Gold!!!

Guy walks into a jewelry store and proceeds to steal a gold watch. As he is running away, the store owners yells at him. “AU, that’s not your watch!”

gold watch

If you didn’t get that joke, go back to the periodic table of elements. Find number 79. It should make itself clear at that point. =-)


My last post, Trials and Chocolate, ended with the promise to blog about Gold bars.

According to www.usmint.gov, here are some fun facts about gold:

  • Amount of present gold holdings: 147.3 million ounces.
  • The only gold removed has been very small quantities used to test the purity of gold during regularly scheduled audits. Except for these samples, no gold has been transferred to or from the Depository for many years.
  • The gold is held as an asset of the United States at book value of $42.22 per ounce.
  • Highest gold holdings this century: 649.6 million ounces (December 31, 1941).
  • Size of a standard gold bar: 7 inches x 3 and 5/8 inches x 1 and 3/4 inches.
  • Weight of a standard gold bar: approximately 400 ounces or 27.5 pounds.

Now for the spiritual side of gold.

We are in I Peter, and, if I say so myself, not moving very fast. No problem. It is good to meditate on God’s word. Here is verse 7 of the first chapter:

“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

If I read that correctly, my faith has greater value than gold.

Why do we go through trials and tribulations?

So that our faith can be proven.

Gold is put through fire. It needs the fire to be purified.

By itself, the gold cannot remove any impurities.

This process of refining gold is complicated and multi-faceted. I don’t understand it either. But the basics are worth catching.

Gold can be found on all seven continents. Regardless of where it was mined, the gold coming out of the earth is not yet pure. It has a long way to go before it gets to your fiance’s finger.

Hence, the refining process. The fire of God.

gold refining

For us, that comes in the form of hard times, temptations, or struggles.

God is desiring that the impurities are removed.

When Jesus comes back, our lives will reflect His glory. Or they won’t reflect His glory.

We can choose to rely on God through the trial or we can try to stick it out ourselves. 

Think about that last sentence.

Who are we to say that we know better than the Almighty God?

Who am I to ignore His grace just for a moment of pleasure?

As much as it hurts or is uncomfortable, let the refining process happen.

I know that I am trying.

I want to be super shiny when Christ returns. I will reflect His character, praise, honor, and glory so much more that way!


At some point soon, you will probably see gold. It might be your wedding band. Perhaps a gold crayon. Maybe the sky will provide golden hues.

Let that color remind you of these two things:

  1. God is letting you go through the refining process to become pure.
  2. God will also never let you go through it alone.

gold bullion

 

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Trials and Chocolate

They come in all shapes and sizes.

Their names are different.

Some are strong; others are weak.

Minutes, hours, or days can be the duration.

Each person reacts differently to varying types.

To what am I referring?

questioning

Trial. Storms. Temptations. Sufferings. Tests. Hardships. What do you call them?

Peter gives some timely words for us.

Here is verse 6:

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” I Peter 1:6, NIV

Here are my thoughts on Peter’s words.

  1. Trials are diverse. Chocolate might be a weak spot for me but french fries will get my wife every time. We have different trials that affect us.
  2. Trials are distracting. If I am looking at the chocolate, I might miss the meal.
  3. Trials are dividing. I say chocolate is good. My wife likes potato chips better. We are divided on the topic of dessert.
  4. Trials are depleting. My money goes to buy more chocolate. Will I have enough for a regular dinner?
  5. Trials are depressing. What if I eat too much chocolate?

You get the point. And, by the way, chocolate is not that bad for you.


But why are we talking about trials? Didn’t we just get through a few verses of a fantastic inheritance set aside for us?

The answer is, “Yes!” We do have an inheritance. Read my last post to find out more on this topic.

Look at verse 6 again, from earlier. “…for a little while…”

We are not there yet.

We are in a trial period.

trial period

And we can celebrate in the suffering.

We can have joy in the journey.

We can smile in the storm.

We can be happy in the hardship.

We can rejoice (greatly!) during the rain.

Why? Because God is bigger than the trials. He reigns supreme over the hardships.

Out faith will come out like gold when all is done!

gold

And that will be the topic of my next post, Gold bars!

But for now, look to God if you are in a trial. He will see you through it.

And help yourself to a chocolate bar.

