This Superlative Sanctuary Sunday Open Thread, with full respect to those who worship God on the Sabbath, is a place to reaffirm our worship of our Creator, our Father, our King Eternal.
It is also a place to read, post and discuss news that is worth knowing and sharing. Please post links to any news stories that you use as sources or quote from.
In the QTree, we’re a friendly and civil lot. We encourage free speech and the open exchange and civil discussion of different ideas. Topics aren’t constrained, and sound logic is highly encouraged, all built on a solid foundation of truth and established facts.
We have a policy of mutual respect, shown by civility. Civility encourages discussions, promotes objectivity and rational thought in discourse, and camaraderie in the participants – characteristics we strive toward in our Q Tree community.
Please show respect and consideration for your fellow QTreepers. Before hitting the “post” button, please proofread your post and make sure you’re addressing the issue only, and not trying to confront the poster. Keep to the topic – avoid “you” and “your”. Here in The Q Tree, personal attacks, name calling, ridicule, insults, baiting and other conduct for which a penalty flag would be thrown are VERBOTEN.
In The Q Tree, we’re compatriots, sitting around the campfire, roasting hot dogs, making s’mores and discussing, agreeing, and disagreeing about whatever interests us. This board will remain a home for those who seek respectful conversations.
Let’s not give the Internet Censors a reason to shut down this intellectual haven that Wolf has created for us.
The Storm is upon us.
Please remember to Pray for our President.
AND WHAT TIME IS IT?
TIME TO DRAIN THE SWAMP!!!
Our movement is about replacing
a failed and CORRUPT political establishment
with a new government
controlled by you, the American People.
~ Candidate Donald J. Trump
Also remember Wheatie’s Rules:
- No food fights.
- No running with scissors.
- If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
On this day and every day –
God is in Control
. . . and His Grace is Sufficient, so . . .
Keep Looking Up
Hopefully, every Sunday, you can find something here that will build you up a little . . . give you a smile . . . and add some joy or peace, very much needed in all our lives.
“This day is holy to the Lord your God;
do not mourn nor weep.” . . .
“Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet,
and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared;
for this day is holy to our Lord.
Do not sorrow,
for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
I’m having a bad day . . . after the bad week I just had . . . just like the month before. Nobody appreciates all the hard work I’m doing. No approval, no commendations, nothing. I’m getting nowhere. I just can’t do this any more. My self-esteem has tanked.
Well, instead of eating worms, I think I’ll just wallow in my personal mud pit of self-pity for a while.
But, how am I going to get out of this rut? I need some encouragement. I need others to tell me that I’ve got a whole ton of self-worth that I’m not seeing right now . . . that I’ve got amazing value as the human being that I am. I need to be able to think more highly of myself!
That’s just what I need! Or is it?
The world says it’s all about ME. The big I. How do I feel? Do I feel fulfilled? How does that affect ME? Am I offended? Is my ego or self-esteem damaged? What can be done to rectify this horrible wrong? My friends and coworkers must put a healing salve on these terrible wounds!
But what does God say?
God spoke to Moses from the burning bush “I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt. ” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
So, did God say “Moses, you are a trained and educated prince of Egypt. You grew up with the Pharoah, the Queen, and the princes and princesses of the royal family. You’ve dealt successfully with viziers, scribes, nomarchs and priests. In forty years you’ve learned how to do everything I want you to do. You’ve got the goods, Moses! You’ve got this!”
Ummm, no. “And God said, “I will be with you””
God didn’t give Moses a pep talk, stroke his ego, and massage his self-esteem to build up Moses’ inner strength and confidence. Very simply, God told Moses he didn’t have to look to himself but to look to God as He will be with him.
The Lord turned to him [Gideon] and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.
So, did God say “Gideon, you’re from a military family. You, your father and brothers have been our best defenders for years. You’ve trained since you were ten years old. You’re one of the best left-handed sling warriors, you use your bow well and are even better with your short sword. You’ve commanded fighting groups for over 25 years now. Gideon, you’re an experienced warrior. You’re just the guy I need to lead,”
Nope. The Lord answered, “I will be with you, . . .”
God’s response was very similar to the response He gave Moses. “Gideon, look to Me. I’m all you need.”
The third example is David. Now David didn’t need a pep talk or his self-esteem built up by anyone. David had already seen God’s hand in his life . . . “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
. . . and David looked to God in this situation: “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
David looked to God and “Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.”
Frankly, instead of trying to build up our image of our own self-worth, we should remember what we are inside . . . our human inside – we are all fallen, wretched sinners, desperately in need of God’s grace and mercy every hour of every day (Romans 3:23). We are completely incapable of doing anything good whatsoever (Romans 3:10-12), apart from the enabling of His Holy Spirit.
Instead of elevating ourselves, we should be recognizing and honoring the only one to whom glory and praise is due. Honor Him, not ourselves. Rest secure in His love, in His grace, in His mercy, in His presence, in His power, in His ability, in His promises . . . not in the need for approval and encouragement from a hostile and fallen world. Christ is the answer to all self-worth issues that may arise in our lives.
So, here I am. I’m walking, sometimes crawling, down a path that’s muddy, filled with potholes and strewn with rocks. I really don’t know how I’m going to make it through that mess and I’m losing confidence that I can. Now, what am I to do?
Well, like Moses, Gideon and David, I should turn to God. He’s always at my side and ready to help if only I’d recognize Him and ask.
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Psalm 34:3-7 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
So, then, God will dry up the mud, fill the potholes and push all those rocks over to the side? Well, maybe and maybe not. God may have something very specific planned for me on this particular difficult path . . . or He may have another totally different path in mind. Either way, He wants me to recognize Him in all that I do, and in all that I’m confronted with.
This world teaches us to focus on self and that’s a problem, because we weren’t created for what this world has to offer, including the world’s advice. As Christians we shouldn’t love the world or the things that are in the world.
Then why are we here?
Well, we’ve got two big goals to focus on during our time on earth . . . to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
While we go about learning and growing into that task, the Holy Spirit is working in us so that we learn to realize the benefits of and develop the character traits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
And, finally, we do all this while doing good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
As a side note, so life doesn’t look like a long list of tasks that will never be satisfactorily completed, there is a manner with which we should approach life as a whole. As stated by Paul,
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
If my life is focused on those goals and tasks, and a few others as specifically called out in God’s Word, I don’t think that self is going to need or get much attention.
I remind myself, rather frequently, that life on earth is not the main event. The main event, life for eternity, with a perfected mind and body, starts when the Lord descends from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.
Even so, come Lord Jesus . . . Maranatha!