Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Well is he?


So…is he?  Is God in every man?  Bad guy, good guy? The guy across the street…the guy in the next office?  The guy who cuts you off at the intersection?  Does God dwell in every butcher, baker, candlestick maker?

The Bible says that he is the light that lights every man who comes into the world.  That’s pretty clear, no?  Every man. It is one of the mysteries of the Gospel that Paul talks about. Behold…I tell you a mystery.  The christ in you, the hope of glory. 

Preston Eby has a unique way of answering that question….of explaining the “christ in you.”

It is like a man who is very accomplished in a certain field, a doctor, lawyer, or scientist.  He has everything, and is at the top of the world.  Then he becomes an alcoholic.  In time he loses all – his wife, family, house, money, job – and becomes a drunken derelict, unwashed, unshaven, unkempt, lying in the gutter surrounded by wine bottles.  Now, the talent, ability, wisdom, knowledge, etc. that he once possessed IS STILL THERE.  It is distorted, disrupted and destroyed by alcohol. 

He goes on to say….

I see God in every man as a SEED.  According to Paul on Mars hill all men are "the offspring of God."  This seed of God is in every man, in man's spirit, for man is body, soul and spirit.  From whence came man's spirit – from the dust of the ground?  No!  the spirit came out of God.  But it must germinate, be quickened.  Just as it takes the rain and the sun to germinate the seed in a farmer's field, so it requires the SPIRIT and the WORD falling into the soil of a man's heart to germinate the seed of God, thus producing the miracle of RE-GENERATION.  A seed does not produce what it is until it germinates and grows.  That is why you do not see the life of God being produced in unquickened men, although the seed of God is in them.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Do the next thing….

He went out not knowing whither he went.  Hebrews 11:8

I happened upon this verse the other day….at the gym…in a devotional book I downloaded a while back from Project Gutenberg. The devotional is called My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year by John Henry Jowett…copywrite 1914. 

The verse is talking about Abraham…when he was still Abram….when God called him out of Ur. The Amplified Bible words it thusly….

[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go.

The devotional goes on….

ABRAM began his journey without any knowledge of his ultimate destination.

He took “one step,” and he did not “ask to see the distant scene.” And that is faith, to do God’s will here and now, quietly leaving the results to Him.

I am so totally, completely not there yet….spiritually speaking….because I do trouble my mind and I do want to know where I am going.  And where my kids are going…and where Keith is going…..where the economy is going….where the world is going (it is 2012 afterall…the legendary doomsday year)

I’m not much for the one step at a time, give no thought to the morrow….sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof stuff.  I want to see the distant scene…

Or at least I think I do… even while grudgingly admitting that God, in his mercy, only lets us see so far down the dark path. 


And then, totally by happenstance, I came upon an interview with Elizabeth Elliot that complemented this Abram thing.  (Truth be told, it might have been visa versa….the interview first and then the devotional…can’t remember….and God is always doing stuff like that to…for….me)

Elizabeth Elliot was widowed twice and is no stranger to heartache.  Her first husband, Jim Elliot was murdered by the Auca tribe when they were missionaries in South America. She went on to live with the tribe responsible for the death of her husband for several years after that. 

Her second husband died of cancer….a much slower death…and that experience was the subject of the interview.  She credits something she learned from her mother with getting her though those days

For the first few weeks my husband did the driving. Then he was too tired, too worn out, too weak, and I did the driving. It was my job. My job was also housework, laundry, meals, encouragement, trying to move as methodically as I possibly could from one thing to another. And I had learned a principle from my mother many years before--do the next thing.

Reminds me of another quote….one that I actually wrote a post about a while back. Thomas Carlyle said,

"Do the duty which lies nearest thee. Thy second duty will have become clearer."

And it isn’t necessarily the things that appear to be the biggest, grandest, earth shakingly important things that make the most impact.  The trick just might be to obey the leading of the spirit within….

The devotional closes with this:

“Thou has laid Thine hand upon me.” That is enough, just to feel the pressure of the guiding hand.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Liebster Blog….!

This is very cool…very cool indeed.  Amy at Monastic Ponderings picked my blog as one of her five picks for the Liebster Blog Award.

            Liebster blog Award

Thanks so much, Amy.  You made my day!!!

And a little about the award….

Award's Origins
While the Liebster Blog Award is widely accepted as coming from Germany, its actual origin has been lost in the blogosphere's digital fog. (
Liebster [noun], is a german word meaning beloved, dear, dearest, or love.) What is clear, it has become a chain letter of sorts, that "shows the unity, interconnection and supportive nature of the blogging world."

Liebster Blog Award Rules

It appears that the award's rules have been slowly evolving over time, but they have fundamentally remained the same. Here are the rules as passed on to me:

In accepting this award, the recipient agrees to:

  1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Reveal your top 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogsphere – other bloggers.
  5. And, best of all – have fun and spread the karma.

My Five Picks

I’m going to have to think about that for a bit…stay tuned…..

Sunday, February 12, 2012

God be with you….and I mean it….

I happened upon a blog post yesterday…on my google reader feed entitled "Praying Them Home" on the Daily Episcopalian.  The post talked a lot about prayer....and the cloud of unknowing we join in shared prayer. 

In the post, the author (Maria L. Evans) tells the story of an encounter with a gravely ill man who was determined to embark on a long journey back to his homeland, postponing medical treatment. She tried to convince him of the very serious, possibly fatal, risk he was taking but he would not relent. Her conclusion?

All of us have times in our lives where despite our best efforts, our good intentions, and our fears for those we love, they will make their choices and we are left with no other tasks but to let them go, and "pray them home." I realized I had tried my best, and did what I could. As I left to go back to my office, I told him, "God be with you. I mean that."

A sentiment most parents, especially parents of teenagers or young adults, can totally identify with.  Let go and let God to the n'th degree.  Very. Difficult. To. Do.

Being the queen of the worst case scenario, I tend to let my imagination run away with me. I know it, my family knows it and it’s become a good natured, standing joke.

My daughter Emily posted a picture on my FB wall....ahhh, I mean my FB Timeline....the other day poking fun. She shared it with her sister, Beth. 

          Cutting stuff with a knife

Point taken. And the truth of the matter is….the “paring knife” is usually…just a paring knife.  But every once in a while, the paring knife REALLY is a hatchet in disguise.  Our kids face dangers every day…the real ones and the ones that live in a mother’s imagination.  Sometimes the only option is to try to quiet our fears, accept their choices and simply pray “God be with you.”

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Choose Your Contradiction….2

A while back I wrote a post about how we all....ALL of us....choose what parts of scripture to embrace and what parts of scripture to ignore.  There are many contradictions in the Bible...which is why there are thousands of denominations and belief systems within Christianity.  You can support just about anything with scripture. 
Steve McVey (in a post  I read "at the gym") said it this way:

It's as if when we read the Bible, the verses that support what we already believe seem to be highlighted or italicized while the verses that might disprove and dismantle our current belief are skimmed over, almost as if they are invisible. Our bias serves to reinforce our view by causing confirming evidence to jump out at us while blinding us to any evidence that might threaten our current view.

This isn't always such a good thing because it can keep us in belief systems that are flawed...even dangerous.  It is the subconscious version of sticking our fingers in our ears and doing the la-la-la-la-la-la-la, I don't hear you" chant.  We simply can't---or won't look farther than our preconceived beliefs.  Or sometimes, if we do, we grab hold of the new with the same gusto we clung to the old.....

As Ashleigh Brilliant says:

My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.


We have to keep an open mind....but not so open our brains fall out.  Been there, done that.