I love how the snow sparkles in the moonlight. Simply beautiful!
I used to have a LiveJournal account. Over a decade ago. I refuse to feel old over that.
I finally deleted it last week, but before I did, I found myself skimming over my old posts. There weren’t a whole lot; most of them were just short stories and poems that I had found and shared. But there was one post that stood out from the rest, one of the last I wrote. It was quite interesting to revisit. Clearly, simplicity is not a new interest for me! In fact, the name of my Livejournal was Ordinary Gold, which was a modification of a previous blog named Aureate Simplicity. Given the subject matter, I thought I’d share (most of) it here. And then I’ll share some additional thoughts afterward.
Where Did the Simplicity Go?
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
A warm welcome to all my visitors today.
I have been doing some reading, thinking, and, yes, some writing, as you have probably already noticed. […]
My life is not as simple as I would like it to be. A simple life is best for so many reasons, the most important of which is to develop a closer relationship with God. The more activities and distractions we have packed into our lives, the harder it is to develop and maintain a close connection with God, and to hear the Holy Spirit’s still, small voice.
I read few blog posts, mostly focused on the Sabbath, on a blog I recently discovered called Seedlings in Stone. Wonderfully inspirational—I highly recommend you visit! I also watched a sermon called “God’s Not a Beggar? Why Your Ministry Must Become More Pathetic Before It Can Be Less Pathetic”. It is a really powerful message and was a real “light bulb moment” for me. In addition to these two things, early last week I read a small book entitled A Life of Simplicity by Jim Hohnberger, which begins with a slightly different version of a story I once posted here called The Scheme.
These three things have combined to speak to my heart very clearly about where I’ve gone wrong in my walk with Christ. The road to fixing this is not short, and it’s not easy. It will require a lot of discipline and effort. It will require investing time and energy into my most important relationship, and will require drawing away from many activities online that I enjoy, and that, in and of themselves, aren’t even bad. Sometimes, even good things can be bad for you if you do them too much.
I want to do what Jim said in his book: abandon the good, and even the better, so that I can have the best. I want to have the life that Christ offered, to the full! Quite simply, I want a life that has depth and meaning, with fulfilling relationships with those around me.
I am not going to abandon blogging, understand. In fact, I am planning on soon starting a new blog, Eye of Faith. How soon, I’m not sure (I’d like to say “tomorrow,” but…). We’ll see.
But in general I need to significantly reduce my time online, and increase my time in the Word. Furthermore, I need to properly schedule my time, especially on my days off (of which there are many), in my effort to simplify my life. I need to clean out the clutter, both physical (got lots of that) and spiritual (might be even more of that than physical). And… I need to take care of my health, again both physical and spiritual. Seriously. I know the scheduling will help with that, though. Also, the idea of a “technology Sabbath” sounds great. I think I should indeed not use the computer, at all, on the Sabbath. If I want to talk to my Mom or something, I can use my phone (yes, I know, not a complete technology Sabbath, but, you know, I like to talk to her about spiritual things).
These are all changes that are difficult for me. After all, I am, in essence, an Internet addict. I need my daily “fix” which is typically a very long-lasting fix. I mean, at least smokers have a cigarette or two and then go back to work. Not I… I just keep at it for hours and hours. It’s definitely time to make some much-needed changes to my lifestyle.
Pray for me! I’ll need it!
Now, Over a Decade Later…
This is the reason why people journal. It allows you to see more clearly where you have been in the past and compare it to where you are now. I remember this time in my life. I made a real effort after this to take my faith seriously. Unfortunately, I failed to understand all that was between me and my Lord. The effort failed and I backslid. I was worse off after than I was when I wrote the above post.
The moral of the story is simple: when you make the decision to follow Jesus, you must go all the way from the beginning. You need to lay everything down on the altar. If you withhold any part of yourself, the devil will dig his claws into it. He will so corrupt that one corner of your heart that the stench will drive the Holy Spirit away. You’ll be worse than ever!
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.Matthew 12:43-45
Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
Be sure to learn from my mistake. Give your whole heart to the Lord from the start! And when you give up the things of the world, be sure to replace them with things of which God approves. You don’t want your life to mirror the Scripture above!
