Remove the Tarnish

In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, I set out to remove the tarnish from several silver pieces. Because I barely managed to purchase presents last Christmas, little else was accomplished. That included polishing silver.

Well. I did swipe tarnish remover across the topside of one tray, but didn’t bother with the underside. No one would see it, right?

My thesaurus describes tarnish with these words. Stain, taint, soil, smudge, and the mark of Cain. I found that last one an interesting reference to Adam and Eve’s son, Cain, who killed his brother, Abel.

As I rubbed liquid tarnish remover over the same silver tray I half-polished last year, I thought about sin, and how it tarnishes us. The side I skipped took longer to remove the tarnish than the side I cleaned. No big surprise there. But as I worked on the neglected underside of the tray, I thought about how difficult it is to remove sin – tarnish – from our lives if we don’t deal with it fully and completely when it first crops up.

I don’t believe it was the noxious fumes from the tarnish remover that sent my thoughts this direction, but it might have been.

According to Educational Innovations, tarnish is the result of a chemical reaction between the silver and sulfur-containing substances in the air, which forms black silver sulfide. This silver sulfide is what we call tarnish. Perhaps you already knew this.

The silver sulfide can be removed by stripping it from the surface. This can result in removing some of the silver along with the tarnish.

Another way to remove the offending tarnish is to reverse the chemical reaction and turn the silver sulfide back into silver by dipping the silver piece into a liquid designed to dissolve the silver sulfide. Or by applying the liquid with a cloth. Either way, after the tarnish remover is applied, the piece should be washed.

Thinking about reversing the effects of silver sulfide, and sin, I thought of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Yeah. I know. My thoughts go all over the place.

After the White Witch slays Aslan the Lion, death works backwards. Aslan is resurrected. The effects of Edmond’s sin, for which Aslan died, are removed. Edmond’s relationship with Aslan is restored. A great battle ensues and the White Witch is defeated. YAY!

Thanks be to God today the taint, stain, tarnish of sin has been removed from those who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Christ’s blood sacrifice dissolves our sin just as surely as liquid tarnish remover dissolves the effects of silver sulfide on silver.

We might believe we only need to clean the outside to look good to others, but Jesus cleans up the inside. The more important side. The side he sees.

I find it utterly amazing Jesus would do that for us. We must never forget the baby in the manager is also the Savior on the cross and our resurrected Lord who sits on his throne waiting for the day his father says, “Go get your Bride.”

Realizing there are fewer and fewer of us who actually polish silver nowadays, might I suggest as we remove tarnish from our silver, we consider what it cost Christ to remove the tarnish of sin from our lives.

Whether we polish silver or not, each of us should deal with our sin quickly and completely. It only gets more difficult to remove the longer we put it off.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Under the old agreement the priests stood before the altar day after day offering sacrifices that could never take away our sins. But Christ gave himself to God for our sins as one sacrifice for all time and then sat down in the place of highest honor at God’s right hand, waiting for his enemies to be laid under his feet. For by that one offering he made forever perfect in the sight of God all those whom he is making holy. Hebrews 10:11-14 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Quotes for December

Here we are. December. The end of 2019. My how time flies. For this post I pulled together quotes for December. One for each day.

Day 1: How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? Dr. Seuss

Day 2: “This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ.” ~ Frank McKibben

Day 3: “He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” ~ Roy L. Smith

Day 4:   “The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that he might offer up his life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas.” -Rev. Billy Graham

Day 5: “Remember This December, That love weighs more than gold!” — Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

Day 6: “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” ― Dr. Seuss

Day 7: “The earth has grown old with its burden of care, but at Christmas it always is young, the heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair, and its soul full of music breaks the air, when the song of angels is sung.” ~ Phillips Brooks

Day 8: “The cradle without the cross misses the true meaning of Christ’s birth.” ~ Unknown

Day 9: “The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman

Day 10: “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder

Day 11: “One cry awakened the world, one birth changed history, one life made all the difference.” ~ Unknown

Day 12: “Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.” ~ Ronald Reagan

Day 13: “You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father’s face and tell him you have received his Christmas gift.” ~ John R. Rice

