Sunday Morning Coffee: Weather and Stuff

As usual, I’m writing this on Saturday night. We were treated to an absolutely wonderful day today, with temps up near 70. Puffy white clouds, soft blue sky, sunshine.

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I have a little patch of narcissus blooming on the west side of our front yard.

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There are daffodils spearing through the ground right behind our house. There are tight little buds on the trees, just beginning to form. It will be a little while before there are leaves or flowers. We don’t have forsythia in yard, but I’m thinking we’ll see some on our way to church tomorrow.

My daughter’s family was here to enjoy some homemade frozen custard, courtesy of Grandpa. He loves the stuff, and can never find it anywhere. So he went on ebay and found a Cuisineart ice cream maker, and went to quite a lot of effort yesterday to create his first batch of custard. I thought it was wonderful, but he said it wasn’t like what he remembered from his childhood.

Is anything, ever? I don’t know.

The kids got busy helping Grandpa pick up branches. They can all drive our lawn tractor now, and the wagon was hitched up and ready to go. They made a lot of progress, and it was clear they love being outdoors. They’re all growing up so fast. I wish I could blink and make them little again just for a moment.

But all good things do end, and it’s supposed to be colder and rainy tomorrow.

I had my most recent epidural steroid shot in my lower back almost four weeks ago. Still pretty much pain free. I’m learning to treasure each day in which I can move freely and NOT take pain meds! I know this isn’t permanent, but I certainly can rejoice in each pain-free day. I’ve even started working out a little bit. Carefully, slowly. Trying to be smart 🙂

My Bible study blog post this morning was a great encouragement to me. Isaiah 65: 22-23 describes the prosperity of Israel during the Millennial Reign. God’s people will be as old as the long-lived trees. They will build houses not for the gain of other people, but for their own use. All the financial constraints of mortgage loans, interest and so on will be a thing of the past. And that’s just during the Millennial reign; it’s not even heaven yet!

It’s just been a day full of blessings, and I’m thankful.

They Shall not Labor in Vain

Isaiah 65:22-23.

22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.

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Millennial Israel will be prosperous. The people will work, but not for someone else. Throughout their long lives, the people will enjoy the fruit of their own labors and they will dwell in peace. Finally, they will reap the blessing of obedience as the seed of the blessed of the Lord.

They Shall Build Houses

Isaiah 65:20-21.

There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

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Verse 20 speaks to a change in the length of human life.It will be prolonged so that men will live as long as trees (v. 22) and for the entire 1,000 years of the Millennium if they do not commit a sin having the death penalty, an act which will require them to be executed. Then, if they do not rebel with Satan at the end of the Millennium, if they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour; if they are born again and consecrated to eternal righteousness, they will continue to live eternally in the new earth (Matt. 25:46; I Cor. 15:24-28). A man in the 1,000-year reign of Christ will be considered an infant of years instead of an infant of day and no one will die unless he is executed for crime; nobody will fail to fill out his days of maturity and long life. Even sinners will live through the entire period if they will obey the civil laws and refrain from sins that carry the death penalty. A man will be considered a mere child at the age of 100.

Verse 21 describes that normal day to day life will continue; people will marry, have children, build houses, work in their vineyards and fields, and enjoy the fruit of their labors. All will be prosperous, building and living in their own homes; the days of mortgages, credits, debts, and other bondages of the present economy will be a thing of the past (Mic. 4:4; Zech. 3:10)

No Weeping or Crying

Isaiah 65:18-19.

18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

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Remember, these verses deal with the time at the close of the Millennium, when all things are future and forever.

I am intrigued by God’s promise that Jerusalem will be a delight. No more Old City, with it’s small streets and cobbled pathways. No more ruins from the wars that will level Jerusalem and Israel during the Tribulation. It will be a “delight.”

Terry has a hard time picturing heave as a huge celestial city. He doesn’t like cities, far prefers the outdoors, woods, isolation. I think God will provide for each soul that which pleases most. I don’t think we have any concept of what heaven will be, but I do know we will be eternally happy there.

God’s people will be a joy. There will be no weeping or crying, for all will be peace.

Sometimes I just wish it would be today!

A New Creation

Isaiah 65:17. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”

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There is no photo or artist’s rendering that can begin to show us what God has in store. When I look at the beauty all around us in today’s world, I can’t even imagine what the new one will be like.

What we do know is that His renewed creation will be so amazing that we’ll forget all about the old one.

This term, new heavens and a new earth, is found only four times in Scripture. Twice in Isaiah–here in today’s passage and in 66:22-24; in @ Peter 3: 13, and in Rev. 21-22.

This new creation will take place at the end of the Millennium, after all rebellion is put down on earth, all enemies are destroyed, and God has become all in all again, as before rebellion was started–first by Lucifer and later by Adam (Rom 8:18-25; I Cor. 15:24-28; Eph. 1:10; 2 Peter. 3:10-13; Rev. 21-22.)

Gone and Forgotten

Isaiah 65:15-16.

15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name:

16 That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from Mine eyes.

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The old name for God’s people will be forgotten and changed. Always, there are those who speculate about this type of thing, but really we won’t know what God has in mind until He reveals it. Some believe the name Jew will be forgotten, but that is not consistent with Zech. 8:23. It’s possible that name here refers to reputation, but that, too, is just speculation.

