Tag: Psalm 51

Restoration and Redemption

The town I live in was settled in 1867. It still has a few houses that were built during those first years and is filled with houses that were constructed in the early 1900’s, most of them in desperate need of restoration.

IMG_0523My husband and I live in a 1905 Queen Anne. According to neighbors and my mailman, this house used to be in very bad shape. Fortunate for us, several years back, someone saw the potential, moved in and did a remarkable job of restoration. As a lover of antiques, I have really loved living in this house. There is obviously maintenance needed from time to time (as is also the case with new houses) and my husband does a wonderful job on that.

Ever since I moved to this town, I have been interested in seeing more of these old homes restored. Thankfully, I am not the only one. I have a friend who is running for mayor who wants to bring the town back to its former glory. There is a new business downtown dedicated to restoring the town’s old homes. Other people recognize that there is value in saving what was once beautiful and bringing it back to life.

page1-463px-THE_HISTORIC_HOME_GEORGE_POINDEXTER,_CRISS_CROSS,_A_PHOTO_AND_HISTORY_BOOK,_BEFORE_AND_AFTER_Final_Proof_-3.pdf

{{Information |Description={{en|1=This is a photo, family history book about the first immigrant of the Poindexter (Poingdestre) family, George Poindexter (Poingdestre), and his plantation home, Criss Cross, earlier known as Christ Cross, by the cross des

Restoring old houses or refinishing antiques takes a lot of work. It requires acquiring the knowledge of how to do it right, the ability to imagine the value of a restored product and the patience to keep at it.

There is a similarity between houses that need restoration and people that need redemption. What was created to be beautiful decays over time without careful maintenance. It was not always that way.

When God first created man, conditions were ideal. Adam and Eve enjoyed God’s company. They walked and talked with Him freely in the Garden.

Then, because of sin, everything changed. People began to age and die. Sin created a gap between God and man that could only be bridged by the sacrificial substitutionary death of God’s Son. He died in our place to do what we could not do for ourselves – restore us to a relationship with God.

 …if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-18a NIV).

If God is to be glorified in His children, continual maintenance is necessary. We must use the tools He has provided – His Word, fellowship, corporate worship, prayer – in order to be what He intends us to be.

Satan tries to make it as difficult as he can by distracting us. He wants us to believe we do not need restoration. Don’t be like Eve and believe his lies. Living the Christian life takes work, but it is God who does the work for us.

Our role in the redemption and restoration process is trusting God. He knows how to do it right. Only He can see our real value. He is forever patient with us as we struggle with anything that needs to be repaired. He is in the business of redeeming and restoring mankind.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (Psalm 51:12 NIV).

Cleaning House

My husband and I own a house in America, but are seldom there. When we do return home, it’s obvious we have been gone. Not so much from the outside (wonderful neighbors and church friends look after the yard), but when I walk in the door, it isn’t long before I head for the vacuum cleaner. There is a layer of dust all through the house, covering furniture and floors.

Beautifully crafted pieces of furniture do not look attractive with a layer of dust. In order to see details of a piece, dirt must be removed. Sometimes a good polish is also in order. After that is done, I remember why we bought that piece of furniture. Clean, it is very appealing. Dirty, it is not.

The house is a 1905 Queen Anne Victorian. Although there has been much restoration done (and more in the process), there are some things lacking that most modern houses have. There is no insulation in the walls or under the floors. Daylight can be seen underneath entry doors. Where pocket doors inset the wall, the ground is sometimes visible from the floor.

As a result, insects can easily find their way into our home. In our absence, spiders take up residence. There are cobwebs everywhere – especially in the corners of the twelve-foot ceilings. Getting rid of the cobwebs is quite an effort. I am short. I need to stand on a ladder just to reach them with the extension on the vacuum cleaner or a long handled broom.

I really notice those cobwebs when I first return home, but a strange thing happens if I don’t tackle them right away. I forget about them. I no longer look up in the corners of the doorways or the ceilings. I get busy with other things – office work, yard work, shopping and visiting friends and neighbors. I feel a bit like Morticia from the Addams Family. The cobwebs can stay. They are part of the decor.

It occurs to me that sin is a lot like the dust on the furniture and the spider webs in the corner. If I don’t insulate myself against things displeasing to God (by staying in the Word or talking to God about everything), I tend to get used to them. I don’t notice the irritable thoughts, the lazy attitude toward commitments I made to Him, the selfishness that rears its ugly head. I get busy with other things and neglect to clean the corners in my life.

The best remedy for cleanliness at home and in my spiritual life is to tackle the dirt immediately. A close examination of my house always requires more cleaning. A close examination of my life does the same. Maybe I get accustomed to those unattractive, sinful attitudes, but I’m certain God does not. His desire is for my life to be pure and clean. He wants to see the reflection of His Son in me.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart. . . (Psalm 24:3-4a NKJV). Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10 NLT).