Me and my my "Main Squeeze"

Friday, September 8, 2017

Best Friends

WHAT IF

What if you had a friend that . . .

Was crazy-mad-head-over-heels in love with you,
Never disappointed you,
Was with you 24 hours a day,
Loved to have fun,
Knew your faults in detail but looked past them into your inner eyes,
Freely forgave before you even asked,
Spoke just the right words at the right time.
You could tell anything,

What if they . . .

Understood exactly what was bugging you,
Would never move to another town,
Would never abandon you,
Loyally stood up for you against your enemies,
Would never be mad at you,
Kept their word,
Showered you with the best of gifts,

Yeah right!!  Dream on!  Nobody can do that. 

But what if ???

How would you handle it?
How long would it take to believe it was true?
Would anything in you change?

I’ve found a Friend, oh, such a Friend!
  He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
  And thus He bound me to Him.
And round my heart still closely twine
  Those ties which naught can sever,
For I am His, and He is mine,
  Forever and forever.
I’ve found a Friend, oh, such a Friend!
  He bled, He died to save me;
And not alone the gift of life,
  But His own self He gave me.
Naught that I have my own I call,
  I hold it for the Giver;
My heart, my strength, my life, my all,
  Are His, and His forever.
I’ve found a Friend, oh, such a Friend!
  So kind, and true, and tender,
So wise a Counsellor and Guide,
  So mighty a Defender!
From Him who loves me now so well,
  What power my soul can sever?
Shall life or death, or earth or hell?
  No? I am His forever.

- J.G. Small

Monday, February 8, 2016

What Are We To Conclude

What are we to conclude when the bible doesn't work?

When I was a kid I was told that if I had faith I could move mountains.  Since I loved to snow ski, and since the mountains were more than one hour drive away (which I hated), I would often pray that the mountains to be moved closer to my house.  I even tried "commanding" them (some folks in the know said that was the right thing to do).

The mountains which were the laser focus of my young prayers still sit in the same spot.

It's been 50 years.

I think that is enough time for God to act.

But nothing happened.

I know many people who have been seriously damaged because they prayed for healing, or for financial help, or relief from a temptations they could not bear, or for wayward children, based upon promises they claimed from the bible and nothing happened.

How are we to make sense of this?

The bible lies?  We don't understand what the bible is actually saying?  We harbor sin?  God doesn't care?  We don't have "enough" faith?  Our requests are selfish?  Or, we have no answers right now but we'll understand it better by and by?

I was also told as a kid that if I "hid God's word in my heart" it would keep me from sinning.  Boy, what a deal!!  I quickly started memorizing verse after verse after verse . . . hundreds of verses . . . thousands of verses . . . entire books of the bible . . .

I still sinned.

Much later in life I learned that "the Word became flesh".

Hmmmm, could this be an answer that makes sense?

He became one of us . . . lived . . . died . . . then sent His very Spirit to live within us.

Maybe "hiding God's Word in my heart so I might not sin" didn't mean memorizing bible verses but rather something totally different and totally better!

"Knowing" written words is not my burning focus any longer.  Rather, knowing, listening to, communing with, the living Christ who dwells in me . . . aaaaaand, what do you know!! . . . sin looses it's pull and power and allure!

At least the bible is right that hiding God's Word in our hearts beats back sin's power but . . . I'm still working on that mountain thing.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

JIGSAW PUZZLE THEOLOGY





When I was a kid I remember my mother inviting me to help her with a jigsaw puzzle.  I didn’t know any better so I said yes . . . it seemed like fun to her so, why not?

However, I wanted the picture to materialize in rapid fashion. The picture on the box was intriguing so I wanted to see it in real life . . . and my patience was very short.  I wanted to pick up a piece and presto, chango, place it in exactly the right spot.

After trying several pieces without success I found a piece that was a close fit and did my best to make it fit.  I pushed and squeezed and distorted it and finally declared to my mom that I got one to fit.  I was so proud of my abilities and the way I’d quickly mastered jigsaw puzzling. . .until . . . my mom pointed out that the colors and patterns  and lines didn’t really  fit with one another, let alone the shapes, I needed to remove it, back up, and keep trying until there was a true and accurate fit. 

I didn’t want to hear it!!

Getting a clear picture of God is much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle with an infinite number of pieces.  For the picture to be accurate, each piece must fit perfectly with the other ones.  No forcing or twisting or settling for an imperfect fit.

The more people working together on the puzzle the quicker it seems to take shape and the more fun the process is, but if one person is forcing pieces that don’t fit, the rest of the group can’t pretend that it does fit.  It’s time to back up and wait until the right piece comes into focus.

God is revealing to me the need to back up and reevaluate some pieces of my theological puzzle I thought were perfect fits but, in fact, had been forced together by me or others.  I am so amazed by God’s patience with me . . . just like my mom, He just says, remove the wrong pieces, keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking and the right pieces will pop out.  You’ll know when the piece is the right one. 

