Sunday, April 12, 2020

Contrasts


Contrasts

Sitting in a room together, yet alone.
Lost, grieving, waiting—
For what?
They didn’t know.
Words of comfort and hope forgotten.
Despair unimaginable.

Yet,

The greatest act since the Creation
Stood on the verge—
God stirs.
Love conquers death.
The Plan revealed.
He is risen.

Tell his disciples, He is not here
He is risen.
                                                                                    Deb Borkert 2020

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Where Thoughts Can Go


Sometimes I write down thoughts, and they don’t go anywhere. These are thoughts that eventually did.
July 9, 2019
Sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way you expect, or the way you hoped, or the way you wanted, or the way it seemed it should have been. And, when it doesn’t, there comes a time to let go.
October 16, 2019
But, perhaps, letting go and accepting isn’t that easy. Maybe it’s a series of steps, like grieving. Maybe it begins with frustration and irritation and moves to just plan hopelessness. Maybe the coming out is incremental, little by little. Maybe patience leads to joy after all. Maybe.
February 28, 2020
Maybe like Naomi, we can feel empty, wrung out, totally spent. As the snow swirls in a seemingly endless winter, the clouds that bear down in the heavens bear down on our souls. Cold, alone, empty.
Naomi felt empty; but we, as outsiders looking in, know she wasn’t, not really. She felt alone, but truly she wasn’t. As her hopelessness overwhelmed her, she pushed those who loved her away. She felt targeted by God. Yet, that was far from the case. Sometimes, it takes despair to get us where we need to be. Sometimes.
March 19, 2020
Sometimes despair is overwhelming. It causes us to lie awake at night. We turn all the options over in our heads. We say, yes, to this and moments later, no. David spoke of the unproductive watches of the night. Endless, foreboding, ever wakeful. Despair. It consumes us. And, then comes morning.
March 29, 2020
Morning eventually comes. After a sleepless night, we stumble to something or Someone to carry us through the day. Things usually look differently in the morning. Even though exhausted, we put one foot in front of the other and carry on. Stumble forward...into Jesus.
One day we wake up and find it’s morning.



Wednesday, March 18, 2020

I'm Okay


Charlie is a risk taker, and no matter what kind of scrape he finds himself in, he always responds, “I’m okay.” I think he’s been saying, “I’m okay” for as long as he could talk. Charlie is five.

Weekend before last, we’d met Charlie and his family at a ski resort in New Mexico. We had a wonderful time—literally the last days we could wake up feeling that the day was predictable.

I’ve read a lot about brain function, and one author says that “our brains love surprises.” Surprises might perk up an old brain to function better, but “love” isn’t the term I’d choose.
In the last week, my husband and I have often remarked, “We picked the very worst year to retire.” As teachers we did not sign contracts for next year, and when the last paper is graded, we will be retired. But, we’re okay.

For years I’ve taught a class called Life Calling. One thing I tell my students is that I’ve noticed that as people age, they seem less willing to take risk. We moved to Colorado Springs 32 years ago with four small children and no jobs. We just knew it was the right thing to do. I won’t say those first years here were easy. They weren’t. They were years fraught with worry and stress. Yet, we were okay. Looking back, I’ve often wished I hadn’t spent so much energy frantic about money. I’ve also hoped that if I ever found myself in that situation again, I’d weather it knowing we were okay.

We aren’t okay just because we say it. We’re okay because there is a God in whose hands we rest. Life does not always turn out the way we expect. It does not always turn out the way we want. It does always turn out the way it should.

At Angel Fire, New Mexico, Charlie had two days of ski lessons. On the third day, our son-in-law (Charlie’s dad) took him to the top of a mountain. We laughed as we watched video of Charlie skiing down the mountain, arms straight out. And, when he fell, you could clearly hear him say, “I’m okay.”
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Jesus--Very God


 Thoughts on Hebrews
Hebrews 1:8 and following distinguish Jesus from the angels, but it does so much more. It shows us who Jesus truly is. He is God.


God the Father says of Jesus: “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever…(vs. 8).

Verse 10 the Father declares Jesus the Creator who “laid the foundations of the earth.” And even though the world will change, Jesus will “remain the same” (vs. 12).


Then chapter 1 closes with another distinction between angels and Jesus. Whereas the angels are ministering spirits, Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand.

I
n some mystery the united Godhead seems to have split in some inexplicable way at the incarnation. Verse 5 expresses that the Father and Son are separate, yet they also remain the same. Jesus, “the exact representation of [God’s] being. The rest of chapter one focuses on Jesus and who He is—nothing like an angel, but the very Son of God—the Creator at the beginning of time. Who but God could it be attributed that he “laid the foundations of the earth” and created the heavens and all that is in them. At some point, all creation will change, but Jesus will never change. He cannot—for He is God and sits at the right hand of the Father.

