Jury Duty

Called to jury duty. Gained some insights into the White Throne Judgment. Let me explain . . .

There are 12 jurors, presumably representing the 12 disciples. Then there are the lawyers, representing the defendant and, in this case, the State of Oregon. I know the one representing the State would be analogous to Jesus and my guess is, though not convinced, the defendant’s attorney represents Satan. Then, of course, there is the judge, representing God the Father.

It was the duty of the jurors to be “convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt” that the criminal had 1) been in possession of a firearm  and 2) that he was a previously convicted felon at the time of arrest. The State called the arresting policeman for his witness. He had a bodycam on him at the time that was shown to the court. It was a video of the young man being arrested. Out of his own mouth, when asked by the police if he had a gun, said, “You know I do.” He then proceeded to tell him it was in his back pocket. The police removed it from his pocket and showed it on the video. Throughout the encounter, the police remained calm yet firm; the defendant was emotional, cursing, out of control. While the video was playing, I watched the defendant. He appeared quite pleased with himself as this encounter was shown to those of us in the courtroom. He smiled, almost laughed, glancing at the jurors and attorneys from time-to-time. I wonder if at the White Throne Judgment the lost will act similarly as their life is revealed before them. There was no question as to his being a convicted criminal at the time of arrest as both lawyers agreed on this matter in the courtroom.

The only hope the defendant’s lawyer had was to deviate from the law. The question was, “Did the defendant have a firearm at the time of arrest?” The lawyer tried to manipulate, attempting to deceive, by asking the question, “Does an unloaded firearm constitute danger?” This point had nothing to do with the question to be proved Yet, is this not the way that Satan deals with us today–and how he dealt with Eve so many years ago?

Now, I believe that this analogy breaks down with Satan wanting any of us to spend eternity in heaven. On the other hand, it was clear that the lawyer knew her case was hopeless and the only point she tried to bring up was to twist the law. Satan is no different. He has been deceiving and twisting the Law from his first encounter with mankind in the Garden.

As we walked out of the courtroom for the last time, I imagined what it would be like if the attorney for the State would have stood up, told the judge that he would cover for the defendant, taking his place. Of course, this would not be possible on earth, but this is exactly what Jesus did for us.

I wondered why we waste so much money and time giving ear to a criminal case with an obvious verdict. When I asked, they told me that everyone has the right to a trial. Then it occurred to me that God is giving all of us an opportunity to plead guilty and ask Jesus to take our place every day. Oh, that those who walk into the courtroom could see the much bigger picture that God is reaching out to man through this process!

The jurors reconvened one more time in the Jury Assembly Room B for a final meeting where the judge came in to talk briefly with us, answering any questions. We were then released, dismissed from further jury duty. At the White Throne Judgment, we, too, will be released. But not back into our daily lives on earth but into heaven, our eternal home with Jesus, the One Who stood in for us when we were guilty. Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus!

Grandma’s Farm

The house is far too quiet without the children running around any more. Granddaughters are a long way from here. Whats a grandma to do? Start a mini farm, of course.

Over the weekend, we went to a farm where we got our first in-person glimpse of miniature cows. These cows are darling, well behaved, and, most importantly, look like an animal we could handle in the coming years. Shucks, seems that most miniature cows are even halter trained.

Did you know that you have to put your name on a waiting list for miniature cows? Our name is on the list. It could take as long as 9 months to a year before we are able to get them. Just like having a baby–without the growing stomach–or maybe it is growing, but for a different reason.

Why miniature cows? They are cute and docile and very kid friendly. Seems that grandparents are often the ones who have these cows. They tend to go on about how much fun their grandchildren have with them. Some ride the cows, other lead them along on a leash, and others milk them.

Cows, like people, need a partner. While they are young, it is not good to put male and female together.

Only one thing to do . . . Get a couple of sheep as well. Apparently, as long as the cow has a partner in the field, they will be fine. A sheep will do until the little heifer is old enough to become a mama cow. Looks like our farm will be growing.

Besides the farm animals, Grandma longs for a little company in the house. Of course, a little dog is the answer. While a large dog might make more sense on the farm, a little, indoor dog would do a better job of keeping her company.

Later this week a little Havanese dog will come for a visit. We are hoping to be his forever parents at his forever home. Grandma is making lots of grandiose plans to teach him. Maybe she will teach him to be a service dog; maybe a daddy dog.

If a service dog, Grandma will take him to doggy school for training. After graduating, she can take him to hospitals, senior care facilities, even to schools where children can read to him. If a daddy, she will create a puppy school for his newborn puppies. She would turn one of the unused bedrooms into a miniature gymnasium with toys for little puppies to play on. This brings back memories of the days when the twins daddy was a gymnast. The puppies would have a baby gym with toys to bat at, a tunnel, see-saw, dog puzzles and more. Either way, this appeals to her desire to teach.

As you can see, Grandma and Grandpa are in the process of turning their empty nest into a mini farm. The rooms could once again be filled with activity if the dog becomes a daddy. Even if he does not become a daddy, he himself is sure to bring life into the now all-too-quiet house. Outside the animals will certainly entertain and entice the boys to come visit.

Happy Birthday Little Ones!

What a blessing to be with the twins on their first birthday. I now better understand what Jesus meant when He said that we are to become like children. While with them, thoughts continued to swirl in my head around the statement that

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.

So innocent, so trusting, so dependent. The little ones must rely entirely on their parents to provide the food that enters their mouths, baths to keep them clean, rest to help them grow, clothes to keep them warm, arms to love them, and a home to shelter them from the storms of life. Their trusting little eyes, their faces so pure. Never a moment of doubt or concern about the everyday worries that encumber us as adults.

How could one do anything other than love such purity, such innocence? That look on their face. Time spent with these little ones provided context to better understand the Scripture:

Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

MATTHEW 18:3-4

The little ones are humble, simple, teachable, and trusting. As adults we tend to be self-seeking, worldly, and prideful.

Interesting how we spend most of our childhood trying to grow up. We do not want to be vulnerable, powerless and humble. Yet, Jesus tells us that we must become like a child. We must trust Jesus. We must surrender to the lordship of Jesus. We must be humble.

Jesus wants us to give up our worldly views and desires–to be free from pride, covetousness and ambition. Instead, to learn from these little ones to embody humility, sincerity, innocence, trust and without concern for the things of the world. This is the first step toward entering into the kingdom of grace–to be lowly in heart, knowing we are ignorant and helpless and trusting our Father in heaven to supply all our wants and needs.

When humility meets resignation, patience, meekness, gentleness and long-suffering, we become the greatest in Christ’s kingdom. Jesus wants us to be satisfied with the place He has assigned for us in this life, no matter what it may be. We must learn to humbly receive direction and instruction from Him, though contrary to our own inclinations. To lay aside our own ambitious views and pride and be willing to live the life God has assigned for us to live. To be willing to be esteemed vulnerable, powerless and humble.

Thank you, little ones, for renewing hope that God, indeed, has not given up on mankind. Thank you, also for giving insight into what Jesus meant by the words, “Unless you become as little children. . .”

Lord, thank you for the lessons learned from the twins on their first birthday. May I choose humility over pride; innocence over worldly knowledge; your directives over my own; trust in You over trust in riches.

AMEN