Welcome to INTO THE LIGHT Journal! This journal is NOT about me but about the GREAT Savior, the LORD JESUS CHRIST and ALL that He has done for me (and NOT what I have done)—who saved and changed(inside-out) a great sinner like me. I don't claim that I know everything about life. But one thing I am certain, that apart from the love and mercies of Christ—I AM NOTHING. "... God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Galatians 6:14). I’m attesting the words of Charles Spurgeon: "My hope lives not because I am not a sinner but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; I don’t trust that I am holy but that, being unholy, He is my righteousness. I don't have to be rich, but I must be pure. My faith doesn’t rest upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ IS and what He has done for me. The love of Jesus is the source of salvation. He loves, He looks, He touches us, and we live!" Christ said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."(John 15:5). For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 10:36)

Journaling in Christ's throne of grace,

Erlinda Mejia Olson, BSN, RN

The Sandbox and The Furnace

By: Erlinda Mejia-Olson

I can't believe that the month of June has gone by so quickly.  We are halfway through the year, 2012.  It has been a quiet and restful week for my husband and I, as we pondered on God's goodness and faithfulness in our own lives.  By the grace of God, we are very thankful for His  daily providence and for everything that He has done for our family and to all our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world.  We trust the Lord that He is working silently in equipping and refining us into different areas He has called us to do and serve.  We don't always understand His ways, but we trust Him.

Meanwhile, yours truly, is enjoying this quiet moment with the Lord by listening to Him and reading other Christian journals.  I love listening to Him.  When I do, I learn the most.  He gives me new perspective and directions.  He gives me wisdom.

When I was going through some articles, I came across this journal from the President's Corner, Dr. Samuel E. Horn of Central Baptist Theological Seminary.  Brief as it is, God has used it to refresh my soul.  I hope He will do the same for you.  
The Sandbox

To paraphrase Les Ollila, "Wisdom is gained from the furnace of life not from the sandbox in the playground." Correspondingly, when life gets hard I want to hear from the “furnace man” over the “sandbox guy” any day!

In the fire I need more than platitudes, poems, and a song or two from the “sandbox guys.” I need wisdom from God and His Word, and in some way, it helps when it comes from the mouth of a fire-tested individual. You instinctively know whether you are hearing a “sandbox guy,” who spouts platitudes and truisms about the furnace he has never been through, or a “furnace man,” who has had the truth seared into his soul by the fire of suffering, trial, disappointment, and affliction.

So I say to the “sandbox guy,” “Please pipe down so we can hear the “furnace man” when he talks.” They generally speak soft, but their message is always worth hearing.

The Furnace

The deepest and most refining work of God in our lives happens in the furnace and not the sandbox. God never sends us into the furnace alone, for He goes with us and stays for the duration. On the other hand, my impoverished soul would do almost anything to avoid the fire by which God intends to accomplish His refining work. This may be why He usually doesn't leave the choice with us. We would prefer making our castles in the sandbox; God is fitting us for greater things and greater ends.