 

Monkey and Banana

YOU have probably heard about a rather interesting method they sometimes use when trying to catch a monkey for the zoo. It seems that trappers take a small cage out into the jungle. Inside the cage they place a bunch of bananas and then they close it, locking the bananas inside. Now a monkey coming along and spotting the bananas, will reach through the narrow rungs of the cage and grab a banana. But he can’t get it out. And no matter how hard he tries – twisting his hand back and forth – he can’t pull his hand through the rungs while hanging on to the banana. And even with the approaching trappers he won’t let go of the banana. For the trappers, it’s simply a matter then, of coming up and grabbing the monkey. Now if you were standing there in the jungle, watching all of this happen, and wanted to save the monkey, you might yell in exasperation, “Drop the Banana!” 

 

 

 

This was taken from an article on Foundations Magazine. Here is the link for the entire article: “Drop the Banana!”


I wanted to start with article because it reminds me of me. I am the monkey.

The banana represents things that I want. It could be anything I desire. And, if I happen to obtain it, I don’t want to let go.

I would suggest that all of us can be like the monkey.

How much of our life is spent in pursuit of the banana? Just for fun, write down how you spend your hours and days. You just might be surprised or even shocked.

If you feel you want to let go of whatever banana is in your hand, good thinking.

If you can’t let go, now is a great time for the Word

I Peter gives some much needed insight.

Here are verses 3-5 in the first chapter:

“3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”  I Peter 1:3-5


We have a new birth.

We have a living hope.

We have an inheritance.

Why in the world would we want a banana?!?!

As much as I write this for you, the reader, I write it for myself.

If I could sum up the Christian life, it might be something like this:

Keep letting go of the banana and turning back to God.

But why would I want to let go when the banana is so fulfilling?

We have a place that is being prepared for us. That’s why.

It can’t be spoiled, ruined, or removed. There is a guard watching it. The enemy cannot taint it in anyway. It is under God’s protection.

And it is reserved for us.

heaven

I don’t really know what heaven looks like but I don’t need to know.

I just need to let go of the banana and trust God in the rest.

 

 

Who am I?

Who am I? Who are you?

A few days ago, I wrote about being included. Click here to read that post.

I mentioned how the people living in these far off places were included by God. As in, God thought that they were important enough for Peter to write to them.

Here are the first three verses of I Peter for reference.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” I Peter 1:1-3 NIV

The saints were included because of the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross.

Let me rearrange the wording: They were Included in Christ.

And because the were included in Christ, they could then Identify with Christ.

  • It is one thing to believe in what Jesus did on the cross.
  • But does that belief equal lifestyle?

When Christ finally died on that cross, something unique happened. It is recorded for us in Matthew 27:51;

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

From top to bottom! God did the ripping!

ripping of the veil

Now, what was open only to the high priest once a year, the holy of holies was open to the public! Anyone could enter into relationship with God.

The invite is there, we just need to accept and then attend!

I am included in Christ. If you have given your life to him, then you are also included.

Now we can go forward and be identified with Christ.

Let your life match up with your identity. If it be Christ, then live that way.

There is unlimited power and resource. We have access to the Word.

Be the person God desires you to be.

After all, he chose you.

indentity print

Where in the world are you?

My son and I traveled from Green Bay to Minneapolis last night.

It was uneventful except for the side trip we took.

Near Wausau, there is a rare spot to visit.

45°- 90°

IMG_20190502_180328573_BURST000_COVER

Once you see the sign “Geographical Marker”, you turn off the highway.

Then drive another 3 miles and turn left. And then right.

You park in the little turn around spot.

Now, we had to get out and walk a quarter mile to the actual display area. There were signs explaining the significance of the location.

I took another picture.

IMG_20190502_180413154_BURST000_COVER

We were standing half way between the equator and north pole and half way between the prime meridian and the international dateline. Wow!

My son, who is 14, thought that it was “interesting because it is in Wisconsin.”

I thought it was great. The first time I was there (in 1999), all they had was a silver plate about 4 inches in diameter and one informational sign. No parking lot. No long walk. No billboards to explain what it was all about.

This visit was really cool for me.

And then it hit me.

God can get to me wherever I am.

I Peter starts by giving some geographical locations.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…”  I Peter 1:1-2 NIV

pontus

The green areas contain the locations mentioned in the text. Greece is the red part. Israel being the teal color.

The point is: these areas were out of the way. People living there were not at home.

But God saw fit to make sure that they were included.

God always includes people. In fact, he calls them “elect”. They were specific to God.

You and I are also specific to God.

Don’t let distance keep you from God. That distance could be geographical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.

God will find you and He won’t let go. He loves you too much to ignore you.


On the other hand, maybe you have a message, like Peter.

God may be using you to close the gap. You might be the one to get the message out to people who are not at home.

Either way you look at it, the story of God will get out.

What part will you play?