We spent some time with old friends, family, newer friends last night. My youngest child and only daughter had a birthday last week, and that was the reason for the gathering. She’s an incredible cook, and the meal was, as usual, a gustatory delight 🙂
As we were visiting, my friend sitting next to me was showing us some photos on her cell that were pictures from many years gone by. She’s been taking pictures of her pictures, using her cell. Now, why haven’t I ever thought of that? I think this is going to be a lifelong project!
Cancer was with us last night. Another old friend has been fighting that battle, and he’s just now starting to grow back some hair after finishing his latest round of chemo. He’s feeling a little better, too. Also, a young man around 11 years old has been fighting a rare cancer, using experimental drugs. His mom is concerned because his appetite seems to have dropped off recently. We’re all hoping, praying that it’s just a normal stage he’s going through. Cancer is ubiquitous, it seems, touching every family. No one in my immediate family has had it so far, but there’s certainly no guarantee. Terry’s mom had a very fast-growing glioblastoma in her brain. I have at least one aunt who had breast cancer, although she beat it. Our heath issues seem to center more around heart disease, diabetes, and general deterioration like my back problems.
The thing is, the body begins to age as soon as we’re born, and the effects of that aging process are unavoidable. They can be delayed, treated, decreased with medical intervention, a good diet, exercise, and so on; but the process is unavoidable. Our job is to make our years, however many we have, profitable. I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about using our days in a way that brings glory to God, that brings joy to others, and that makes us look forward to heaven.
Today we’ll be going to a sister church not too far from our home church. They’re without a pianist, and I’m one of three or four from our own church who rotate monthly to go there and provide that service for them. They also have a small orchestra, with a trumpet, a flute, a euphonium, and one or two violins. Put it all together, and it sounds pretty good. I enjoy being a part of it.
We also participated with this church in producing a really amazing Vacation Bible School. We both used the same theme, and our church held theirs first. Then the props, artwork and so on were sent on over to the other church, and our teens who participated in the nightly skits did it all over again for the other church. They helped us in the building of the set on our platform, we helped them set it up on theirs. That’s the way it should be. One church helping and blessing another, all serving the same Lord.
It’s only early August, but already I can see a difference as I write these early morning rambles. The shadows across the front yard are longer than they were a month ago at this time of morning, and although it was light when I rolled out of bed at 6:45, the sun was very low in the sky.
To finish up this morning, I want to share with you from my Bible reading for the day. In Genesis 2, the Garden of Eden is described as God created it in the morning of this old world’s history. For some reason, as I read it this morning it really hit home to me that God took particular delight in creating this amazing place for the people He had created and whom He loved. Beautiful trees, laden with luscious fruit. Shrubbery, all shades of green, and flowers blooming for the first time ever that would probably take our breath away with their fresh beauty. Rivers flowed from the Garden. In or near those rivers were gold, bdellium, and onyx stone. No weeds, no thorns, no poison ivy. That would come after Adam and Eve sinned.
Once the garden was complete, God set Adam in the midst of it and then, knowing that Adam need human companionship, He created the most beautiful flower of all: Eve, the crowning touch of Creation. Beautiful, sweet, loving, intelligent Eve, who would undoubtedly put the beauties of our time in the shade if she were here today.
So here these two met and loved and enjoyed God’s perfect garden. They had everything they could possibly need, and in the cool of the evening God Himself came and walked and talked with them because He, too, had need of companionship.
Then Satan showed up, and that was that. How did he do it? How did he convince Eve, then Adam, to disobey God?
He lied. He wrapped his lied around a kernel of truth, as he always does. The lie was one that touched their pride: Eat the forbidden fruit, and you will become like God.
They took the bait; they did the deed; and they paid the price. They were banned from their first home, the precious, beautiful garden. Of course that was just the beginning, but how sad, and how tragic the results of their disobedience. They had everything, and they lost it because of deceit. Deceit and pride.
We need to pay attention.