thing.  Here’s a picture Janan took yesterday as we were leaving for church.  I like it a lot.



The Day After


It always goes way too fast.  We had a perfect day yesterday at my daughter’s house.  She is an amazing cook, and presented us with  a beautiful and delicious feast.

It was fun to hear the teens and younger kids at a table in another room, having so much fun together.  All nine of my grandchildren together for Christmas happens only once in maybe three or four years, but they all seem to enjoy reconnecting.

all our grands

Later, a family from our church joined us for dessert, and we enjoyed singing carols together.  Lots of musical talent in our family and theirs.

My South Dakota crew left around 8:30 this morning.  It’s always so hard to say goodbye.  The Germany family will be up soon.  They’re going to an Eagles game tonight, will come back here to sleep, and then journey through Virginia to South Carolina to see friends and then my daughter-in-law’s family.

I’ve done very little cooking this week. My South Dakota son is turning into quite a chef, and he treated us to some wonderful meals. I’ve been thoroughly spoiled.

It’s certainly been a Christmas to remember.  We are thankful.

An Answered Prayer

One of my sons who moved to California in September finally landed a job today after a four-month drought.  This is a tremendous blessing, and I can’t even tell you how relieved we are.

He called it a Christmas miracle.  I just think it was God’s timing, God’s way, because it turns out it’s the most perfect job he could have  landed. Sometimes it’s very hard to wait on God’s best, but it always comes at exactly the time it was most needed.   These four months have strengthened my son’s faith rather than cause him to give up in discouragement.  And that’s an answer to prayer as well.

I’ll tell you something else that’s a Christmas miracle.  Hearing the conversations all over the house with all my family home.  Hearing the kids laughing.  Right now they’re outdoors–it’s very warm here–playing hide and seek.  Every now and then I see a flashlight beam.  They’re having a blast.    Enjoying the wonderful meal that Ken put on tonight with a little help from Mike and Janan. Looking forward to more fellowship tomorrow, and to the Christmas Eve service; then Christmas day itself.  Hard to realize it will all be over in just three more days.  I will treasure every moment.

God is good, all the time.

Just Writing out Loud :)

It’s late.  I came in here to shut down the computer, and got the urge to write.  Everyone besides Terry and me went out to Hershey today, and they’re not back yet.  The house has been incredibly quiet after two days of lots of noise.  Good noise.

Sure is nice to see my kids and grandkids.  The grands are all growing up so fast!  The oldest is 18 now, and the youngest is already six. You know, when you’re young you think you’ll never grow old, and the time seems plenty long enough.  Now, however, it’s as if the sixty-eight years behind me were lived in a nano-second.  Of course, my  children who range from late 30’s to mid-40’s put the lie to that notion 🙂

We got news yesterday of the sudden death of the husband of a young friend who is only in her mid-30’s, with three children to rear.  Another  death of a young man in his early 40’s, leaving wife and at least one child. This kind of news leaves me just  speechless, and heartbroken for these young women who never dreamed they would be widowed so early in life.

We all know that death is a part of life, but we don’t really expect it to be a part of OUR lives!  At least, not until we’re so old that we don’t know a thing about it any more.

Be thankful for your spouse, your children, your grandchildren.  Don’t ever take them for granted.  We are not promised that our lives will be without loss and pain; only that God will be with us through the loss and pain.  We do need to learn to cherish the moment.

So.  I didn’t intend for this to be maudlin or preachy.  Just putting down words as they form in my mind.   I’m missing our son in California, who couldn’t be with us this year.  He’d have so enjoyed picking on his big brothers again.  Also missing his girlfriend, who flew to Slovakia to be with her parents over Christmas.  She’s  a sweet girl, and we’re enjoying her very much.

All right, that’s enough.  It’s almost exactly ten o’clock, and if I’m not in bed before Ken and family get here, I’ll be up until midnight hearing all about their day 🙂  That will wait until tomorrow.

If I don’t stop in again before Friday, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas, and thank you for being loyal readers and friends.

And to all, a good night 🙂


Christmas Break

The house is full and there’s lots of laughing going on.  Not right at the moment.  Two of my sons and their families took off around 9:30 this morning to spend some time in Philly.  They want their kids to see the Wanamaker organ; they want them to see all the historic sites that they may have been too young to really remember the last time they were here.  It’s a fairly balmy December day, so they should have a great time.


Tonight, they’ll be back for supper, along with my daughter and her family just a half-hour away from us.  Also, a couple we’ve known for over 40 years will be joining us so they can see everyone.

You know, every time we have a gathering like this, we become more keenly aware that it could be the last one before we all get to heaven.  Terry and I are no longer spring chickens 🙂  So we are grateful to have them home for this Christmas.  We miss the one who’s in California and unable to be with us this year.

Christmas, of course, is primarily about the birth of Jesus;  I believe it is also about the importance of family and friends.  Jesus was born into an earthly family, and grew up with brothers and sisters.  There were friends there at His birth, as the shepherds came to worship Him.  Later, the thre Magi from the east brought Him gifts befitting royalty.  People were always the center of His life and ministry.  It’s a good example for all of us.

So while we enjoy the fun, food, and fellowship; the gifts and laughter as we dust off old memories, we will also be honoring the One for Whom this is all about.

I hope the same is true for all of you.