Regarding the material I mentioned in my old post, I just want to note that Seedlings in Stone, while still in existence, is no longer updated. The sermon I watched also seems not to be available anymore. Too bad, because I kind of wanted to watch it again! Also, that blog I mentioned starting, Eye of Faith, no longer exists. I did a poor job of keeping up with it and let my registration of the domain name run out. Ah well. I like this blog better, anyway. 😊
Firstly, I want to praise the Most High God for taking such wonderful care of us, always! This past Sabbath, we woke up to a frozen water intake pipe. We were certainly not happy about that, of course! But I crawled under our mobile home with my hair dryer and dealt with it. I went down with much prayer because the last time this happened, it took most of the day to thaw. It still took a while this time, but we serve a prayer-answering God! We are especially thankful that nothing has frozen since then. My husband figured out how to block the gap that was letting too much cold air get at the pipe. Praise God!
While I was working on the pipe, God showed me the object lesson in it. Why is it a problem to have a frozen pipe? Especially if it is plastic, so it won’t burst even if it freezes. The problem, of course, is that you don’t have water. Water is critical to life, so a frozen pipe is a very big problem.
What does water represent in the Bible? Two things: the Word and the Spirit.
What do people often call Laodicea? The “Frozen Chosen”.
So, what doesn’t flow through Laodicea? The water of life, the Holy Spirit.
I dealt with the frozen pipe by applying heat. Fire, the primary source of heat, is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. But how do we apply the fire of the Spirit to Laodicea to melt their hearts?
The Answer According to Inspiration
Will those who profess to believe the truth listen to the words of Jesus? He has said, “I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have it more abundantly.” “I am the bread of life.” “I am the good Shepherd, and I lay down my life for the sheep.” Will those who are called by his name believe that the children of God are very precious in his sight? Let us consider what the Lord has done for us. Shall not the love manifested toward us be appreciated, shall it not be permitted to melt our hearts, to humble our pride to the dust? Such was the breadth and length and height and depth of the Saviour’s love, that he willingly laid aside his honor, his high command in heaven, and clothed his divinity with humanity, in order that he might become man’s substitute and surety.E.G. White, Review and Herald, 4/18/1893
Is There Really Hope for Laodicea?
Though the professed followers of Christ are in a deplorable condition, they are not yet in so desperate a strait as were the foolish virgins whose lamps were going out, and there was no time in which to replenish their vessels with oil. […] There is yet a chance to remedy their state, and the Laodicean message is full of encouragement; for the backslidden church may yet buy the gold of faith and love, may yet have the white robe of the righteousness of Christ, that the shame of their nakedness need not appear. Purity of heart, purity of motive, may yet characterize those who are half-hearted and who are striving to serve God and Mammon. They may yet wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. […]
Jesus counsels you to have your eyes anointed with spiritual eye-salve, in order that you may discern the fact that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, that you may exercise repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The plan of salvation is not half discerned. … Men do not take in the fact of how great an act of condescension it is on the part of Omnipotence to stoop to unite the divine with the human, to impart the Holy Spirit to the repenting transgressor of his holy law. God became man, clothing his divinity with humanity, and thus humanity has been elevated in the scale of moral value with God. But how great was the condescension of the Father and the Son to consent to the working out of the plan of salvation to save the transgressors of Heaven’s exalted law!Ibid., 8/28/1894
Will we receive the Laodicean Message and let it melt our hearts of ice and stone? Will we pray earnestly for a fuller grasp of the Plan of Salvation and God’s great love for us? I hope you will join me in pleading for that eye salve!
All who would bring forth fruit as workers together with Christ must first fall into the ground and die. The life must be cast into the furrow of the world’s need. Self-love, self-interest, must perish. And the law of self-sacrifice is the law of self-preservation. … To give is to live. The life that will be preserved is the life that is freely given in service to God and man. Those who for Christ’s sake sacrifice their life in this world will keep it unto life eternal.
— E.G. White, Desire of Ages, pp. 623-624