Day 14: “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”
― Bob Hope

Day 15: “Christmas, my child, is love in action.” ~ Dale Evans

Day 16: “Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.”
― Charles M. Schulz

Day 17  “Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.” -C.S. Lewis

Day 18: “At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God’s own love and concern.” -Mother Teresa

Day 19:  “Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.” -Corrie Ten Boom

Day 20: “How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts!”
― Benjamin Franklin

Day 21: “Have I allowed my personal human life to become a ‘Bethlehem’ for the Son of God?” ~ Oswald Chambers

Day 22: “He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.” ~ Augustine

Day 23: “Christmas celebrates the awesome and amazing fact that God is grander,
wiser, and more mysterious than we could have ever imagined.” ~ Dan Schaeffer

Day 24: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” ~ An Angel (Luke 2:10-12)

Day 25: “Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King.” ~ Isaac Watts

Day 26: “Hark the herald angels sing, Glory to the new-born king. Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” ~ Charles Wesley

Day 27: “Incarnate Word…You came. Softly. Barely a ripple in the course of mankind’s doings, yet a rip that reverberated through the heavenly realms and changed the balance of power for all eternity. With a battle cry that sounded to earthly ears like a newborn baby’s whimper, You set in motion my redemption. The sound heard in the heavens that first CHRISTmas moment was a victory shout that rattled the enemy’s forces and insured their defeat.” ~ Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Day 28: “May we not ‘spend’ Christmas or ‘observe’ Christmas, but rather ‘keep’ it.” ~ Peter Marshall

Day 29: “And in despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail, with peace on earth, good-will to men!”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Day 30: “Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love Divine; Love was born at Christmas; Star and angels gave the sign.” ~ Christina Rossetti

Day 31: “I pray that the Lord might crown this year with His goodness and in the coming one give you a hallowed dare-devil spirit in lifting the biting sword of Truth, consuming you with a passion that is called by the cultured citizen of Christendom ‘fanaticism’, but known to God as that saintly madness that led His Son through bloody sweat and hot tears to agony on a rude Cross—and Glory!” ~ Jim Elliot

Any December quotes you care to add?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior. John 3:16-17 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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On Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. However you spend today, I pray the day is a joyful time full of thanks and gratitude for God’s bountiful rich blessings.

Amid all the joy of celebration, this day can sometimes be a challenge. Especially if there is an empty seat at our table. Or health issues restrict our ability to spend the day as we would like. Or others are unable to join us for whatever reason. Or unresolved problems threaten to steal our joy and thankfulness.

As we spend the day with those we love and enjoy, there might also be those with whom we disagree. Sandpaper people who irritate us and rub us the wrong way.

But you know what? They may feel the same way about us.

In Romans 12:18 the apostle Paul said, “As much as is possible, live peaceably with all men.”

Do you think Paul meant for us to live peaceably even during holiday get togethers when stress is at an all time high?

Probably.

Maybe Paul meant for us to live peaceably with others, as much as it depends on us, especially during holiday get togethers.

In preparation for Thanksgiving get togethers, one thing we might do is ask God to clothe us with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and self-control. We might ask for his power to help us bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances we have against one another. Forgive as we’ve been forgiven. Love as we are loved.

May not just today, but everyday, be filled with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, forgiveness, patience and self-control.

How do you like to spend Thanksgiving?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Guest Post – I Am Adam

Today’s guest post, I Am Adam, written by Dave Peever first appeared on Live 4 Him.

I Am Adam

For those who are getting a little worried about what appears to be a continuous identity crisis, please remain calm. I understand that some of my posts could lead people to believe that I suffer from some sort of multiple personality disorder after all I have said that I am Mary, Thomas, Samuel and Peter. Do not be alarmed, I am Dave, I always have been Dave and I always will be Dave. That being said, I am Adam.

God’s creation was perfect until sin entered the world.

I must admit that based on my 52 year old body, I am not the “pre sin entering the world” Adam. Actually, based on the processed food, sugar based, fatty fast food diet that North Americans including myself indulge in and the sedentary TV/computer lifestyle we live, I must assume I was never physically like the pre or post sin entering the world Adam. Still, I am Adam.

