Monday, October 20, 2008


That’s the word that hit me as I began to read Second Timothy. Now, if you are familiar with the book, that may strike you as funny, since the content deals with the last days, problems in the church, and the trials of being a soldier of Christ. But let me go on to explain.

In Paul’s life- In verse 2, Paul says “Timothy, I thank God for you- the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did.” Paul recognizes the God he now serves, is the same God he served as a child and the same God his ancestors worshipped. After his encounter with Christ, the light bulb came on, and he had a much clearer picture of God, yet it was the same God that had loved his people from the beginning of time.

In Timothy’s life- In verse 5, “I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.” What a blessing to see the faith pass from one generation to the next!

In God’s word- Chapter 2 verse 19 “But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription “The Lord knows those who are His” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.”

What a comfort in these days to know the continuity of God’s care. The foundation stone of our lives can remind us we are His. He will be the rock of safety when the world around us trembles.

That verse also gives us a challenge to continuity in our own lives. “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.” Paul warns us of the dangers of these last days, as the love of many grows cold, as they let sin drift into their lives and they wander farther from the God who has the power to transform their lives. My guess would be, that in the original language, the word “turn” away from evil is not a one shot deal. I think it must be a continual turning away, and a continual turning to God. He is the one who has the power to keep us, if we will keep our hearts tuned to Him and turned from evil. Well, maybe not just from evil, but from everything that takes our attention away from Him and doing what is right. There are a lot of OK things out there, that are not evil in and of themselves, but they distract us from our purpose in life, from our relationship with Him.

In Chapter 4 verse 6 Paul tells us “As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. Now the prize awaits me- the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of His return. And the prize is not just for me, but for all who eagerly look forward to His appearing.”

Through “many dangers, toils and snares”, Paul continuously served God. He remained faithful to the call of God on his life. May we all have the same testimony, and join him in the throne room to receive our crowns.

Keep fighting the good fight!
In His love, Cheryl 10/20/08

The Call

The Call

Here it is a Monday morning! I guess I am a little out of my regular routine these days, since Wednesdays used to be my blog morning. But let me tell you why….

About 2 weeks ago, on a Friday morning, I wrote about Transition. Later that day, Scott called me to tell me he was laid off from his job. As things were slow, this was nothing unusual. He usually gets called back to work after a week or two at the most, so we didn’t think anything of it. He called in his unemployment claim, and we spent a few days at the ocean, enjoying the end of the summer.

The following Friday, he got a letter from his employer, saying finances were so bad, that Scott’s position had been eliminated. After 26 years in the same company, he is looking for a new job. Needless to say, we were a little shocked, but we know God has always provided and we’re trusting Him. We have no idea where this new adventure will take us….

I started thinking about Abraham and Sarah. They were happily settled in Haran, and then Abraham’s father died. Life as they knew it changed.

In Genesis 12, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.” In verse 3, “So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed.”

Life as we have known it for 26 years has changed. Every morning, Scott got up and went off to work at the same job. It had its ups and downs, but you knew what to expect and it provided a steady income. We had hoped it would last us until next year, when, God willing, we make the last mortgage payment. But the job died, and God is saying “Leave what you know behind”. I don’t think it’s a location thing, I can’t see us moving, but I feel like it’s a new stage in our life. A new reliance on God.

Abram traveled for a while, and then God spoke to him saying “I will give this land to your descendants.” He built an altar there, then moved on, built another altar, worshipped and moved on again. “Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev.”

Like Abram, we don’t always have the master plan for where we are going. God leads us in stages. He speaks, we worship, and we follow Him. He gives a promise. We worship, we trust, we follow Him.

For some reason, God’s promise to Abram would not come to pass in his comfort zone of Haran. God was giving him a land, and descendants, and a blessing. Abram had to travel out of what he knew, into what God had for him. He had to be obedient and go when God said LEAVE. He had to trust God one day at a time as he traveled on in faith.

So for now, Scott will put in applications, and look for work, one day at a time, and look for God’s guidance in the next step of our lives. Like Abram, we have God’s promise that He will bless us and make us a blessing. We embark on another great adventure in our walk of faith!


September always brings a certain amount of change to our household. The kids go back to school, and I try to adjust myself to the quiet and catch up on the housework. It’s a time to re-focus my priorities, get back into a routine, and find the balance between duties and driving and making time to spend with friends. The first week or two finds me feeling a little “off kilter” as I get used to the new schedule, but eventually I settle in and it feels “normal” again.

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about transition. There are many changes going on at church, as we transition to one service. There are also people transitioning to new places, which can be a bit of an adjustment to the church as we know it. It can all be a little uncomfortable. So these changes had me mulling over the word transition.

When you’re in labor, transition is the most painful, trying time. It’s the time during labor when the quietest of women have been known to scream at their husbands, freak out a bit, or beg for pain relief. Although transition is not easy, it is a necessary part of the process, to bring a new life into the world. The pain is soon forgotten in the joy of new life.

Transition in the church can be painful as well, but it is all part of the process of God bringing newness of life to Body of Christ. Thankfully, in labor, and in life, transition is a limited block of time, not someplace we must stay. It brings about an end result that will soon have us marveling at the goodness of God.

There are certain things that can help a woman in labor during transition. One is a good coach, to breathe with her and encourage her through the painful contractions. Another thing that helps is to remember WHY she is going through this, to look ahead to the end result, a baby to love. This process changes her from a woman to a mother, and life will never be the same. And of course, the presence of God in the delivery room makes all the difference.

The scriptures give us an example of the disciples making a transition from one side of the lake to the other….

“Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them.
Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid.
But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.” John 6:15-21

They were heading for a destination, to where they wanted to be, and weren’t making much progress. The waves had kicked up, and they were probably a little freaked out.
Then Jesus comes walking to them on the water. Don’t ask me why that scared them, maybe at first they didn’t recognize that it was Him. When He said “It is I, do not be afraid” they recognized Him and “willingly received Him into the boat”. And immediately they were at their destination.

As Christians, we can have an idea about where we want to go. We can start rowing and doing all we know to do to get there. But sometimes we don’t notice that Jesus isn’t in the boat. When the storms arise, we look around and freak out. And when Jesus comes, we don’t always recognize Him at first. Can Jesus really be out in the middle of this storm? Is Jesus really in this transition we are going through? If I’m serving Him, why all the wind and waves? What’s going on?

Yet when they received Jesus willingly into the boat, all the turmoil around them faded into the background. They had their eyes on Him, and they were immediately at their destination.

It’s not so much a location that He wants us to be at, but that He wants to be in our boat. As we journey from the old to the new, His presence is what makes all the difference. It’s not about place, it’s about peace, the Prince of Peace, dwelling with us and leading us into the new things that He has for us. Jesus had work to do on the other side of the lake, and He has work for us to do on the other side of our lake. Willingly receive Jesus into your boat, and trust in the One who calms the storms to get you through the winds of transition, and onto the solid ground of His purposes for you.

In His love,
Cheryl Musser