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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Little things that burn....

Photo credit to Mark Roy  and Flickr Creative Commons

I was recently having a conversation with my little brother. It was about putting cloths on a hot stove 'to cool it down.' "Yeh, probably not a good idea," I said. "Yeh, cause it make could make a big fire! The biggest fire in the wooooorrrrlllddd..... You know, Cassie, little things that burn can make a big fire."

He's right.

Little things that burn can make a big fire.

Little things, like me. Like you.

Maybe our fire may not be 'big' like how the world sees 'big.' Maybe it won't be as big as we'd like. But God has a funny way of using little flames to make fires that burn big in His Kingdom.

So be encouraged, little candle, little light o' mine. Little things that burn can make big fires.

Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. If you guys liked my post on Jeremiah, and want to see more Jeremiah thoughts, check out this awesome post. :)

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Lessons from Jeremiah 2

Jeremiah is not my favourite book of the Bible. I tend to see it as one of the less-relevant books (which just means I haven't studied it well enough). It's all about old people, and woeful prophecies, and sobs and wails and doom in specific forms (e.g. ravaging armies). At least Isaiah has its last half to redeem it - reading about comfort, and God's love, and Jesus is much easier. Mind you, Jeremiah does have that one verse, 29:11, that everyone quotes and few people take the time to really think about what it means, what the context is or what it looks like in reality. But at least it's nice and cosy. Promises are good. But anyway, aside from that verse, I think in general we (including me) tend to leave Jeremiah alone. 

Until you're skimming through your Bible and you randomly remember that God used the last section of Jeremiah 2 to bring one of your friends back to Christ, and hey, you may as well duck over and have a look since you haven't for a while (which, if you didn't catch on, happened to me a few days ago). And then you read it, and it's like, "Oh my gosh! Jeremiah is actually awesome! There are some epic lessons here to dig out!" Let's take a look, shall we?

31) ‘You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord:

‘Have I been a desert to Israel
    or a land of great darkness?
Why do my people say, “We are free to roam;
    we will come to you no more”?

Firstly, we should note the line with which God opens this section of His message. What title does He give His audience? "You of this generation..." God is being specific here. If He simply said, 'Israel' or 'My people,' I have a feeling that His audience would have found it easy to push it aside as "Oh, that doesn't mean me. Maybe our elders, maybe the leaders of our nation, but me? No." But God goes in directly - "You of this generation!" You - yes, you. You, here and now. Listen up, OK? 
God's title for His audience is also gentle. Considering the evidence for their failure He is about to lay before them, He could well have chosen to say "You stinking generation!" or "You this generation of vipers!" or something of the sort. But instead, He simply, gently calls to them. "You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord." In the same way He calls to us when we drift - an gentle warning, not grilling us for our stupidity, but softly and steadily calling.

31) Have I been a desert to Israel
or a land of great darkness?
Why do my people say, 'We are free to roam;
we will come to you no more?'
33) How skilled you are at 
pursuing love!
Even the worst of women can
learn from your ways.

Ouch. I think you could prick your finger on that last verse. But's it's all so very accurate, isn't it? Has God not blessed us, that we would seek our satisfaction somewhere else? Why, oh why, do we choose to break from dependency on God and go a'roaming? How often do we foolishly forget to be dependant on God, and instead drift from under His wings and into our own strength? So many Christians have become 'skilled at pursuing love' - seeking other things instead of Jesus and pretending that they fulfil just as well as True Love. I do it too. I somehow forget that God is the only lush garden, the only land of light, my One True Love, and I wander, seeking other things as though God was a desert and a land of darkness. "It is absurd for us who are beggars to say [...] We are rich, and we will come no more to God, to receive favours from him, as if we could live without him and need not be beholden to him." (Matthew Henry Commentary, on BibleGateway.com) "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love" (Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing).

32) Does a young woman forget her jewellery,
a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten me,
days without number.

God is our crown, our precious treasure, yet how often would we rather appear without God than without our earthly things we hold dear? God is infinitely more wonderful than earthly things, and yet we forget Him more often than we forget them. If we care for things of this world, should we not care for God a million times more?! "It is sad that any should be more in love with their fine clothes than with their God, and should rather leave their religion behind them, or part with that, than leave any of their ornaments behind them, or part with them" (Matthew Henry Commentary, on BibleGateway.com). And it doesn't even have to be physical things! If we would rather check our religion at the door and temporarily 'forget' God, rather than appear 'uncool,' or 'dumb,' or 'radical,' aren't we valuing our pride more than our King? Aren't we remembering our jewels and forgetting our Creator?
I especially like how this passage says, "... a bride her wedding ornaments..." We are the Bride of Christ. He had lavished upon us countless wedding gifts - grace, love, forgiveness, righteousness, etc. Sometimes, I think, we can remember these 'spiritual' things while forgetting the God who gave them. When we judge a friend, we remember our righteousness while forgetting that it is not us, but God, who made us righteous. If we extend forgiveness while inwardly thinking, 'Aren't I awesome, I'm so forgiving,' aren't we remembering our wedding gift of forgiveness without remembering the Giver? When we take pride in our 'gift of wisdom,' yet don't acknowledge God as being the Fount of our wisdom... and so on.

Well, that's what I got out of Jeremiah 2. Some incredible lessons, and certainly convictions, that can be unearthed in the 'dusty old book' of Jeremiah with the guidance of God, hey? What do you think?

Cassie xoxoxo

Sunday, 8 March 2015

This moment

I'm sitting on our couch in a polka-dot dress. I'm hugging a cup of delicious chai - sweet and savoury, spiced and sour - to my chest. I have my Spotify Premium set on Artist>Sleeping at Last>All Songs>Shuffle, and I'm glad I chose that. The sub-concious photographer in me is longing for an iPhone camera to take a cute picture - polka-dots dresses and purple nails and headphones and mugs go well together.
I've been wondering what to write. It's been a while since I've posted, but I'm not sure if there's anything in this mind of mine worth writing about at the moment. Perhaps about how the age next to my name recently bumped up a year, about how excited, how ready I feel to be older. Perhaps another 'Lesson, joys, etc' post - I've certainly been blessed beyond measure over the past few weeks. Perhaps about how God has recently called me clearly into a 'new season of the heart' - and how I have no idea what that means, what it will look like, how long it will take to enter that fully.... Perhaps I should say something about the fact that tomorrow marks a year since I found out that a friend's mum had cancer (praise the Lord she is well now). Perhaps I should share links to some posts that have encouraged/challenged me recently. I'm not sure any of these could become an entire post (well, maybe the 'Lessons, joys, etc' one could). So, I think I will just jot here some random thoughts. Perhaps they will encourage or bless someone.

I am blessed. Ever, ever so blessed.

Christianity is hard-core. If you're looking for soft soap, you won't find it here.

Friends are gorgeous. To have them give up time, money, the certainty of good seats at a concert, for me, is... such a blessing. To have them encourage me, look into my eyes and thank me for being their friend, laugh at me, with me, make silly jokes and expect me to laugh/slap them, is... amazing.

I am glad I have a big little brother to look out for me.

Paper and pen is the best way to take notes (scientifically proven, peeps).

Sometimes, it feels like everything in you is resisting having your quiet time. Overcoming that in the Lord's strength is the best feeling ever.

Bring on this year. I am gonna live.

Cassie xoxoxo