1 Corinthians 12:4-26
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4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves [bondservants] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, [members] yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Today is Isabelle's 2nd birthday. It should be a joyous occasion, I've dreamed of my daughter's birthday and the birthday parties probably since I was about 4 years old myself. Isabelle won't be here, she lives in heaven. Isabelle lives.
I picked out a birthday cake picture for the Scripture for Today Blogspot, I liked the cake picture, but it seemed a little too much. So I thought again about Isaiah 49. Isaiah writes like the Spirit of God -
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
When you read Isaiah 49 we learn about Jesus, but the Lord mercifully speaks, as well, to parents who've had their children pass on before them. The photo reminds me of Isabelle - well, looked after with love, happy, loving, joyful, with Jesus, learning the pastures, the highways, the places of heaven.
Let me tell you about the daughter Edward and I have. I almost carried her to term, but little 2 lb. Isabelle was born asleep in the Lord. We were surprised to be expecting Isabelle, but like Edward said at the time, we'll have someone else to love. Our teenage sons were pretty excited.
We loved our 2nd sonogram, our wonderful OB Gyn smiled as he told us our daughter was very active, he said she'd probably be taking gymnastic lessons. Dr. M asked me if I'd taken gymnastic lessons. I did and loved them. Isabelle was modest, as well, covering the girl parts when the sonogram passed over to try to see if she really was a girl. We spent some time laughing and chasing her to find out.
Just as Cal, our oldest son, let me know in utero there would be no Chinese food (he still does not eat it), Isabelle let me know I should just about live on tangerines and tomato juice. Nothing seemed to be a food dislike. Isabelle used to get settled down at night like our Springer Spaniel, she kicked until she was comfortable. And she kicked, I used to laugh at her. We really enjoyed getting her room ready for her and planning the showers to come. Isabelle was going to use the same embroidered decorations her older brothers had used.
Isabelle liked the music at church, she'd really kick a whole bunch. Isabelle didn't like people to raise their voices and argue, she would become very still.
As time went by, Isabelle moved less. We had opted out of the tests for birth defects, we'd take Isabelle as she arrived. The terrible news came, Isabelle was very ill with extensive chromosome disorders and would suffer until she died within months of birth. We prayed. Others prayed.
1 John 4:7-12 ~ Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God)
When something devastating happens - God helps us.
This birthday time hurts - my husband cries, I cry. My dear friend from H S is my facebook friend & her status update reminded me of a conversation she and I had a long time ago.
God tasted His plan. He lived His plan. He did the hard work. He wept. He walked deliberately into fulfilling His Word. Knowing. Knowing mankind. Knowing in the Old Testament He warned them not to storm up Mount Sinai to see Him. God longed to touch us, to take our pain, to comfort us. So He lived among us, dwelt with us. Knowing what we would do to Him. And just as people see Jesus - GOD - as repugnant - God chose to do this amazing sacrifice - ending all sacrifices in God's Temple and the Temple itself - for All of Mankind.
Suffering? God is There. God Sees Something Important in Mankind Worth Saving.
What is this to you, an individual?
God does the impossible. He takes Jesus crucified, a mockery before men, torn apart. A mockery of being lifted up. And God makes Jesus King. Forever. 2,000 years the Church of God still blazes forth the Truth of His Glory. Eternally.
He places His Words in us to reach us. God takes bruised, bleeding, broken death and turns it into the Faith - it actually happened. Into Hope - He means me. And Love - I am invited to grab and keep God's love for me.
I have a dear friend, life kicked as hard as it will to knock her down. She stumbled, ended her fallen marriage to have an affair with a handsome man. Married him. Together they had a good times, weren't good parents, had a distant, casual relationship with Church. Even less a relationship with Jesus. He had a broken childhood with a mom who didn't teach him how to be a parent, how to know God. He put drugs into himself to compensate for his brokenness. My friend tried to get him to love her more than the drugs. She offered him a lovely home, people who loved him, but she told him he would be divorced over the drugs.
Her husband was taking a nap on the sofa one Friday evening. Janice tried to get him to eat the special meal she'd made. He only groaned. They ate without him. Janice went later in the evening to wake him, again, to discover Harry, not quite 40, was dead. Everyone was screaming. The paramedics were called. Harry had some life left and he was life flighted.
At the hospital, Harry's mother collapsed, she couldn't deal with it and she left Janice to take care of all of it. Alone. Harry had lots of tests run over days and they all concluded Harry was brain dead. The Hospital Chaplain came to help. Janice was in complete anguish - the Chaplain - named Roc promised to help Janice for every minute.
He was 39 years old when his wife discovered he wasn't taking a nap. His mom fled shrieking after the first day. Leaving my friend so alone.
A Hospital Chaplin asked her if she was Christian, she sobbed she was Presbyterian. That Chaplin reached out, took firm hold of her arm and told her she was not going to be alone. He was not going to leave her side until she was at peace. The Hospital Chaplin's name is Rock.
The time came to pull the plug. Rock, anointed her husband's head with oil. He made the sign of the cross. "Harry, Jesus is coming to give you life. When you see the light of Jesus Christ as Lord, reach out and take His hand. Harry, Jesus loves you very much. Reach out and take Jesus' hand."
Harry didn't even have pupils dilating. He was brain dead. Harry opened his eyes, lifted up his head, put his hand up, smiled and died.
My friend was baptized in a creek as soon as she could arrange it. Seeing Jesus come to love Harry changed her life. That is what God is. He comes into a situation - where nothing is right. Nothing is righteous. Only desperate need and willingness to receive Him. And ever particle of light transforms tragedy into Glory.
God helps us. To be reminded again of Harry meeting Jesus reminded me of the night I woke up in the middle of the night. My Aunt Clarice had died. I could feel her soul brush mine. I could feel her overwhelming joy - nothing could compare to that joy in this life.
God helps us. To remember Harry's miracle. To think of Aunt Clarice's joy. To see on Feedjit (at the bottom of the page of our blog) when Isabelle's story is looked at. To remember the most content, beautiful, precious little girl's joyful face. Isabelle Claire Gardere smiled as she was picked up by Jesus. And her face blesses her parents.
1 Corinthians 6:20
For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Faith - Jesus actually is who He says He is. And does what He promises to.
Hope - He meant for me
Love - All there ever was, inviting You to be Loved forever.
Jesus Christ. The Alpha and the Omega. God's Son. Given for you.