Separate yet one. It is certainly a mystery.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

The God of Winter


Now, anyone who knows me can affirm that I’m a summer girl. I relish the days of cool morning walks and warm afternoons. I love sliding into the day without essays and lesson plans, clutter and (sometimes) sassiness. I love planning trips, growing flowers, chatting with my children and grandkids, and hanging out with Jay. Summer is everything nice.

But, then there’s winter. I grew up in the northern Midwest, but somehow, I never acquired an appreciation for cold and snow—the drab and windswept days of winter. I thought myself clever when I’d stuff a pair of mittens and a hat in the top of my marching band Shako to pull out once in the stands to keep myself somewhat warm as we watched our high school football games.


I prefer winter to extend just through Christmas and then I’d be fine with warm sunny skies and tulips blooming in January. But, although I’ve traded the gray Midwestern skies for Colorado sunshine, winter tends to extend well into what ought to be spring. (Case in point, we had a snow day last year during May finals.)


I must, though, admit that winter gets a bad rap. Literature tends to equate winter with harshness, despair, and death. In the symbolism of the seasons, winter isn’t where most literary characters want to find themselves.


Yet, we do. At times in our life, we do find ourselves in winter regardless the temperature outside. Winter is where bad things happen. And, “there’s the rub” as Shakespeare would say. Who is this God of winter? Why can’t it be summer all the time? What happens when things go awry? Is anyone in control here? Is God sometimes sleeping as Thomas Hardy postulates in Tess of the d’Ubervilles?


The answer we, as Christians, know is no. But, just because there is purpose and design in suffering from small irritants to life-debilitating circumstances doesn’t make it easy to bear. It is true that I should look on the positive more often. It’s true that there is much to be grateful for. Yet, honestly, I don’t always live there. My first thoughts often are not thankfulness. Those are things I have to remind myself of. They do not come naturally for me. And, I’m guessing they don’t come naturally for most of us.


Perhaps that is the why? for winter—to realize that the God of winter is still God after all.

Friday, January 31, 2020


Oh, how deep was my sin that split the Godhead in such a way. Oh, what wonder that Jesus could become a child—the Creator creates Himself human. And, this was ever meant to be.

The book of Hebrews declares it.
Jesus is first compared to angels. There is no comparison.

God brought Jesus, His Firstborn, into the world. The act of the incarnation was of the Father, and the angels were to worship Him, and they did from the very night of His birth.

Angels abiding in the field—keeping watch over their sheep—and a host appeared, singing “Hosanna in the highest—Behold! For unto you this day is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

We’ve heard the old King James version in so many Christmas pageants that the words tumble from our memory effortlessly—and, I’m afraid, without much thought.

Some passages just read better in the old KJV and this is one.

Behold!

Stop.

Ponder.

Pay attention.

Rest in it.

Meditate on it.

Behold! Today a Savior is born. He is Christ the Lord.

God creates Himself as a baby. It is a mystery. We cannot figure it out. How can it be? But, God is God, and He can do anything. Just look around. Look at the world. Look at the baby before you.

Hebrews 1:6b says, “Let all the angels worship Him.”

And, if the angels worship, shouldn't I? Everyday?

Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Mystery of Jesus


Just as the concept of God’s sovereignty and man’s choice is a paradox, so the idea of Jesus being God as one with the Father is a mystery—so incomprehensible that we must take the biblical account at face value and accept what seems the impossible to our limited understanding. God became a man.
After finishing a year reading the Bible chronologically for my Bible reading, I now need to get back into the structure of book studies. I have chosen first the book of Hebrews—as the incarnate Christ to me is mind-boggling to put it mildly.
I find a paradox is easy to accept. We see them in literature all the time. But, this mystery—the idea of God becoming human when part of Him—the Father—does not, now, that is difficult to wrap one’s mind around. Hence, Hebrews.

In Hebrews 1:1-3 we see the split view of the Godhead: the Father, who spoke through the prophets in the Old Testament and the Son (Jesus), who these days God speaks through.
Then Jesus, the Son of God is described:
·      Heir of all things
·      Made the universe
·      Radiance of God’s glory
·      Exact representation of God
·      Sustains all things by His power
·      Provided purification for sins
·      Sat at the right hand of Majesty (the Father) in heaven
Jesus described as only God could be: eternal, all powerful, Creator, Sustainer—and Savior.