Musings by Melanie

Thoughts on faith and life

Mid-Life Musing

As of today I am 50.129 years old, approximately.  I must say that approaching 50 was much harder than actually turning 50.  It could be that I was spoiled by my husband on my actual birthday, my co-workers the day before my birthday and by my family the weekend following.  My Mom and sisters had a very nice luncheon for me on the family farm.  It was a wonderful time!  They even surprised me by inviting some childhood friends that I hadn’t seen in years!  It was so great to see them and to catch up.

I had intentions of writing this closer to my actual birthday but didn’t.  Then a couple of weeks ago I ran into this article at desiringGod.org by Jon Bloom called “Turning Fifty and Still Fighting for Faith.”  {click on the word “this” to read the article}.  Naturally it grabbed my attention.  His description of receiving the birthday greeting from AARP was spot on.  But the article gets better….I highly encourage you to read it now.  I’ll wait here.

Finished already?  It was really good, wasn’t it?

Here are three thoughts that stood out to me:

  • When weakness meets weariness, and discouragement meets disillusionment, we must be on our guard.  These are spiritually precarious moments.
  • My weaknesses have a purpose in God’s design, and so does my weariness.
  • What’s important, what this whole race is about, is obtaining the Prize.  And I want to keep running that I may obtain it.

Given what I gleaned from the article it was helpful that at the same time I was reading a book called “Extravagant Grace” by Barbara Duguid.  My plan is to share more about that in future Musings.

For now, I will close with the words that Jesus spoke to Paul when he asked three times for the thorn to be removed from his side.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

May you be sustained by the all-sufficient grace of Jesus today!

He Will Hold Me Fast

I’m sort of “cheating” today since I don’t have anything written and ready to go.  However, since this song was first introduced at church last month, it has proven to be a “balm to my soul” (as described by my worship leader). Given I’d never heard it before I’m betting you haven’t either (unless you go to my church…ha!).

The hymn was written by Ada Habershon who lived from 1861-1918.  So, while it is an old hymn, the words are timeless.  May you be blessed as you hear it.

Have a great day!

A Surprise Visitor

As a BSF CA (Bible Study Fellowship Class Administrator) I am responsible for the record keeping and material distribution for our class.  Our class is relatively small but it does take a good bit of time to organize and store.  For example, I will soon start receiving packages containing 150 lesson packets (each about 8 pages) for each week of class.  They ship the first 5 or 6 weeks before class begins in September.  So, to be ready, I needed to clean up the space where they are stored.  When our class finished up our last study in May, I completed year end reports but otherwise just dropped everything in the garage.  I haven’t looked at it since.  I’ve intended to do it for several weeks but kept putting it off.  Having a three day weekend helped and Saturday was the day!

I set up everything outside so that I could at least enjoy a little fresh air.  However, the noise level from the birds was ridiculous.  My husband had been trying to work outside for several days and this one particular robin was relentless. The robin’s chirp (or rather screech) was very loud and piercing.  Impossible to ignore.  As I sat down at the patio table and started looking around, I happened to glance up and I immediately knew what was causing all the commotion.  Perched on one of the deck support beams was a snake!    I’m so proud that I didn’t scream but I did immediately call my husband.  He came to the rescue with a big stick and ushered him into the woods.  Evidently the snake was digesting something he had consumed as was evidenced by the large bulge that was present.  Within 5 minutes of the snakes exit we witnessed two baby robins fly out of their nest.  We figure Mama robin was warning the babies about the snake.  When all was clear, they flew the coop, so to speak.  And then something magical happened…..it was quiet again!

Very few people like snakes.  Of course the non-poisonous ones are good to have around.  But when I think of snakes I think of Genesis and the serpent in the garden.  He was crafty and cunning and convinced Adam and Eve that they could be like God.  Nothing has been the same since.  As believers in Jesus, we look forward to His coming again.  But until then, we will struggle with all sorts of sin before we die.  Sometimes we are warned with loud screeches like Mama robin but most times it’s sneaky and subtle.  It slithers in quietly and before long we are consumed.   I’m reminded of this warning that God gave Cain just before he killed Abel.

“If you do well, will you not be accepted?  And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.  Its desire is for you , but you must rule over it. ” Genesis 4:7 ESV

It is so easy to become discouraged when we sin.  It could be something we consider small like stretching the truth a little (aka a lie) or some huge issue that has plagued us for years.  We all have them.  And what I’m learning lately is that God will use even our sin for our good and for His glory.  God is not surprised and He won’t be undone when we cry out to Him to confess our sin and ask forgiveness.  Will the sin stop?   Maybe.  Unless God uses it to grow us and to teach us that we are utterly dependent on Him and His grace.

I will close with this verse from “Come Ye Sinners” because it gives me comfort and I hope it will comfort you as well:

“Come, ye weary, heavy laden; lost and ruined by the fall.  If you tarry till you’re better, you will never come at all.

Chorus:

I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms.  In the arms of my dear Savior, O there are ten thousand charms.”

As a bonus, here is a YouTube version of the song:

Have a great day!

Subscribe Now

RSS Subscribe to receive an email when new entries are added.

Archive Calendar

Too Much of a Good Thing

I'm disappointed to report that I've already had my first fail in my attempt at container gardening.   Last weekend when I bought 3 new herbs I also bought some "self-watering" pots at the local hardware store.  They were cheap and didn't...

read more

Dependence on Another

I decided that I should give container gardening a try this year. I've had many failed attempts at having plants in the yard so I'm giving the deck a shot.  Between the deer, groundhogs and rabbits very few things have survived. Sometimes you want something other than...

read more

An Unfinished Puzzle

While on vacation I sometimes like to put together a jigsaw puzzle.  On a recent vacation I took along a 1000 piece puzzle that was a gift from my sister.  I knew when I packed it that it was probably a bit overzealous to think I could complete it in a week. However,...

read more