I have planted a garden.

I have never had God plant a garden for me nor have I been forced out of that garden and told, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return…” Genesis 3:19 (NIV) but I have got a little dirt under my fingernails trying to grow food in my backyard. Still, I am Adam.

I have a beautiful wife and helpmate.

My wife has offered me various fruit from both trees and plants and although this fruit has never got me in trouble with God, it has got me in trouble with my weight. Okay I need to be honest, not all of the fruit I eat… let me correct that, very little of the fruit I eat is without additional flavour enhancers. This is a nice way of saying pie crust, shortcake, sugar, ice cream and many more complementary ingredients are why I eat fruit. I am sure that these additional flavour enhancers, these complementary ingredients that I consider the only way to eat fruit, were not part of the temptation that Adam faced when offered a piece of the forbidden fruit by Eve. Still, I am Adam.

I have blamed others for temptations I have given into.

I hate to admit it but I have blamed my wife for my bad behaviours. It isn’t that she is always free of blame but rather that I am ultimately responsible for my reactions. I am in control of myself and whether my wife has done something to provoke me that she should not have done or I am having a bad day and anything she does provokes me, I need to show restraint, self-control and not allow myself to respond in a regrettable way.

If a friend offers me an opportunity to do something attractive but wrong and I join them, notice I used friend not my wife because she would never lead me down this path, I can blame them all I want but it does not remove my guilt. I am responsible for me no matter how much I am tempted by someone else. And yet I have been known to blame the other person. I am Adam.

“…she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12b (NIV)

I have blamed God for being involved in the temptations I have given into.

I’m not sure I have been as blatant in my blaming as I have been with others but still I have suggested that God played a role in my failings. “You put me here God, what do you expect me to do?” “You allowed me to experience this problem, how did you expect me to respond?” “You know the future so you knew this was going to happen, why didn’t you take me on a different course?”

I understand that God desires me to live a life that is holy, that He is not out to trip me up. I know that He is perfect and wants nothing to do with evil. I understand that His desire for me made evident by His willingness to sacrifice His son is to have relationship not separation. Still, I am Adam.

The man [Adam] said, “The woman you [God] put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”  Genesis 3:12 (NIV)

I am Adam, I blame God and others for my current situation when I should take responsibility for my actions regardless of what is going on.

Who is Dave Peever? I am a follower of Jesus the Christ. My specific call is to creatively present various aspects of life as a Christ follower and as a member of a collective of Christ followers I use my background as an actor, director and playwright/writer as well as my music, preaching and leadership skills to assist churches in transition (between pastors) with their desire to be more effective. I have been married for 31 years. We have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren all who currently reside in central Ontario Canada. I have been in ministry for 22 years.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Fresh Start Bible Book Review

Gateway Publishing’s Fresh Start Bible is filled with insights from Pastors Robert Morris, Jimmy Evans, Jack Hayford, and other key leaders, designed to help build a strong spiritual foundation. The Bible comes in several different cover choices, but the only translation choice is the NLT.

There are divisions called Fresh Start Journey which answers questions about the foundations of faith. Intersections offers commentary on key Bible characters and events. Road Signs provides practical teachings meant to relate to scripture to inspire spiritual growth.

Worship Way discusses elements of worship. Freedom Path speaks to the spiritual freedom believers enjoy. Bible Reading Breakthrough emphasizes the importance of daily Bible reading.

There is also a Leader Guide for Small Groups, Bible Book Introductions, Cultural and Historical Articles, Topical Scripture Lists, Charts, Tables, and 18 Full-Color Maps at the back.

One of the things I appreciated is the inclusion of background information in the maps section regarding the Divided Kingdoms of Israel and Jesus’ ministry. I found both helpful.

Have you read this Bible? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gateway Publishing provided me with two complimentary copies of Fresh Start Bible through Blog About Blogger Network. I gave one of the Bibles to a teen in CPS-ordered foster care, praying it will be beneficial in guiding him on the path he should go.