I am totally fine with all the pieces that I haven’t fit together yet because I know the right picture will grow in God’s timing and I trust Him.

It’s becoming a much more beautiful picture too.

Friday, December 6, 2013

God of the Nth, or Merry Christmas

When it comes to grasping divinity it is too hard and too big for my mind.

I remember in my school days that exponents were used to describe large numbers . . . the kind the mind can't grasp.  The the biggest and largest number was referred to as the "nth" power.  When you move into calculus they increase the abstract to the "n+1" power.  In other words, the largest possible number there is . . . plus one.

Even this falls far short of completely illustrating the vastness of our creator.

The theologian, in the same way as simple math, falls short of explaining God to us and like calculus we need to move further with the help of the poet and the mystic . . . but even that is not enough.

And yet, God himself placed all of who he is into a person . . . Jesus . . . so he could be one of us . . . and live with us . . . and we could see him, touch him, understand him, and amazingly so he could show us how much he loves us and desires an intimate relationship with . . . me . . . and you.

That is why the angels shouted out Glory to God in the Highest!!

Something to think about this Christmas.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Heart of the Matter


All things in the scriptures were written for us . . . but not all things in the scripture were written to us.

Example:

Jeremiah 17:9  says "The human mind is more deceitful than anything else.
It is incurably bad. Who can understand it?".  
Many teachers have convinced people who are in Christ that this is true of them.  It is sad to see.
Jesus IS the cure.  Jesus came to remove our stony heart and give us a heart of flesh.  Those who are in Christ are NEW creations, the old is passed away and all things are new.  Those that are in Christ have the Spirit dwelling in their hearts.  

Listen to your heart.  Follow your heart, for this is the dwelling place of the very God.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Basics

I embrace the Christianity taught by Jesus Christ which teaches that to be right with God a person MUST BE PERFECT. This is such a high standard that no one can possibly achieve it. If a person were to be 99.9999999999999% perfect but slip up once in one small detail, they are disqualified.

However, Jesus DID live such a perfect life and has said that if we would quit trying to meet God's high standards through our own efforts, that the perfection he achieved would be ours . . . freely . . . without strings . . . forever . . .

The Apostle Paul in Romans 8:1 said: "There is therefore NOW NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ."

So, salvation, and restoration of the broken relationship with God, the complete removal of all our sinfulness, past, present, and future, the joy and peace and security of not having to worry about "did I do it right", the very spirit of God dwelling inside our core, is all freely given, with no strings, no "as long as", no requirements to keep trying to be perfect, no requirement to attend religious services, no requirement to give money, no rules to keep, no expectation that sin in our lives will stop . . . NOTHING, to anyone and everyone when they admit they can't be good enough on their own and simply understand that Jesus has already done it all for us.

I know this may sound somewhat different than Christianity as most people think about it, but many teachers down through time have twisted the wonderful message that God has done all this for us only because he loves us all so very much and wants to have a close, intimate relationship with his beloved creation.

I know you are very focused on love, as am I, and I have found that knowing that I am loved THIS MUCH, makes it possible to really reach out to and care for and love those who cross my path. I am not perfect at it, but the more I grasp God's great love to me the easier it becomes to love . . . even those who are hostile to me.

Sorry to be so long winded, but this is such a wonderful message it kinda bubbles up inside of me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Good News is Really Good!!

For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8,9.

Most Christians believe this to be true, and yet they feel a need to add things to it such as "make a commitment", or "give your heart to Christ", or "make Him your Lord", or "make a decision", and I could go on and on. All of a sudden this free gift from God sounds more like it has a string attached or a hook in it, or like it is from my own effort rather than a free gift. It makes the Good News taste a lot less "good".

Prior to the light of Christ shining in our hearts we are described as dead and in darkness. How does a corpse do anything? How do they make any decisions? What part did the dead Lazarus play in his own resurrection? Answer . . . NOTHING. God did it all!!

I remember being down deep in the Carlsbad Cavern when they turned out the lights . . . I have never experienced any darker darkness than in that hole in the ground. Picture someone in an underground limestone cave having never seen the reality of the beauty around them because of the darkness, all they have ever known is the darkness. Suddenly someone turns on the lights, revealing all the beauty that was around them all the time for them to enjoy. They don't DECIDE to believe in the existence of stalagmites, or stalactites, or waterfalls, or pools of crystal clear water, they see it and just know it to be true.

The light being turned on is the same as the faith that is a gift from God spoken of in Ephesians. His Spirit "turns on the light" showing the dead person that all his sins are forgiven, he is loved unconditionally, he has the presence of God inside of him, he is assured of eternity spend in a fabulous place called heaven. He doesn't need to make a decision, or make God his lord, or promise anything at all. It is all his freely out of the loving heart of a gracious God! Now this tastes a lot more like Good News to me.

Way to go God!!!