Aloha Friday Message – May 21, 2010


Happy Aloha Friday, Beloved! I was thinking about you on the way to work today. I am always grateful to God for the love he gave to me along with the people he gave me with whom I can share His love. When I think about the hundreds of people He has put into my life just so I can love them with the love He gave me, I am just blown away. You’re there. You are in my life so I can love you.

All the other things that come from that or go along with that are unexpected and unmerited blessings — Grace. How cool is it to know that loving you is fulfilling God’s will? Way cool! I love you because you are made lovable by God and that’s just too amazing to get past. I’ve been reading passages in James. This section is very reassuring, especially when we face difficulties in our lives. “Why me? Why this? Why now?” Beloved, I do not know those answers, but I know the One who does. Here is wisdom from James 1:2-17

Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Temporal needs and temptations
9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

The source of all good things
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, so that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

Beloved, Love is the ultimate “good and perfect gift.” I cannot describe the joy I know because WE can share that gift effortlessly with each other. Thank you for opening up your heart to give and to receive that gift. When I send these messages off, I take a moment to read through the E-Mail addresses. I want to have you cross my mind as this note wings its way toward you. I want you to know when you read it that you were on my mind as I wrote and sent it.

This week’s Bible verses are very familiar. So familiar in fact, that it is easy to read past them without reading in them. Sometimes we’re sort of zoned out when we are fed by The Word. Read these two verses again, but read them out loud – as if you were using them to witness, to convince someone of their power and truth:

John 3:16-17
NIV 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
KJV For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

The word missing in the NIV translation is “begotten.” Long story short: God fathered Jesus; caused the pregnancy that gave rise to the Word made flesh. In both translations we find the word “perish.” We know, of course, that perish means die, but we also know that in the context of this verse it means eternal death in contrast to eternal life.

I think of “eternal” and “everlasting” as slightly different connotations. They are synonyms for each other, of course, but for me eternal carries a connotation of perpetual or even better interminable – it can’t be stopped. For me, everlasting connotes something that is constantly renewed. It never ages. It is not subject to temporal progression. It is always instantly renewed. I tend to envision eternal as “over yonder, beyond the River, past the Pearly Gates. But my image of everlasting is more “here-side” – it is happening right now as you read these words if you believe in Him. If you believe Jesus is the Christ, the risen Lord, the living and only begotten Son of
I AM, then your life is constantly renewed moment by moment in His saving grace. Even when you are living “over yonder” the process of instantaneous perpetual renewal never changes. That is one very good and perfect gift!!

And if you don’t believe? Not all of you will accept this, perhaps, but I feel quite strongly that every good thing in your life is there for you by the Grace of God through Jesus who is the Word of Truth. No good thing or act – past, present, or future – could exist without His will. God is praised in all of those good things which come to us only through Jesus because everything that Jesus is or does is of, through, and by God. Nothing can supersede, exceed, or surpass those gifts. All that is required to make them realities present in your own day-to-day existence is to honor the Giver by accepting the Gift. Is today the day you will honor the Giver and accept the Gift as Savior and Lord? I do that every day, and I am inviting you to join me.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service.

Remember Justin and his family. Ask God to bless RG for the many years of suffering he has endured while always trusting in God. Pray for our graduates that they will not be discouraged by the lack of available jobs. Ask God to show you the good gifts he has standing by, waiting for you to open them. And please, take a moment to pray the MBN prayer. It is a great help and is a way for your brothers and sisters to be blessed by your love.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved


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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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