Few other smells bring quite as much to mind as the above mentioned. Sitting next to a freshly cut and adorned tree, smelling the hot cocoa and whipped cream being slurped around me brings back many, many years of great memories. Although this year has not added as much to the good memory category as others have, this year is too worth being thankful for. Too often, it is easy to be lured into a state of "it must be okay, because nothing bad is happening", when in reality much is happening all the time. Those who have planted seeds of envy are carefully grooming these plants into maturity while the calm days of getting along go by. Those who are mainlining the addictive drug of bitterness cherish these quiet years of riding the hater's train without being revealed by the times of testing and the rough track of trials. But praise God for the trials, thank Him for the testing! What was years of apparent growth and striving together would have been even more devastating to realize years from now that it was all just a game played by many much better than I. Assuming dedication and hard work was a reflection of one mind (and that of Christ's) was foolish and in many ways reflected ignorance on my part. For it is explicitly clear from the Word that trials and testing are God's plan in refusing to allow us to travel His path in apathy and complacency. He looks for those who are His and the trials are the opportunities He takes to sort out the flock. The goats prove themselves to be rather handy at self identification, given the right circumstances. An open throat, a weak believer, a wounded soldier and the wolves will strike. Wolves, both slim and heavy, male and female but all with a common goal....to set aside the grace of Jesus Christ! Plenty is offered by them to satisfy the social seeking "quasi-believer", in activities and social feedings, but little will ever be required in the accountability department, unless you cross their line....and then you will be accountable, destroyed and discarded. The truth found in Psalm 106 is oft repeated, from a moment of belief, they turn to their own ways and lust for their own tabernacle to serve in...God gives it to them, but also gives leanness to their souls. They will never sit content to go their own way, they will continually pull and drag others into their abyss. But without satisfaction! Eventually, they will turn to destroying and consuming each other, but unfortunately, many young and innocent believers will be hurt and damaged in the fray. So, bring on the trial, Lord. Continue the test and see if there be any wicked way in me. Cleanse me and I shall be whiter than snow, create in me a clean heart daily! Thank you, Jesus!
Speaking of Jesus!
Yes, I love to proclaim His Word. Every page is a treasure, every sentence a full, multi-course meal. Thank You for coming to this earth; thanks for being born in the manner you were without pretense or fanfare. Thanks for allowing us to celebrate this day of your birth on the 9th month and the 24th day, as prophesied by Haggai. Yep, this December will find me celebrating Jesus, nothing but Jesus and All Jesus!! The rest can keep their Hukkah Huts!!