Verse 16 speaks of Israel’s repudiation of idols. They will invoke blessings and oaths only in the Name of the true God, the Holy One of Israel.

And the most wonderful thing is that when God forgives, He forgets. All the thousands of years of Israel’s cycling through sin and idolatry will be over and forgotten, never again to be mentioned.

Vexation of Spirit

Isaiah 65:13-14.

13 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, My servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, My servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:

14 Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.

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The result of ongoing, unconfessed sin is nothing to laugh at. Those who repent and return to God will be blessed; those who do not will experience sorrow and “vexation of spirit.”

Well, you may say, vexation of spirit doesn’t sound so bad.

Here are some synonyms for you to ponder:
annoyance, irritation, irritability, exasperation, anger, rage, fury, temper, bad temper, hot temper, wrath, spleen, chagrin, pique, crossness, indignation, displeasure, discontent, dissatisfaction, disgruntlement, ill humor, peevishness, petulance, testiness, tetchiness, gall, resentment, umbrage.

“That’s not fair! How can a loving God allow people to feel that way?”

The answer is easy, really. It’s the way they’ve chosen. They have NOT chosen God; they have chosen self, and they have chosen idolatry. We reap the result of our choices. They were warned over and over again, but they paid no attention. It’s not God’s fault.

Sunday Morning Coffee: What a Week!

It started out okay. The weather was moderate for this time of year, and I had a good appointment with my dentist on Monday. I’m doing Invisalign, creating a better bite so my front teeth, top and bottom, aren’t grinding each other to pieces. I have about five weeks left, if all goes well, and then I’ll have a retainer. We’re also closing the gap between my two front teeth, which Terry tells me is just a shame 🙂

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This is not me, just a random image that came close enough

Tuesday and Wednesday were normal work days, except it kept getting colder and more windy. I’m already seeing a decrease in my client load, am seeing only 8-10 people for the last three weeks. That’s a change from my normal 15-17. But I’m dealing with some very difficult issues, and I’m thankful the load is reduced.

Wednesday around 3 a.m. my digestive system went completely bonkers. By the time I usually get up, I’d already been up for nearly an hour. So sick. Chills, aches, and a close relationship with the bathroom. I called out sick, turned my wonderful mattress pad heater up full blast, and crawled back into my haven. By this time my skin had turned green and I really didn’t care if I lived or died.

All day Thursday, most of Friday with a little improvement, and by Saturday I was back to normal. Almost. Still some reminders of how quickly and easily things can go south again.

BUT! The good news? Saturday was clear and bright, although still windy and a bit chilly, but there is hope that spring is coming. AND all during that horrible whatever-I-had, my back was fine. No pain. I’ve been nearly two weeks pain-free, and I know it’s not permanent, but you learn to appreciate each day you don’t hurt.

PLUS! I actually went down to the basement, under Terry’s disapproving supervision, and did a few minutes on our multi-station cable gym. My muscles are like jelly from so many months of inactivity, and I HAVE to start building it back up or I’ll look like Jabba the Hut. Seriously. Jelly spreads to accommodate its space 🙂

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AND! I actually did some much-needed dusting in the bedroom. I have a corner cupboard with glass shelves that displays some of my teapots, and I just couldn’t look at it any more. Of course, once you start doing that kind of cleaning, you see fifty-eleven other jobs that need doing.

Finally, I think I’m going to make it to church! Two weeks in a row! WooHOO!! It’s been a long, painful, difficult winter, but even my sinus issues seem to be improving, and I’m going for that two-weeks-in-a-row milestone.

So, the bad with the good, the victories with the defeats, and keep soldiering forward. A friend of mine says, “Grace for today.”

Rebels Purged from Israel

Isaiah 65: 11-12. But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget My holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number. Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before Mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.”

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There are some believers, even today, who think that they can live any way they want to, and that God has to forgive them if/when they decide to stop their sin and say “Sorry, Lord.”

While I understand that today’s passage is spoken to Israel, and has to do with their idolatry and forsaking of God, it is very clear that where there is no true repentance, there is no forgiveness. God is not required to just shrug His shoulders at sin, and to concede to a mumbled, insincere “apology.”

Not only did Israel participate in idolatry; they provided the wine and the banquets to honor the false gods. Prov.1: 24-27 says, ” Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded;

25 But ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof:

26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.”

We need to remember that God’s primary attribute is His holiness. In His holiness, He cannot tolerate any form of sin. We tend to look at our sins lightly, whether they be sins of immorality, greed, pride, whatever. “Oh, God loves me, and He understands, so I’ll be okay,” we flippantly say. We have no understanding of the wrath of God against sin. We will be called to account for our sin, unless we have truly confessed and repented. We should not be so sanguine about the lasting results of unconfessed, ongoing sin in our lives.

Sharon and Achor

Isaiah 65:10.
10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for My people that have sought Me.

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Sharon was a district south of Mount Carmel, along the Mediterranean Sea, extending from Joppa to Caesarea. In scripture, it is noted for its fertility and beauty ( Is. 33:9; 35:2; I Chron. 5:16; 27:29, Song of Solomon 2:1)

The Valley of Achor was the place near Jericho where Achan was put to death for disobedience and lying (Josh. 7:24; 15:7; Hos. 2:15). For such a place to become a place of comfort for the herds to rest is a significant change; note, however, that it is available only for His people that have sought (actively searched for) Him.